Journal of Extension Systems

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1993, Volume 9(1), June

L. D.  Lawrence, Editorial

  1. Asmuni, A.  Japanese Agricultural Extension System: It's Relevance to Developing Countries.
  2. Lawrence, L. D. & Umar, M. Methods of Reaching Consensus: A South Islands Experience.
  3. Oliveira, M. B. Communication Strategies for Agricultural Development in the Third World.
  4. Rivera, W. M. Challenges to Agricultural Extension: Employ Women As Professional And Develop Programs For Women In Agriculture A Global Perspective.
  5. Ziaul Karim, A. S. M. & Mahboob, S. G. Subject Matter Officers Under T&V System in Bangladesh: Influence of Job-related and Attitudinal Factors on Job-performance.
  6. Ogunfiditimi, T. O. Abandoned Adoption: Why Adopters Discontinued use of Previously Adopted Innovations.
  7. Zijp, W. From Agricultural Extension to Rural: Information Management.

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Extension education, in various forms and with various names, has existed for more than a century. For the most part, extension has emphasized agricultural development. And for good reason. Food security is a major concern of every society. No country wants to be dependent on another for something as basic as food. With the technological breakthroughs of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, it appeared that sufficient agricultural production might be possible so that every country could be self-reliant. Unfortunately, it was not to be.

Technological breakthroughs. Extension personnel throughout the world claim to be in the business of "technology transfer." Technology is the application of science in solving problems. There's a truism that goes, "When you solve one problem you create a dozen new ones." This has been the unexpected effect of technology of all types. For example, major advances in health, nutrition and food safety have extended the life span and the reproductive years of people throughout the world, which have led to an explosive increase in population. Population pressures, in turn, particularly in many of the underdeveloped countries, have placed excessive demands on agricultural production which have resulted in harmful farming practices, overgrazing, and the tillage of fragile lands unsuitable for farming. As a consequence, soil erosion, waterlogging, deforestation fertility depletion, desertification, and a number of other environmental and social problems have arisen in recent years which have a negative -impact on food production. Use and overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, inputs largely responsible for production increases in recent years, have polluted surface and ground water supplies in some areas. In addition, use of livestock growth stimulants and pesticide scares have created great anxiety among consumers about the safety of available foods. Food security is further compounded by politics, economics, cultural shifts, population migration, trade imbalances, weather and monetary policies. If extension is to "help people to help themselves" in solving the problems, job security for extension personnel should be assured in perpetuity. But is it?

Agricultural extension and advisory services throughout the world face two dilemmas that are diametrically opposed. In the developed world, there is widespread belief that agricultural extension has succeeded too well and is no longer necessary; that farmers have already produced too much, therefore, there's no reason for government to help them to produce any more. Further, critics claim that any information needed by farmers is readily available from a variety of private and commercial sources. To a large extent, the same attitude prevails regarding the need for continued agricultural research.

On the other hand, in many if not most countries of the developing world, there is a strong belief among government officials at the highest levels that agricultural extension is a very costly and largely ineffective bloated organization and that personnel in it are essentially welfare recipients. They claim there are few, if any, results to show for the enormous investment made in extension services. A similar skepticism about the value of agricultural research also exists.

And day by day, population growth and environmental degradation continues. The world's population currently stands at some 5.5 billion people and is expected to increase to 6.1 billion by the year 2000 and to 8.2 billion by 2025, 49% more than current numbers in only 31 years! can food production keep up with population growths And will it be available to those who need it? Will new technologies, such as biotechnology, dramatically increase production? And what new and unforeseen problems will they bring with them?

What does all this mean to readers of the Journal? Among other things, it means that there are a number of critical issues confronting extension-agricultural, social, economic,. and cultural-all crying and vying for attention. There's also the question of extension's survival itself. Considerable confusion and anxiety exists among extension personnel around the world regarding extension's role and future. The Journal is unique in that it provides a global forum in which these issues and concerns might be examined, discussed and debated. How extension responds and adapts to present day challenges and can document its contribution to the well-being of the world's nations during the next few years will determine its fate. Your contributions to the Journal can play a part in helping to assure extension's future as an effective and essential institution.

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Japanese Agricultural Extension System: It's Relevance to Developing Countries, Azizan Asmuni, 1-24.

