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close this book Agricultural extension
close this folder Providing agricultural support services
close this folder Indirect services
View the document Working with individual farmers
View the document Working with counterparts
View the document Working with groups
View the document Working with cooperatives
View the document Working with local authorities, government or development agencies

Indirect services

A reminder

In the Introduction to this chapter the difference between direct and indirect Service is explained. Indirect service means "facilitating" or helping people do things for themselves. This can be illustrated by the familiar Chinese proverb

"Give a person a fish, you feed her for a day. Teach a person to fish, she can feed herself for life."

In the realm of providing agricultural service, facilitating is helping farmers strive to depend directly on themselves and the sources of service rather than on an extensionist. Direct service sets up two relationships: between the extensionist and the farmer, and between the extensionist and sources of support. In indirect service, the extensionist removes himself and allows farmers to gain direct access to sources of support.

This shift often involves a change in both the nature of the service and the source of a service. Generally, indirect service finds sources closer to the village while direct service can range far afield. Extensionists are urged to choose sensitively between direct and indirect service to provide farmers with access to resources which allow them more permanent choice and creative power, as opposed to new forms of limitation.