THE ROLE OF AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA’S DEVELOPMENT, THE IMPORTANCE OF EXTENSION WORKERS AND THE NEED FOR CHANGE

Catherine P. Msuya, Festus K. Annor-Frempong, Margaret N. Magheni, Robert Agunga, Chris Igodan, Ademola A. Ladele, Keba Huhela, Nelson M. Tselaesele, Henry Msatilomo, Clodina Chowa, Elliot Zwane, Richard Miiro, Christopher Bukeyn, Laetitia A. Kima, Majory Meliko, Amadou Ndiaye

Abstract


Agriculture is generally referred to as the mainstay of African economy, the real driver of economic growth. Agricultural extension plays a critical role in African development by bringing the farming community information on new technologies, which they can adopt to increase productivity, incomes and standards of living. Therefore, extension staffs are key players in the development process. However, extension systems in Africa face numerous challenges, which, in turn limit their effectiveness in promoting smallholder farmers’ productivity. This study by an emerging Africa Extension Reform Group (AERG) was carried out to determine issues and challenges facing extension personnel in Africa. The researchers interviewed 393 extension staffs at the district, sub-district and grass root levels in nine countries, namely, Ghana, Botswana, Tanzania, Cameroon, Senegal, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, and Nigeria. Although the study is not generalizable to Africa or even the countries of study, it does help identify critical issues and challenges facing extension in Africa. The study looked at issues, such as job satisfaction; use of Information and Communication Technologies, types of extension methods practiced; and communication and other training needs. The researchers found that the challenges of extension were similar across countries, suggesting that a common solution was possible. In particular, the study found that in addition to their training in agriculture extension agents need training in development and communication to help them cope with the increasing sophistication of development in programming. The findings call for re-thinking the reformation of extension at two levels: a) re-examining extension training at the university level; and b) re-positioning extension in the field such that it serves as a neutral facilitator of development across sectors. At the moment, extension systems are so married with agriculture that other sectors do not see them as un-biased knowledge facilitators.


Keywords


Extension; Africa’s Development; Change

Full Text:

PDF XPS

References


Agunga, R. (2012). Communication for development: A personal experience with implications for development policy. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 18(5), 509-524.

Amani, H.K.R (2005). Making Agriculture Impact on Poverty in Tanzania. The Case on Non-Traditional Export Crops. Paper Presented at a Policy dialogue for Accelerating Growth and Poverty Reduction in Tanzania.

Amoako-Tuffour, J. & B. Armah. (2008). Eds. Poverty reduction strategies in action: Perspectives and lessons from Ghana. U.K.: Lexington Books.

Babbie, E. (1990). Survey Research Methods. 2nd Edition, Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Benor, D and M. Baxter. (1984). Training and Visit Extension. World Bank Publication. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Washington, D. C.: World Bank.

Christoplos, I. (2008). Agricultural Extension Services and the Market.

http://www.odi.org/resources/docs/1747.pdf.

Davidson, A.P. & M. Ahmad. (2003). Privatization and the Crisis of Agricultural Extension: The Case of Pakistan. England: Ash Gate Publishing.

Davis, K.E. (2008). Extension in Sub-Saharan Africa: Overview and Assessment of Past and Current Models, and Future Prospects. Journal of Agricultural and Extension Education, 15:3.

Diao, X., P. Hazell, D. Resnick and J. Thurlow (2007). The Role of Agriculture in Development: Implications for Sub Saharan Africa. International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC.

Hayward, J. A. (1989). Agricultural Extension: The World Bank’s Experience and Approaches. Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension, 4 – 8, 1989. Rome, Italy. Food & Agriculture Organization.

ILO (2007). Global Employment Trends for Women Brief: ISBN978:92-92-120136-6. 20pp.

Isaya, E., Agunga, R. & Sanga, C. (2016). Sources of agricultural information for women farmers in Tanzania. Information Development, pp. 1–13, sageepub.co.uk/journals, Permissions.nav, DOI: 10.1177/0266666916675016.

Kabuye, E.S. & J. A. Mhango. (2006). A Brief History of Agricultural Extension Services in Malawi from June 1948 to 2000. Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Malawi.

Kothari, C. R. (2004). Research Methodology: Method and Techniques: 2nd Ed. New Age Int. (p) Ltd.

Leyaro, V. & O. Morrissey (2013). Expanding Agricultural Production in Tanzania: Scoping Study for International Growth Centre Tanzania on the National Panel Surveys Report.

Malawi Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation. (2000). Agricultural Extension in the New Millennium: Towards Pluralistic and Demand-driven Services in Malawi. Lilongwe: Ministry of Agriculture.

Purcell, D.L., & J.R. Anderson. (1997). Agricultural Extension and Research: Achievements and Problems in National Systems. Washington, D. C.: World Bank.

Rutatora, D. F. & A. Z. Matte (2001). Major Agricultural Extension Providers in Tanzania. African Study Monographs, 22 (4), 155-173, December.

Spielman, D. & R. Birner, (2008). How innovative is your Agriculture? Using Innovation indicators and Benchmarks to Strengthen National Agricultural Innovation Systems. The World Bank: Washington, DC (http://www.future-agriculture.org/farmerfirst/files/T2b_van_Mele.pdf).

Swanson, B.E.; B.J. Farmer and R. Bahal. (1989). The Current Status of Agricultural Extension Worldwide: Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension, Rome: Italy, Food and Agriculture Organization.

Swanson, Burton E. & Riikka Rajalahti (2010). Strengthening Agricultural Extension and Advisory Systems: Procedures for Assessing, Transforming, and Evaluating Extension Systems. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 45, The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank, 1818 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433.

United Republic of Tanzania (2007). Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, Grades and Standards in the Fertilizer Sub-Sector in Eastern and Central Africa- A Case of Tanzania: In Proceedings of a Workshop on Rationalization and Harmonization of Policies, Regulations, Procedures. (Edited by Shetto, M.C; P.M. Kawalama and V. Kisamfu). Land Mark Hotel, Dares- Salaam, Tanzania.

URT (2009). Accelerating Pro-Poor Growth in the Context of Kilimo Kwanza (http:www.google.co.tz).

URT (1997). National Agricultural and Livestock Policy: MAC, Dares Salaam. 155pp.

Van Mele, P. (2007). The Role of International Agricultural Research Centers in Strengthening Rural Extension. (http://www.future-agriculture.org/farmerfirst/files/T2b_van_Mele.pdf).

World Bank (2007). World Congress on Communication for Development: Lessons, Challenges and the Way Forward. Washington, DC: The World Bank, published jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the Communications Initiative.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


 

 

  

International Journal of Agricultural Extension

ISSN: 2311-6110 (Online), 2311-8547 (Print)

© ESci Journals Publishing. All Rights Reserved.