Journal of Extension Systems

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2007, Volume 23(2), December

O. S. Verma, Editorial

  1. Persuading Landholders to Participate in a Riparian Land Management Program, Jonathon Howard & Stuart Roberton
  2. Perceptions of Farmers towards Privatization of Livestock Extension Services in Iran, A. Rezvanfar, F. Arabi, & R. Rezaei
  3. Socioeconomic Factors in Packaging & Delivery of Agricultural Extension Message in Ogun State, Nigeria, E. Fabusoro, C. L. Sodiya, & C. L Alarima
  4. Farmer Typologies: Developing a Targeted Market Segmentation Approach to Enhancing On-farm Change, Jay Cummins, Gurjeet Gill, David Coventry, & Jim Fortune
  5. Impediments to Farmers’ Use of Extension services of Private Agro-Firms in South-Eastern Nigeria, Benjamin I. Isife
  6. Convergence of Management and Technology Systems for Enhanced Accountability in Extension, John Richardson
  7. Innovation and Beyond: Tensions in the Family of Reform, William M. Rivera
  8. India in Global Comparative Perspectives, Om. S. Verma & Ratna Tewari

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Corporate Social Responsibility

In the absence of a universally accepted definition for Corporate Social Responsibility, several interchangeable terms surround the concept like Corporate Sponsorship, Donations, and Philanthropic activities. Although these terms hold good in the traditional mind-set that the Corporate House’s major responsibility is only to protect its shareholders, investors, and employees, the CSR deviates from it in the sense that the Company has to discharge a large responsibility towards the society. Corporate Houses, therefore, have to look “how, what, where and when” to serve the Society. Adopting a village or a cluster of villages in the region of their Establishments is the befitting initiative to fulfill this demand. Several meaningful interventions, which can directly benefit the rural domains, can be introduced in these villages. Some of these are listed below:

  • Clean drinking water
  • Toilet facilities
  • Transportation facilities
  • Equipping the sport complexes
  • Computing facilities for technology assisted learning
  • Promoting the use for renewable energy
  • Developing solar energy and wind energy systems
  • Small scale village industries
  • Primary healthcare services for humanity
  • Veterinary services to livestock
  • Adult and continuing education
  • Environmental Protection & Management
  • Farm Inputs Supply & Management
  • Watershed Management
  • Social and Farm Forestry
  • Local Area Television Network
  • Village broadcast Unit
  • Approach Road network
  • Youths Self-employment
  • Women Empowerment
  • Women Self-help Groups Public health, sanitation, and hygiene
  • Scientists - Farmers Interaction Meetings
There may be many more interventions depending upon their relevance to the Region. Technologically speaking, these interventions are Extension Services in the realms of Corporate Social Responsibility. Hence, the basic tenets of Extension Education are inherent in the CSR concept.

In order to operationalize CSR, there can be several alternative organizational systems: (1) Well-Structured own Foundation, (2) Formulation of a Trust, (3) Separate CSR Department within the organization, (4) Building Public Private Partnership, and (5) Sharing CSR efforts and initiatives for a Compendium. Although these separate entities are workable propositions, but often these entities work in isolation without creating a Synergy. Hence, there is a need to understand CSR altogether in different Frame of Reference. This is what lies in Single Window Area Development (S WAD) Approach. This approach can discharge CSR in befitting manner under the command of a separate Department of Extension Education Services within the structural cadres of the Corporate Houses. Single Window Area Development Centre (SWAD-Centre) is born out of this approach.

SWAD-Centre is a four-walled boundary Building located over one acre of land at such a central place around which a cluster of Five Villages is formed for the deliveries of Extension Interventions.

Each SWAD-Centre is equipped with appropriate infrastructures, logistics, manpower, and building blocks. By rough estimates, each SWAD-Centre requires a finance of Rs. 2 Crore.

For decades, we have been focusing our attention on short-lived development initiatives. The Continuity of resultant gains disappear the moment intervention becomes, obsolete. The time is now ripe to look at development initiatives in a long-term perspective which could become a sustainable feature. A long-term strategy is, therefore, a paradigm shift from charity of the Corporate Houses. The CSR to establish SWAD-Centre then becomes a mandatory body of each Corporate House under the administrative control of the Department of Extension Education Services. Long-term strategy does not end in a year or two. It requires a minimum of 5 years tenure for tangible results with one year additional as a zero-base period for establishing the S WAD-Centre.

