Journal of Extension Systems

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2007, Volume 23(1), June

O. S. Verma, Editorial

  1. Adoption of Internet in Agriculture, Anastasios Michailidis
  2. Analysis of Adoption and Use of ICTs among Irish Farm Families, Padraig Wims
  3. Agricultural Extension Officials and Utilization of Information and Communication Technologies in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, Akpabio, I. A.
  4. Contribution of Communication Channels and Information Sources to the Adoptions of Fish Farming Innovations in Iran, Yousef Hedjazi & Hadi Veisi
  5. Extensionists And Researchers Proficiency Requirements in Information & Communication Technologies In South Eastern Nigeria, O. M. Adesope, A. C. Agumagu, & E. L. Adebayo
  6. Appropriateness of E-learning Based Information Technology to Improve the Productivity of Crops, Ahmed Reza Ommani & Mohammad Chizari
  7. Effectiveness Indicators of Public, Private, and NGOs' Agricultural Extension Programs In Karnataka State, India, R. Saravanan & V. Veerabhadraiah
  8. Barriers to Effective Privatization and Commercialization of Agricultural Extension Service in Nigeria: Perception of Extension Professionals, Nicholas Ozor
  9. Extension Activities for Sustainable Potato Production in Bhutan: Problems, Needs, and Opportunities, W. Roder, K. Nidup & S. Blaser

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PURSUITS OF HAPPINESS

Happiness is one of the indicators of Prosperity. Therefore, Human Development Index used by the United Nations Development Program to compare levels of development and the impact of economic policies for every country in the World should incorporate Happiness and well being of the people in HDI scheme of things. Five topics: (1) Decent work, (2) Physical Safety, (3) Empowerment, (4) Measures of shame, and (5) Elimination of Subjective Humiliation can radically bring positive change in this equation, As reported by the Economists at Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative, Bolivia may soon become the first country in the world to include these 5 parameters in its census.

Asked to rate both their Happiness and Long Term Life Satisfaction, top 10 happiest countries found in Europe are listed below.

Happiest countries

  1. Denmark
  2. Finland
  3. Ireland
  4. Sweden
  5. Holland
  6. Luxembourg
  7. Belgium
  8. Austria
  9. UK
  10. Spain
Danes are the happiest people in Europe. Denmark is famed for Anderson, Schmelchel, and Extreme Happiness. What is the secret of their contentedness? Danish people have trounced many of their European cousins. Why? There are 8 pursuits of this happiness: (1) Pleasant work life balance with People leaving the office on time, jumping on effective public transport, and heading off to pick up their delightful children from a shiny well run kindergarten, (2) Low expectations of life account for their happy disposition, (3) Pleasant quality of life. Danes take a more realistic view of life, (4) Denmark is very consumer-oriented and very family- oriented. People are sure to leave work at 4.30 pm. They work their 8 hours and go home. Pressure to work overtime does not exist, (5) Denmark has 37 hours per week. Parents get 52 weeks of maternity paternity leave. Usually, 24 weeks at full pay and the rest as much as 90 per cent pay. Child care is subsidised with no parent being asked to pay more than 25 per cent of the cost, (6) In other parts of Europe, globalization is perceived as a Threat. For Danes, 70 per cent think globalization is an opportunity, (7) People have a lot of faith in Government as an institution. The authorities are normally competent, uncorrupt, and approachable, (8) Safe streets of Copenhagen a surprise to foreign visitors. Children safely bike to school in the suburbs of Copenhagen.

According to Global Opinion Trends 2002-2007, a survey conducted by Pew Global Attitudes Project in 47 countries involving 4500 interviews concluded that the world seems to be a happier place for people living in the developing world. Their income may be low and their Life tough, but the mood is upbeat. They are more satisfied with their personal lives, incomes, and national conditions as compared to the developed world. People in developing countries are more optimistic about the future. This is in sharp contrast to many developed nations like the USA, the UK, Germany, and France where people are not overly excited about the present possibly because their per captain GDP gains have been less robust compared to those of many developing countries. They are not too enthusiastic about the future. Most have negative feelings about the kind of life the next generation will lead. In France, for example, 80 per cent say when their children grow up they will be worse off than people of today's generation. Substantial Majorities in Germany, Japan, Italy, UK, USA, and Canada are also Pessimistic regarding the next generation's overall prospects. Unlike in the developing world, satisfaction with national conditions is flat in most advanced nations. Compare this with Africa, where most people say their lives will be better 5 years from now. Majority also feel their children will grow up to be better off. This belief is widespread in other developing and emerging countries as well. In china, for instance, 80 per cent look ahead to a better life for their kids. Nearly 42 per cent of Indians are found satisfied with their lives as also with their Nation. A whopping 77 per cent said they were satisfied with the Government and leadership. Most Indian, therefore, are happy and foresee a better future.

