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Abstract

Agricultural extension programmes are the main pathways to transfer improved innovations or information from extension agents to farmers in rural and peri-urban areas. Agricultural extension methods have been perceived by many to have significant influence on the adoption of improved production techniques by farmers. This study modelled the factors influencing farmers’ subscription to various agricultural extension methods using data from 543 rice farm households in northern Ghana. A generalised Poisson regression (GPR) model was estimated to account for errors in the dispersion of the data. The results reveal farmer-to-farmer extension method, the use of demonstration farms, and household extension method as the most significant mechanisms to communicate information to farmers in the study area. Farm size, membership of farmer association, number of years spent as an irrigation farmer, research and location (upper east region) were found to be significant in influencing farmers’ subscription to various agricultural extension methods, and should be considered by extension agents who extend knowledge on improved production techniques to farmers. Governments and actors in the agricultural space must recognise the importance of farmer-to-farmer extension method, as well as the use of field demonstrations to train farmers on improved practices. Radio, as a mass media mechanism should be used to support the other conventional extension methods, to deploy information on improved production techniques to rice farmers.

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