Small Business Houses can pool up their resources, each one adopting one village in a cluster of Five Villages. The SWAD-Centre model is relevant to all the developing countries where people live in village communities in densely populated rural areas. In order to encourage the Corporate Houses to discharge` their CSR with commitment, the respective Government should give them the rebate in corporate taxes for the entire amount spent in SWAD-Centre. Micro details of the SWAD-Centre are beyond the scope of this Editorial. The Writer / Chief Editor Dr. Om Verma is available for consultancy of establishing S WAD-Centre anywhere in the World.

Dr. O. S. Verma
Chief Editor

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Persuading Landholders to Participate in a Riparian Land management program, 1-15.

Jonathon Howard & Stuart Roberton
Institute for Land, Water and Society, School of Environmental and Information Sciences
Charles Sturt University
Albury 2640 Australia
E-mail: jhoward@esu.edu.au

There is increasing interest amongst policy makers in the practical application of the use of market based instruments to achieve sustainable land management and as such it is important for extension officers to know how to apply these new programs. This study sought to examine landholders experiences associated with the communication campaign used to promote an auction based conservation program (River Tender). We found that River Tender was of interest to those landholders who tended to be lifestyle property owners, new owners or landholders with a non-rural background rather than full-time farmers. Critical aspects in persuading them to participate were (1) using a variety of media; (2) providing clear and concise information about what the program was trying to achieve in terms that landholders could understand; (3) partnering with other organizations to ensure consistent messages were given; and (4) ensuring that there were supporting guidelines’ for tender bids that minimized paperwork and ensured fair and transparent processes.

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Perceptions of Farmers towards Privatization of Livestock Extension Services in Iran, 16-33.

A. Rezvanfar, Associate Professor
F. Arabi, M.Sc. student
R. Rezaei, Ph.D. Scholar

Department of Agricultural Extension and Education
Faculty of Agricultural Economics and Development
Agriculture and Natural Resources Campus
University of Tehran, Karaj-Iran

The main objective of this study was to investigate farmers’ perceptions towards the privatization of veterinary and livestock extension services in Iran. The study was carried out through a survey method. To study the farmers’ perceptions and associated factors, a sample of 1200 farmers was selected by the use of a “multi-level stratified random sampling” method. Data were collected through interview schedules. The findings revealed that there was a significant relationship between perception of the farmers and independent variables consisting of age, educational level, level of agricultural production, and level of income from agriculture. According to multivariate regression analysis, 41 percent of the changes in farmers’ perceptions towards the privatization of livestock extension services were due to their educational level, level of agricultural production, level of income from agriculture, and level of income from livestock production.

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Socioeconomic Factors in Packaging & Delivery of Agricultural Extension Message in Ogun State, Nigeria, 34-48.

E. Fabusoro, C. I. Sodiya, & C. I.Alarima
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
University of Agriculture
Abeokuta, Nigeria

The study was conducted to determine the socio-economic factors influencing packaging and delivery of agricultural extension message. A sample of 85 respondents comprising of Village Extension Agents, Subject Matter Specialists, Block Extension Agent, Block Extension Supervisors and Zonal Manager were chosen and interviewed using a structured questionnaire to elicit responses. Descriptive analysis such as percentage, mean and cumulative percentage as well principal component analysis (PCA) were used in analyzing the data. It was found that certain factors play major role in packaging and delivery of extension Location of clientele, access to physical inputs, norms, belief and value of and span of control of extension officers played major role in packaging of message while factors such as gender and education level of clientele, age, belief and value of clientele played major role in delivery of extension message. The study recommends that adequate consideration should be given to these factors in packaging and delivery of extension messages before designing any technology package. The government should provide adequate fund for activities of the extension outfit and provide basic mobility equipment to be able to locate easily at their different locations. More agro-service centres at the local should be established to make agricultural inputs readily available to farmers in the State.

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Farmer Typologies: Developing a Targeted Market Segmentation Approach to Enhancing On-farm Change, 49-65.

Jay Cummins, Gurjeet Gill, & David Coventry
School of Agriculture
Food and Wine
University of Adelaide, Australia

Jim Fortune
Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation
Adelaide, Australia

Factors that influence the adoption of technology by Australian farmers is not always clearly understood. Extension efforts fall short of creating change, limited to creating awareness. The transfer of information frequently occurs in a linear fashion, despite the popularization of farming systems approaches to group extension. A study of 2,472 farming businesses in Australia identified a range of farmer typologies through a market segmentation approach (primarily based upon adoptive behaviour, personal and situational characteristics) utilizing principal component analysis and k-means analysis. Logical reasons for non-adoption of technologies were clearly established among different typology groups. It is now possible to better target extension efforts based upon farmer typologies, to effectively introduce change on farm in resource limited extension environments.