The US youths find Happiness in Family ties and not in something like sex, drugs, a little rock 'n'roll, some cash, and the car keys. According to an extensive Survey -2007 conducted by Associated Press and MTV on the Nature of Happiness Among America's Young, nearly 75 per cent of 1280 young Americans between the age group of 13 and 24 overwhelmingly say that their relationship with their parents and spending time with Family makes them most happy, more than anything else. And then some Techies like cell phone, Internet and other technologies, not sex, make them happy. It's good news to hear young people being realistic about what really makes them happy, says Psychologist Jean Twenge Professor at San Diego State University. There is a controversy whether money can buy Happiness. Although many scientists have found that there is no relationship between Money and Happiness, but that's a myth. Economist Andrew Oswald of the University of-Warwick in England says that there is overwhelming evidence to prove that Money buys happiness. Main debate is how strong the effect is. Daniel Kahneman a Nobel Prize Winner Princeton Economist and his colleagues have recently declared the notion that making a lot of money produces good overall mood is "Mostly illusory". Their theory is that rather than asking for a summary estimate of happiness, follow people through the day and repeatedly record their feelings. It will result in less effect of income on happiness. So, the connection between Money and Happiness is a complex phenomenon.

There is one School of Thought, which says that Money can either be the Root of Evils (ROE) or Basis of Pleasure and Culture (BOPC). The ROE is stereotype and traditional approach wherein Wealthy Misers prorogate self-centered Attitude towards life. Although this approach brings different levels of personal satisfaction but it does not instill the true sense of Happiness. The Basis of Happiness lies in BOPC approach. Our own life experiences and mass media messages shape up our reactions to Money. Financial status makes little difference to-the underlying attitudes to Money. Contentment in life comes when we view money as the basis of pleasure and culture. Take for example "Generosity" It can be viewed in ROE approach as a "Give and Take" process whereas in BOPC it is "Give to others Make them Happy". A Generous Pauper brings happiness not only in himself/herself but also in others. Wealthy Miser, on the other hand, is deprived of pleasure and happiness in life. So, take a look at your underlying attitudes towards Money and find that happiness has little to do with how much Wealth you have. In order to be Happy, develop your own values, create a good and conducive relationship, love giving to others, live within your means, help any one close to you, and try to use Logic to resolve issues. All these traits are vital elements of BOPC approach: The Basis of Happiness.

Dr. O. S. Verma
Chief Editor

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Adoption of Internet in Agriculture, 1-13.

Anastasios Michailidis
Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Department of Agricultural Economics, School of Agriculture
541 24 Thessaloniki, Greece
E-mail: Tassosm@agro.auth.gr

Landholders in rural areas are increasing their use of computers and the Internet. This is because of the increased availability of hardware, software and communications infrastructure at reasonable cost. However, it is unclear what all the benefits of adopting a new technology are. It may be that the primary benefits are simply cost reductions; for example, the time saved in financial bookkeeping. Other reasons might include potential gains to productions; keeping pace with regulatory and other external changes, or improved marketing opportunities. The main reason for carrying out this study was to evaluate the adoption of computers and internet among farmers and to determine the importance of an agricultural extension service as an information source in a particular region in Northern Greece.

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Analysis of Adoption and Use of ICTs among Irish Farm Families, 14-28.

Padraig Wims
School of Biology and Environmental Science
University College Dublin, Ireland
E-mail: P.Wims@ucd.ie

This paper identified the level of ICT adoption and usage among Irish farmers and examined personal and farm situational factors associated with these. Data were obtained from one hundred farmers who were randomly selected for personal interview; these represented a good cross section of Irish farmers for whom ICT adoption would be expected. It was found that 56% of respondents owned a home PC while 48% had home internet connectivity. Only 64% of those with a PC used this for farming matters while 27% had farm management software. The personal factors found to be associated with ICT adoption included: middle age; married; with dependent children, particularly with older school-going children. Respondents were more likely to have adopted ICT if they or their spouses had off-farm income; if farming medium sized farms and if their main enterprise was suckling beef. The addition of ICTs among the Irish farming community compared favourably with that of the general population of Ireland and with the farming communities of UK, USA, and continental Europe but the levels of adoption were considerably lower than those of the Scandinavian countries. It was concluded that while levels of adoption were reasonable, the usage of ICT for farm management purposes was low.

