Recent efforts to reform public sector research and extension services in the West African Region and in Nigeria in particular, have been only partly successful. Participatory, problem-driven approaches often exist only in rhetoric in most government organisations (GOs). The pace of reform in GOs along the above lines is slow and new approaches have considered the scope for partnership between RRIs (Regional Research Institutions)1, GOs, NGOs and where possible and appropriate, farmers' organisations (FOs). It is claimed that Multi-Agency Partnerships (MAPs) such as these can make reorient GOs by making demands on themand c omplementing their technical skills with those of NGOs in participatory needs assessment, screening of technical options, group formation and promotion of joint action. In the light of the increased emphasis on strengthening civil society, the climate is opportune for extending and expanding such partnerships. Knowledge systems must develop to reflect new conditions.