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Impediments to Farmer Use of Extension services Private Agro-Firms in South-Eastern Niger, 66-77.

Benjamin I. Isife
Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension
Rivers State University of Science and Technology
Port Harcourt
Rivers State, Nigeria
E-mail: benisife@yahoo.com

The study was conducted in Enugu, Ebonyi and Rivers State, South-Eastern Nigeria, to examine constraints to farmers’ use of the extension services of private agribusiness firms operating in the zone. Data were collected from sixty (60) farmers and fifteen (15) sales agents, using questionnaires. Percentages, mean scores, factor analysis and analysis of variance were applied for data analysis. The study identified high cost and scarcity of farm inputs, poor work attitude of sales agents, poor extension publicity and poor extension trainings as major constraints to farmers’ of the services of the agro-firms. An insignificant difference existed in the factors limiting individual farmers’ use of the extension services of the agro-firms (0.05). A liberalized business operation cost, taxes and import duties on agricultural goods by government, regular advertisement and announcement of extension activities of the firms, and update and relevant trainings of sales agents are needed enhance farmers’ use of the services of the agro-firms.

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Convergence of Management and Technology Systems for Enhanced Accountability in Extension, 78-90.

John G. Richardson
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Agricultural and Extension Education
Box 7607
N.C. State University
Raleigh, NC 27695 USA
E-mail: john-richardson@ncsu.edu

This paper focuses on the continuing evolution of extension accountability, to include the convergence of newer technologies with management systems. From an all-paper system to early models of computer-generated reports, through the current-day integrated systems capabilities that new information technologies are providing has led to newly developed integrated reporting and accountability systems in some states, and the ensuing development of one North Carolina as well. These systems, while once only focused on the rudiments of reporting teaching contacts and narrative reports of program accomplishments, have now reached a level of capability whereby both personnel management information and program accountability information can all be extracted from a single reporting system.

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Innovation and Beyond Tensions in the Family of Reform, 91-102.

William M. Rivera
University of Maryland
College Park, USA
E-mail: wr@umd.edu

This paper addresses the tensions among various proposals for the reform of public sector agricultural extension. The introduction reviews the dialogue surrounding these reforms. The body of the paper discusses the tension between demand-led privatization measures and participatory extension. Privatization is then examined alongside the call for institutional pluralistic extension systems. These two ‘tensions’ underline the need for unambiguous principles. My underlying premise emphasizes the need for farmers to be empowered prior to entering an external commercial system. Finally, the contemporary pressure to expand extension program purposes to include issues such as health, family planning and environmental protection is questioned. The latter tension underscores the elemental need for extension to have clear purpose.

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India in Global Comparative Perspective, 103-134.

Om. S. Verma
Ex-President, Indian Society of Extension Education
Chief Editor, Journal of Extension Systems
C-25/2, Kendriya Mar, Sector-38, Nerul (W)
New Bombay 400706, INDIA

Ratna Tewari
Professor & Head
Department of Extension Education
SNDT Women’s University
Juhu Road, Santacruz (W)
Mumbai 400049

India has become the 11th largest economy in the world as it has crossed a trillion dollar threshold with its GDP valued at Rs. 41, 00,000 crore for 2006-07. At the current exchange rate, it translates into a little more than a Trillion Dollars. With this, India has moved into the Elite club of 11 Economic Powerhouses that enjoy this distinction. This development means that all of the 11 biggies will be over a trillion dollars in size, the United States leading the list with $ 13.46 trillion, as its GDP. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the monetary value of all the finished goods produced within the country. It consists of private and public consumption, Government outlays and Investments, and Net Exports (Exports minus Imports) usually calculated on annual basis. It is generally used to measure Economic Growth and Standard of Living of the people.

With these developments, India’s overall Competitiveness has moved into 48th place in the world as per the Geneva-Based World Economic Forum’s 2007 Global Competitiveness Rankings Report. It means the Country’s economy has become strong at macro level with more budget surpluses and low deficits, independence of public institutions, low public sector corruption, and advancement in technological services. There are several other parameters on which India is a notable country in World’s Comparative Perspective. These parameters are explored in this paper.

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