Journal of Extension Systems

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1985, Volume 1: Inaugural Issue

O. S. Verma, Editorial

  1. Leagans, J. P.  Adoption of Technology by Small Farmers.
  2. Bhaskar, V. V. & O. S. Verma. Productivity Assessment Systems Scale (PAS--scale).
  3. Westermarck, H. Monitoring and Evaluation of Programmes.
  4. Supe, S. V. Job Satisfaction of Primary School Teachers.
  5. Lowdermilk, M. K. A System Process for Improving the Quality of Agricultural Extension.
  6. Singh, S. N. & O. S. Verma. Farm Innovators.
  7. Friedman, Y. Why a Communication Centre.
  8. Waghmare, V. S. & S. K. Waghmare. Lab to Land Programme.
  9. Reddy, B. L. & S. V. Reddy. Dry Farming Orientation Scale (DFO--scale).
  10. Sharma, R. K. Intensive Cattle Development Project.
  11. Ballabh, S. & G. Prasad. Lack of Technical Knowledge Attributed to Gap in Technology.
  12. De, D. Status Symbol and Innovative Entrepreneurship and Predictors of Farmers Progressivism.

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In the recent time, Systems thinking has emerged a very strong phenomenon which has facilitated unification in many fields. It mainly aims at understanding and integrating scientific knowledge of the specialised fields into an unitary complex whole. In modern science, dynamic interaction of this order is the basic problem practically in all the disciplines. Extension is no exception to this dictum.

In extension, functionalism has been so badly damaged that its legs and hands are chopped off and torso is left in its abject state of cry. It is so because there has been no patent system that could have been uniformly applied world ever. Even nomenclature of the discipline is so varied that no two institutions follow identical system. In India, for instance, some call it agricultural extension whereas others call it dairy extension, veterinary extension, home science extension, and industrial extension. In the western countries, the discipline has been twisted even more. Although the basic philosophy is practically same, the nomenclature is so different that it is really very difficult to justify the separate identity. In some corners of the world, it is the community education whereas in others it is cooperative extension, adult education, continuing education, agricultural education, agricultural extension, and in some it is still popularly labeled as Extension Education. These different streams have made the subject hotchpotch.

The time has now come that we should really critically examine the present state of this discipline. To me, Extension is a System in Systems framework. Hence, it is Extension Systems. If we go by the general systems theory, assemblage of the various components of a System which constitute the unitary whole is the central theme of systems thinking. According to this concept, the term system covers a broad spectrum of our social world.

In biology, we speak of organism as a system of mutually dependent parts each of which includes many subsystems like skeleton system, circulator system, and nervous system. Anthropologists have pioneered the view that social customs, patterns of behaviour, and institutions do not exist independently but must be considered in relation to the total culture. In the field of psychology, the Gestaltists have adopted the concept of system which is more than the sum of its components. Modern economists are increasingly using Equilibrium concepts, input output analysis, interrelationship between goods and services, and linear programming as sub-systems of a total System. This discussion only shows as to how systems approach has become the operating framework for many physical and social sciences.

The language of systems theory amply justifies the fact that Extension is not alienated from the mainstreams of systems framework. However, within the concept of systems, there is still room for a focus on identification of isolated extension constituents, one to one relations, diagnosis of minutiae of clients, specialty of manpower, and identification of the tasks en route. In the light of this discussion, I take the lead to advocate the necessity that disciplines like agricultural extension, agricultural education, continuing education, extension education, adult education, cooperative extension, rural extension, extension services, human resources development, communication centres and the like now need unification into a complex whole so as to give birth to a discipline called "Extension Systems" Not only land-grant universities and agricultural institutions should fall under its orbit but also the traditional universities especially in India where adult and continuing education department are in existence must shift to this nomenclature. Extension systems is universal to all such centres of higher learning.

But the modalities as to how unification should be carried out is the subject of study for which this journal is thrown open to professional workers. Prof. Lionberger has rightly contended that we should now begin to think of ideal systems that could generate information to solve diverse systems issues. Informational macro-systems enthusiasts, therefore, must come forward to make their contributions in this endeavour. Journal of Extension Systems throws its open invitation to all.

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Leagans, J. Paul. Adoption of Technology by Small Farmers, 1-22.

The author summarizes procedures and results of a ten-year program to design and field-test an innovative, cross-cultural, interdisciplinary model for researching technology utilization, especially by small farmers. Five conditions were hypothesized: an increasing need exists to shorten the time-span between technical discovery and utilization; a more complex set of variables than past researches have addressed impinge on adoption decisions; influences exerted by adoption researches-more than 2,000 to date-on programming and policy decisions need enhancing; the compelling reasons why respondent farmers do what they do lie primarily in "interpretive" information about localized constraints available primarily from them; for these and other reasons, adoption theory and research methodology need new conceptualizations. In support of these and related propositions, the author provides theories and models and primary data from eight countries.

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Bhaskar, V. V. & O. S. Verma. Productivity Assessment Systems Scale (PAS--scale), 23-28.

The existing system of assessing performance of scientists is based on extremely subjective, non-quantifiable, arbitrary and some what vague criteria particularly on the traits like personality, attitude, intellect, initiative, ability to get along, skill and imaginativeness etc. There are no set standards or norms against which these traits could have been assessed. Assessment of the scientists on these traits is normally made based on personal equations the scientists had with their supervisor scientist. This system of assessment is against the basic philosophy of productivity. As a general rule, actual performance of the scientist on the job should carry more weight than the abstract criteria like appearance, personality traits and his attributes. Because of the vast differences in the factors contributing to the effectiveness of scientists engaged in different job areas like research, teaching, extension and miscellaneous activities, criteria for the assessment of their productivity must necessarily be different.

