Master’s Plan B Professional Project Final Defense - Hannah Lizen Livuza - July 20

Date: July 20, 2015

Agricultural Extension: A ‘How-To’ Guide to Essential Competencies and Skills for an Effective Extension Worker

Master’s Plan B Professional Project Final Defense

Department of Community Sustainability

Hannah Lizen Livuza


Monday, July 20, 2015

Room 130 Natural Resources at 10 a.m. 


Agricultural extension discipline demands that extension workers possess up to date information on various agricultural techniques that seek to assess and address the continually emerging needs of farmers and the farming systems. Extension workers also require relevant process skills and core competencies to effectively extend the information to individual farmers and farming communities as whole. However, extension workers are expected to carry out their responsibilities when they have only been trained in technical knowledge and not practical process skills and core competencies. The project followed a descriptive study in the category of non-experimental research. It focused on the perceptions and self-assessment of 240 extension workers who identified a list of core competencies as essential or not essential for extension work. The project aimed at assessing essential core competencies relevant for extension work and the levels of competencies of extension workers in these identified core competencies. The findings from the study showed that extension workers are moderately competent in the listed core competencies. From the identified core competencies, the study isolated eleven (11) core competencies, which had low scores of levels of competency. These eleven core competencies have been developed into a ‘how-to’ guide to be used as a resource for the extension workers as they work with farmers in Malawi. The guide provides extension workers with step-by-step process on these various core competencies required extension work responsibilities.

Committee Members:

  • Prof. Murari Suvedi, Chairperson
  • Dr. Robert Richardson, Member