The extension system of Japan is examined with the purpose of analysing its developmental changes from the modernisation of agriculture during the Meiji Era to the post-war period in response to changes in economic situation and agricultural policy, and its relevance to developing countries in implementing extension. It is found that the new extension took-off with strong intervention capacity prioritised by the government and based on internal capability and past experience. The sensitivity response to changes in extension role, strategy and approach, to comprehensive extension, instead of dismantling farmer institution to suit policy aims eventually succeeded in developing a complete portfolio of productivity enhancement institution.

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Methods of Reaching Consensus: A South Islands Experience, Layle D. Lawrence & Mohammed Umar, 25-32.

Quality decisions are more likely to come from groups than from individuals. At the same time, those who are affected will be more likely to react in a positive manner if they have had an opportunity to democratically participate in the decision-making process. When collective decisions are made, each participant feels some sense of ownership in their outcomes. This article deals with two methods of obtaining consensus by groups: a modified Delphi approach and the nominal group technique.

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Communication Strategies for Agricultural Development in the Third World, Maria Cristina Bastos Oliveira, 33-51.

The paper reviews current participatory communication strategies being used by donor agencies as part of their agricultural development interventions in third world countries. More specifically, the paper: (1) discusses existing approaches to using communication as a component within development programs, the so called development communication; (2) analyzes the role of public communication campaigns in agricultural development; and (3) reviews two participatory communication strategies proposed by FAO and USAID. respectively, as a means for bringing about agricultural development in third world countries: the Strategic Extension Campaigns (SEC) and the Communication for Technology Transfer in Agriculture (CTTA). It stresses the fact that the emphasis on participatory development processes has called upon new approaches to communication. In this context, development communication is providing, an interesting framework used to accelerate die agricultural development process in developing, country settings.

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Challenges to Agricultural Extension: Employ Women As Professional And Develop Programs For Women In Agriculture A Global Prespective, William M. Rivera, 52-73.

One challenge to agricultural extension is to employ women as professionals and thereby contribute to their empowerment through greater involvement in public institutions designed to advance agricultural development. A related challenge for extension is to develop programs targeted for women working in agriculture. In this paper, we focus on these two challenges. In reviewing the literature, we note consistent concepts about agriculture and women and find eleven compelling areas of study. On the basis of an examination of the literature and an analytic discussion, we underline seven actions aimed at integrating and empowering women in the agriculture sector through the agency of agricultural extension.

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Subject Matter Officers Under T&V System in Bangladesh: Influence of Job-related and Attitudinal Factors on Job-performance, A. S. M. Ziaul Karim & S. G. Mahboob, 74-85.

The purpose of this paper was to determine and describe the effects and contributions of 15 selected job-related and attitudinal. factors on/to job performance of the Subject Matter Officers under T&V Extension System of Bangladesh. Data were collected by interview procedure from a sample of 114 SMOs of 22 randomly selected Districts under Extension & Research Project-II. Stepwise multiple correlation analysis indicates that out of 15 independent factors, only two (total service tenure and sub-block visit) are found to have significant effect on job performance. Regression co-efficient between supervisor's relation and job performance approached very close to the significance level (Q 05). The combined effect of three independent variables caused 46 percent variation in job performance. Some of the independent variables could not enter into the regression equation possibly due to the problem of multi-collinearity among the independent variables.

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Abandoned Adoption: Why Adopters Discontinued use of Previously Adopted Innovations, T. O. Ogunfiditimi, 86-91.

Evidence abound now that most adopters of new innovations especially in the developing countries tend to set aside temporarily of totally abandon such innovations over a period of time. The reasons for this unusual phenomenon have not caught the attention of most modern social research scientists This article made an attempt to explore the reasons for this withdrawal syndrome by adopters. 200 farmers (Adopters) were; interviewed. They had participated in the adoption exercise of maize and cassava in 0yo State. and cocoa in Ondo State which they later set aside, The Multiple Regression Statistical Model was used and fourteen basic reasons for "Abandoned-Adoption" were identified.

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From Agricultural Extension to Rural: Information Management, Willem Zijp, 92-116.

Information is an essential production factor in agriculture. Farmers need information to improve or adapt their farming. Farmers need extension only to the extent that it can provide them with relevant and timely information. Farmers will only pay for extension if the information is not obtainable for free and if they perceive the marginal benefits to be greater than the marginal costs. The distinction between information and extension is relevant, because information is much wider than extension. Information is what farmers talk about with their wife or husband, their neighbours. It is what they hear from radio, what they read and hear from extension.

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