Journal of Extension Systems

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1987, Volume 3(2), December

O. S. Verma, Editorial

  1. Verma, O. S. & Bhaskar, V. V. Scientists Productivity: Extension Work Assessment Systems Measure.
  2. Baxter, M. New Development in Agricultural Extension: Privatization of Extension Services is as Good as Extension by Governments or Educational Institutions.
  3. Roling, N. Paradigm of Glut: The New Context for Extension.
  4. Hawkins, H. S. Extension Education in Australia: Adjusting to Production Surpluses and Financial Pressures.
  5. Mkandawire, R. M. Extension and Peasantry in Malawi: Inroads on Master Farmer System to Block Systems Approach—A Search for Appropriate Strategy.
  6. Richardson, J. G. & E. J. Boone. Technology Delivery: American Farmers Think Extension Can Do the Job.
  7. Hogan, M., L. D. Lawrence, T. L. Bean & S. Gartin. U.S. Senators Perceptions of CES: Extension Confines not only to Rural Residents but also Urban and Subarban Dewellers.
  8. Madan, S., B. Singh & L. Grover. Gram Sevikas in India: Burried Under the Load of Operational Area Coverage.
  9. Lowdermilk, M. K. Irrigation Water Management: Relative Analysis of Irrigation Water Control Systems in Pakistan.
  10. Ingle, P. O., S. V. Supe & S. S. Agrawal. Contact Farmers Under T & V System: Poor Role Performance and Medicare Adopters of Technology.
  11. Malaviya, S. A. & S. Rani. Rural Women Labour: Differential Treatment by Landlord Elites.

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There has always been a dispute as to what Extension Work comprises of Dr. O. S. Verma and V.V. Bhaskar in their paper "Scientists Productivity—Extension Work Assessment Systems Measure" have delineated 12 extension activities which constitute a complete profile of extension work. These are: (1) Campaigns, (2) Method Demonstration, (3) Result Demonstration, (4) Group Discussions, (5) Film Shows, (6) Cattle-shows and Rallies, (7) Out-campus Trainings, (8) Institutional Trainings, (9} Radio-TV Communication, (10) Guided Visits, (11) Farmers Fair, and (12) Advisory Letters. Authors have devised a scale known as Extension Work Assessment Systems Measure by which productivity of Extension Scientists can be worked out. This is done by reading the Scientists performance through these 12 activities. Although the Measure developed by Verma and Bhaskar is patently reliable, it still needs consideration of two sub-variables, i.e., quality component of extension work done, and relative contribution of a Scientist in accomplishing an activity which involves group action. Perhaps both these sub-variables need further research.

The new developments in agricultural extension as reviewed by Mr. Michael Baxter are in many ways not new. For quite long, both the farmers and the governments are being benefited by the development components like communication systems, individual end group contacts, and extension-research linkages. Privatization of extension services and women as farmers are of course new dimensions where greater attention is called for. The central place for causing concern to extension, however, is that there has been a tendency to overlook the basic principles of effective agricultural extension systems. Saying that extension takes place with farmers, most frequently in their fields, and it is there only that the impact and effectiveness of extension operations can be determined, is easy to overlook in the urgency and excitement of working in an important area. In agricultural extension systems design and operation, one's premise should be that the most simple and direct method of frequent and systematic contact between farmer and extension worker and between extension technical specialist and agricultural researcher is the best, unless otherwise proven. Mr. Baxter further argued that the most important development we can pursue is to see that agricultural extension systems are constantly reviewed to ensure that all their staff, functions, and components actively contribute to efficient field-based farmer-responsive professional extension services.

The "Paradigm of Glut" as stipulated by Prof. Niels Roling in certain crop productions as also in rural labour force is bound to be a world-wide phenomenon. The time is, therefore, now ripe that the extension approach and agricultural research both should be diversified in the context of Glut. Prof. Roling suggestion that agricultural research has to be 'market and consumer-oriented' instead of being stereotyped in 'development-production-dissemination' system is one-step right directive to those who allocate the resources. Extension system modelling with Five essential sequential elements such as (1) Mobilization, (2) Organization, (3) Training, (4) Appropriate Opportunities, and (5) NGOs as Intermediate Agencies, however, still needs empirical perfection. The tripartite arrangement of Technical Agencies, Non-Government Organizations, and Small groups of rural people for the management of the said Extension System seems to be a feasible proposition. Let's try.

