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2012, Volume 28(2), December

Editorial, Fabio M. Santucci, Academic Editor

  1. Professional Competencies and Training Needs of Extension Agents for Sustainable Sawah Development in Nigeria, Alarima, C. I., Fapojuwo, O. E., Fabusoro, E., Fakoya, E. O., Masunaga, T., & Wakatsuki T.
  2. Training Programs for Rural People in Portugal: Some Clues to Improve Non- Formal Education, Koehnen, T., & Baptista, A.
  3. Training Variables Influencing Training Outcome,George, S., Venugopalan, R., Balakrishna, B., & Hegde, M. R.
  4. Factors Affecting Adoption of Innovations by Dairy Producers in India, Letha Devi G. and Prakash Khandekar
  5. Adoption of Improved Fish Preservation Technologies in Coastal Areas of Ogun State, Nigeria, Adeyanju Agbelemoge
  6. Socio-Economic Upliftment of Tribal Women through Retail Marketing in Rajasthan, Urvashi Nandal & Bhardwaj R. L.
  7. Shifting Roles in Extension, Wielinga H. E.
  8. Consumer Attitudes toward Food Production Systems and Attributes in the South-Eastern States of the U.S., Thomas T and Gunden C.
  9. Educational Reform in Kazakhstan: A Long Road but with Real Signs of Progress, Arynova A., Johnson S. R., & Suleimenov Zh. Zh.
  10. Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services - GFRAS, Davis, K.
  11. News, Views, and Reviews: Healthcare Consciousness with Spices, Om S. Verma

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EDITORIAL

Prof. Fabio Maria Santucci
c/o DSEEA, Sezione di Scienze Economiche ed Estimative
Facoltà di Agraria
Borgo XX Giugno 74, 06121 Perugia, ITALIA
E-mail: fmsant@unipg.it

Since March-2012, I received 58 papers. The large majority came from India followed by Nigeria. Other countries appeared with one or two papers. I personally rejected 19 papers because they were totally out of scope, too superficial, or largely copied. Three more papers were rejected for the same reasons by the Governors in-charge of their evaluation. In addition, I personally required major revisions from 17 authors. The number of days between arrival of the first draft and the acceptation of the second improved version varied from 30 to 181.

In this Issue, three articles covered methodological aspects of training. Three articles fall in the category of “adoption studies” where authors have investigated the conditions, the impacts, and the role of extension services that have allowed different group of stakeholders to adopt some innovation. One author from the Netherlands illustrates various concepts and approaches that the extension experts have been elaborating, developing, evaluating, and adapting during the last 140 years since the University of Cambridge first used the expression “Extension Education” in 1873. One of the most famous systems is the one established in USA where the “Land Grant Colleges” allowed the growth of Cooperative Extension Service. This public extension service mainly works within the Top-Down approach for extending appropriate knowledge to consumers. One article from US authors in this direction provides an insight on a very recent and hot subject “Organic Foods”. The last article describes the huge efforts that the Kazakh Universities have been implementing to reach international standards of quality and to put in place an educational system comparable to one established by 29 European Countries.

Dr. Om S. Verma, Chief Editor, has submitted the formal application to Thomson Reuters for ISI recognition. This could lead to attribution of an Impact Factor to the Journal and could attract papers from those researchers who need this type of recognition in their Academia. In order to obtain high ranking, quality of the papers for the next Issue must be extremely good.

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Professional Competencies and Training Needs of Extension Agents for Sustainable Sawah Development in Nigeria; 1-15.

Alarima, C. I., Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Shimane University, Matsue, Japan
Fapojuwo, O. E., Dept. of Agricultural Administration, University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Nigeria
Fabusoro, E., Dept. of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Fakoya, E. O., Dept. of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Masunaga, T., Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences, Shimane University, Matsue, Japan
Wakatsuki T., Faculty of Agriculture, Kinki University, Nara, Japan
E-mail: corneIiusalarima@yahoo.com

The purpose of this study is to assess the professional competencies and training needs of extension agents for sustainable adoption of sawah (wet rice) method of cultivation in Nigeria. Using a pre-tested questionnaire, data were collected from one hundred and twenty extension agents of the Agricultural Development Programmes from six states where wet rice cultivation is adopted in Nigeria. The results reveal that extension agents need training in the areas of layout and design, site selection, power tiller operation and management. Extension agents also require training in the areas such as conducting demonstration, communication skills, farmers training and formation of farmers groups to effectively communicate with producers. The regression analysis shows that the training needs of extension agents are significantly related to years of involvement in sawah, number of training attended and attendance of previous training. The study therefore recommends that more and better focused on-the-job training programs should be organised for the extension staff.

Keywords: Training Needs, Adoption, Extension, Sawah, Nigeria

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Training Programs for Rural People in Portugal: Some Clues to Improve Non- Formal Education; 17-33.

