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close this bookAgricultural Extension: Guidelines for Extension Workers in Rural Areas (SKAT, 1994, 298 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentA few words on this English edition:
View the documentImpressum
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentIntroduction to the Guidelines
View the documentCommon Difficulties
close this folderQuestions List
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1 EXTENSION WORKER
View the document2 EXTENSION PLANNING
View the document4 EXTENSION METHODS
View the document6 EXTENSION CONTEXT
close this folderTheory Chapters
View the documentA Definition of Extension
View the documentB Communication
View the documentC Value Concepts - Value Systems
View the documentD Functions of Extension
View the documentE Animation / Organizational Development
View the documentF Adult Education
View the documentG Transmission of Information
View the documentH Problem Solving Assistance
View the documentI Developing Extension Topics
View the documentJ Extension Approaches
View the documentK Farming Systems Research (FSR)
View the documentL Goal Oriented Project Planning
View the documentM Dialogue in Extension
View the documentN Recommendations for the Writing of Reports



A picture to help explain how covered compost pits are constructed shows a man blackening a pole in the fire to protect it against termites.

However, farmers saw in this picture:

- a man planting a tree - a man holding a gun
- someone spraying insecticide powder
- a man weeding
- a carpenter at work
- someone burning a pile of grass

Observation: The technique of blackening wood in fire is little known; thus, all the farmers' interpretations miss the intended message and instead refer to activities familiar to them.

Conclusion: Visual aids in extension must be checked to make sure their message is clearly understandable before they are used in training sessions.

Technical Leaflets / Brochures

Note Technical leaflets and brochures provide summaries of the main points about a specific question.


· Check the contents to make sure they are understandable

· Technical leaflets should not have more than four pages while brochures should not have more than ten.


Question List

- What are the literacy levels among the target population for men and women?

- At what audience are the technical leaflets aimed?

- What function do the leaflets have in the extension work?

- When and in what context should they be distributed?

- How much is the presentation adapted to the target public?

- How are the leaflets tested and with whom?

- What results were obtained from testing the understanding of the leaflets' message?

- Who is responsible for producing the brochures?

- How can the target group take part in the development of the brochures?

- What printing facilities are available?

- What written information is available?

- How are experiences usually recorded?

- How reliable are the research results on which the brochures are based?

- How are farmers/experiences with traditional forms of cultivation and animal husbandry recorded and shared?

- What other means of communication will do the same job (media comparison)?

- How frequently must the leaflets be revised and updated?

- How should the leaflets be distributed (free or at a price)? How will they reach remote areas?

Related Keywords

1.2 Training
6.5 Research
G Transmission of Information
I Developing Extension Topics

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

Volume 1:

137 The spoken and written word
146 The potential of medias

Volume 2:

139 C2: Traditional level of knowledge
143 C3: Design of pictorial representation
319 E13: Pretesting pictorial material
323 E14: Circulars for advisers

Posters / Displays / Calendars

Purpose Posters and displays help to focus attention on a particular message during large-scale meetings.

Principle All pictures, drawings and illustrations must be checked to make sure their message is easily understood.


Question List

- What message is the poster meant to give?

- Whom should the posters address?

- How understandable are the drawings/illustrations without any text? Who, among the target audience, can read?

- Who is appealed by the poster?

- Who tests how the message of the poster is actually interpreted? Whom do they check with?

- What has been learnt from the production of earlier posters?

- Who can draft and draw the posters?

- How can the target group take part in the production of the posters?

- What material is available locally? What printing methods allow the posters to be produced locally?

- What are the advantages of using a poster (compared to other media) for the particular situation?

- What other extension methods must be included in the planning?

- Are calendars used or asked for in the rural regions?

- When should calendars be distributed? On what occasion?

- What recommendations should the calendars show?

- What message should be shown on the calendar's pages (monthly pages)?

- What experience have other institutions had with calendars?

Related Keywords

G Transmission of Information

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

Volume 1:

139 Pictorial illustrations
146 The potential of media

Volume 2:

131 C1: Failure in intercultural communication
143 C3: Design of pictorial representation
319 E13: Pretesting pictorial material

Rural Newspaper


· People who do not read often, prefer large type
· Drawings make reading more attractive
· Most extension services over-estimate the value of a rural newspaper (the willingness to read and the ability to understand and digest the information is less than is usually assumed).