Dr. H. Stuart Hawkins' Extension Education in Australia has also made surplus productions in food and fibres. This glut has resulted in decreased demand for Extension training in Australia. In order to survive in this situation, Dr. Hawkins has suggested that the tertiary educational programmes have to adjust their Extension Component to changes into eight dimensions: (1) Increase farmers' productivity by decreasing costs, (V Incorporate management training in under-graduate and post-graduate teaching, (3) Use the group approach extensively, (4) Use electronic information technology, (5) Develop fee charging or cost recovery systems for the services offered, (6) Pay attention to farmer's welfare services, (7) Consider animal welfare ethics, and (8) Stimulate protection from environmental damage. A good insight indeed.

Malawi is one of the developing countries where Extension has been of recent origin. Before independence, Extension here remained simply an agency of enforcing agricultural regulations. In fifties, Colonial Government introduced "Master Farmer Scheme" according to which a selected group of farmers were advised to grow certain crops like tobacco, coffee, tea, and groundouts. Majority of poor peasantry was alienated from the main stream. This met with stiff opposition which subsequently took a shape of Nationalist Movement for independence. On attaining independence in 1964, Extension began with "Education and Persuasion" tactics. In eighties, this individualized system was given up in preference to group method what is now popularly known as "Block Systems Approach". This system involves a group of peasants who used to come at a given venue where they are taught the use of new seed varieties and various associated farming practices. Although in certain quarters the usefulness of this system is also reported to be not only as redundant but also technically irrelevant, the findings of Dr. R.M. Mkandawire's study show that Block systems approach has been very effective at least in matters of technical informedness. Dr. Mkandawire, however, has argued that in Malawi the socio economic conditions and peasants circumstances are so different that a single systems approach is practically unsuitable to meet the needs of these different group of farmers. Malawi is, therefore, in search of some appropriate strategy or strategies which could best fit to various recommendation domains. This is perhaps an open invitation to Extensionists to coin some empirical model system suitable to Malawi conditions.

Technology delivery state-of-the-art studied by Dr. Richardson under the guidance of Dr. Boone has cleared the doubts as to whether American countries have the capacity to meet the current and future technological informational needs of agricultural producers. Findings of their study have shown that through experiences and association with North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service the farmers have not only built up moderrately-high perceptions of and favourable attitude towards the Agency but have also reposed full confidence in Cooperative Extension System that works through countries. This study has thus re-afffirmed the contention that Extension can do the job of technology delivery to the utmost satisfaction of the clientele, even if the technology is highly advance and complex. Similar study carried out by Prof. Layle D. Lawrence and his group at West Virginia University has further strengthened this contention. They found that what to speak of farmers even the U.S. Senators have perceived Cooperative Extension Service a very useful and effective functional system in areas like Agriculture, Four-H Youth development, and Home economics. Their study claims that Extension confines not only to rural residents but also urban and suburban dwellers. Both these studies are, indeed, eye-opener especially t o those who doubt the capabilities of Extension.

For quite long, we have been neglecting the welfare of women. This is all the more a reality when we talk of rural-folk. In early fifties, India took a special note of this lacuna and with a view to look-after the welfare of rural women a functional cadre known as "Gram Sevika" was introduced. The study carried out by Madan Singh, and Grover reported in their article that these gram sevikas are now being subjected to cover 5 to 7 villages each with an average of 1167 families. This much load is weighed too heavy and hence is causing unsatisfactory state of affairs in their working systems. Ideally, it is felt that the operational area should be confined to "One-village One-sevika" concept.

