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Agricultural research. extension linkage systems: an international perspective & Different ways of financing agricultural extension

Research reports

Both of these papers offer conceptual frameworks for the analysis of agricultural research and extension systems.

The first paper focuses on the linkages between research and extension and how these linkages can be enhanced. Based on a study of seven countries – Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Mexico, Nigeria, Tanzania and Thailand – five forms of research–extension linkage are presented. The paper discusses the institutional arrangements governing agricultural research–extension linkages in each country, the procedures through which farmers’ problems are identified and research themes decided, and the administrative levels at which linkages operate. The paper examines how the procedures for linking research systems and extension services are managed and highlights the key weaknesses of each linkage type. It concludes that policy changes, institutional reorganisation, and the strengthening of institutions are required to enhance agricultural research–extension linkages in developing countries.

The second paper is concerned with alternative means of financing agricultural extension and the ways in which different financial mechanisms may influence the type of extension support offered to farmers. The paper examines the motives of different organisations for investing in agricultural extension and analyses the implications of alternative funding mechanisms. It offers some hypotheses regarding alternative funding mechanisms in relation to the flow of knowledge to, in and from extension organisations; the management of these knowledge flows; the goals of the extension organisation; the choice of extension messages; extension methods and approaches; the target groups; and the management of the extension organisation. In many countries a pluriform extension system is developing in which different organisations are financed in different ways. Whether or not the privatisation of extension is desirable depends on factors such as labour productivity, the extent to which there are surpluses or shortages in the production of food, and the impact of extension on consumer food prices.

Joseph U. Agbamu and Anne W. van den Ban