Factors Influencing Performance of Community Based Organizations in Implementing Agricultural Extension Services in Buuri Sub-county, Meru County, Kenya.
Agriculture remains the main source of income for many people in the world. The purpose of the study was to establish the factors influencing performance of community based organizations in implementing agricultural extension services in Buuri Sub County. The study sought to investigate the influence of community participation, funding, governance and operational framework on performance of community based organizations in implementing agricultural extension services in Buuri Sub County. The study was hinged on stakeholder theory. The study employed descriptive survey research design. Target population was a total of 1,870 respondents which comprised of 62 CBO officials and 1,808 registered members. Stratified random sampling was used where 3 strata based on main value chain activities of the CBO were used to classify the CBOs. Simple random sampling was then employed to select respondents from each strata. The sample size was 319 respondents consisting of 11 CBOs’ officials and 308 CBOs’ registered members. Questionnaires were used to collect data from the CBOs’ registered members while an interview guide was used to collect data from CBOs’ officials in the Sub County. Data was analysed qualitatively and quantitatively using SPSS version 21.0.With regard to community participation and performance of CBOs implementing agricultural extension services projects and specifically concerning the involvement of project beneficiaries, the study established that lack of community involvement had negatively influenced on CBOs’ agricultural extension projects as shown by 76.2%. The study established that most CBOs implementing agricultural extension services projects had put in place measures to involve women in these types of projects as shown by 85% of the studys’ respondents. The study also deduced that funding influences the implementation of agricultural extension services projects with 86.1% of the studys’ respondents agreeing that CBO experienced difficulties in raising money to fund agricultural extension and that projects failed to become self-reliant after funding organizations/donors withdraw their financial support. 89.4% of the respondents agreed that donors give conditions before they gave grants to run the CBO’s project. This study recommends that efforts on making CBO’s financially should be adopted by these organizations to prevent the failure of agricultural extension services projects whenever donors pull out their support. The study established that CBO’s implementing agricultural extension services projects experience elite capture as shown by 82.4% the studys’ respondents. Therefore, the study recommends that CBOs put in place internal operational checks and balances. The study also established that CBOs have working monitoring and evaluation system as shown by 88.3% of the studys’ respondents. The study recommends that CBOs implementing agricultural extension projects with the help of development partners train more staff on grant writing skills and management on financial sustainability and developing clear operational frameworks to prevent adverse factors that negatively influence the performance of CBOs agricultural extensions projects.
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