By Dennis Purcell, Jock R. Anderson

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Extra info for Agricultural extension and research: achievements and problems in national systems

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No single extension model is sufficiently superior to justify its adoption in all circumstances No single extension model is sufficiently superior to justify its uniform adoption in all smallholder farming circumstances. Rather, several key principles determine the effectiveness of extension services. Chief among these is the principle that extension recommendations be relevant to the conditions of the client. This, in turn, requires extension projects to understand the characteristics of the targeted farming systems and the factors that impinge on these systems, and be underpinned by an effective capacity to generate and adapt technology.

The frequent repeater projects that aim to further improve the performance of institutions supported in earlier projects also attest to this goal. Page 2 Research projects commonly aimed to improve research infrastructure, staff development, and operational efficiency of major components of the national agricultural research systems (NARSs). To this end, the projects usually sought to improve research coordination (as new or strengthened and often supported specific research programs and areas of emphasis.

Rural smallholders often live at or near subsistence levels, which limits the extent to which they can pay for services. But some form of farmer ownership of services should be the ultimate objective, regardless of resource circumstances. At the other end of the spectrum, results confirmed that the private sector should provide directly the highly professional and responsive services needed for specialized higher value crops (for example, vegetables and export fruits and flowers). ) · Extension supplied as an adjunct to a credit delivery program was usually effective in supporting technology adoption by farmers.

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