Journal of Extension Systems

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2010, Volume 26, June

EDITORIAL: Live-in Relationship, Om S. Verma
  1. Study of a Systems Rice Intensification (SRI) Programme for Food Security in the Province of Aceh, Indonesia, Helmi Thomin
  2. Extension, Farmers, and ICTs: A Critical Review, Alex Koutsouris
  3. Establishing Contract Extension Services In Iran: A Comparative Study of Agri-Business Ventures' Consultants and Directors, Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi & Yousef Hedjazi
  4. Trends in ICT Adoption on Irish Farms - Implications for Extension, D. Murphy, L. Harte, T. Kelly, A. Kinsella, & M. Cushion
  5. Perceived Awareness Levels of Small-Scale Farmers of the Environmental, Health and Safety Implications of Pesticide Management in Agriculture in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, Mary Opoku-Asiama, Joseph A. Kwarteng, & Paul Mathias Braun
  6. Privatization of Extension and Collective Procedures for the Production of Knowledge: Lessons from a Comparison between South and North, Pierre Labarthe & Ismail M. Moumouni
  7. Barriers to Seasonal Climate Forecast Use in Farming Decisions: A Case of Iranian Wheat Growers, Maryam Sharifzadeh, Gholam Hossein Zamani, Ezatollah Karami, & Davar Khalili
  8. Impact of Training and Demonstration in Adoption of Henna Production Technology by Farmers, M.L. Meena & Dheeraj Singh
  9. News, Views, and Reviews, You Can Use, O. S. Verma

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EDITORIAL: Live-in Relationship

Dr. Om Verma
Chief Editor

Wife and live-in partner are two different entities. Definition of the word "wife" denotes a legal sanctity given to a man to have sex with a woman and produce children to be his legitimate heirs. In most of the Societies and cultures, this is called "Marriage" or wedding between a man and woman and is considered Sacrosanct. In the nature of marriage, couples so-wedded live together as wife and husband. This is an age-old social norm where both the partners enjoy a legal sanction to consummation. The ties so-made between male and female are accepted in most societies as legal husband and legal wife.

Live-in relationship or live-in partner carries a different connotation. Here, the word "wife" includes a woman living with a man as his wife for a reasonably long period without having any legal sanction. She thinks she is married to a man and has been living with him as his wife but finds that the marriage is void due to him already having a previous "legal wife". She has no documents to prove that she is his wife.

There are several other glaring examples which tantamount to live-in relationship. When a man marries a woman by declaring he is unmarried but he is actually married. When a man marries a woman by claiming to have divorced his first wife but actually he has not. When a man marries a woman but there are no documents to prove it or a woman lives as a man's wife and has no papers to prove it.

Critics say that a woman in live-in relationship cannot be as "Legitimate Wife". It puts marriage and Bigamy at par and trample the rights of legal wife and children. It encourages Polygamy. It also promotes Promiscuity. Hence, the Society won't give anything to woman on a platter. It is further argued that live-in relationship is made just for the sake of transient pleasure and mere passing fancy by a minuscule percentage of youngsters especially those who live in big cities. For rural-folks it is unthinkable.

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Study of a Systems Rice Intensification (SRI) Programme for Food Security in the Province of Aceh, Indonesia

Helmi Thomin
Faculty of Agriculture, Syiah Kuala University
Darussalarn-Banda Aceh Indonesia
E-mail: helmi_tm@yahoo.com

This study comprised a survey conducted in five regencies based on individual interviews covering 200 SRI and 100 non-SRI practicing farmers. In addition, farmer group discussions and stakeholder discussions supplemented the survey results. Farmers applying SRI followed to a large degree the recommended practices. Timely weeding and water management with alternate flooding/drying were among the most difficult practices for farmers. However, SRI requires intensive training with a high demand for human and financial resources. With significant lower fertilizer inputs SRI increased rice yields from 1,629 to 2,289 kg ha, an increase of 41%. The increased yield levels could be maintained for at least three years, indicating sustainability at least for the medium term. However, fields chosen by farmers to apply SRI were close to the homestead and of higher soil quality. The potential of SRI for poor environments to increase yields was rather low. A further advantage of SRI was its ability to break the labor peak during uprooting/ transplanting while the overall labor balance was neutral. SRI increased both the land and labor productivity compared to conventional practices. Farmers using SRI for the first time applied it on 21% of their rice area while more experienced farmers doubled the proportion. Hence, at household level, the marginal profit due to SRI was sufficient to supply the household's needs for rice for 2.2 and 4.6 months, respectively. It was concluded that SRI is a promising management practice to be included into the national strategy for food security action.

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Extension, Farmers, and ICTs: A Critical Review.

