Journal of Extension Systems

Home Current Issue Archive Board Members
Article reprints (US $10/each) may be obtained by contacting the Chief Editor.

horizontal rule

1991, Volume 7(1), July

M. K. Lowdermilk, Editorial

  1. Obbine, C. P. Culture of Poverty: Implication on Nigeria's Socio-Economic Transformation.
  2. Salas, M. A. Extension and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Conflict: Strengthening the Andean Knowledge System in Peru.
  3. Biscoe, J. Training and Visit: Resource Management Not Extension-The World Bank and the Message Factory.
  4. Kishore Shah, S. & R. L. Rose. Technology Utilization Through T & V System in Napal: Choice of Communication Source in Technology Delivery.
  5. Westermarck, H. Computers, Videos, and Teletechnology; Can They Help Farmers and Agricultural Advisory Services.
  6. Verma, O. S. & N. Mehrotra. Extension Work: Professional Orientation of Extension Personnel vis-a-vis SMS.
  7. Gupta, J. Progressive Use of Communication Media by Marine Fishermen.
  8. Rahiman, O. A., A. M. Tampi & C. Bhaskaran. Transfer of Technology System: Functional Linkages Between and Among Four Sub-Systems.

horizontal rule

Among many advantages of being overseas, one definite disadvantage is the inability to keep in touch with colleagues and what they are doing related to irrigation management improvement. The purpose of writing this editorial is: (1) to wish the JES readers a productive new year; (2) to share some activities of the Irrigation Improvement Project in Egypt, and (3) to request you to share what you have been doing in Irrigation Management.

I recall how few of us were actively involved in the 1970's in what is now commonly termed " Irrigation Management". Since then the numbers of professionals involved and their accomplishments have increased to such an extent that it is almost impossible to track even significant activities. A major accomplishment was the establishment of IIMI which along with research and other contributions has helped to keep a growing cadre of Irrigation Management professionals undated through an excellent networking system.

As some of you may know, I am with CSU but on a sub-contract with Nathan Associates which is involved with MKE and LBII in a large Irrigation Improvement Project (IP) in Egypt. Nathan's and my responsibility with two other consultants are the institutional aspects of the IIP, Major activities are socio-economic action studies; economic and financial analyses of feasibility studies; formation of a new Irrigation Advisory Service within the Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources and the establishment of a programme of Water User Associations (WUAs) in a large pilot project area of about 365,000 acres. The total irrigation system is to be improved for 11 canal commands which includes all aspects of main and micro systems. Typically, the IIP was designed for a three year life! The first contract will complete in late 1991. Needless to say, this project will undoubtedly be extended for several more years if it is expected to achieve the optimistic goals of the designers. After many years in IM, I have yet to observe a project with institutional components which was designed within a realistic time frame!

Some achievements related to the institutional aspects of the project to date are: (1) completion of five feasibility studies and an action socioeconomic field study covering the 365,000 acres and 1910 farmers with an emphasis on socio-economic factors related to water control; (2) establishment of the Irrigation Advisory Service (IAS) with 28 technical professionals (graduates) and over 200 technicians and (3) the initial 'organization of over 750 WUAs using a flexible seven phase learning process. Major activities have included evolving a strategy, selection and training of staff plus constant field monitoring and coaching of staff. Though the IAS and WUA innovations are new to Egyptian irrigation, much conceptual work and some experiments were done in the early 1980s. Five professionals who helped evolve the IAS and WUAs are still with the programme. Given the commitment and support needed from the officials of the Ministry and middle managers, these two institutional innovations have the potential for making a significant contribution to irrigation improvement in the years ahead. The programme, to date, has been supported by some outstanding international consultants including Drs. Alan and Carolyn Early. Dr. Jeffry Brewer, Mr. Don Haslem. and others. They have provided excellent TA support in developing training and technical materials and in training the trainers. The first course ever in Egypt on a Planning and Design of Mesqas (watercourses) using a custom-fit process involving water users was recently held for IAS and Design Engineers.