Dr. Max K. Lowdermilk in his paper "Irrigation Water Management" has reported that the benefits of Private Tubewells (PTW) irrigation system in terms of production and income are quite obvious. However, the extra-legal behaviour of farmers and officials in a particular institutional context subverting a public gravity system which does not perform well is seldom adequately documented in field studies. Dr. Lowdermilk has further argued that the physical aspects of canal design, the design of control structures, and the interface of institutional and social factors related to system management including conjunctive use are critical for efficient public canal system performance. A requisite for any system is a management operational plan which provides incentives and disincentives for both farmers and authorities to maintain the discipline required. Wherever and whenever the physical and management components are not integrated and working well, water users and staff will surely find extra-legal means to subvert the system. More field research is needed on these complex interfaces between physical and institutionalfactors related to control and lack of control on water. Some of the veiled problem areas of extra legal activities which have been kept hidden from the general public, planners, donor agencies, and irrigation specialists need to be properly analysed. The continual benign neglect of these sensitive and sticky problems result more in greater benefits foregone to society than previous thought. Such neglect places a heavy burden on marginal and weak farmers and overtime a loss of faith and respect in government. Few researchers have examined how this indirectly increases rural poverty and widens rural disparities. Such benign neglect just as the postponement of conjunctive use planning will over-time result in high financial, political, and social costs (World Bank, 1983). Researchers, planners, designers, and donor agencies should no longer continue their polite diplomatic approach to such issues. To do so is both an insult to host countries and a path likely to lead growing economic dualism. This sensitive area of irrigation development operates as both a consequence and a cause of poor physical and institutional system performance. Corruption in irrigation is simply the use of public irrigation systems for the private gains of individuals and groups. It is widespread in many countries and always a most sensitive and complex phenomenon to analyse from which many shy away. But like other aspects of irrigation systems, it results from complex interactions of physical, political, historical, legal, economic, social, and human behavioural factors which can be studied if there is the will and courage to do so.

Virtually, in every T&V System study, the faults are pointed at the Contact Farmers and the Contact Agents. The T&V System as such is reported to be okay. It means it is the human element which is defective. In their study, Ingle et al., have confirmed this hypothesis. They found that 46 per cent of contact farmers did not know what are the roles of contact farmers they are expected to perform, 25 per cent of them were not even aware that they are contact farmers, and 25 per cent of them did not know who is their Village Extension Worker. Only 21.70 per cent of them could be labelled as contact farmers in right sense of the term. Who is to be blamed for this dismal picture—Agent or Farmer ! Perhaps, an empirical study can only find the correct answer.

If the findings of a study by Ms. Sunita et al., are any indication, then our policy administrators have to re-shape the rural family planning and adult education programmes and modify the landless labourers wages systems. It is purely a basis of demand and supply. The demand of rural labourers is by the landlords and landlords prefer to employ women labourers who are in their thirties, illiterates, and who live in nuclear families having not more than six members, and low caste age-old traditional labourers whose fore-fathers have been labourers for generations. Migrated labourers are an alienated lot. In the light of these gamuts, therefore, agricultural policy needs to be over-hauled.

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Verma, O. S. & Bhaskar, V. V. Scientists Productivity: Extension Work Assessment Systems Measure, 9-14.

Extension work refers to extension activities, 12 in number delineated in this study. These are: (1) Campaign, (2) Method Demonstration, (3) Result Demonstration, (4) Group Discussion, (5) Film Show, (6) Rally, (7) Out-campus Training, (8) Institutional Training, (9) Radio-TV Communication, (10) Guided Visits, (11) Farmers Fair, and (12) Advisory Letter. Productivity of Scientists through these activities is the sum total of Extension factor (Ef) value multiplied by Frequency of the respective activity and divided by Maximum Input Marks (MIM) allotted to that activity. Extension factor is a constant and is derived by dividing the MIM of a particular activity by the Norm fixed for that activity. Maximum Input Marks is the unitary figure fixed for each activity. Extension Norm (EN) is the standard amount of work a scientist is expected to do through these 12 extension activities within a given period of time. Extension Productivity measure thus developed with the help of these three parameters (Ef, MIM, and EN) is an ideal Extension model system and not any universal rule.

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Baxter, M. New Development in Agricultural Extension: Privatization of Extension Services is as Good as Extension by Governments or Educational Institutions, 15-24.

The World Bank is currently funding some 102 extension projects in 50 countries with a, financial commitments of about 2.4 billion dollars. The nature of the Bank's involvement has been into five "new" dimensions. (1) Communication systems and technology, (2) Privatization of extension services, (3) Group and individual contacts, (4) Extension research linkages, and (5) Extension serves women as farmers. This paper concludes by putting these new developments in perspective of current priorities in the overall development of professional and farmer-responsive agricultural extension systems in developing countries.

