text size: smaller reset larger

 

 

Focus on... Extension

The provision of training, advice and information to farmers is a sector that is seeing many changes. Traditionally the task of government departments, many extension services are now provided by other bodies; farmer organisations, research institutes, NGOs and commercial companies. Extension methods are also changing. The success of Farmer Field Schools, initially in Asia and now increasingly in Africa, has shown that many farmers learn more from observation, experimentation and discussion than demonstrations and talks. If the trend towards 'discovery learning' continues, Farmer Field Schools could become a more widespread and inclusive form of extension, for both crop and livestock farmers. Serving the diverse extension needs of farming communities raises many challenges, illustrated by several articles in this edition of Focus on. Reaching remote mountain communities, nomadic groups or even deaf school children will always require extension workers to 'walk the extra mile'.

Targeting extension to a moving target

Targeting extension to a moving target

Reaching nomadic pastoralist communities with services, including extension, is usually difficult. In Kenya, FARM-Africa has used a Mobile Outreach approach, by which services are provided from a mobile camp which moves with the pastoralist groups.

Date published: May 2004

Extension strives for dizzying heights

Extension strives for dizzying heights

If extension is about out-reach then the agricultural advisory service in Bhutan has one of the furthest reaches in the world. High in the Himalayas, the Renewable Natural Resources Extension Service has to scale great heights to get to its target farmers.

Date published: May 2004

A growing connection for Ghana's deaf children

A growing connection for Ghana's deaf children

Under an FAO youth development programme in Ghana, students in three schools for the deaf are benefiting from much improved farm clubs, which are making vegetable growing both fun and educational.

Date published: May 2004

Lifelong learning for livestock farmers

Lifelong learning for livestock farmers

With lack of information shown to be a major constraint to improved milk production in Kenya, a collaborative project supported by FAO and DFID's Animal Health Programme was undertaken to determine whether the Farmer Field School methodology could be adapted for smallholder dairy farmers.

Date published: May 2004

Taking CARE in Mozambique

Taking CARE in Mozambique

In Inhumbane province in Mozambique, government extension is not available so CARE is the 'partner of choice'. And farmers are benefiting from improved planting materials and advice on health, water, sanitation, saving and business planning.

Date published: May 2004

Bridging the rural digital divide

Bridging the rural digital divide

The speed of technological change offers many people a 'fast-track' to information, self-improvement and enhanced status. For many others though, deprived of access to modern communication networks, the prospect is a development dead-end devoid of access or opportunity.

Date published: May 2004

 

 

Have your say

 

The New Agriculturist is a WRENmedia production.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.
Accept
Read more