Alex Koutsouris
Dept. of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development
Department of Agricultural Products Marketing and Quality Control
Agricultural University of Athens
E-mail: koutsouris@aua.gr

The impact of ICTs on (rural) development is a much contested issue. Contrary to the proponents of ICTs who highlight the positive (potential) effects of ICTs, another strand highlights the 'digital divide’ as one of the most visible components of the current development divide. In the present paper, a brief review of the evolution of the concept 'digital divide' is followed by an outline of research findings showing an urban-rural divide. Further, based on a review of the available international literature, in both developing and developed countries, and examples from Greece it is argued that the adoption and use of ICTs by both extentionists and farmers and their potential impact needs to be approached with caution. Moreover, findings suggest the emergence of an intra-rural digital divide which, in turn, may be detrimental to human development, and thus to sustainable rural development. It is therefore maintained that the dominant, 'supply-driven' policy approach needs to be reversed.

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Establishing Contract Extension Services in Iran: A Comparative Study of Agri-Business Ventures' Consultants and Directors.

Seyyed Mahmoud Hashemi
Department of agricultural extension and education
University of Tehran, Iran
Email: seyyedmahmoodhashemi@gmail.com

Yousef Hedjazi
Department of Agricultural Extension Education
University of Tehran, Iran

In many countries, agricultural extension services are shifting from the public to the private sector. Since 2007, Iran has been phasing out its public extension system and replacing it with a publicly-funded contract system of extension for establishing agri-business ventures. However, globally there is no evidence indicating that the new extension system will be more effective than the one currently being phased out. The objective of this study was to assess the capacity, management and organizational characteristics of the new extension system through assessing and comparing agri-business ventures' consultants and directors’ capacity. A survey research design study was conducted among the agribusiness ventures' consultants and directors. The study found that there were significant differences between consultants and directors on important background characteristics. The researchers conclude the consequences of running this scheme may not be as it was predicted by the authorities.

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Trends in ICT Adoption on Irish Farms - Implications for Extension.

D. Murphy
PhD student, Teagasc and School of Agriculture
Food Science & Veterinary Medicine, University College Dublin
Email: dervlamurphy@hotmail.com

L. Harte
School of Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary Medicine
University College Dublin

T. Kelly
Farm Management and Technology Service

A. Kinsella
Farm Survey Department, Rural Economy Research Centre
Teagasc, Athenry, Co Galway

M. Cushion
Farm Survey Department, Teagasc, Kinsealy
Malahide Road, Dublin 17

A 2004 national survey found that Irish farmers were lagging behind the national population in terms of ICT adoption. A similar national survey was conducted using the National Farm Survey in 2008 of which the purpose was to establish the current status of ICT use by Irish farmers and to establish the factors that influence on-farm adoption of ICT. The results from the recent and the earlier surveys were analysed and compared against the available literature to benchmark Irish farmers ICT usage against other societal groups.

The results show that 51% of Irish farmers had computer access in 2008 of which 40% used the computer for farm business purposes. Of the categories examined, internet for farm communications and information and herd registers were the main applications used and it was the use of internet which showed the greatest increase in usage since 2004. Computer adoption was highest amongst farmers in the 34-49 age brackets, among those who were married and among those with children in education. Regarding computer adoption and utilisation for the farm business, dairy and tillage enterprises were most likely to use ICT. Farm size, Gross Output (GO) and Family Farm Income (FFI) were found to be positively related to ICT use in the business. The results also show that when compared against other groups in society, Irish farmers are still following behind in terms of ICT adoption.

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Perceived Awareness Levels of Small-Scale Farmers of the Environmental, Health and Safety Implications of Pesticide Management in Agriculture in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.

Mary Opoku-Asiama
Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Western Region Ghana
Email: maryoa2002@yahoo.com

Joseph A. Kwarteng
Associate Professor and Dean, School of Agriculture
University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Email: prof.kwarteng@yahoo.com

Paul Mathias Braun
German Technical Cooperation
Email: Paul-Mathias.Braun@gtz.de

One hundred and fifty randomly sampled small-scale vegetable farmers in the Ga East and Ga West districts of the Greater Accra Region of Ghana were surveyed to examine their levels of awareness of the environmental, health and safety implications of the pesticides they used. The results of the study showed that farmers were only moderately aware of the environmental, health and safety effects of the pesticides they used in agriculture. Even though farmers perceived their awareness level to be highest in the area of "waiting periods after pesticide application before harvesting," the mean value was only moderately high. Farmers' awareness levels were lowest in the area of "effects of pesticides on resurgence of pests." From the results of the study, it was quite clear that farmers' perceived awareness levels of environmental, health and safety issues in pesticides use was not enough to guarantee that they could soundly manage pesticides. There were therefore the dangers of pesticides negatively affecting public health and high pesticide residues in harvested produce as well as negative effects of pesticides on the environment, livestock, wildlife, pollinators and non- target organisms. There was also a real threat in terms of insects developing resistance and the resurgence of pests. Recommendations are offered as to what extension needs to do make farmers aware of the issues.