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Roling, N. Paradigm of Glut: The New Context for Extension, 25-35.

As a result of technology- propelled development mechanism, the two new situations have cropped up: (1) surplus productions in certain crops, and (2) resource-rich farmers domination in agriculture. Production surpluses are practically everywhere and therefore export is unthinkable. The "glut" is imminent. Similarly, resource-rich farmers are not only generating a windfall of profits but also manipulating the prices and grabing the larger share in the limited markets. Those whose farms are too small are unwilling to utilize new technology with their scarce resources and therefore they can not compete with resource-rich farmers to produce more at the going prices or produce the same at lower costs. In this process, they are virtually forced out of agriculture. Alternative employment for these 280 million people over the globe is out of question. Migration to cities is not desirable as it will add more problems than a solution. The luxury of "glut" is inevitable. In order to offset the effect of "glut" situations, diversification in agricultural production systems appears to be the only answer. This apparently calls for the revised roles of research and new context for extension. The approach for agricultural research has to be 'market and consumer oriented' rather than targeting at 'development, production, and dissemination' system. Likewise, extension offerings have to be 'customer-oriented' not targeting through the traditional system like applied research to SMS to extension worker to farmer. In the context of "glut", the Non-Government Organisations need to manage a new system of Mobilisation, Organisation, and Training rural posts into effective networks and thus providing them Appropriate Opportunities to cooperate in achieving common goals.

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Hawkins, H. S. Extension Education in Australia: Adjusting to Production Surpluses and Financial Pressures, 36-41.

Three main strands of Extension Education exist in Australia: (1) Under-Graduate Courses, (2) Post-Graduate Degree and Diploma, and (3) In-service Staff Training. Whereas degrees and diplomas are offered by several Universities and Colleges, inservice training has been the responsibility of State Extension organisations. Recently, enrollments in all the three have declined mainly because for decades we have been deploying our resources to increase quantity and quality of food and fibres which has now resulted in over-production in some industries. In this situation, if Extension is to survive, the tertiary educational programmes have to adjust their Extension component to the new developments. In the light of these developments, some thought-provoking ideas for Extension are presented in this article.

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Mkandawire, R. M. Extension and Peasantry in Malawi: Inroads on Master Farmer System to Block Systems Approach—A Search for Appropriate Strategy, 42-47.

Before 1964 when Malawi attained independence, Extension had been merely a law enforcing agency in agriculture. In post-independence era, Extension began with "Education and Persuasion" tactics. This philosophy gradually got eroded as most of the research-extension-utilization systems focus has been confined to export-oriented cash crops like cotton, groundnuts, and tobacco mostly grown by Master farmers. The poor-subsistent farmers who used to grow food crops were alienated from the main stream. Then came Block Systems approach in eighties wherein a group of cross-sections of farmers used to assemble at a particular place for obtaining informations on the use of new seed varieties and cultural practices associated with. Although the usefulness of subject matter disseminated through this system is also reported, in stray cases, not only as redundant but also technically irrelevant to many farmers, our empirical data show that Block Systems approach, by and large, has been very effective in so far as technical informedness is concerned. This connotation, however, could not be accepted in view of the fact that in Malawi the socio-economic differential is so vast and peasants circumstances are so different that Block systems approach is unsuitable to meet the needs of these groups. We are, therefore, on the look out of some appropriate strategy which could best suit to various recommendation domains.

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Richardson, J. G. & E. J. Boone. Technology Delivery: American Farmers Think Extension Can Do the Job, 48-52.

Technology delivery is a State-of-the-art. More the capacity to possess it greater are the chances of success. In recent time, doubts are raised whether American Counties through which Cooperative Extension System operates do adequately possess this art. Yes, if farmers-beneficiaries perception is any indication, almost 65 per cent of them have expressed that North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service (NCAES) has moderately high capacity to deliver the technological informational needs. Farmers' very favourable attitude towards NCAES further confirms this hypothesis. This phenomenon, however, is true only in case of major type of farm enterprises like dairy, poultry, hogs, forestry, horticulture, tobacco, and peanuts. American farmers have also reposed full confidence in counties with a view to see that the Agency can efficiently deliver state-of-the-art technological information in future too, even if technology becomes highly complex and advance.

