Journal of Extension Systems

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1993, Volume 9(2), December

S. Jamal, Editorial

  1. Lowdermilk, M. K. Irrigation Management: Extensions' Problem or opportunity.
  2. Garforth, C. Rural People's organizations: and Extension Communication in Northern Thailand.
  3. Kulander, G. & Delman, J. Getting to the Grassroots: Human Resource Development for Agricultural Extension in China.
  4. Jamal, S. A Skill Test for Farm Women: Clean Milk Production.

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For quite sometime, I was thinking to share my views about the nomenclature of Extension discipline. I am thankful to Dr. O. S. Verma who thought provokingly encouraged me to write my views in the editorial of this esteemed journal. These days, the nomenclature of Extension discipline has practically become hotch-potch mainly due to jugllary of words emerging day by day. Whereas, the discipline's contents & methodology, curriculum & field of knowledge are almost the same, the nomenclature differs from region to region, organisation to organisation, subject matter to subject matter discipline, and even from one professional to another. In some of the developing countries like India, variation is so great that even two universities do not have the identical name of the discipline. For example, the oldest Agriculture University in India "G. B. Pant University of Agriculture of Technology, Pantnagar (U.P.)" has got the name Department of Agricultural Communication & Extension offering Master's and Doctoral degree. Another equally important university, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, has two separate departments, i.e., Department of Extension Education, and Department of Home Science Education & Extension. Both these departments are offering Master's and Doctoral degree. In some other universities like Chandra Shekhar Azad University of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur (U.P.), they call it Department of Agricultural Extension. In traditional universities, there are three nomenclatures, i.e., Department of Adult Education & Extension, Department of Distance Education, and Department of Home Science Education & Extension.

In ICAR system, the Extension discipline is recognised by the Institute name. For instance, at IARL New Delhi, it is Agricultural Extension because it is agricultural institute, At NDRI, Karnal, it is called as Dairy Extension because it is dairy institute. At CIFE, Bombay, it is called as Fisheries Extension because it is fishery institute. At IVRI, Izatnagar, it was earlier used to be called as Division of Extension, then Animal Science Extension, and now with the pressure of professionals like Dr. 0. S. Verma it is changed to Extension Education, which is somehow more logical. All these 4 institutes under the ICAR system are deemed to be universities.

In developed countries, the variation is still large. In America, it is called by many names like Agricultural Extension, Extension Education, Agricultural Education & Extension, Community Education, Adult Education & Extension. In Canada, it is termed as Department of Rural Extension Studies. In Australia, professionals say that it is Agricultural Extension & Management. In U.K., it is Department of Agricultural Extension & Rural Development. In the Netherlands, Professor Niels Roling has come up with the term as Extension Science which seems to be more universal. And somewhere around the globe, this discipline is being changed by altogether different name as Transfer of Technology.

All these variations lead one to believe as if there are different disciplines under the trade name of Extension. Because of this hotch-potch situation, many professionals are at disadvantaged position and some are enjoying the large share of the cake. Many professionals have suffered in their career advancement mainly because of this stigma. I cite my own example here where I have suffered the most. I did B.Sc. Home Science (G. B. Pant, University, Pantnagar), M.Sc. Agricultural Communication & Extension (G.B. Pant University, Pantnagar) and Ph.D. in Extension Education (IVRI, Izatnagar). With this background, when I apply for some Teaching/Research position, I am denied in the interview that I do not possess B.Sc. Agriculture degree. Similarly, when I go to college of Home Science for a position, I am deprived of the offer in the interview itself on the pretext that I am not M.Sc./Ph.D. in Home Science Extension. It means practically I am no where. Here, I want to raise a question as to why I and my other colleagues of the similar background are being discriminated against while subject matter taught, courses, and curriculum have been eventually the same and at par with those who are B.Sc. Agriculture or B.V.Sc. This dilemma necessitates that Extension Fraternity should sit together on a common platform and decide the universal nomenclature which should be identical all over the world as has been in the case of other disciplines of Basic Sciences & Humanities, and Pure Sciences.

