|Journal of Extension Systems
Article reprints (US $10/each) may be obtained by contacting the Chief Editor.
2000, Volume 16(2), December
H. C. C.
Meertens and N.G.
Roling. Non-Adoption of Rice Fertilizer Technology Based on a Farming
Systems Research-Extension Methodology in Sukumaland, Tanzania: A Search for
Niraj Kumar. A Tryst with PRA.
Global Market: Public Sector Agricultural Extension Reconsidered.
Poonam Kundu, S. Kashyap and Seema.
Extension Education System of Agricultural Universities in India And USA.
Wayne Ganpat, Joseph Seepersad
and Isaac Bekele. Profiling Farm Systems As A Prerequisite To Improved
Gwenna Moss, Sara Williams and
Bruce Hobin. Participation in the Master Gardener Programme in
Saskatchewan, Canada: Motivation, Satisfaction and Barriers.
Robert Agunga and Labh Singh. A
Communication strategy for Improving Small-scale Farmer Productivity in
Karami and Hamid Reza
Ebrahimi. Overfertilization with Phosphorus in Iran: A Sustainability
Rice is the
world’s number one food crop heavily cultivated in 89 nations providing 350
calories per 100 grams in whole rice in the daily diet of 25 billion Asians. The
global grain is incredibly adaptable and can be grown in deserts, hills, slash,
burn forests, and in 8 ft floodwaters. The rice plant, Oryza Sativa, is believed
to have originated in Southern India and then spread northwards into China where
4000 years old rice grains have been unearthed. Though there are two main types
of rice grain, about 20 different processes of the rice can be put through after
Besides being the staple diet in Asia and the base for
alcoholic beverages, rice is also known to have certain medicinal properties. To
subside swelling, a paste of rice powder and turmeric is applied on the affected
area. In olden days, it was also used to determine if a person was suffering
from Jaundice. Rice starch water is very light and soothing for internal
physiology and hence used as a major therapeutic diet. The same water is also
used to starch cotton clothes. It is even fed to cattle along with husk.
Rice is considered to be a symbol of fertility. Newly-weds
are often showered with rice grains the world over. In India, it is equally the
symbol of prosperity and if often invoked as Goddess Lakshmi herself. In
Indonesia, rice is thought to have a soul similar to that of man and it is
common to find rice in terms of kinship like mother and grandfather etc. In
China, if an old friend calls you “how do you do”, the literal meaning of
what he said is “have you eaten your rice”. The Chinese consider rice a
blessing and the grains left in their bowl are considered an ill omen especially
for women. In Japan, it is rice, which is considered to be the most sacred thing
on earth. In Gautama’s classification of mankind, Budha takes the first place
and rice the second.
In India, there are some 2500 varieties of rice. Each
variety has a different flavor, shape, and texture. The world famous variety of
Basmati known as Dehradun Basmati is long fine aromatic grain treasured for
Biryanis and Pulaos.
Rice grain is very nutritive. The external layers contain
vitamins B1 and B2 and minerals and thus whole rice is nutritively superior to
white rice. Rice bran contains protein, Vitamin B-Complex, and Vitamin E and K.
White rice where the bran has been removed loses much of its nutrients. Rice is
the only cereal, which is not taken in flour or bread form but as a grain.
Harvested in tropical, equatorial, and temperate zones, the major consumers
worldwide are from China, India, Thailand, entire South-East Asian belt,
Indonesia, Japan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, followed by Latin America and Africa. In
this editorial, material drawn from the write up of Mridula Sharma Sand
Sudhamahi Rgunathan published in Hindustan Times dated October 8, 1994 is
Today, the stress in Agriculture lays on a paradigm shift
from input driven technology to knowledge-based methods, development and
promotion of technology, and diversified systems of Agriculture with a view to
meet the growing demands for food in developing countries. The progressive
growth in rice production holds the key to sustained food security in the
In a three-day “India-IRRI Dialogue-1996”, it is
recommended that sustainability issues relating to rice and rice-based cropping
systems need to be patented. For achieving the potential in rice production,
water & crop management, mechanization & judicious use of fertilizers,
post-harvest management, involvement of private sector in communication of
information, knowledge-based decision systems, partnership & collaboration
in rice research, intellectual property rights, and permanent pricing policy are
some of the high-tech areas for agricultural scientists to work on.
Back to Top
Non-Adoption of Rice Fertilizer Technology Based on a
Farming Systems Research-Extension Methodology in Sukumaland, Tanzania: A Search
for Reasons, H. C. C. Meertens and N. G. Roling,
A rice-urea technology, involving the application of a low
dose of nitrogen (30 kg N ha-1) to rice plants at tillering, was
developed between 1990 and 1996 according to FSRE methodology in a Sukumaland,
northwestern Tanzania. Farmers did not adopt this technology. Analysis showed
that the main factors behind this were urea availability problems in the
villages and a decreasing profitability of the rice-urea technology due to IMF/World
Bank instigated reform measures. Non-adoption was also due to low farmer
participation during priority setting of on-farm activities; poor involvement of
extension service; confusing research messages related to rice soil fertility
management, and high degree of uncertainty in Sukumaland farming. The FSRE
methodology needs strong and institutionalized links with the extension service,
commodity research and policy makers for effective adoption of agricultural
technologies. A better coordination of activities between donors and governments
is an essential precondition to make such links work.
Back to Top
A Tryst with PRA, Niraj Kumar,
This paper is an outcome of a field experience of using PRA
(Participatory Rural Appraisal) as a research tool in extension. Participatory
methods like resource mapping, trend analysis, transect walk, and preference
matrix were used for information collection. These were found effective even
when researchers did not have knowledge of local language and they worked
through an interpreter. Villagers had their own understanding of geography,
water harvesting, mixed farming, and economics, which had a scientific basis.
