Journal of Extension Systems

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1996, Volume 12(2), December

L. D. Lawrence, Editorial

  1. Kumuk, T. & Crowder, L. V. "Harmonizing" T & V Extension: Some Experiences from Turkey.
  2. Duvel, G. H. Time-lag Phenomenon in Record Keeping: Resistance or Inappropriateness.
  3. Stock, T. Group Activities for Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation: An adaptable model.
  4. Awolola, M. D. & Ladele, A. A. Adult Literacy Programmes as a Framework for Women's Active Participation in Agricultural Development: A Case of Literacy Farm Project in Nigeria.
  5. Gill, D. S. Reframing Agricultural Extension Education Services: In Canadian Perspective.
  6. Kaushik, S. & Verma, T. Management of Rural Energy Technologies: An Inter-System Analysis.
  7. Arvind, K. & Kaul, P. N. A Scale Devised to Measure Attitudes Towards Meat Consumption.
  8. Kumar, N. & Kumar, B. Relevance of Postgraduate Degree in Agricultural Communication: A Case Study.

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Importance of Image

Achievements of an extension educator are largely determined by how effectively he or she communicates with clientele. Communications and relationships between extension personnel and their clientele are influenced, for better or for worse, by the image projected by the extensionist. Particularly important is the first impression. The first impression colours all subsequent feelings and thoughts - both positive and negative - about an individual. The impression a client develops regarding the extension agent or specialist affects his/her willingness to cooperate in extension programs, the confidence placed in advice given, and overall perceptions of the extension service.

A survey of farmers in West Virginia, USA, noted their belief that extension agent's effectiveness depends heavily on honesty, reliability and dependability as well as the agent's spirit of cooperation and enthusiasm in working with clients. Equally significant was the agent's belief in the importance of extension work and his/her technical subject matter knowledge.

A Pakistani extension worker asked me, "How can our farmers have confidence in someone who is so poorly paid that he must walk or ride a bicycle from village to village?" Self image is also important and quite transparent.

In my experience in India, image of the extension agent created a major barrier to effectiveness. Agents had great difficulty gaining credibility because, although they were well educated, most had grown up in cities and their knowledge of agriculture was primarily from books. It was very difficult for them to relate to farmers or to empathize with problems that farmers experienced. As a consequence, it became more pleasant for the agent to remain behind a desk than to deal with the farm population.

At a workshop held in the Fiji Islands, extension directors from eight island nations identified attitude and appearance of extension personnel as one of the most serious problems inhibiting agricultural development of the South Pacific Island community. As these directors recognized, few aspects of image are more important than personal appearance. Also considered important was the agent's lack of training in agricultural extension work.

One might conclude that there are several aspects of image that are of importance to the extension educator. Among the most important might be the following:

bulletPersonal characteristics related to professional conduct
bulletA strong philosophy of extension
bulletKnowledge of extension methods
bulletTechnical knowledge and skills
bulletFinancial and technical support

Obviously, the extension educator's image is fashioned and shaped through association with and the influence of several individuals. Perhaps foremost among them is the agent's parents, family and home community. These are the bases of a person's ethics and values. There's not much we can do about this. However, the individuals who provide technical and professional training must also be held accountable, as should the agent's supervisors in the field. And, of course, the key individual upon whom the major responsibility must fan is the agent himself/herself

The success or failure of an extension programme is influenced by many factors. It is doubtful, however, if any is more important than the image portrayed by the extension educator.

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"Harmonizing" T & V Extension: Some Experiences from Turkey, T. Kumuk & L. Van Crowder, 1-15.

The Training and Visit (T & V) extension approach has been criticised for its excessive emphasis on message transfer. This contrasts sharply with an extension approach that helps farmers develop their own skills for acquiring and analyzing information. These contrasting approaches have important implications for how extension is organized and bow farmers participate in the process. This article discusses an effort to re-orient the extension system in Turkey according to the principles of T & V extension and how T & V extension could be modified to fit Turkish conditions using a more participatory team approach to working with farmers. The design of such an extension system requires "harmonizing" the T & V approach with aspects of the existing system and with a new Extension Team Approach (ETA).

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Time-lag Phenomenon in Record Keeping: Resistance or Inappropriateness, Gustav H. Duvel, 16-32.

This article investigates the relative importance of personal resistance and inappropriateness as causes of individual variation in the adoption of different types of record keeping. The findings suggest that appropriateness or the lack thereof is a major factor in explaining the poor adoption or level of record keeping. Evidence of this is found in the relationship between record keeping and certain success parameters, but especially in the perceived appropriateness and aspirations of respondents, who in general regard the recommended level of record keeping to be unnecessarily sophisticated and detailed.