Koehnen, T., & Baptista, A.
CETRAD-DESG, Universidade deTrás-os-Montes eAlto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal
E-mail: tkoehnen@utad.pt

The paper concerns the evaluation of training courses in low- density rural areas within Portugal and focuses on the opinions and perspectives of the participants and their acquisition of social skills linked to the training courses. The training programs objectives were concerned with improving employment skills: The discussion addresses social capital to emphasize a non-formal educational strategy for adult rural populations and the implications in their livelihoods. Woolcock and Narayan (2000) have summarised, outlined and categorized several empirical studies surrounding social capital and their practical orientation for rural development. The studies affirm that excluded groups need to increase their social capital and relationships with other groups, entities and governmental figures to be empowered and participate in the decision-making process in their communities. The conclusions consider various clues to improve non-formal educational programs for promoting and strengthening initiatives with rural populations.

Keywords: Non-formal Education, Rural women, Rural development, Social capital

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Training Variables Influencing Training Outcome; 35-43.

George, S., Scientist, Division of Extension and Training
Venugopalan, R., Senior Scientist, Section of Economics and Statistics
Balakrishna, B., Senior Scientist, Division of Extension and Training
Hegde, M. R., Principal Scientist, Division of Extension and Training
Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bangalore-560089, India
E-mail: sajushiby@gmail.com

In house permanent education should be an important component of all research and development organizations. Statistical modeling was done to delineate the variables influencing the outcome of a horticultural training program for program executives of the Krishi Darshan programme of Doordarshan. The study points out that of the six independent variables, three variables i.e. relevance of the content, organization of the training, and practical demonstration and field visits, were positively and significantly correlated with all the three desired training outcomes i.e. knowledge, skill and interest. From the model, it is seen that 89.2% of trainees' knowledge is explained by training atmosphere, about 87% is attributed to teaching aids used and 54.4% of their skills are collectively explained by training atmosphere, and adequacy of the content.

Keywords: Extension, Continuing Education, Mass Media, India

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Factors Affecting Adoption of Innovations by Dairy Producers in India; 45-55.

Letha Devi G., Scientist, Economics, Statistics and Extension Section
Prakash Khandekar, Principal Scientist, Economics, Statistics and Extension Section
National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology, Adugodi, Bangalore 560030, India
E-mail: lethaayur@gmail.com

A study was conducted in Bangalore rural district of Karnataka, India with the objective to analyze the various factors affecting adoption of innovations by dairy farmers as well as their relation with the rate of adoption. Primary data were collected from 180 farmers using random sampling method. A semi structured interview schedule was used to collect the data, by personal interviews. Herd size, occupation, and social participation are positively correlated with the adoption; family education level of the respondent is highly positively correlated with adoption, whereas farm size is negatively correlated. The results show that the majority of livestock owners had a medium level of adoption behavior with respect to dairy farming innovations. Information, farmer to farmer communication, farmer-researcher communication, farmer-extension agent communication, availability of inputs and overall knowledge level about dairy technologies have a positive and highly significant relationship with the overall adoption of dairy innovations by livestock owners. The communication among farmers, scientists, extension agents and other stakeholders has to be strengthened, for favoring a faster adoption of appropriate technologies.

Keywords: Adoption, Extension, Communication

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Adoption of Improved Fish Preservation Technologies in Coastal Areas of Ogun State, Nigeria; 57-66.

Adeyanju Agbelemoge
Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology, College of Agricultural Sciences, Ayetoro
Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Nigeria
E-mail: adeyanjuagbelemoge@yahoo.com

Fish is a highly perishable commodity. Post harvest loss is a major constraint limiting production and distribution. Several technologies were developed and disseminated to reduce the rate of deterioration, thereby increasing quality and shelf life. This study investigates the adoption of fish preservation technologies in Ogun State, Nigeria. In ten randomly selected villages, where marine and lagoon fishing are highly practiced, 130 respondents were selected by simple random sampling technique and then interviewed. Questions included demographics, fishing activities, preservation technologies, and annual catch before and after adoption of innovations, sources of information, and reasons for non-adoption. There is a significant difference in the loss before and after adoption of the smoking kilns supplied by State Department of Fishery. The respondents were aware of preservation technologies through radio programs and extension agents at groups' meetings, but failed to adopt due to complexity of the innovations. To enhance the adoption rate, the innovations should be flexible and compatible with the fishing practices in the study area and meet the needs and expectations of the local communities.

Keywords: Post Harvest Losses, Fisheries, Extension, Radio Programs

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Socio-Economic Upliftment of Tribal Women through Retail Marketing In Rajasthan; 67-77.

Urvashi Nandal and R. L. Bhardwaj
Krishi Vigyan Kendra - Sirohi
Maharana Partap University of Agriculture & Technology, Udaipur-3 13001, Rajasthan, India
E-mail: nandalu@rediffmail.com

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra organization acts for poverty alleviation, sustainable development in agriculture and socioeconomic progress of tribal women by providing quality training and extension in various aspects of vegetables production and retail marketing. Most respondents grow vegetables, and 80% are engaged in retail marketing. Education and younger age have a positive correlation with adoption of new technology and socioeconomic changes. A significant change is observed in the socioeconomic conditions of respondents, as they have higher income and can afford better houses, with radio, TV, CD player, fixed and mobile telephone. Other changes refer to good bank balance and better education for children. This situation also stimulates more participation in other training programs. The study confirms that the need based skill oriented training on improved vegetable production and retail marketing has been a milestone for the empowerment of tribal women.

