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Promises and realities of community-based agricultural extension

Author

Listed:
  • Feder, Gershon
  • Anderson, Jock R.
  • Birner, Regina
  • Deininger, Klaus

Abstract

In view of the market failures and the state failures inherent in providing agricultural extension, community-based approaches, which involve farmers‘ groups, have gained increasing importance in recent years as a third way to provide this service. The paper discusses the conceptual underpinnings of community-based extension approaches, highlights theoretical and practical challenges inherent in their design, and assesses the evidence available so far on their performance. The paper reviews both quantitative and qualitative studies, focusing on three examples that contain important elements of community-based extension: the National Agricultural Advisory Services program of Uganda, the agricultural technology management agency model of India, and the farmer field school approach. The review finds that in the rather few cases where performance has been relatively carefully studied, elite capture was identified as a major constraint. Other challenges that empirical studies found include a limited availability of competent service providers, deep-seated cultural attitudes that prevent an effective empowerment of farmers, and difficulties in implementing farmers‘ control of service providers‘ contracts. The paper concludes that, just as for the state and the market, communities can also fail in extension delivery. Hence, the challenge for innovative approaches in agricultural extension is to identify systems that use the potential of the state, the market, and communities to create checks and balances to overcome the failures inherent in all of them.

Suggested Citation

  • Feder, Gershon & Anderson, Jock R. & Birner, Regina & Deininger, Klaus, 2010. "Promises and realities of community-based agricultural extension," IFPRI discussion papers 959, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:959
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ulrike Nischan & Adam Kennedy & Than Tun, 2016. "Promoting Agricultural Growth in Myanmar: A Review of Policies and an Assessment of Knowledge Gaps," Working Papers id:8792, eSocialSciences.
    2. Birner, Regina & Sekher, Madhushree & Raabe, Katharina, 2012. "Reforming the public administration for food security and agricultural development : Insights from an empirical study in Karnataka," IFPRI discussion papers 1175, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. repec:eee:wdevel:v:98:y:2017:i:c:p:214-230 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kijima, Yoko & Otsuka, Keijiro & Sserunkuuma, Dick, 2011. "An Inquiry into Constraints on a Green Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of NERICA Rice in Uganda," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 77-86, January.
    5. Letty, Brigid & Shezi, Zanele & Mudhara, Maxwell, 2012. "An exploration of agricultural grassroots innovation in South Africa and implications for innovation indicator development," MERIT Working Papers 023, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Ma, Xingliang & Spielman, David J. & Nazli, Hina & Zambrano, Patricia & Zaidi, Fatima & Kouser, Shahzad, 2014. "The role of social networks in an imperfect market for agricultural technology products: Evidence on Bt cotton adoption in Pakistan," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 175276, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. repec:spr:ssefpa:v:10:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s12571-017-0749-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Larsen, Anna Folke & Lilleør, Helene Bie, 2014. "Beyond the Field: The Impact of Farmer Field Schools on Food Security and Poverty Alleviation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 843-859.
    9. Tun, Than & Kennedy, Adam & Nischan, Ulrike, 2015. "Promoting Agricultural Growth in Myanmar: A Review of Policies and an Assessment of Knowledge Gaps," Food Security International Development Papers 230983, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.

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