Journal of Extension Systems

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1990, Volume 6(2), December

O. S. Verma, Editorial

  1. Blum, A. & M. Issak An Instrument for the Adaptation of the Training and Visit Extension System to Changing Agro-Ecological and Socio-Cultural Conditions.
  2. Duvel, G. H. Needs and Their Role in Conservative Farming.
  3. Annor-Frempong, C. The Linkage Problem: A Comparative Analysis of Cocoa and Maize Technology Systems in Ghana.
  4. Lin, Shih-tung & H. F. Lionberger Institutionalizing Social Change Extension: The Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction in Taiwan as a Case in Point.
  5. Antholt, C. H. Strategic Issues for Agricultural Extension in Pakistan: Looking Back to Look Ahead.
  6. Rivera, W. M. Trends and Issues in International Agricultural Extension: The End of the Beginning.

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Recently, there was a perfumed Conference in New Delhi so-called International conference on extension strategy for minimizing risk in rainfed agriculture" from 6th April to 10th April, 1991. I also came to attend it with a great hope that some wonderful extension strategy is likely to come out after the deliberations which will be something special for rainfed agriculture. My enthusiasm, however, bogged-down the very first day when I witnessed "the scheme of things" which have nothing to do with rainfed agriculture. To me, it appeared to be a "Well-fed-strategy" of Indian Extension coterie masterminded by the Extension-Emperor for the Extension celebrities. In all certainties, the show on inaugural day made me to believe that it is going to be an Internal conference instead of International.

After inaugurating the conference and delivering his speech in Urdu, Chaudhary Devi Lal, Deputy Prime Minister, left the podium. Half-an-hour later came Mr. Chandra Shekhar, Prime Minister of India, and " the scheme of things" began to happen. In the welcome address, the Convener of the conference opened his mouth with these words "Chaudhary Devi Lal is no more with us". Shabbas, three cheers Mr. convener. He perhaps wanted to apprise the PM that Chaudhary Devi Lal could not stay because of his some other engagements. The Convener appears to be an apprentice in the art of public speaking. If it was so, then how the organizers chose such untrained hand for such a sensitive job. His subsequent performances further aggravated the international standards.

In the opening remarks, the chief of the organizers claimed that the strength and jampacked 600-seating capacity FICCI auditorium by itself is an indication that the Conference is a great success. True, but he has forgotten to foresee what is going to happen the next moment. Many of our learned delegates so-called "foreign delegates" could not even get salad' what to speak of lunch delicacies. I myself survived on 'dal' alone that too was procured with a great difficulty by one of my well-wishers. Almost one-fourth strength of the delegates remained without lunch. This hotch-potch catering system continued throughout the five days of the conference. As a result of this uncertainty, most of the delegates especially the Indians became more interested in capturing the first best stock of the food rather than participating in extension strategy which was being discussed in four different sessions.

There was a mad rush for obtaining the Pack of conference literature which contained 15 items. The organizers were rubbing shoulders of each other when they found that their printers have not supplied the material. The net result has been that no delegate could get full pack. Similar has been the case of " bag-pen-pad" legacy to the registered delegates. Even though the name-cards were prepared in advance but a very few delegates could trace their name-card from the bundle which was scattered on the counter outside the auditorium.

There was surprise when a sudden announcement was made that some distinguished personalities will now be decorated with some prestigious awards under the auspices of Indian Society of Extension Education. The first such award was named as "Excellence in Extension" and was confer, red on five vice-chancellors having extension background. Perhaps, vice-chancellorship has been the only criterion for this award and certainly not excellence in extension. One relatively younger vice-chancellor who was also having Ph.D. in extension and deserved much more than others, however, was deliberately or otherwise left out. This made many self-claimed heavyweights annoyed who virtually revolted against hegemony of the Supremo. In order to silence them, they were accommodated overnight in an another kind of award fabricated as "National Extension Fellow". The biggest mockery was seen in valedictory function when this award was given in "Wholesale" to about two-dozen scientists of India. By all accounts, baring a few ones, most of the recipients are very mediocre and some of them have not even acquired any formal training or degree in extension science. It seems that these awards are the rewards offered in bargain of ISEE election that preceded the conference. In this herd, I was shocked to see that the young vice-chancellor has also fallen prey to the appeasement policy notwithstanding the damage that it will cause to his image for accepting this sort of meaningless award. I was thinking to propose his name to the international Family of Extension Stalwarts but I am now constrained to give a second thought. No Indian has yet got the place in the fraternity of extension stalwarts whose biography is to be published in this journal.

