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The rise and fall of training and visit extension : an Asian mini-drama with an African epilogue

  • Anderson, Jock R.
  • Feder, Gershon
  • Ganguly, Sushma

The paper reviews the origins and evolution of the Training and Visit (T&V) extension system, which was promoted by the World Bank in 1975-98 in over 50 developing countries. The discussion seeks to clarify the context within which the approach was implemented, and to analyze the causes for its lack of sustainability and its ultimate abandonment. The paper identifies some of the challenges faced by the T&V approach as being typical of a large public extension system, where issues of scale, interaction with the agricultural research systems, inability to attribute benefits, weak accountability, and lack of political support tend to lead to incentive problems among staff and managers of extension, and limited budgetary resources. The different incentives and outlook of domestic stakeholders and external donor agencies are also reviewed. The main cause of the T&V system's disappearance is attributed to the incompatibility of its high recurrent costs with the limited budgets available domestically, leading to fiscal unsustainability. The paper concludes with some lessons that apply to donor-driven public extension initiatives, and more generally to rural development fads. The role of timely, independent, and rigorous evaluative studiesis specifically highlighted.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3928.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3928
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  1. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Feder, Gershon & Slade, Roger H, 1986. "The Impact of Agricultural Extension: The Training and Visit System in India," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 1(2), pages 139-61, July.
  3. Birkhaeuser, Dean & Evenson, Robert E & Feder, Gershon, 1991. "The Economic Impact of Agricultural Extension: A Review," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 607-50, April.
  4. Picciotto, Robert & Anderson, Jock R, 1997. "Reconsidering Agricultural Extension," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 12(2), pages 249-59, August.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521808187 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Bindlish, V. & Evenson, R., 1993. "Evaluation of the Performance of T&V Extension in Kenya," Papers 208, World Bank - Technical Papers.
  7. Hussain, Syed Sajidin & Byerlee, Derek & Heisey, Paul W., 1994. "Impacts of the training and visit extension system on farmers' knowledge and adoption of technology: Evidence from Pakistan," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 10(1), January.
  8. Jock R. Anderson, 2004. "Agricultural Extension: Good Intentions and Hard Realities," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 41-60.
  9. Hussain, Syed Sajidin & Byerlee, Derek & Heisey, Paul W., 1994. "Impacts of the training and visit extension system on farmers' knowledge and adoption of technology: Evidence from Pakistan," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 39-47, January.
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