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Hogan, M., L. D. Lawrence, T. L. Bean & S. Gartin. U.S. Senators Perceptions of CES: Extension Confines not only to Rural Residents but also Urban and Subarban Dewellers, 53-57.

Budget cuts and drastic reductions in allocation of resources for extension programming have somehow given a feeling that Extension is in a state of turmoil standing on the crossroads. This is perhaps an academic jargon and not the reality. Findings of this study show that what to speak of farmers even the Senators have expressed a very high regard for the usefulness and effectiveness of Cooperative Extension Service (CES) in the United States. They have strongly supported the programs in areas of Agriculture, Four-H youth development, and Home economics. Extension's foot hold in rural America is found to be committal not only to traditional farms and rural audiences but also to urban and suburban dwellers. These perceptions prove that Extension is undoubtedly a vital component in integrated systems of development mechanism.

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Madan, S., B. Singh & L. Grover. Gram Sevikas in India: Burried Under the Load of Operational Area Coverage, 58-60.

Village she-workers so-called Gram Sevikas is a functional cadre introduced in India (1953-54) with a view to look after the welfare of rural women. This paper focuses attention to the study of these gram sevikas. On analysing 21 cases, a blanket finding is drawn that heavy operational load on these functionaries is resulting in unsatisfactory state of affairs in their working systems. They are found to cover 7 villages and pay attention to the problems of 1167 families. This much load is weighed too heavy and virtually impossible to bear. In order to enhance their job satisfaction, therefore, it is felt that beside confining to "One-village One-sevika" concept, they should also be provided with residential cum-office accommodation, increased salary, incentives, promotions, refresher courses, and avoid frequent transfers. This necessitates Development Department to adopt suitable OD techniques.

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Lowdermilk, M. K. Irrigation Water Management: Relative Analysis of Irrigation Water Control Systems in Pakistan, 61-72.

In Pakistan as also in India, four irrigation water control systems are more prominent: (1) Canal, (2) Public Tubewells, (3) Hire-purchase Private Tubewells, and (4) Private Tubewell Owners. Canal and public tubewell systems seldom provide adequate water control needed by farmers. Private tubewell systems are undoubtedly much superior to public irrigation systems in terms of generating crop yields per hectare and -net income per unit of land. Private groundwater development without rational conjunctive use and mechanisms to assure equity especially within traditional agrarian structures, however, can create both physical problems and economic dualism. Where gravity irrigation projects perform poorly, farmers and staff tend to subvert the system for their own private gains. Defacto water trading in public irrigation systems is wide-spread mostly master-minded by the local elites with whom vest rural powers which impact elections, The technical inputs for improved water management are relatively simple. A large problem is how to formulate practical programs on a larger basis which can combine the technical, social, and legal factors needed for improved irrigation water management.

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Ingle, P. O., S. V. Supe & S. S. Agrawal. Contact Farmers Under T & V System: Poor Role Performance and Medicare Adopters of Technology, 73-76.

Quite often, we talk that T&V System is not getting momentum, This is mainly because the Contact Farmers are not performing their roles they are expected of. It is true in this study also. In Buldana district of Maharashtra State, only 21.70 per cent of contact farmers can be labelled as contact farmers in the right sense of the term who played their roles properly as expected. Their level of technology adoption has also been mediocre. Hardly 50 per cent of them could utilize the village extension worker for information retrieval. Their participation in social activities has been extremely poor. There is, however, a considerable scope for improvement in their performance if extension machinery gears up their role performance they are expected of.

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Malaviya, S. A. & S. Rani. Rural Women Labour: Differential Treatment by Landlord Elites, 77-80.

Who says that young age, better education, upper-caste, large families in joint family system, and migrated characters of humanity are more conducive to higher productivity and hence, they are more in demand in competitive market. This connotation is completely wrong so far as the rural women labourers are concerned. The data of this study show that the demand is for middle-aged who are in their thirties, illiterate, low caste, small family, and age-old traditional women labourers. The majority of rural landlords on whose farms these women labourers are employed prefer these traits. Their presumption is that middle-aged, illiterate, and low caste traditional labourers whose force-fathers have been landless labourers for generations are more productive. This presumption turns up to be true in this study: An intelligent hint to family planners, adult educators, agricultural policy makers, and feudalistic system administrators.

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