I have heard of some prestigious awards like Nobel Peace Prize, Magssassey Hward, and Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award etc. which are really bestowed on meritorious and deserved scientists after judicious screening for their scientific discoveries. The recipients of these awards are also proud of being a precious distinguished personality worldover. In comparison, look at the awards granted by ISEE. It made many of us difficult to control our 'laughs' when these awards were being distributed like sweets. If at all award or awards were inevitable under the garb of ISEE, it would have been a befitting tribute to the great extensionist of India Late Dr. K.N. Singh if one award and only one recipient would have been announced in the name of "K.N. Singh Memorial Award". It could have then made a sense.

One phenomenon, which appeared to be a calculated move of some disgruntled people to side-track one of the pioneers and founding fathers of ISEE. There has been no mention at all of Dr. Shyam N. Singh throughout the five-day drama of the conference. The fact of the facts is that it is Dr. Shyam N. Singh who nurtured ISEE right from its inception for about two decades while functioning Secretary & Treasurer. His contributions to the cause of ISEE and to the field of Extension science, therefore,. can not be overlooked or forgotten. He has now retired as Joint-Director (Extension) IARI, New Delhi. If there is any justice on this earth, it is only Dr. Shyam N. Singh who deserved first for any award promulgated by ISEE. Through this editorial, I suggest that ISEE should abolish both the aforesaid awards, Institute "K.N. Singh Memorial Award", and honour Dr. Shyam N. Singh with this citation and a tax-free cash prize of one lac Rupees for his meritorious services.

On the last day of the conference, one gentleman from Akola was distributing a bulletin superscribed as "International Society of Extension Education". It contained eight printed pages of constitutional details. I also procured one and started inquiring from as many delegates as I knew out of 500 odd participants. It was to my utter disappointment that none knew about it; though they were hearing of this sort of International Association likely to come for the last many years. Next day on 10th April during General Body Meeting of ISEE, the same gentleman was seen practically bent upon to obtain at least the notional approval in principle. God knows what does he mean by notional approval in principle. Most probably, he wanted to possess the copy-right or patent-right of International Society of Extension Education. Serious doubts were raised on this move mainly as to who floated this nomenclature without having any cognizance of what developments are already afoot in some other parts of the world and without having consultations with any international figure. At least one of the promoters of International Association of Extension Professionals Ms. Janice Jiggins of the Netherlands who was very much here in the conference should have been consulted.

Finding strict opposition, a task-force was formed and I was named as one of the five-member "Task-Group". I made my points known and apprised the house of the latest position in the name of International Association. I also endorsed the view of some learned-members that International Society or Association should not be located in India as our logistics are still not matured, not conducive, and not patented. We should rather concentrate more on improving the quality of ISEE services instead of jumping in international ring merely because of some body's sheer excitement and fascination. International Association should be based somewhere in developed country either in USA or the Netherlands. The idea was hushed up and in hustings nothing concrete came out. Abruptly, the General Body Meeting was closed on the pretext that lunch is ready for which we-Indians are very sincere.

Before I end up this editorial, some very basic questions remain to be answered. Those who are on the Executive Committee of ISEE should not be cowardice but should have guts to raise them at appropriate time: Who constituted these awards, were they discussed in GB/EC and got approval, was there any constitutional system for these awards, were the nomination /applications invited, who selected the recipients, who fabricated the nomenclature of these awards, what has been the yardstick in selection, wherefrom the word came that these awards will be given after every three years, and what is the recognition and value of these awards. The ISEE is a common property right of 730 members and not a family fiefdom with somebody as the heir. Therefore, the democratic ethos have to be protected at all costs. It is unfortunate to report that the implicit sense of the words like the Supremo, the veto, the hegemony, legacy of the past, and feudal lord are freely exercised in this conference which need to be questioned.

