Journal of Extension Systems
Article reprints (US $10/each) may be obtained by contacting the Chief Editor.
1998, Volume 14(1), June
Birmingham, D. M. Developing Human Resources For
Agricultural Extension Services: Experience of World Bank in Sub-Saharan
Kazan, A. L. & Earnest, G. W. Leadership and
Extension in Brazil: Opportunities for Development.
Shamebo, D. Information and Knowledge Communication
Between Farmer and Extensionist in South-Eastern Ethiopia.
Olowu, T. A. & Yahaya, M. K. Determination of
Agricultural Information, Needs of Women Farmers: A case study of
van den Ban, A. W. Supporting Farmers Decision
Making Process by Agricultural Extension.
Guerin, T. F. Transfer of Pesticide Management and
Information Technology to China: A case study Between Australia and Anhui
Jayaramaiah, K. M. An approach to Reach the
Unreached Farmers in India.
Who will eat in the next generation? Who will go hungry? These questions
highlight today’s disastrous misuse of farmland and natural resources
worldwide, and tomorrow’s limited access, by mainly rich countries, to food on
the world market. Trying to get the most from their agriculture today, countries
are destroying their potential to produce food in the future. Impressive
short-term results promise extremely bleak long-term outcomes. Why is this
happening? Part of the reason is politics, part is due to multi-lateral and
bilateral funding bureaucracies and the ambitious and often arrogant individuals
who determine the execution of their policies. As societies develop, the
relationship between farmer and trader, and between producer and consumer,
becomes more formalized, more institutionalized. Often, unfortunately, the
relationship between farmers and the rest of society, or their rulers, becomes
unequal as non-agriculturalists start to interfere unduly with the primary
Non-agriculturalists who wield authority from the monied thrones of
multi-lateral and bilateral agencies have and continue to dictate development of
what they perceive primarily from political and/or macro economic perspectives.
They also make authoritarian decisions based on their own ambitions, not on the
needs of farmers and the societies that depend on farmers and farming
The task then is to support and contribute to those positive forces currently
aligning in the world that want to see changes of a different kind, not
integrated by ambitious non-agriculturalists, but by people involved and engaged
in making agriculture profitable, small farms sustainable, food safe and the
environment clean. What’s actually happening at the farm level, what are the
consequences of local agricultural practices, what disasters have resulted from
poor understanding of agriculture and plans based purely on politics and
agricultural ignorance, how have prevailing policies helped to destroy “the
South”, what are the differences between bureaucratization and common sense,
and finally, will the world choose a future dictated by the Green Revolution and
the “silent Spring” it portends, or truly embrace the demands of human
sustainability? These are imperative questions.
There is an effort currently among agricultural professionals to develop a
new development paradigm. These efforts envisage agriculture as more than an
engine of economic growth. While agriculture has resulted in increased
production of goods and services, it has also been accompanied by an
unprecedented destruction of the most fundamental, scarce good at human
disposal, namely the environment. In the current development system,
environmental losses are not written off as costs, but are counted as
expenditures and their recuperation, or compensation, is written up as final
consumption. In other words, the problem is actually counted by economists as
contributing to economic growth.
Agriculture is in principle a contributor to the welfare of people and the
preservation of the environment, to production of food and other commodities
really needed. In line with this view, the paradigm we need today is a
socio-ecological paradigm encompassing the complex phenomena that include
social, economic and political factors in addition to the multitude of
bio-physical factors. To realize this paradigm, several things must be done: (1)
clean up the bureaucratic monster, (2) bring producer and consumer closer, (3)
organize farmers and advance new ideas, (4) promote models and criteria for
sustainable farming, (5) promote sustainable development (environmentally
friendly production and foods security) in the South, and (6) merge
developmental, agricultural and environmental policies.
policies are inexorably leading to continued misuse of farmland and natural
resources worldwide and inevitable to tomorrow’s limited access, by mainly
rich countries, to food on the world market. While richer nations may, or may
not, be able to survive the disastrous path of unsustainability,
others will certainly suffer as a consequence, if not from food scarcity then
increased food prices. This is today’s dragon, and it will take a multitude of
committed and courageous St. Georges to subdue the pervasive, powerful forces
toward earthly barrenness.
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Birmingham, D. M. Developing Human Resources For Agricultural Extension
Services: Experience of World Bank in Sub-Saharan Africa, 3-16.
This paper discusses issues arising from the experience of the World Bank
in providing support to the training of extension staff in sub-Saharan Africa.
Key issues raised by Bank staff were distilled to those most crucial to
realizing long-term positive returns to training investments. Systems of
agricultural education in SSA are seriously weak. Unless agricultural
education institutions improve their preparation of agricultural personnel,
extension services will need to continually devote scarce resources to
remedial training. Training should be used as a strategically placed
investment guided by effective and rational human resource management policies
that use project funds to strengthen institutional capacities rather than
cater to individual interests. Training investments should be leveraged
through incentives and career development programs to motivate staff to use
their training to help achieve defined institutional goals and desired
impacts. Unless these issues are addressed, returns to training investments
are haphazard and lie largely at the individual level.