Keywords: Extension, Training, Sirohi District, Fruits and vegetables, India

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Shifting Roles in Extension; 79-88.

Wielinga, H. E.
Wageningen University and Research / LINK Consult, The Netherlands
E-mail: eeIke.wielinga@maiI.com

Assistance to farmers with technical know-how comes in many ways. Some talk about agricultural extension, others about advisory services. Throughout Europe farmers are embedded in a great variety of knowledge systems, which are changing over time. In this article, the Author reflects on the different roles that extension has had in the past, as well as on current trends. These services deal with knowledge. Also the concepts of what knowledge actually is and changed, although today different meanings are being used simultaneously. This makes "knowledge" a quite confusing concept. This reflection is based on the Ph.D. study of the Author, as well as on several researches about the Dutch agricultural knowledge systems. Some relevant conclusions of the 20th European Seminar on Extension Education, held in Finland in 2011 have been added as well.

Keywords: Extension, Advice, Knowledge, Innovation.

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Consumer Attitudes toward Food Production Systems and Attributes in the South-Eastern States of the U.S.; 89-99.

Thomas, T. and Gunden, C.
Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education,
C.H. Moore Agricultural Research Facility
North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
E-mail: twthomas@ncat.edu

Extension activities towards rural and urban consumers are a tradition of the US Cooperative Extension Service. This study seeks to understand consumer food purchasing behaviors in order to suggest policy interventions to improve healthy eating habits. Data from a random sample of 252 consumers in three southern states show that consumers prefer organic over conventional and sustainable production systems. A follow-up study of consumer preferences for five attributes of fresh and vegetables, using a random sample of 412 consumers, shows that they prefer food attributes in the following order: freshness, taste, hygiene, nutritional value and affordable price. The study concludes that consumers should be educated to evaluate foods using all the information available on food attributes. The growing demand for organic products will also call for more extension activities for organic producers.

Keywords: Food Attributes, Analytic Hierarchy Process, Fuzzy Pair-wise Comparison, Multidimensional Scaling

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Educational Reform in Kazakhstan: A Long Road but with Real Signs of Progress; 101-108.

Arynova A., Ph.D. student, KNAU, 050100, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Johnson S. R., Board Chair, National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy, Washington DC
Suleimenov Zh. Zh., Professor, KNAU, Almaty, Kazakhstan
E-mail: sjohnson@cabnr.unr.edu

The Kazakh National Agrarian University and eight other national universities in Kazakhstan are by order of the Ministry of Education making major changes in their educational programs, moving from the Soviet System to the European system, named after the 1999 Bologna Convention. Foreign universities are assisting with this transition. This paper describes how this foreign assistance might be better utilized, and proposes a strategy for employing this support more effectively. Since the focus is the National Agrarian University, the paper deals with the extension function as well as research and learning.

Keywords: Kazakh universities, Reform of education, Extension

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Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services - GFRAS; 109-117.

Davis, K.
Executive Secretary, GFRAS, Eschikon 28, 8315 Lindau, Switzerland
E-mail: kristin.davis@g-fras.org

GFRAS evolved out of a series of discussions at international meetings (primarily the annual meetings of the Neuchâtel Initiative) over several years where several stakeholders discussed issues of rural advisory services. They soon recognized the need for a formal structure to more pro-actively promote RAS (Research and Advisory System) development and various options were considered. Finally in a meeting in 2010 in Santiago, Chile, GFRAS was installed in its present form. The GFRAS mission is to provide a space for advocacy and leadership by a variety of stakeholders on pluralistic, demand-driven rural advisory services within the global development agenda. GFRAS plays a catalyzing role, promoting and stimulating interactions between and within the global policy level and the regional and national levels. This space allows regional actors to present their perspectives in global development forums and processes. Similarly, it provides a mechanism for interaction and dialogue between the global and the regional levels. This two-way flow should lead to a strengthened role of advisory services within the broader agricultural development arena. To achieve its vision and mission, GFRAS focuses on two target stakeholder groups: RAS Community and International Development Institutions.

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News, Views, and Reviews: Healthcare Consciousness with Spices; 119-143.

Dr. Om. S. Verma

This is sixth instalment in the series of Articles on Healthcare Consciousness. Spices are a treasure trove of health benefits. Many boast of properties keep a host of human ailments at bay. So, let us better brush up our knowledge on Spices to keep ourself safe from the winter chills. Think of healthy meal and spicy curry might be the last thing that springs to our mind. Several new studies have now shown that hot spicy dish is the key to healthy heart. Spices come with tons of health benefits and medicinal properties that can cure infections, quickly heal the bruises and strengthen our immune system. By and large, there are 20 spices that are crucial to cooking. These are talked about in this Article.

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