In-service educational needs of agricultural officers for adaptation of remote sensing technology for precision agriculture in the province of Balochistan-Pakistan
Ejaz Ashraf, Mississippi State University, United States
Doctor of Philosophy, Mississippi State University . Awarded
The purpose of this study was to determine agricultural officers' in-service educational needs for precision agriculture in the province of Balochistan-Pakistan through Remote Sensing technology. Their competence (knowledge) level in specific units of remote sensing and its related technologies was assessed. Other factors that contributed to the enhancement of competence level were also evaluated, such as access to the available training opportunities, access to information sources for remote sensing, and demographic characteristics of the respondents. The relationships between the competence of agricultural officers, training opportunities, information sources, and demographic characteristics were also examined during this study.
The data were collected through a survey instrument on the 5-point Likert scale. A sample of 280 respondents was randomly selected from the population of 1,028 agricultural officers. The average age of the respondents was 32 years, and their average experience in the extension service was 11 years. Most of the respondents held masters and bachelors degrees in agriculture. Respondents indicated only a medium-to-high level of competence in three concepts in computer usage and remote sensing technology. In the remaining 48 concepts of specific units of remote sensing and its related technologies, respondents indicated a low-to-medium level of competence. Many of the respondents used online and published sources for information in remote sensing. They had little access to journal publications for current information on remote sensing technology. Many of the respondents thought that the audience, government funding, and education level were the main obstacles for teaching and application of remote sensing in Balochistan. The results from the regression analysis indicated that training, information sources, and experience were the main predictors in the model and explained 79.7% of variance in the dependent variable of competence of agricultural officers. Access to the training opportunities and access to the information sources play a significant role in the enhancement of competencies of agricultural officers in remote sensing. Further studies must be conducted to develop district-wise comparisons to measure the usage of remote sensing technology, to assess farmers' opinions about the usage of technology instead of using conventional methods in agriculture, and to measure the role of the extension service in teaching and applications of remote sensing for precision agriculture at the national and provincial levels.
Ashraf, E. In-service educational needs of agricultural officers for adaptation of remote sensing technology for precision agriculture in the province of Balochistan-Pakistan. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, Mississippi State University.
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