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Agricultural extension - generic challenges and the ingredients for solutions (English)

Is agricultural extension in developing countries up to the task of providing the information, ideas, and organization needed to meet food needs? What role should governments play in implementing or facilitating extension services? Roughly 80 percent of the world's extension is publicly funded and delivered by civil servants, providing a range of services to the farming population, commercial producers, and disadvantaged target groups. Budgetary constraints and concerns about performance create pressure to show the payoff on investment in extension and to explore alternatives to publicly providing it. The authors analyze the challenges facing policymakers who must decide what role governments should play in implementing or facilitating extension services. Focusing on developing country experience, they identify generic challenges that make it difficult to organize extension: a) The magnitude of the task. b) Dependence on wider policy and other agency functions. c) Problems in identifying the cause and effect needed to enable accountability and to get political support and funding. d) Liability for public service functions beyond the transfer of agricultural knowledge and information. e) Fiscal sustainability. f) Inadequate interaction with knowledge generators. The authors show how various extension approaches were developed in attempts to overcome the challenges of extension: 1) Improving extension management. 2) Decentralizing. 3) Focusing on single commodities. 4) Providing free-for-service public extension services. 5) Establishing institutional pluralism. 6) Empowering people by using participatory approaches. 7) Using appropriate media. Each of the approaches has weaknesses and strengths, and in their analysis the authors identify the ingredients that show promise. Rural people know when something is relevant and effective. The aspects of agricultural extension services that tend to be inherently low cost and build reciprocal, mutually trusting relationships are those most likely to produce commitment, accountability, political support, fiscal sustainability, and the kinds of effective interaction that generate knowledge.

Details

  • Author

    Feder, Gershon Willett, Anthony Zijp, Willem

  • Document Date

    1999/05/31

  • Document Type

    Policy Research Working Paper

  • Report Number

    WPS2129

  • Volume No

    1

  • Total Volume(s)

    1

  • Disclosure Date

    2010/07/01

  • Doc Name

    Agricultural extension - generic challenges and the ingredients for solutions

  • Keywords

    lack of access to resources;farmer;Agricultural Research and Extension;agricultural extension service;public service function;lack of commitment;generic problem;fee for service;human resource development;development research group;secondary school education;rural development efforts;building local capacity;terms of trade;grass root level;private sector initiative;village extension worker;transfer of ownership;integrated rural development;annual food crop;income from fee;public extension service;forms of participation;public sector staff;public sector environment;incentive for farmer;pure public good;local government resource;quality of governance;land and water;natural resource degradation;managing natural resources;Fiscal Sustainability;political support;agricultural knowledge;knowledge generation;farmer organization;mass media;agriculture sector;public provision;small farmer;field staff;farmers' association;vertical integration;institutional pluralism;technology generation;extension agency;input supply;public funding;institutional innovation;food need;Rural Sector;marketing system;extension personnel;census taking;positive outcome;farm productivity;commodity program;private entity;export commodity;Technology Transfer;Learning and Innovation Credit;Agricultural Technology;commercial farmer;participatory approach;single crop;scale farmer;funding decision;local unit;local knowledge;agricultural service;budgetary constraint;fiscal difficulties;public budget;inefficient operation;resource mobilization;commodity contract;large farmer;field days;pilot activities;government units;coordination problem;local factors;partnership arrangement;Advisory services;regular training;Local Govemment;stock trading;farm service;market condition;stakeholder participation;continuous training;information sources;extension program;poverty alleviation;rural community;Management Systems;administrative cost;farmer participation;incentive problem;national system;community level;individual farmer;reference manual;skill generation;participatory appraisal;government contract;external factor;independent variable;decentralization initiative;job satisfaction;marginal areas;local initiative;government subsidy;market operation;positive impact;local system;municipality level;research institute;staff resource;stakeholder involvement;agribusiness company;nonprofit sector;farming system;public-private partnership;feedback mechanism;vested interests;long-term relationship;cost efficiency;community resource;initial investment;budget transfer;reform effort;smallholder production;product marketing;political interference;export crop;matching grant;free field;input price;professional relationships;educational activities;fiscal problem;bargaining power;urban agricultural policy;sustainability rating;regulatory function;production quota;pesticide usage;agricultural field;rural economy;measuring change;agrarian structure;farm management;arable land;operational efficiency;system education;rural population;marketing organization;collected information;extension activity;funding support;government failure;accountability problems;econometric study;natural habitat;production system;agricultural information;information problem;rural area;bottom-up approach;farmer awareness;agricultural sector;production technology;production response;institutional framework;information transfer;green revolution;marginal farmer;privatization scheme;fiscal stringency;educational resource;multiple partner;marketing service;information requests;crop forecast;technical innovation;fiscal constraint;development policy;public production;colonial powers;government authority;tax collection;nation state;agricultural university;diffusion model;agricultural production;population pressure;subject matter;industrialized world;research sector;animal right;water pollution;fiscal restraint;Market Intelligence;diverse perspective;transferring knowledge;rural farmer;government involvement;transfer technology

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Citation

Feder, Gershon Willett, Anthony Zijp, Willem

Agricultural extension - generic challenges and the ingredients for solutions (English). Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 2129 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/733741468765867797/Agricultural-extension-generic-challenges-and-the-ingredients-for-solutions