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Agricultural Extension Officials and Utilization of Information and Communication Technologies In the Niger Delta, Nigeria, 29-41.

Akpabio, I. A.
Agricultural Economics and Extension Department
University of Uyo, PMB 1017, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria
E-mail: dr.akpabio@yahoo.com

The researcher attempted to determine the level of utilization of information and communication technologies (ICT) for agricultural extension activities by Agricultural Extension officers in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. Data were derived from 120 Agricultural Extension Officers affiliated to public extension agencies, and 40 Agricultural Extension Officers affiliated to private extension agencies. Findings revealed that public extension officers utilized a wider range of ICT (especially the broadcast and print ICT) than their private agency counterparts. Private Extension Officers, however, utilized more of telecommunication computer ICTs, which are faster means of accessing agro-technological information. T-test statistics revealed the existence of significant differences in the utilization of broadcast /audio visual and print technologies between the two groups of Extension Officers. Recommendations have been to expand the ICT utilization base of extension personnel.

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Contribution of Communication Channels and Information Sources to the Adoptions of Fish Farming Innovations in Iran, 42-54.

Yousef Hedjazi
Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education
University of Tehran, Karaj-Iran
E-mail: yhejazi@ut.ac.ir

Hadi Veisi
Assistant Professor, Agricultural Extension and Education
University of Shahid Beheshti
E-mail: h_veisi@gmail.com

This research aims to determine the role of communication channels &, information sources in the adoption of fish farming technologies. A sample of 116 fish farmers who had an experience of two times fish culturing in Kurdistan province of Iran were studied. To collect data, a questionnaire was employed. Cronbach's alpha was used to find the validity of the questionnaire. Cronbach's alpha coefficient was 786/o which indicates the validity of the questionnaire. Research results showed that fish farmers Communication with the extension agents, experts and other fish farmers as information sources, had a significant positive relationship with their adoption of fish farming technologies. Based on regression analysis results, among personal and social characteristics, education and experience and among information sources, extension agents, other fish resources and fisheries experts, and among communication channels visits, Films, Magazines, and workshops affected the adoption rate of the fish farming technologies more than other variables.

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Extensionists and Researchers Proficiency Requirements in Information and Communication Technologies In Southeastern Nigeria, 55-69.

O. M. Adesope, A. C. Agumagu, & E. L. Adebayo
Department Of Agricultural Economics and Extension
University of Portharcourt, Nigeria
E-mail: omadesope@yahoo.co.uk

The study focused on extensionists and researchers proficiency requirements in information and communication Technologies in south eastern Nigeria. Data were obtained with the aid of structured questionnaire from 133 randomly selected respondents made up of 106 Researchers and 27 Extension agents in the study area. The results of the study revealed that Researchers had mean Information Technology self- rating of 1.49, while Extensionists had mean IT rating of 2.29, implying that extensionists had higher mean IT skill rating than Researchers. The study revealed that higher proficiency requirement was recorded for extensionists in the 6 ICT tools identified for the study as against 3 for Researchers. Among the 6 ICT tools where Extensionists recorded higher proficiency needs, they indicated higher mean scores for all 10 components of electronic mail (E-mail), 9 components of World Wide Web (www) out of 14 components, all 4 components of CD Rom, 1 component of chatroom out of the 5 components, I component of Electronic spreadsheet out of the 4 components.

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Appropriateness of E-learning based Information Technology to Improve the Productivity of Crops, 70-80.