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Westermarck, Harri. Monitoring and Evaluation of Programmes, 29-40.

Extension workers have always made reports. Systems of reporting were developed and brought into use in most countries when national advisory services were established. In Finland, for example when our service was established in 1797 the Swedish government (1) started to support special projects like vaccination and potato and flax growing. However, at that time, there were no special regulations concerning reporting on these projects. Reports simply described how many acres of potatoes had been cultivated by farmers and how many vaccinations had been carried out by the adviser. Sometime before independence in 1914 new regulations concerning reporting were established. Most still apply to our advisory system as required by government. Our advisory service is owned and administered by farmers but about half of its annual costs are covered by government budgetary funds. Government as such does not play a direct role in administration but requires annual plans and reports from our 18 regional services. The emphasis in these reports is on activities conducted by the adviser and not on results achieved as concerns farmers' levels of knowledge, skills, motivation or economic and social well-being.

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Supe, S.V. Job Satisfaction of Primary School Teachers, 41-44.

Herzberg et al. (1957) reviewed the literature and found that there exists a good feeling and bad feeling in the job. With this hypothesis as a starting point, Herzberg et al. (1959) conducted a study in nine companies by using critical incidents technique and established the proposition that the factors accountable to job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction were different. The factors that were positive to job satisfaction were: achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement and salary. The negative were: policy administration, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions.

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Lowdermilk, M. K. A System Process for Improving the Quality of Agricultural Extension, 45-54.

This article provides a systems framework for planning, monitoring and evaluating extension programs. Extension by nature is an educational process of transferring useful information and research findings to end users for their benefits. This process and the particular extension model used constitute only one of several complimentary organizational inputs required for effective transfer of knowledge to clients. Although a powerful tool for agricultural development, the public mechanism of extension alone is never a panacea. No single public or private organizational input for agriculture will provide a quick, simple or radical solution to the complex human, socio-economic and technical problems facing millions of farmers in a country as vast and dynamic as India. Therefore, strong functional linkages with other support and service organizations, policy-making levels, knowledge creation centres as well as other private and public agencies involved in the transfer of knowledge are necessary to effectively provide new and improved production possibilities to farmers.

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Singh, Satya Narayan & Om Singh Verma. Farm Innovators, 55-62.

Operationally, the hypothesis is that a farmer who is innovator in one arena is also likely to turn up as innovator in another arena. It means a farmer who is innovator in Dairying practices can also be innovator in agricultural practices. Because of this analogy, there happens to be overlapping of a number of practices in which a farmer plays the role of innovativeness. He is practically earliest in adopting all innovations of whatever the field pertinent to him and his social system. This multiplicity of a farmer's role is called "polymorphic and multiple influential leadership".

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Friedman, Yona. Why a Communication Centre, 63-69.

Development means improving life conditions of a nation. To do such improvement involves inevitably government expenditure.

In countries with precarious economic conditions government cannot assure basic commodities (food, health care, housing and various services) in sufficient quantities for the largest part of the population. In such countries the solution might be approached through people producing themselves their own subsistence in kitchen-gardens, making themselves their utensils, their house and keeping up themselves their health care and community services.

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Waghmare, V. S. & S. K. Waghmare. Lab to Land Programme, 70-71.

A study was carried out to examine empirically how far 'Transfer Technology' under Lab to Land Programme has helped the small farmers improve their socio-economic conditions. Out of 4000 farm families adopted by Gujrat Agricultural University under transfer technology Lab to Land Programme, a sample of 200 small farmers was drawn from 17 villages of Anand and Nadiad Taluka of Kaira district. These farmers confined their agriculture to wheat cultivation. Data were collected during June, 1979 and May, 1980.

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Reddy, B. Lakshmi & S. V. Reddy. Dry Farming Orientation Scale (DFO--scale), 72-74.

How many of us know the secret that the two-thirds of rice, one-third of wheat, 75 per cent of pulses and oilseeds and almost all the coarse grains in the country come from rain fed lands mostly owned by small and marginal farmers. This only signifies how potential the dryland farming appears to be in the country. Now that we could know this vast potential, our scientists have developed specific technologies, management practices, and crop pattern to suit all types of drylands. Some of the dryland agricultural technologies which altogether constitute a system of dry farming are listed below:

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Sharma, R. K. Intensive Cattle Development Project, 75-77.

With a view to develop constraint-free extension system for cattle development, a study was conducted in Gurgaon district of Haryana where one of the oldest Intensive Cattle Development Project (ICDP) of the country was operating since 1967. The study covered both the beneficiaries and field functionaries of the project. Data were collected from 180 farm families, 100 Livestock assistants, and 29 Veterinary surgeons.

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Ballabh, Shri & Guru Prasad. Lack of Technical Knowledge Attributed to Gap in Technology, 78-80.

The technological gap should not only be considered in terms of physical gap between the technologies generated and what it has reached the farmers but also in terms of what it would do to economic conditions of farmers life. With this assumption, this study was carried out.

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De, Dipak. Status Symbol and Innovative Entrepreneurship and Predictors of Farmers Progressivism, 81-84.

According to Parsons and Shills (1951), value orientation refers to those aspects of one's behaviour which commit him to be observant of certain norms, standards, and criteria in a contingent situation. These commitments can be thought of values and values can be thought of as a continuum on which the individual locates himself at a suitable point. This point establishes his value orientation which becomes a basis for his future actions.

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Last modified: 30 January 2017

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