|Abstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ, 1992, 423 p.)|
|Abstracts on farming systems research and development|
Beitrege trop. Landw., Vet. med., 29, H3, 1991, pp. 283-287
This study investigates farmers' knowledge level for selected agricultural practices in order to understand how the dissemination process works under field conditions.
The study was carried out in one of the southern districts of Sri Lanka which comes under the low country wet zone.
The case materials were obtained through participation in different formal sessions established in the reformed extension system and conducting indepth personal interviews with extension officials as well as with farmers. The farmers were selected randomly; the sample contained 100 of them.
The agricultural practices were grouped as follows:
- high-yielding rice varieties (HYVs)
- pre-seed treatments
- plant establishment practices
- chemical fertilizer applications
- pests, diseases, and toxic conditions
- weed control
- weights and measures.
The Training and Visit (T&V) System of Agricultural Extension was introduced to developing countries since the mid-seventies, especially to strengthen the knowledge of the dissemination process.
The route from research to farmer involves several steps, especially on the route through the extension sub-system and farmer sub-system. In the latter part of the dissemination process, the message transmitted to the professional extension agent through the bureaucratic organizational structure and is handed over by him to a set of untrained communicators for further dissemination at the village level. It is evident that message distortion takes place in the process, often through levelling, adding, highlighting and modifying, in addition to the total loss of the knowledge or information.
It can be concluded that generally farmers were unable to gain sufficient knowledge for the innovations which are complex for their technical competence. On the other hand, some of the innovations are very costly. Hence, farmers do not show much interest to utilize such innovations in their fields. As a result, they do not demand knowledge.
The findings indicate that farmers have a medium level of overall knowledge on rice cultivation, so that there is a potential for further advancement of knowledge at the utilizer level.
The extension system has made efforts to advance farmers' knowledge mainly by launching training programmes for extension workers and extending the knowledge to a selected number of farmers by making time-bound regular extension visits. It is evident that the extension approach is effective for simple and low-cost innovations. For complex recommendations, alternative extension methods should be applied depending on the field situations. Further, recommendations must be cost-effective at the utilizer level and care has to be taken to provide the other elements of the development mix.
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Farming systems research and development
Africa, Zambia, study, rural development project, project effects, sustainability, cultivation systems, work oxen, commodity supply, cooperative development, self reliance, associations, beekeepers, craftsmen, institutions, SLE
RAUCH, T. et al.