English (en) | Change Language

Historically, the concept of agriculture extension was developed around the practice of “extending” research-based knowledge to farmers in rural areas so as to improve their lives (Davis 2008).  In this top-down approach, researchers developed new technologies and innovations, which extension workers then passed along to farmers. Extension services disseminating information to farmers were often managed by governments.  

Now a wide array of organizations are providing an increasingly broad range of extension and advisory services (EAS) to farmers and others involved in agriculture value chains. Organizations now involved in EAS include governments, research centers, universities, civil society, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the private sector (Sahlaney et al. 2015). Dr. Kristin Davis, the current Executive Secretary of Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services, wrote in 2008, “Today’s understanding of extension goes beyond technology transfer to facilitation, beyond training to learning and includes assisting farmer groups to form, dealing with marketing issues, and partnering with a broader range of service providers and other agencies.”

Many of these organizations providing EAS are shifting away from the top-down approach to a more holistic approach that includes a better understanding of how and where farmers get their information and technologies (Swanson and Rajalahti 2010).  In efforts to improve EAS services in hard-to-reach, rural smallholder communities, and to gain a better understanding of local resources and needs, organizations might consider EAS programing facilitated by community agriculture extension workers and modeled after CHW and CAHW programs with proven success.   ---  TN #83

 



  1. There is often a critical gap between knowing what could be helpful and then making that information known so that it can be put into practice. Filling that gap is the specialty of an organization called Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS; www.meas-extension.org/). MEAS has...
  2. This guide was produced by Extension Officers for all those who work with groups expecially in livestock development. Farmer's groups, like any other development groups have similar dynamics which need to be handled at group level. The use of role playing, case studies, stories, etc. are meant...
  3. There is enormous potential for digitalisation to help achieve food and nutrition security and resilience to climate change, as well as promote engagement of youth and women in agribusiness in Africa. But this potential will not be fulfilled by chance. At such a defining moment for this...
  4. 2019-11-26 Session: Farmer to farmer follow up is playing a complementary role to formal extension services in facilitating the spread of agriculture technologies and the improvement of food security across rural village, Kiramutse, Southern Province of Rwanda. This session will discuss the importance of...
  5. Key Resource
    2015-11-04 Active learning and exchange of knowledge are key to farmer adoption of beneficial agricultural innovations. Community health worker (CHW) and community animal health worker (CAHW) programs have led to a rich body of knowledge about extension, much of which is applicable to efforts aimed towards...
  6. This paper outlines three agricultural and rural extension market reforms and two non-marketing reforms, at all times emphasizing stakeholder, and particularly enduser, participation in the approaches employed in these reforms. It also recognizes the need for non-farm microenterprise development...
  7. 2001-01-01 This book is composed of seventeen chapters, featuring unique extension systems and approaches. Although not every type of system can be included, these case studies provide a cross-section of extension approaches found internationally. Students of extension education realize that some extension...
  8. Agricultural development can be done successfully, at scale, and in a sustainable, productive, equitable and resilient way. Food can be equitably produced and distributed, agricultural systems can become resilient to stresses and shocks, and markets and value chains can provide incomes and reduce...
  9. 1981-01-01 This handbook is a guide for the village level worker. It can also serve as a teaching aid and text to teachers of village level workers. It is intended for use by personnel in home economics extenions, community development, home economics clasroom teaching, health education, and other programs...

More Related Resources

Books

Find books about Agriculture Extension