And, lastly, instead of extension strategy what came out was a set of the recommendations at the cost of 50 million rupees and is reported to make 70 per cent India's rainfed land most productive parallel to wet-land agriculture. These recommendations, however, were" deficient" as taunted by Mr. Mohan Dharia, Deputy-Chairman of India's Planning Commission while delivering his valedictory address. On the whole, therefore, the investment made in this conference is not a worthwhile proposition. The conference, however, has immensely helped the key-organizers to acquire the image of a Prince-Crusader. And, this is what has been the main purpose of these conferences. In that sense, the conference has been a grand success.

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Blum, A. & M. Issak An Instrument for the Adaptation of the Training and Visit Extension System to Changing Agro-Ecological and Socio-Cultural Conditions, 12-20.

The need for an instrument which facilitates the adaptation of the Training and Visit (T&V) extension system to changing agro-ecological and socio-cultural conditions was established. The instrument is in the form of a definer-type checklist of questions, which were derived from empirical case studies of T&V adaptations. The questions are grouped according to the most typical T&V principles which needed local adaptation: extension exclusively links with research, systematic training, time-bound work, and imitable contact farmers. Experienced T&V administrators found the instrument to be useful.

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Duvel, G. H. Needs and Their Role in Conservative Farming, 21-41.

The concept and role of needs are explored and a modus procedurus, based on the field theory, suggested for identifying the critical factors causing behavioural change or explaining adoption behaviour. These factors or forces are need related and can apparently be identified as needs and as need related perceptions of innovation attributes. The problem of veld deterioration, and more specifically the non-adoption of veld management systems, is investigated against this background. Invariably, the causes of behaviour can be directly traced back to needs and perception. The findings give a new perspective of the practical problems involved and especially the prerequisites for the adoption of effective veld management systems as a means towards veld and environment conservation.

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Annor-Frempong, C. The Linkage Problem: A Comparative Analysis of Cocoa and Maize Technology Systems in Ghana, 42-52.

This paper focuses on the linkage between research and extension in agriculture.
It is based on a research carried out between August and October 1987 on the intersection between research and extension in the domains of cocoa and maize technology systems in Ghana. The paper examines the working relationship between research and extension in four main areas, namely; research programming, research activities, communication, and monitoring and evaluation. While the cocoa technology system utilises a committee to foster a link among researchers and extensionists, the maize system tends to adopt a management approach with semblances of the farming system research and extension strategy. The weaknesses and strengths of the two approaches are discussed.

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Lin, Shih-tung & H. F. Lionberger Institutionalizing Social Change Extension: The Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction in Taiwan as a Case in Point, 53-66.

In view of the magnitude and importance of what countries borrow in comparison to what they invent and how delivery systems have operated to divert resources from intended developmental purposes to the pockets of grant receivers adept at operating in two social systems, one to get the assistance and the other to use its more attention must be given to building working relationship that will deliver benefits to those for whom they are intended (Barnett, 1990). These are often the underprivileged and economically by-passed elements in societies.

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Antholt, C. H. Strategic Issues for Agricultural Extension in Pakistan: Looking Back to Look Ahead, 67-86.

At the start of the Twentieth Century's last decade, with a large and rapidly growing population, and the continued importance of agriculture to Pakistan, it is appropriate to consider how to enhance Pakistan's agricultural growth. Without a question the overall economic and agricultural gains realized by Pakistan over the last forty three years have been no less than impressive. Nevertheless, with nearly 55 percent of the labour force still dependent on agriculture, an average per capita income around U.S.$ 350, there is a continued need to be concerned with the rate and nature of agricultural development. With the understanding we now have of the sophisticated complexities of the development process in general, and the central importance of agricultural development to that process, we can say with some certainty that broad based agricultural development, driven by cost reducing technological change is an imperative for Pakistan. In that context agricultural development, as is general economic development, is closely related to the development of human capital, as Schultz noted more than twenty years ago2. It is within that framework the importance of agricultural extension rests-as a service that enhances the ability of farm families to respond to old problems and meet new opportunities.

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Rivera, W. M. Trends and Issues in International Agricultural Extension: The End of the Beginning, 87-102.

The study and practice of agricultural extension worldwide arrived at a turning point in the 1980s, one which represented the end of a major phase in the history of extension's relatively recent beginning. It was, so to speak, the end of the beginning.

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