Journal of Extension Systems

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1989, Volume 5(1), June

  1. Pickering, D. C. Farmer-Extension-Research: A Two-way Continuum for Agricultural and Rural Development.
  2. Friedman, Y. Popular Encyclopaedia of Survival: A Log-term Project.
  3. Mkandawire, R. M. Invisible Farmers: Women in Agriculture in Southern Africa: A Case Study of Malawi.
  4. Van de Fliert, E. & P. C. Matteson. Integrated Pest Control: Channels for Extension in Sri Lanka.
  5. Hawkins, H. S. Integrated Pest Control: A Challenge for Agricultural Extension.
  6. Wijeratne, M. Knowledge Storage and Retrieval: Two Important Processes in the Dissemination System.
  7. Blum, A. Use of Different Information Sources for Decision Making by Traditional Farmers in a Progressive Knowledge System.
  8. Bruce, R. Research Utilization Process: A Vital Concept in Understanding Knowledge Systems.
  9. Coolen, P. Liaison as a Strategy for Knowledge Transfer and Utilization in Development.

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Pickering, D. C. Farmer-Extension-Research: A Two-way Continuum for Agricultural and Rural Development, 1-12.

In Farmer-Extension-Research Continuum, Extension occupies not merely a "bridge" position but a "facilitator" to better the efficiency and effectiveness of both the farmer and the research. To facilitate farmers extension staff is required to Look, Listen, and Learn from farmers rather than See, Speak, and Sell. Similarly, to facilitate research, extension is required to feedback the changing needs, opportunities, bottlenecks, and problems of the farmers to the research system. When Farmer, Extension and Research all are taken together, they act as integral and interactive components in the process of agricultural and rural development. Their linkage mechanism, however, largely depends upon Four key enabling factors: (1) Macro Policy Climate, (2) Government Commitment to Agriculture, (3) Target Group Identification, and (4) Recognition of Physical Production Potential and Constraints. Although Farmers' focus in FarmerExtension-Research Continuum is apparent but this is not real in the sense that Extension is not and should not be regarded as a separate force to affect farmers. Successful extension affects all the rural people in any viable system. This is what we are now talking about rural development and not merely agricultural development. "Putting People First", therefore appears to be a befitting development initiative in the Farmer-Extension Research Continuum.

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Friedman, Y. Popular Encyclopaedia of Survival: A Log-term Project, 13-22.

In order to disseminate appropriate information to the disadvantaged public, it is indispensable to choose the right type of information vehicle which could have simple language, little text, and largely visual expression. Wall journals, posters, and pamphlets are some appropriate vehicles in which the expression to be used is that of "Cartoons". Appropriate information is transposed into a very simple drawing, easy to produce, and accompanied by cartoons that can be understood without much effort. This kind of presentation is designated by the term "Manual". Preparation of the manuals which could deal with problems most crucial for selfreliance form the nucleus of Popular Encyclopaedia of Survival. Its aim is to assure access to appropriate information about all techniques and methods that facilitate survival. Its public ranges from the disadvantaged or disfavoured groups to social field workers, school teachers, and local administrators. The Popular Encyclopaedia of Survival is organised around Six major themes: (1) Subsistence, (2) Artifacts, (3) Producing a Surplus, (4) Financing, (5) General Topics, and (6) Community Administration. Each of these themes comprises 4 to 5 sub-themes and each sub-theme contains a number of packages consisting of 10 to 12 manuals. Six International Organisations are involved in preparation of about 2500 manuals over a period of next 15 years with an estimated budget of 2,50,000 US dollars a year. These organisations are: CCSK, FAO, ICSU, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNU. The option is open to any other organisation to join the operation.

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Mkandawire, R. M. Invisible Farmers: Women in Agriculture in Southern Africa: A Case Study of Malawi, 23-32.

Using Malawi as a case study, this paper attempts to examine the women's role in increasing agricultural productivity and investigate factors which constrain their active participation in agriculture. It is observed that women in South Africa predominate in activities like processing of food crops, transportation of water and fuel, threshing operations, storage and selling, weeding and harvesting. In addition it is interesting to note that a considerable proportion of women are found not only to head their households but also to have a privilege of making all decisions related to agriculture. In Malawi, 28.8 per cent of rural households are headed by women and 51 per cent decisions in agricultural production activities are made exclusively by women. This clearly shows that even in male headed households women make most of the decisions connected with farming activities. The paradox, however, is that most programmes of planned change are directed at men rather than women mainly because women have not yet been recognised as primary cultivators. That is why 64.5 per cent of women have reported that they got absolutely no technological advice, from rural development extension agents. This tendency of alienating women from them mainstream of the development process apparently demands re-examination of development strategies and a search for some alternatives which could best suit to rural women.