In 1991, we are anticipating a number of new developments. These include: (1) addition of staff and training the trainers using top international consultants in on-farm water management technologies and organizational/ management skills; (2) beginning the slow process of evolving a legal basis and incentives for WUAs; (3) developing a permanent home for the IAS in the MPWWR but with strong linkages to the Ministry of Agriculture, Research Institutes and other essential organizations; (4) sending a substantial number of technical professionals for specialized courses and study tours to the USA and other countries; (5) finalizing an internal monitoring and evaluation programme which will provide feedback to management of the lessons learned in assisting water users to organize their own private water users associations owned, controlled and managed by them for their benefits, and (6) to begin a long process of planning with the Water Research Institute for holding an International Workshop or Conference in Egypt about 1992 related to the "Costs and Benefits of Water User Associations in Large Public Gravity Irrigation Systems". We would like to involve IIMI in this important conference and likely will be given the approval of the Ministry and IIMI.

The IIP has produced several useful materials which can be made available through the Ministry. These include the seven volume SocioEconomic Study Findings of 11 Canal Commands entitled, "Egypt's Irrigation Management Challenge". Also, a large number of training modules have been developed and are now being translated into Arabic. Dr. Jeffry Brewer refined and Egyptized the "Training of Trainers Guide for Irrigation Management" which I prepared with an Indian colleague in 1988 under the USAID assisted Irrigation Management and Training Project for which LBII are contractors. A custom-fit mesqa (watercourse) process for planning and design is being finalized and will soon be in Arabic. There are other materials of a methodological nature designed for this project. The IAS strategy and other planning papers for assisting water users to organize may be of interest to some.

The purpose of listing these materials is to request you to share some of your materials and papers. We have had much support from IIMI in providing essential research findings and materials which are being much used in this programme. Many of the materials developed under Water Management Synthesis I and 11 by CSU, USU and Cornell University professionals have also been useful. Unfortunately, we have not been able to receive much from the new ISPAN centrally funded project funded by AID. The World Bank/AID Guidelines for Developing Training Programmes for Public Irrigation Programmes has been useful.

The IIP is only one of several projects assisted by USAID-Cairo under the Irrigation Management Systems Programme. Others include: Structural Replacement; Preventive Maintenance; Main System Management; Planning Studies and Models; Professional Development; Water Research Center; Project Preparation Department; Survey and Mapping and Miscellaneous Technical Assistance and Commodity Procurement. The World Bank and the Canadian Programme also have significant projects in Egyptian Irrigation as well as other donors.

It is good to be back in Egypt after working closely with the earlier Egyptian Water Use Management Programme for which CSU was the contractor from the middle 1970's to 1984. This assignment provides a real challenge because working with some excellent Egyptian colleagues in an area new to most of them is vastly rewarding. They are very competent, eager for professional development and committed to improving irrigation management on the large and important Nile System. What is needed is to have an IIMI presence here to play a significant role in the long-term process of improving irrigation system performance. IIMI, likely could play a significant role in the areas of policy analyses, research collaboration and in helping the Ministry make significant organizational changes in the management of this historic irrigation system. A recent volume has been completed on the History of Irrigation in Egypt which the ICID is translating into English.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Obbine, C. P. Culture of Poverty: Implication on Nigeria's Socio-Economic Transformation, 8-17.

This paper establishes the extent to which Oscar Lewis (1964) culture of poverty theory applies to Nigerian communities. It is found that 68 per cent of the poverty traits are possessed by the Anioma people of Bendel state. In all probabilities, this is detrimental to progress. The most striking indicators of poverty that continued to stay are: (1) borrowing from local Money-lenders at exorbitant rate of interest, (2) living in crowded localities, (3) dominance of male superiority, (4) unemployment and underemployment, (5) low wages, (6) unskilled occupations, (7) child labour, (8) chronic shortage of cash, (9) a great emphasis on maintaining family cohesiveness, and (10) low participation in national welfare activities. In order to stem this tide, various socio-economic and agricultural infrastructures need to be intensified.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Salas, M. A. Extension and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in Conflict: Strengthening the Andean Knowledge System in Peru, 18-29.

This article deals with problematic issues about the role of extension in relation to indigenous knowledge systems. It focuses on the possible bridges which can be built between the scientific knowledge system and that of the rural population. The empirical references emerge from the Peruvian case where interactions between these two knowledge systems take place having as main actors, on one side, the state agricultural extension service and, on the other side, the peasant population.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Biscoe, J. Training and Visit: Resource Management Not Extension-The World Bank and the Message Factory, 30-35.