The paper also explains problems in using PRA, its major strength, and the
lessons learned during the fieldwork.
Back to Top
Confronting Global Market: Public Sector Agricultural
Extension Reconsidered, William M. Rivera, 33-54.
At a time
in history when many nations have opted to reform their agricultural extension
services, through fiscal redesign, decentralization and even privatization, and
have eliminated subsidies for small farmers and economically disadvantaged rural
populations, I suggest that it is time to reconsider the role and purpose of
public sector extension. I am convinced that developing countries would benefit
from an increased flow of practical information to the mass of small farmers in
rural areas. By helping to increase small farmer incomes and improving the
sustainability of the environments they inhabit, nations will profit socially as
well as in economic terms.
In the first part of this paper, I review the global
developments that began to take force in the 1980s affecting nations worldwide.
Among these developments, I include structural adjustment, which tends to get
lost in such universal challenges as overpopulation, urbanization, demands of
world trade, environmental sustainability. This era of the 1980s, I refer to as
“end of the beginning” of centralized public sector agricultural extension.
In the second part of the paper, I briefly outline the
major determinations taken by governments to reform their agricultural extension
systems. During this era, both unitary and federally constituted governments
shifted away from responsibility for the development of extension systems. This
era constituted a time of “reinventing” public sector agricultural
In the third part, I examine in capsule form the problems
and the promise of extension. This era, I suggest, is a time for re-examining
the complex of extension and technology transfer services. How best can
extension/technology-transfer complex be developed so as to satisfy both the
social and economic needs of the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries
and confront the pressures of globalization, fierce economic competition, and
shrinking national budgets?
Back to Top
Extension Education System of Agricultural Universities
in India and USA: A SWOT Analysis, Poonam Kundu, S.
Kashyap and Seema, 55-61.
(No Abstract Available)
Back to Top
Profiling Farm Systems As A Prerequisite To Improved
Technology Use, Wayne Ganpat, Joseph Deepersad and
Isaac Bekele, 62-71.
among small farm systems is seldom given sufficient attention when programme
plans and strategies are being developed. Less than effective use of technology
offered may be due partially to this omission. This study, involving mainly
comparative work, examined the diversity among 121 Vegetable-based farm systems
in Trinidad with respect to the levels of technology used. Limited-resource,
commercially oriented farm households selected by simple random sampling
procedure were studied. Canonical Variates Analysis was used to examine group
separation and assess the relative contribution of farm system variables. The
results showed that farm systems could be differentiated based on technology-use
levels. Factors related to the Human Capital of the operators (age, education,
health, training), along with several Farm-related factors (land use intensity,
spacing practiced, land tenure), as well as Resource-based factors (capital
base, land size, managerial abilities) were the key variables that highlight the
diversity among these farm systems.
Back to Top
Participation in the Master Gardener Program in
Saskatchewan, Canada: Motivation, Satisfaction and Barriers, Gwenna Moss,
Sara Williams and Bruce Hobin, 72-83.
article reports on a mail survey of Master Gardeners (volunteers who support
horticulture extension programmes) in the province of Saskatchewan, Canada. It
describes their motivation to participate, the barriers to participation, which
they encountered, their satisfaction with the programme and the impact of
distance and of place of residence (rural/urban) on motivation, satisfaction and
barriers. Unlike many programmes where participants come from within a
convenient geographic area, Saskatchewan’s programme is open to gardeners
throughout the province. The large distances and sparse population pose
challenges to participation. Cross’ (1981) framework was used in examining
barriers, which were classified into three categories: situational,
institutional, and dispositional. Master Gardeners, were motivated by multiple
factors. Distance and place of residence did not affect motivation, but did
affect barriers; distance also affected satisfaction. The majority of the
barriers identified was institutional, in whole or in part, and thus have
implications for practice. These are discussed in the article.
Back to Top
A Communication Strategy for Improving Small-scale
Farmer Productivity in India, Robert Agunga and Labh
farmers account for over 80 percent of the farming population in India and
produce over half of the country’s food and agricultural products. Indian
farmers produce three times less than their counterparts in other heavily
populated Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Chine and Korea because they lag
behind in the use of modern farming methods. This paper attributes the low
productivity of small-scale farmers in India to the inability of Extension to
link them with resource institutions. It is not enough for extension to tell
farmers to use fertilizers. Extension must assist them to obtain the financial
resources to purchase farm inputs. It means that extension must go beyond
information dissemination to breaking bottlenecks inhibiting small-farmer
utilization of that information. The authors urge the introduction of
development communication to assist extension workers to mobilize, organize and
generally prepare small farmers to engage in active interaction with resource
institutions and to make possible small farmer adoption of innovations.
Back to Top
Overfertilization with Phosphorus in Iran: A
Sustainability Problem, Ezatollah Karami and Hamid Reza
collected from 206 wheat producers in Fars province, Iran to study the
overfertilization with P behaviours at farm level. The theoretical perspectives
used to guide the study included diffusion, farm-structure and multiplicity
models. Overfertilization was operationalized as excess kg/ha of P fertilizers
used. Regression analysis revealed the limited utility of these models for
predicting overfertilization with P behaviours. Cluster analysis was used to
investigate the heterogeneity of farmers with regard to overfertilization. The
result revealed that there were different groups of farmers with regard to
overfertilization behaviour. The research findings are discussed in the context
of future sustainable agricultural development.
Back to Top