Ahmed Reza Ommani
Department of Agriculture, Islamic Azad University-Shoushtar Branch
P.O. Box 6144996181, Shoushtar, Iran
E-mail: ommani75451@yahoo.com

Mohammad Chizari
Department of Agricultural Extension and Education
Tarbiat Modaress University, College of Agriculture
P.O. Box 14155-4838, Tehran, Iran
E-mail: Mchizari@modares.ac.ir

The main objective of this article is to analyze the perceptions of agricultural extension agents of Khuzestan Province of Iran regarding the appropriateness of e-learning-based Information Technology (IT) to improve the productivity of crops. A questionnaire was developed with the population of the study consisting of agricultural extension agents of Khuzestan province (N=128). Respondents who participated in this study were selected through the random sampling technique (n=96). The results of the study revealed that there was a significant relationship between the IT skill and knowledge, income, social participation, the extent of information-seeking motivation, level of job satisfaction, and level of education with perceptions of agricultural extension agents regarding the appropriateness of e-learning-based Information Technology. Level of Education, IT knowledge, social participation, level of job satisfaction, income and the extent of information-seeking motivation may well account for 76% (R'=0.764) of changes in perceptions of agricultural extension agents.

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Effectiveness Indicators of Public, Private, and NGOs' Agricultural Extension Programs In Karnataka State, India, 81-97.

R. Saravanan
Department of Extension Education and Rural Sociology
College of Horticulture and Forestry
Central Agricultural University (CAU)
Pasighat 791 102, Arunachal Pradesh (state), India
E-mail: saravananraj@hotmail.com

V. Veerabhadraiah
Former Director of Extension & Emeritus Professor (ICAR)
UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES (UAS)
BANGALORE 560 024, KARNATAKA (STATE), INDIA

Considering a pluralistic extension, a research study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of public, private and NGOs extension programs in three districts of Karnataka State, India. Based on judges' relevancy ratings, an index has been developed made up of 21 indicators in input, process, and outcome level. To measure the extension program's organizational effectiveness, information was collected from 210 clientele and 150 extension personnel covered by public, private, and NGOs' agricultural extension organizations like Farmers' Contact Centres (FCCs), Agri-Business Firms (ABFs), Agricultural Consultanies (ACs), and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs'). Research findings reflect that the NGOs and agricultural consultancies extension service programs ensure regular contact, adequate, and useful agricultural extension service, accountable, committed, and highly performing extension personnel, better organizational performance, and high clientele satisfaction. Based on the findings, it is recommended that the strength of NGOs and agricultural consultancies need to be inculcated in the public extension system through public-private-NGOs partnership programmes.

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Barriers to Effective Privatization and Commercialization of Agricultural Extension Service in Nigeria: Perception of Extension Professionals, 98-115.

Nicholas Ozor
Department of Agricultural Extension
Faculty of Agriculture
University of Nigeria
Enugu State, Nigeria
E-mail: sunny_ozor@yahoo.com

Increasing private sector participation in the delivery and funding of agricultural extension service in Nigeria has not recorded any meaningful success since the public enterprise decree of 1999 which established the privatization and commercialization (P&C) of public enterprises commenced its operation in year 2000. This is not unconnected with numerous barriers that block the participation of private sectors in service provision and funding. This study ascertained the perception of extension professionals on why P&C of extension service has not succeeded in Nigeria. All the 62 field extension workers and 55 extension administrators in Enugu State of Nigeria participated in the Study. Percentage scores and factor analysis were used in realizing the objectives. Results identified unstable government policies and regulations; misconception of private agencies; and poor economic as the major barriers to P&C of extension service in Nigeria. The study concludes that the extent to which P&C of extension service can succeed largely depends on how the identified barriers are properly addressed by all stakeholders.

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Extension Activities for Sustainable Potato Production in Bhutan: Problems, Needs, and Opportunities, 116-130.

W. Roder, K. Nidup, & S. Blaser
E-mail: wrjakar@druknet.bt

This paper presents an analysis of technology transfer and adoption by potato farmers in the mountainous regions of Bhutan, where the potato is the most important cash crop in regions above 2000m accounting for 70-100% of the agricultural products sold in the market. The objectives of the investigations carried out were to document current practices and to identify problems and opportunities in extension delivery methods. The country has a good extension system with an extension agent (EA) for agriculture for every 200-400 households. Adoption of potato production as an income generator was very fast, but adoption of recommendations on seed replacement, crop rotation, and technologies for soil conservation was poor. Extension messages given were consistent among EAs. The consistency of message given by the agent (feedback EA) and the message received by the producer (feedback producer) ranged from 19-97%. Conflicting messages on soil fertility management and soil conservation are a major concern given the mountainous topography that was farmed. Potato-specific references and extension materials are needed by EAs working with potato producers.

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