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Irrigation Management: Extensions' Problem or opportunity, Max K. Lowdermilk, 1-32.

Irrigation Management, a relatively new applied discipline, has come of age. Most of the sites for new irrigation systems have been used. Increasingly, there are fewer lands with high irrigation potential. These factors plus the high post of new irrigation systems and generally poor system performance have led more and more countries to adopt programs of irrigation management. The International Institute of Irrigation Management other international centers of excellence, large donor agencies and most irrigation professionals agree that performance of existing irrigation systems can be greatly improved. Irrigation Management (IM) is now recognized as an essential emphasis for accelerated agricultural development. Irrigation Management is and will continue to make a solid contribution towards improving irrigation system performance world-wide. Irrigation management like agricultural extension is an interdisciplinary process by nature. Strangely, agricultural extension has yet to realize the opportunities which irrigation management provide in the transfer of irrigation knowledge and technologies to water users. Unfortunately, with few exceptions in higher income nations, irrigation management has been neglected by agricultural extension professionals. Agricultural and irrigation ministries most often have viewed irrigation management in terms of a competitive domain. Comparative data in this article combined with several decades of experience suggest how irrigation management provides an important opportunity for extension professionals world-wide.

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Rural People's organizations: and Extension Communication in Northern Thailand, Chris Garforth, 33-64.

Communication theory offers a range of conceptual frameworks within which communication processes in the context of extension activities can be studied. Two which have had strong influences portray communication as "flows of information" and "interaction within networks" respectively. Data from a study in northern Thailand are used to explore the insights these two perspectives offer into the benefits of extension agencies' working with and through local groups and organisations. Members of rural people's organisations potentially benefit from an increased flow of information from extension agents compared to those who are not members; while the structure and activities of the organisation offer the chance of increased interaction among the members. However, participation by members in the organisation's activities is not automatic: extension agents and local leaders can take action to enhance the amount and quality of communication that takes place. For this, they need training. Recent policy changes which require field level extension staff to work almost exclusively through formal groups haw left non-members relatively isolated from networks and channels of communication. The two conceptual frameworks are shown to be not competing and incompatible paradigms, but complementary.

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Getting to the Grassroots: Human Resource Development for Agricultural Extension in China, Greg Kulander & Jorgen Delman, 65-132.

Based on the assumption that the quality of the human resources in an agricultural extension oraganization is a determining factor in its success or failure, the article identifies some of the major issues facing human resource development in the agricultural extension system in China.

The article is based on fresh quantitative and qualitative data. Cases are presented of a select representative agricultural extension organization, the National Agro-Technology Extension Centre (NATEC) organization under the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, and its subsidiary in Renshoucounty, Sichuan province. It is argued that the formal a gricultural education sector may experience difficulties in supplying die required number of professionals needed to sustain the accelerated agricultural development China desires, and that agricultural extension may suffer in particular, since employment in rural areas, particularly at field level, is considered unattractive by graduates of agricultural institutions. Furdiermore, the brain drain from the agricultural sector paired with an irrational manpower development structure in die agricultural extension organization prevents sufficient interaction between farmers and well-educated professional extension agents.

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A Skill Test for Farm Women: Clean Milk Production, Shagafta Jamal, 133-138.

A test was developed to measure skills in clean milk production. Milk production activity was classified as skilled as it has more than ten sequential steps to be performed. Using the procedure for measuring psychomotor variables, all the steps recommended to perform the skill in a systematic and sequential order were listed so that each step was clearly identifiable, observable and mutually exclusive of the other steps. These steps will become observation points at the time of actually measuring the competence of die performer of die skill in terms of accuracy. The list was referred to fifty two experts to assign separate scores to each step on its relative importance and operational difficulty in carrying it out. The mean scores were then pooled to get die final assigned score for each step. The coefficients of reliability and validity were found to be 0.92 and 0.96, respectively.

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