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Privatization of Extension and Collective Procedures for the Production of Knowledge: Lessons from a Comparison between South and North.

Pierre Labarthe
Research Fellow, French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA)
Division Science for Action and Sustainable Development (SAD), France
Email: pierre.labarthe@agroparistech.fr

Ismail M. Moumouni
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agronomy
University of Parakou, Benin
Email: mmismailfr@yahoo.fr

This paper addresses the consequences of the privatization of extension services on the collective procedures for the accumulation of technical knowledge in the agricultural sector. It is based on a comparison between North and South, through an economic institutional analysis of the agricultural knowledge system in the Netherlands, and a sociological study based on field investigations in Benin. We compared the outcomes of two historical analyses, grounded on empirical and secondary qualitative and quantitative data. Our study shows that 1) extension services played historically an important role in the settlement of collective procedures for the accumulation of knowledge; and 2) these procedures were negatively affected by the privatization of extension. The comparison highlights that this deconstruction affected both formal and informal procedures for the accumulation of knowledge. In designing privatization reforms, it is worth planning mechanism that could ensure such procedures, in North and South countries.

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Barriers to Seasonal Climate Forecast Use in Farming Decisions: A Case of Iranian Wheat Growers.

Maryam Sharifzadeh, Ph.D Student
Department of Agricultural Extension and Education
College of Agriculture
Shiraz University
Shiraz, Iran
Email: m.sharifzadeh@yahoo.com

Gholam Hossein Zamani, Professor & Ezatollah Karami, Professor
Department of Agricultural Extension and Education
College of Agriculture, Shiraz University

Davar Khalili, Associate Professor
Department of Water Engineering
College of Agriculture, Shiraz University

The development of seasonal climate forecasts has spurred widespread claims that the climate information has the potential to be of great benefit to agriculture as a climate sensitive sector. Based on the use as well as non-use aspects of this type of information, the present study aims to investigate barriers of climate forecast use in Fars province, Iran. A survey of 314 farmers identified climate forecast accuracy, accessibility, and information timeliness as critical obstacles to apply climate information in farming decisions. A related problem is that users sometimes confuse the different leading time of the forecasts as well as its geographical scale. Users' incomplete knowledge of how to decide based on probabilistic climate information may also pose an obstacle to greater use of relevant information. Training users allocating related resources, and downscaling forecasts temporally and spatially toward user communities would facilitate the trust building among users and would precede climate information use in farming decisions.

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Impact of Training and Demonstration in Adoption of Henna Production Technology by Farmers.

M. L. Meena
SMS (Agricultural Extension)
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, CAZRI
Pali-Marwar, Rajasthan
Email: moti2007m@yahoo.co.in

Dheeraj Singh
Programme Coordinator
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, CAZRI
Pali-Marwar, Rajasthan

Henna is an economically important commercial crop for arid zone of Rajasthan. Henna cultivation occupies about 44 thousand hectares in the form of field, hedges on bunds and ornamentals in the garden in India. Out of this Pali, district of Rajasthan occupies around 39,000 hectares (Anonymous, 2008).The favorable soil-climate conditions and increasing awareness among farmers regarding this crop has played a great role in the expansion of the area under its cultivation in this part of arid Rajasthan. This paper attempts to assess the impact of technologies transferred. The present investigation was based on the experimental design of social research considering the beneficiary as the experimental group and non- beneficiaries as a control group. It can be concluded that there is a significant role for KVK in the promotion of improved production technologies for henna and ensuring their adoption. There was a substantial impact of training on knowledge and adoption of tha beneficiary farmers over the non-beneficiary farmers was observed.

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NEWS, VIEWS, AND REVIEWS YOUCAN USE.

Dr. O. S. Verma

In India, share of the Government in healthcare expenditures is only 25 per cent of the total health spend while in Europe it is as high as 76 per cent. It apparently means that 75 per cent health expenditures are met by private sector. India is thus one of the best privatized healthcare systems in the world. Beside India, eight more countries fall in this bracket. These are: Ivory Coast, Laos, Congo, Cameroon, Burundi, Guinea, Pakistan, and Myanmar. The key to universal healthcare in these countries lies in strengthening various arms of their private sector healthcare machineries. World Health Organization’s 2006 theme of “Working Together For Health” demands better high-tech structure of Extension Education and health-workers network so that they could drive healthcare awareness on sound footings. This chapter of News, Views, and Reviews deals with this aspect of healthcare systems. Preventive Healthcare tips are given in this installment of the series beginning with (1) Alcoholic Drinks, (2) Coffee, and (3) Cancer.

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