Journal of Extension Systems

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2008, Volume 24(2), December

  1. Farmers’ Use of Brandenburg’s Privatised Extension, Sonja Dimter, Andrea Knierim, & Uwe Jens Nagel
  2. Theorizing the Role of Cooperative Extension in the Global Era, Terrence Thomas, Victor Ofori-Boadu, & Edward Fosu
  3. A New Role of Mediator for Extension Services: a Challenge for the Chambers of Agriculture in France, Compagnone Claude, Petit Sandrine, & Bruno
  4. Factors Affecting Sustainability of OGADEP Womens Groups in Ogun State Nigeria, Ayinde, A. F. O., Awotunde, J. M, Omotayo, A. M., & Adeoti, A. Y. A.
  5. Improving Group-Based Extension Approaches in a Decentralised Agricultural Extension Context: Key Considerations from a Ghanaian Case Study, Ernest L. Okorley, David Gray, & Janet Reid
  6. The Role of Seed Improvement Projects in improving household food security in Zambia: A Valuable Role for Extension, Pádraig Wims & Kingsly Zimba
  7. Factors Affecting the Performance of the Agricultural Advisors in Increasing Production in the Wheat Self- sufficiency Plan (WSP) in Iran, Seyed Jamal F. Hosseini, Fereshteh Ghiasi, & William Rivera
  8. Causes and Effects of Job Burnout among Agricultural Extension Agents in Kwara State, Nigeria, R. Ogunlade, Solagberu Adisa, L. L. Adefalu, S. A. Aderinoye, & S. A. Adebayo

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Farmers’ Use of Brandenburg’s Privatised Extension; x-xx.

Sonja Dimter
Humboldt-Universität Berlin
Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Extension and Communication Group
Germany
sonjadimter@yahoo.de (corresponding author)

Andrea Knierim
Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research
Müncheberg, Germany

Uwe Jens Nagel
Humboldt-Universität Berlin
Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Extension and Communication Group
Germany

In the federal state of Brandenburg, Germany, provision of agricultural extension has been privatised in the early nineties. Since then, public financial support was reduced continuously until full deletion in 2001. In 2006, an empirical study was carried out, focusing on farmers’ actual appraisal of the system and 69 managers of all types of agricultural holdings were personally interviewed. The paper presents results of the latter study on information seeking and advisory services managing activities of these farmers. Compared to findings from a similar study from 1996, a shift from modernisation topics towards general financial and production related subjects can be observed. The perceived need of general extension advice exceeds the actual demand due to financial restrictions. Priority is given to obtaining support when applying for public subsidies. While some farmers appreciate the increased user orientation, most farmers tend to diversify their information-sources including commercial salespeople. Dissatisfaction is expressed with regard to the information dissemination of the public authorities.

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Theorizing the Role of Cooperative Extension in the Global Era; xx-xx.

Terrence Thomas
twthomas@ncat.edu (corresponding author)
North Carolina A&T State University, U.S.A.

Victor Ofori-Boadu & Edward Fosu
North Carolina A&T State University, U.S.A.

Deficiencies in the performance of government and the market in provisioning for communities have led to the rapid growth of community grassroots organizations, which work to provide for the needs of communities through community governance. The growth of local community action in provisioning for their communities bring to the fore new issues related to the role of Extension in enabling community governance and collaboration in addressing community problems. We argue that Cooperative Extension will be called on to work more with processes and less with specific facts; its focus will be on managing the “performance of knowledge” in solving complex problems and in integrating the activities of diverse groups into a coherent approach to advance community prosperity. Our thesis is that Extension has a pivotal role in enabling diverse groups of CBOs to work within the process of community governance to deliver the unmet needs of communities.

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A New Role of Mediator for Extension Services: a Challenge for the Chambers of Agriculture in France; xx-xx.

Compagnone Claude
ENESAD, INRA, UR 718
Laboratoire de recherche sur les Innovations socio-Techniques et organisationnelles en agriculture
26 boulevard du Dr Petitjean BP 87999
F-21000 Dijon, France
c.compagnone@enesad.fr (corresponding author)

Petit Sandrine
INRA, UR 718
F-21000 Dijon, France

Bruno
ENESAD, INRA UR 718
F-21000 Dijon, France

Agriculture has been put in a new position regarding other activities and territorial actors by the emergence of the policy guideline given by the concept of sustainable development. Based on an analysis of literature and field study cases, our research examined this new position making the following hypothesis : in new local places where decisions are made, the capacity of agriculture to intervene depends on its capacity to hold a position of mediation. We focus in particular on the case of Chambers of Agriculture which play in France a key role in the development of agriculture. We come to the conclusion that it is necessary for Chambers of Agriculture to establish a certain “autonomy” to take on their role of mediation. This paper develops sociological approaches and reflects a close collaboration with agricultural organisations.

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Factors Affecting Sustainability of OGADEP Womens Groups in Ogun State Nigeria; xx-xx.

Ayinde, A. F. O.
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
funkeayinde@yahoo.com (corresponding author)
University of Agriculture
Abeokuta, Nigeria

Awotunde, J. M, & Omotayo, A. M.
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
University of Agriculture
Abeokuta, Nigeria

Adeoti, A. Y. A.
Department of Crop Protection
University of Agriculture
Abeokuta, Nigeria

This study assessed the sustainability of activities of Ogun State Agricultural Development Programme (OGADEP) women farmer groups. Multi-stage and simple random sampling techniques were used to select 36 groups that comprised a total of 180 members. Data collected were analysed using percentage tables and regression analysis. The average membership of the women group was 29 people with an average age of members being 49 years. Eighty-three percent were married while 30% had primary education. Factors affecting sustainability of groups’ activities included member’s educational level (p < 0.01), income (p < 0.05), groups’ total asset base (p < 0.10), consistency of member’s contribution (p < 0.05), membership attendance (p < 0.01) and Block Extension Agents’ (BEAs) attendance at meetings (p < 0.01). The study also found out that the women groups were positively disposed to the activities of BEAs. The study recommended that the BEAs should intensify their efforts in assisting women groups and women farmers to have more virile and sustainable groups.

