ISSN: 0041-3216 (Online), 0041-3216 (Print)
Volume 92 Number 3
Measuring farmers’ trust and confidence in the extension services of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). (259)
The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is a political union of seven Caribbean countries. The OECS depends on agriculture for economic wellbeing. The issues that confront extension in the OECS presently appear to revolve around the problem of farmers’ trust in the extension officers and extension as a whole. This study sought to measure farmers’ trust and confidence in the public extension service offered in the OECS. Survey research was conducted among farmers (n = 467) of the five largest countries in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Data analysis was done using STATA 9 and results generated as descriptive frequencies and ANOVA. Results showed there was a moderate level of trust and confidence in extension in the OECS. Trust and Confidence differed significantly based on country of residence, education level, farm size, parcels in use, number of extension visits, and participation in farmers groups. At present, farmers do not have the requisite trust and confidence in extension. Governments in each country and at the OECS level need to take action through policy statement that could be used to fashion mechanisms, strategies and activities aimed at improving the level of trust and confidence farmers have in Extension.
Keywords: Trust, confidence, satisfaction, extension, Caribbean, agriculture