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Van de Fliert, E. & P. C. Matteson. Integrated Pest Control: Channels for Extension in Sri Lanka, 33-47.

Under the aegis of FAO Inter-Country Programme for Integrated Pest Control (IPQ in South and South-East Asia, the IPC campaign was taken up in 1980 in seven countries including Sri Lanka with a purpose to make farmers aware of the rice IPC approach and learn IPC technology and practice it on their farms. As a basis for planning the campaign, a farmers survey was conducted in six districts of Sri Lanka in February 1986 and their demographics, knowledge, attitudes, practices and information sources, media habits, and organizational and religious affiliations were studied. Deficiencies in farmers pest control practices were also found out. In this paper, the findings of this survey are reported for the design of an IPC multi-media public awareness and motivation campaign supporting extension training activities. Radio and newspapers are found to have good coverage within the farming community. The extension service and fellow farmers are seen as important and reliable sources of information. Seasonal farmers meetings and Village Development Societies might offer avenues for organizing farmers to set up collective IPC activities. Awareness enhancing and motivational messages delivered via traditional and mass media in support of an expanded Extension Service farmer training programme in rice IPC can be expected to contribute to safer and more profitable rice pest control in Sri Lanka.

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Hawkins, H. S. Integrated Pest Control: A Challenge for Agricultural Extension, 48-53.

Integrated pest control (IPC), sometimes called integrated pest management, offers the prospect of decreasing farmers' costs of controlling crop pests, especially in important crops, like rice. Many Asian farmers have become accustomed to using heavy applications of highly toxic sprays which usually control the pests but also kill natural enemies of the pests, increase environmental pollution and often poison the farmers themselves.

IPC, to be effective, requires farmers to learn to identify pests and their natural enemies, to recognise economic threshold levels of pest damage and to apply control measures strategically. These points in turn present a significant challenge to extension services to develop programmes for making farmers aware of IPC procedures, and to teach the skills necessary for identifying pests and natural enemies. Some examples of innovative and successful projects are given.

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Wijeratne, M. Knowledge Storage and Retrieval: Two Important Processes in the Dissemination System, 54-59.

Under T & V System of agricultural extension, the knowledge delivered to extension workers in fortnightly trainings is often not relevant to all the farmers. This is because different farmers follow different cultivation rhythms. In such situations, extension workers find no other way but to store the acquired knowledge in their brain for future retrieval. Knowledge Storage and Retrieval, therefore, are two integral components of knowledge dissemination system. In Sri Lanka, existence of these two processes is well founded. Extension workers transform their acquired knowledge into a meaningful information to the farmers only when demanded or when they feel that a particular knowledge message is meaningful to a particular set of farmers. This fact draws a strong case to plead that the Knowledge Storage and Knowledge Retrieval processes must be embodied in the formal extension systems especially in the T&V. Furthermore, there is a strong need to conduct more of fortnightly refresher type trainings so that extension workers could enrich their "Store-houses" and "Retrieval Capacity". This will only increase efficiency of the extension system in use.

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Blum, A. Use of Different Information Sources for Decision Making by Traditional Farmers in a Progressive Knowledge System, 60-73.

The types of innovations which traditional Arab farmers in the Nazareth region of Israel and in the Gaza strip adopted were influenced by the length of time during which each region was exposed to an intensive agricultural knowledge system. Empirical evidence substantiates the argument, that at Roger's persuasion stage in the adoption process, a "worth" type of knowledge should be added to his "how-to" type of knowledge, and that farmers tend to go to different sources to obtain advice on these two central issues. The extension system had a strong influence on farmers' decision making process, especially by giving "how-to" advice. The family seems to have more influence on the decision to adopt an innovation, where socio-economic family bonds are stronger. Farmers in both regions showed a rational decision making behaviour, balancing between a wish to innovate and careful weighing of the economic worth of the innovation. Once farmers had made a decision, only very few regretted their choice.

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Bruce, R. Research Utilization Process: A Vital Concept in Understanding Knowledge Systems, 74-86.

The value of research into the composition and dynamics of agricultural knowledge systems has been limited by reliance on a limited "research/extension/ farmer" paradigm. Approaching the problem through a study of the underlying research utilization process will enable the identification of the full range of system components and the relationships among them.

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Coolen, P. Liaison as a Strategy for Knowledge Transfer and Utilization in Development, 87-99.

Communication and development literature over the past two decades indicates an emerging perspective focusing more on user constructs than observer constructs. The environment of knowledge producers and knowledge users is seen as crucial to understanding the process of knowledge and communication processes as they relate to utilization. The concept of liaison is suggested in a model which seeks to link producers and users and their social milieus in an effort to create consensual strategies for directional and appropriate dissemination of knowledge and utilization within an atmosphere of development and a communication environment. A multi disciplinary approach to problem-solving is suggested utilizing different media and communication channels for different audiences.

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