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Group Activities for Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation: An adaptable model, Tim Stock, 33-44.

For development to be sustainable, it must enhance people's ability to deal with an ever-changing situation. Participatory methods are the best for documenting people's ability to deal with change. Two participatory group activities were developed to monitor and evaluate farmer field trainings in pest management. The Venn Diagram is used to show changes in the sources and quantity of information used for making decisions. The Pest and Disease Matrix is used for the purpose of charting seasonal changes in the severity of pest and disease outbreak as well as changes in management practices to deal with pests. The article describes how to carry out these group activities and gives ideas on possible modifications for use in other situations. Creativity is to be encouraged. Right attitudes and behaviour are the key to the success of these methods.

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Adult Literacy Programmes as a Framework for Women's Active Participation in Agricultural Development: A Case of Literacy Farm Project in Nigeria, M. D. Awolola & A. A. Ladele, 45-55.

This study focuses on adult literacy programmes as a framework for women's active participation in Agricultural Development It is argued in the paper that women are the farmers producing food for the majority of Nigerian population and may continue to be so in true future if the present population growth and massive movement of male farmers are not checked. Since many of these women farmers cannot assimilate extension education because of their low level of education, agricultural development programmes may not succeed. The study further argues that there is a need for an adult education programme toward "people development" as developed by the FGN/EEC Middle Belt Programme. Based upon the above, the Adult Literacy Farm Project located at Rogun was used as a case study. Purposive sampling method was used to select 250 farmers for the study and results of the study show that the action-learning methodology used by the FGN/EEC Middle Belt Programme is very effective. This is evident in the performances of the women farmers who participated in the Programme. Action-learning methodology is, therefore, recommended for use in other programmes designed to improve the living conditions of rural dwellers.

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Reframing Agricultural Extension Education Services: In Canadian Perspective, Dhara S. Gill, 56-76.

Some of the material discussed in this paper was initially presented to a group of professionals in the Cooperative Extension Unit of the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education. In keeping with the theme of the session 'Extension's Odyssey to the Future' it became necessary to start with a definition of the term odyssey.

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Management of Rural Energy Technologies: An Inter-System Analysis, S. Kaushik & T. Verma, 77-81.

There are several systems involved in technology transfer mechanism. Research system is responsible for creating new knowledge and generating technologies. Extension system disseminates appropriate knowledge to clients and feedbacks the problems to the researchers. The utilization system comprises of potential users of knowledge/technology in a given field. In this mechanism, each system is involved in some sort of managerial functions and hence some managerial processes like planning, execution and follow up are basic to all the subsystems. The present study was, therefore, conducted with a view to find out the management patterns of the three systems related to energy technology generation, dissemination and utilization.

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A Scale Devised to Measure Attitudes Towards Meat Consumption, Arvind Kumar & P. N. Kaul, 82-88.

A refined, highly reliable, and valid Thurstone-type scale is developed in the present investigation. A total of 858 subjects were consulted at four different stages for developing the scale. The subjects were mutually exclusive at each stage. A draft scale of 160 items was prepared and administered to a group of 425 subjects who were requested to judge the degree of favourableness-unfavourableness of each item into 11 Thurstone categories. The calculated scale and Q-values of the items varied from 1.357 to 10.071 and 0.663 to 4.336, respectively. The Q-values of 62 items were observed equal to or higher than the mean Q-value and these were eliminated from the present investigation. The criterion of irrelevance was also executed for the remaining 98 items. Thus, 54 more items were eliminated from the scale. Finally, 44 items were selected for the construction of two parallel forms to assess the reliability of the scale. The reliability was found to be 0.94, which is quite satisfactory. The present scale is supposed to possess a high degree of content validity. The criterion validity coefficient (0.73) of the scale was also observed to be highly significant.

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Relevance of Postgraduate Degree in Agricultural Communication: A Case Study, Niraj Kumar & B. Kumar, 89-98.

The present case study was undertaken with the objective of studying different components of the postgraduate curriculum in Agricultural Communication being offered by G. B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, India. Findings revealed that the programme failed to create expected interest in potential graduates in spite of the expert guidance from Indian and overseas experts in communication before the programme was launched. The courses were theory loaded rather than skill oriented and students could not get sufficient opportunity to practice. Level of media utilisation in teaching was very poor. The supporting reading materials were hard to find. Although some of the experiences and skills earned during the courses were widely acclaimed, matching job opportunities for the passing graduates were found very meagre. There was overlapping in the content of a few courses and some of the important components of the discipline were left untouched. It was realised that besides incorporating some application oriented courses and specialisation packages, a wide publicity and marketing of this postgraduate programme was much on the need-agenda.

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