This study is part of a bigger project aimed at designing a competency profile for agricultural extension instructors (AEIs). The present study was designed to investigate farmers’ perceptions of the kinds of support that the Agricultural Extension Services (AES) organization in Iran has provided so far, and of the kinds of support that should be provided by AES in the future. 102 farmers, who had already attended AES extension courses, were selected from 17 townships in the province of Esfahan. The farmers completed a questionnaire during a personal interview. The two most-used information sources by farmers to get informed about AES programs were governmental extension agents and their own experiences. The farmers claimed that AES has already supported them to some extent in the past but has focused on animal husbandry and veterinary, agricultural inputs and enhancement of the fertility and size of the farms. For the future, they expressed the need for greater support from AES, most importantly in relation to making an agricultural career more satisfactory for them and to reducing the risk, labor and severity of farming. The farmers were especially positive about the short-term extension courses offered in different disciplines over the last ten years and they regarded these programs as useful.

Keywords: Agricultural Extension, Extension Instructors, Farmer Perceptions, Information Sources, Iran


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