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Kazan, A. L. & Earnest, G. W. Leadership and Extension in Brazil:
Opportunities for Development, 17-29.
This article reports on the observations and experiences of interns
involved in the U.S. National Extension Leadership Development program (NELD),
a two-year training program designed to enhance leadership in an Extension
system. Participants spent two weeks in Brazil exploring and analyzing history
and leadership of Brazil’s Extension system and comparing it to U.S.
Extension. The first section of the article addresses the rationale for the
NELD experience in Brazil. Secondly, to facilitate the readers’
understanding of the way in which agricultural and economic development has
influenced leadership in Brazil a brief overview of Brazilian agricultural and
economic development history as well as the unique characteristics of
Extension in Brazil is provided. The example of the independent Sao Paulo
State Extension system is given because of its significance in the national
economic and leadership development scenario. Next, similarities and
differences between the history, agricultural development, Extension goals,
and leadership development in the U.S. and Brazil are highlighted. Finally,
the paper questions whether the U.S. Extension System is a valid model for
adoption in Brazil, and proposes some applications of the NELD experience to
Brazil and to other U.S. educational initiatives.
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Shamebo, D. Information and Knowledge Communication Between Farmer and
Extensionist in South-Eastern Ethiopia, 30-38.
Most farmers at Gonde area of Arsi region in South-eastern Ethiopia have
benefited from the modern and improved technologies for more than 25 years. In
1993, a grass weed herbicide as a new technology was demonstrated on wheat to
farmers besides other technologies in Arsi as grass weeds caused a lot of
economic and social problems. Most of the farmers applauded for a technology.
However, a peasant at Gonde area objected to the technology unlike all the
other peasants around where the demonstration was carried out. This unusual
objection initiated the extensionist to dig out the fact with careful
communication skill and patience in a repeated trip to his field and
conversation with him. In the final analysis the farmer revealed his idea to
the extensionist and his fellow farmers that no external inputs but indigenous
cultural practices should be given priority for the better production of small
cereals in the region. On the other hand, the extensionist and other farmers
had assessed the idea again thoroughly. Finally both the groups came to the
agreement that low external inputs and indigenous cultural practices are
indispensable for the better and sustainable production of small cereals.
Through careful communication skill and follow up of a local people’s
response a wealth of valuable information and feedback can be obtained for the
progressive research and extension. Therefore, research and extension
activities should endeavor more on the cultural practices but less on the
external inputs to sustainably control the devastating grass weeds on the
cereals for successful production of wheat in Arsi. Research and extension in
LEISA should be strengthened in Ethiopia in general, too.
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Olowu, T. A. & Yahaya, M. K. Determination of Agricultural
Information, Needs of Women Farmers: A case study of North-Central Nigeria,
Information plays a paramount role in agricultural development of most
nations. However, in Nigeria the problem of inadequate agricultural
information undermines the potentials of women farmers in both rural and urban
centers. This study, therefore, attempted to determine the information needs
of women farmers in North-Central Nigeria comprising Kaduna and Katsina
States. A total of 376 women farmers were randomly sampled for the study.
Findings from the study show that women generally are highly involved in
various agricultural activities. In general, the major sources of agricultural
information are extension agents (92.6%), radio (72.1%), ADPs (58.8%) and
women groups (51.1%). On specific information needs, the most critically
needed technical information for women farmers is related to diseased/pests
control (65.1%), cropping system (59.6%) and crop storage (59.30%). Also,
current and future market prices are the major marketing information needs
while social and legal information needs are moderately needed. The study
further reveals that there is no significant difference in agricultural
information needs of rural and urban women farmers. However, agricultural
information needs of women farmers is positively and significantly related to
tasks performed (r = 479; p <.001). It is, therefore, recommended that
extension packages for women farmers should focus on technical information.
Also, information scientists should brace up to the challenges of the current
technological age in information management.
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van den Ban, A. W. Supporting Farmers Decision Making Process by
Agricultural Extension, 55-67.
(No Abstract Available)
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Guerin, T. F. Transfer of Pesticide Management and Information Technology
to China: A case study Between Australia and Anhui Province, 68-86.
This paper reports on a case study that involved the transfer of (Í)
methods for the analysis and (ÍÍ)
information on the fate and proper use of the agricultural chemical,
endosulfan, from Australia to Anhui Province, China. The transfer methodology
employed the use of the traditional model of diffusion of innovations, in
combination with the train-and-visit approach. A key outcome from the case
study was that there was relatively little awareness of the potential
environmental impacts from the use of endosulfan, and that there is a need for
the transfer of environmental management technologies to the rural sector in
Anhui Province, China. Key cross-cultural constraints in the interaction were
identified and areas which will require further effort in technology transfer
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Jayaramaiah, K. M. An approach to Reach the Unreached Farmers in India,
(No Abstract Available)