Agricultural extension systems response to covid-19 outbreak in Egypt and Nigeria
COVID-19 pandemic has brought setbacks to all human endeavours globally, in the sectors of health, education, tourism, and agriculture. African agriculture is greatly affected by the pandemic and lockdown, in particular the peasant farmers. In this regard, the agricultural extension service which has been responsible for the dissemination of innovation to the farmers becomes an indispensable platform to sensitize farmers on COVID-19 and preventive measures. Hence, this paper aimed to investigate the agricultural extension systems' response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Egypt and Nigeria. A questionnaire was administered to 200 extension agents randomly selected from the government institutions in Egypt and Nigeria. The results showed that the degree of agricultural extension staff commitment to the precautionary measures for the COVID-19 epidemic in Nigeria (x̄ = 6.32) was higher than that in Egypt (x̄= 2.59). Nigerian agricultural extension agents recorded a higher contribution (x̄=8.82) at reducing the spread of COVID-19 than Egyptian counterparts (x̄ = 5.52). Although the demand for agricultural extension service in Nigeria is twice that of Egypt, extension service delivery during COVID-19 in the two countries was affected by frequent changes in the operating plans, poor funding, and inconsistent internal work system. The study recommends, establishing an electronic extension platform and coordinating agricultural extension services (AES) actors including private and public sectors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), producer organizations (POs) and the ministry of health (MOH) to face this crisis, especially in Egypt.
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