Agricultural extension and research: achievements and by Dennis Purcell, Jock R. Anderson

By Dennis Purcell, Jock R. Anderson

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However, as with extension, a number of deficiencies persist and detract from system performance. The net result of investment has been an improved human resource base (albeit with some mismatches between available and needed skills); a substantially expanded research infrastructure in facilities and equipment, combined with doubts about the appropriateness of some investments; improved links with external research entities; advances in agency coordination within NARSs, but inadequate attention to involvement of academic institutions; mixed results in improving research-extension-farmer linkages; weak development of the incen- Page 8 tive structure for researchers; and, despite considerable emphasis in the second half of the review period, slow progress in improving the efficiency of resource allocation in NARS agencies.

Apparent efficiency and effectiveness, of course, are conducive to funding support. Recommendations Annex 4 of this report elaborates on the recommendations for future and ongoing Bank interventions in agricultural extension. The major thrust of the recommendations is that the Bank give considerably more attention to preproject analysis and give adequate help to borrowers with project preparation. Only with this emphasis, and with an analytical approach to defining institutional and farmer circumstances, can a responsive extension strategy and an investment program representing current strategy be developed.

This was partly because the contact farmers were unrepresentative of the limited resource circumstances of most of those to be influenced. But even projects with the group focus did not pay enough attention to making sure the farmers had similar resources and constraints. Thus, the potential for increased effectiveness through group problem definition and ownership of problem solutions was not fully realized (nor were staff trained in how to facilitate this process). For other projects: · In integrated rural development projects, the outcome of extension serviceswhether T&V or other even more intensive service modelswas usually related to the availability of relevant technology for the targeted farming systems and the efficiency with which the complementary input supply and credit services were delivered.

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