This paper reviews the operation of the much vaunted T&V system and concludes that, as it stands, it represents a resource management system which does not necessarily provide agricultural extension. The author recommends adjustments to the system and additions in regard to the training processes and content, the role of extension staff as advisers, and additional areas critical to the day to day operation of an extension department (or organization) which are rarely addressed.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Kishore Shah, S. & R. L. Rose. Technology Utilization Through T & V System in Napal: Choice of Communication Source in Technology Delivery, 36-46.

This study was conducted in Dhanusha district of Nepal with 267 selected farmers during June-July, 1988. Findings indicate that Nepal farmers are somewhat distinct from their counterparts in other developing countries. Most of these farmers are of middle-age, formal school education has been hardly up to 3rd standard, each farmer carries the load of six dependents, 60 per cent of them are small farmers, and almost 75 per cent have no affiliation with any agri-related organization. Extension Workers and fellow contact farmers are the primary source of agricultural informations. The T&V System Perhaps worked well in Nepal as 58 per cent farmers are found high technology users despite scanty availability of production inputs. Lack of irrigation is most frequently mentioned problem of Nepal farmers.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Westermarck, H. Computers, Videos, and Teletechnology; Can They Help Farmers and Agricultural Advisory Services, 47-66.

On the recommendations of the last Working Conference of Directors of Agricultural Advisory services, an Expert Meeting on information and communication technology was held in 1989. In this Meeting, it was realised that up to now, there has been too little information available on the profitability of information Technology (IT) applications in agriculture. Experts, therefore, recommended an investigation of whether any relevant material could be made available by OECD Member countries in support of a better understanding of the existing cost-benefit ratios. The present paper is the result of this investigation. This report together with the report of Expert Meeting provided Directors of AAS sufficient background information at the 10th Working Conference for reference and discussions. The relevant material in this paper is drawn from a scanning of 24 AAS in 24 OECD countries and 38 distinguished researchers in International Research Group in Extension (IRGE) in fall 1989.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Verma, O. S. & N. Mehrotra. Extension Work: Professional Orientation of Extension Personnel vis-a-vis SMS, 67-84.

The findings of this case study show that extension personnel give more emphasis to the system of working with groups instead of working with individuals. They heavily rely on involving learners, local leaders, and volunteers in the development programmes. The SMS, on the other hand, rely more on their own ability to carry on the project. This evidently indicates that they lack group process character. They apparently need more guidance and direction in their extension-related activities. Extension personnel, however, are reported to have been more productive when they are ensured independence and freedom in their "tension work.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Gupta, J. Progressive Use of Communication Media by Marine Fishermen, 85-90.

Increased mass media use is said to be a sign of modernization. This paper examines the mass media use by the marine fishermen of Kerala in respect of source of communication, use of mass media, and possession of mass media. The study indicates the high level of preference to mass media for obtaining initial information about innovations, wide coverage of message items, and regularity of use. This seems to be a distinguishing feature in the background of their low socio-economic profile. The results of the study will guide scientists, policy makers, and extension workers to select the right media for developmental communication.

Back to Top

horizontal rule

Rahiman, O. A., A. M. Tampi & C. Bhaskaran. Transfer of Technology System: Functional Linkages Between and Among Four Sub-Systems, 91-96.

The effectiveness of transfer of technology in agriculture is greatly influenced by the extent of functional linkages between and among the sub-systems involved in the process. The findings of this study indicate that this linkage between and among four identified sub-systems (RSS: Research Sub-System, ESS: Extension Sub-System, ISS: Input Sub-System, and CSS: Client Sub-System) is very weak. Whereas RSS is found to have the best linkage with ESS, the Extension Sub-System is not mutually effective with RSS. This is something very intriguing sort of relationship. The linkage of ESS, however, is quite satisfactory with both the ISS and CSS. This evidently shows that there is a well-knit relationship of extension personnel with the farmers as also with inputs supply agencies. Moreover, this relationship is mutually subscribed by the CSS to ESS. This type of mutual interaction between farmers and extension workers is apparently very conducive to effective intervention in TOT process. The most weakest subsystem is found to be of Input Sub-System. In order to make it effective, it is suggested that a battery of sales counters of farm inputs should be established at reasonably focal points. In addition, an alternate strategy for making all the four sub-systems effective is also suggested through a paradigm as demonstrated in Figure 1.

Back to Top
 

Home Current Issue Archive Board Members

horizontal rule

Copyright by Journal of Extension Systems, ISSN 0970-2989.
Send mail to the Chief Editor with questions or comments about this site.
Last modified: 30 January 2017

horizontal rule