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Improving Group-Based Extension Approaches in a Decentralised Agricultural Extension Context: Key Considerations from a Ghanaian Case Study; xx-xx.

Ernest L. Okorley
Department of Agric. Economics and Extension
leokorley@yahoo.com (corresponding author)
University of Cape Coast, Ghana

David Gray & Janet Reid
Agricultural/Horticultural Systems & Management
Institute of Natural Resources, Massey University
Palmerston North, New Zealand

To improve agricultural extension delivery to meet the needs of majority of farmers in Ghana, there has been a shift in emphasis from one-on-one extension to group-based extension delivery. Although this was a critical part of the agricultural extension decentralisation policy in Ghana, the extension service has struggled to implement group-based approaches effectively. To find answers to this problem, a single-case study of a successful decentralised district level extension organisation in Ghana was used to identify the factors that can contribute to improve group-based approaches in agricultural extension delivery. The factors identified in this study include: working through needs-based rather than location-based groups to target extension services to the common needs underpinning the groups; targeting both farm enterprise-based groups, and other special interest groups; developing needs-based groups into business-oriented farmer cooperatives groups; collaborating with relevant organisations to provide the groups with training in group management and cooperative practices; and assisting groups to acquire capital for their farming ventures. The findings can be used by extension organisations and policy makers to build and improve group-based approaches in extension delivery.

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The Role of Seed Improvement Projects in improving household food security in Zambia: A Valuable Role for Extension; xx-xx.

Pádraig Wims
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science
University College Dublin
P.Wims@ucd.ie (corresponding author)

Kingsly Zimba
UCD School of Biology and Environmental Science
University College Dublin

Agriculture is the livelihood of 60 percent of the Zambian population with small-scale farmers being the main providers of food. The Zambian government undertook the Agricultural Sector Investment Plan (ASIP) since 1994 to improve food security and stimulate economic growth. A major component of the ASIP was the Seed Multiplication and Distribution Project. Extension, through the widespread use of demonstration plots and formation of framer associations, was an integral component of this project. This paper provides a critique and evaluation of this project. Solwezi District in Northwest province provided data for this study. Quantitative and qualitative tools were employed. A formal survey was complemented with field observations and PRA and RRA techniques. Secondary data were also reviewed. It was found that the Seed Multiplication and Distribution Project positively influenced the livelihoods of the target beneficiaries and those of the surrounding communities. Farmers with access to improved seed increased output, improved their incomes and their household food security situation. These effects diffused to surrounding communities, albeit at a low rate. It was concluded that seed multiplication and distribution projects are a valuable activity for extension agencies.

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Factors Affecting the Performance of the Agricultural Advisors in Increasing Production in the Wheat Self- sufficiency Plan (WSP) in Iran; xx-xx.

Seyed Jamal F. Hosseini
Jamalfhosseini@yahoo.com (corresponding author)
Agriculture Extension and Education Dept
Islamic Azad University

Fereshteh Ghiasi
Takestan Branch
Islamic Azad University

William Rivera
University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland

The availability of specialized human resources is one of the most important factors in the development process. The agricultural sector in Iran faces a shortage of specialized human resources to help farmers. The Ministry of Agriculture, as a part of privatization of advisory and extension services, has been hiring university graduates in the field of agriculture to work in the Wheat Self-sufficiency Plan (WSP). To assess the performance of these advisors, we looked at factors affecting the performance of advisors in increasing wheat production in Qazvin Province. Data collected by survey and a questionnaire were developed and their reliability and validity were confirmed. The collected data were analyzed by using SPSS software. The results indicated a significant positive relationship between the educational level, work experience, number of contacts with farmers, number of contacts with the agricultural researchers, relevance of trainings for advisors, use of educational tools, and technical support from Ministry of Agriculture as independent variables and the performance of advisors in increasing production as the dependent variable. The results also showed that the kind of supervisory role had a positive impact on performance of advisors. Regression analysis indicated that the technical supportive role of the Ministry of Agriculture, the number of contacts of advisors with farmers, and the advisors’ educational level had positive impacts on advisors’ performance in increasing wheat production.

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Causes and Effects of Job Burnout among Agricultural Extension Agents in Kwara State, Nigeria; xx-xx.

R. Ogunlade, Solagberu Adisa, L. L. Adefalu, S. A. Aderinoye, & S. A. Adebayo
Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development
University of Ilorin
Ilorin, Nigeria

Socio-psychological effects of unfavourable working situations portend grave consequences for employee well-being and productivity. This study investigated the incidence, causes, and effects of job burnout among Agricultural Extension Agents (EAs) in Kwara State, Nigeria. Structured questionnaire consisting of statements on five-point Likert-type scales was used to collect data from the 51 (60%) randomly selected respondents. Percentages, means, chi-square and correlation statistics were used to analyze data. Results showed that majority of respondents were male, below 40 years and with no university education. Major burnout symptoms were feelings of frustration (M = 4.8) and boredom (M = 4.5). Inadequate remuneration (M = 4.48); poor training (M = 4.27); and work overload (M = 4.21) were the major causes of burnout, while physical and emotional exhaustions were the major effects. Age, education, family size, and monthly salary were significantly related to number of burnout symptoms and effects. It was recommended that to reduce burnout and its effects, EAs should be adequately motivated through higher education, training, improved remunerations and optimal workload.

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