Sustaining soil and water resources for improved agricultural production requires improved capacity of relevant stakeholders. The study aimed to ascertain this capacity in terms of perceived knowledge and importance of selected soil and water conservation (SWC) practices amongst farmers and extension agents (EAs) in the Eastern region of Nigeria. Data were collected from 101 farmers and 66 EAs using questionnaire instruments and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that both EAs and farmers were knowledgeable in most of the SWC studied as well as perceived the practices as very important. However, the EAs had more knowledge and perceived these practices as more important than farmers. Farmers did not adopt some SWC practices which were capital intensive or which they were not knowledgeable in. There were significant differences in the perceived knowledge and perceived importance of SWC practices between farmers and EAs in few SWC practices that were studied. Based on the key findings from the study, it was recommended that farmers need to be regularly trained by EAs using integrated methods in order to increase their capabilities in SWC practices. On the other hand, EAs also need to update their own skills through short courses and training in extension methods.
Key words: Soil and water conservation, practices, farmers, extension agents, Eastern Nigeria.
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