Use Of Management Information System In Agricultural Extension Programmes

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Use Of Management Information System In Agricultural Extension Programmes


Abstract


This study investigated the Use of Management Information System for Enhanced Activities in Agricultural Extension Programmes of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. To achieve the objectives of the study, the study formulated six research questions. A qualitative research methodology using the case study approach was adopted. An Interview guide, focus groups and observations were the instruments used to collect data. The target population of the study comprised of the Management and MIS staff of the Agricultural Extension programmes in National Agricultural Extension Research Liaison Services (NAERLS) and National Animal Production Research Institute (NAPRI). The responses from the sampled staff of the Agricultural Extension Programmes were collated, analyzed and interpreted descriptively, using tables.

The finding showed that the Agricultural Extension Programmes in the Institutes surveyed, made use of one MIS facility or the other. The most available and used MIS facilities were the computer, scanner, printer, digital camera, generator and multimedia projector. All the facilities available and used by the MIS/IT staff had so little to do with decision making but more of statistics generation from various field researches. The sources of information for the MIS staff were more of external than internal sources. There was no information passed from the Agricultural Extension programs to MIS, which is a crucial internal source of information. The channels of information to managers were the E-mail, phones, prints and paper files. There existed no intranet, extranet, interactive website or a specific discussion forum for the Extension program heads. The types of report generated include the scheduled, summary and the on-demand reports.

The contributions of MIS include: increased access to information, improved generation of information and dissemination, improved communication networking between colleagues and other Institutions and availability of consistent data. These contributions have very little relation with decision making. The challenges resulting in the partial use of the MIS and its facilities include power supply, lack/ shortage of specialist’s personnel for development program for MIS, inadequate infrastructure and lack of full support by management staff. The study therefore concluded that the Use of MIS for enhancing activities in these Agricultural Research Institutions is partial and the facilities are not used for enhancing decision making, being the essence of an MIS. In view of this a number of recommendations were made, some of which are: Provision of a separate structure for MIS with expanded facilities and the MIS unit put in place should be to provide information strictly for all levels of management, for effective decision making. This will go a long way to help improve information flow, hence decision making.


Use Of Management Information System In Agricultural Extension Programmes


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