Question List

- What is the aim of a rural newspaper?

- Who wanted it, who suggested it?

- At what audience is it to be aimed?

- What kinds of rural newspapers already exist and what can be learnt from them?

- Who can provide information about existing newspapers?

- How can the newspaper be advertised?

- How can the impact of the newspaper be measured?

- What type of rural newspaper/circular letter most effectively supports the extension work?

- What do we have to demand from the publishing organization to ensure that editing, printing and distribution are carried out well? Do such local organizations exist?

- In what language should the paper be published? Why?

- How regularly should the newspaper appear?

- How should it be distributed (free or at a price)?

- How can non literate target groups learn about the contents of the paper?

- What are the conditions for including outside articles in the newspaper?

Related Keywords

6.5 Research
6.6 Other Extension Services
B Communication
C Value Concepts - Value Systems
G Transmission of Information

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

Volume 1:

137 The spoken and written word

Volume 2:

101 B6: "Minka" a peasant newspaper in Peru
143 C3: Design of pictorial representation
319 E13: Pretesting pictorial material

Flannel Board Courses


· Flannel board pictures help to illustrate a point, and structure and record group discussions.

· Suitable for groups of up to 30 participants. A sheltered place, out of the wind is best.


Question List

- What is the aim of the flannel board course?

- Who will be the audience?

- For what occasions can flannel board courses be arranged?

- Who is familiar with this technique?

- Who can teach the technique?

- Who can train the extension workers how to run flannel board courses?

- Which are the key pictures of the extension subject to be discussed?

- Who can draft, draw and colour the pictures?

- How have the key pictures been tested and among whom?

- Where can the necessary materials be obtained?

- How can the extension workers and the target audiences contribute in the production of the pictures and the flannel boards?

- How can the content be developed further?

- How can the extension workers' experience with flannel board courses be fed back to headquarters?

- How are suggestions of the target audience taken into account for future productions of flannel board courses?

- What are the alternatives to using the flannel board technique? How can the flannel board course be supplemented by other techniques?

Related Keywords

B Communication
E Animation l Organizational Development
F Adult Education

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

Volume 1:

139 Pictorial Illustrations
146 The potential of media

Volume 2:

143 C3: Design of pictorial representation
241 D7: Pedagogic approach to self-help
311 E12: Evaluating training events
319 E13: Pre-testing pictorial material
377 F12: Checklist for using media
403 G9-G11: Teaching aids

Slides / Films / Video


· Slides and films can be used effectively to introduce new themes in large scale and small-group meetings.

· Video recordings are very impressive as a mirror of personal behavior.

· Slides, films and video are technically complicated tools, relatively easy to break (damage in transport!) and always depend on a source of energy!

· The novelty of the medium often attracts the audiences attention, but at the cost of effective communication of the message.


Question List

- What is the target audience?
- What should be achieved by the show?
- What message is meant to be transmitted to the public?
- What are the "viewing" habits of the target group?
- How has the understanding of the pictures been tested and with whom?
- How appropriate are the local conditions for the use of these media in the project?
- For which part of the extension service could they be used?
- Who is familiar with using these tools? Who will be handling them during the show?
- What justifies their high costs of their use?
- What advantages or disadvantages do they have, compared with other tools and methods?
- What preconditions must be fulfilled?

Related Keywords

B Communication
C Value Concepts - Value Systems

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

Volume 1:

142 Slides and films

Volume 2:

143 C3: Design of pictorial representation
319 E13: Pre-testing pictorial material
37 7 F12: Checklist for using media

Demonstration Plots / Pilot Farms

Definition Innovations (new crops, new cultivation techniques, infrastructure and equipment) are demonstrated and advertised on demonstration fields and pilot farms. A distinction must be made between demonstration of the method and demonstration of the results.


It must be possible for the farmer to copy a pilot farm, at least in part.


Question List

- What is going to be demonstrated?

- What experience has already been obtained with demonstrations and where?

- What do the target group think about the proposed solution?

- What have they said about it? What doubts do they have?

- What criteria were used to choose the demonstration fields?

- When is it best to set up several fields, and when to set up only one pilot farm?

- How can the target group help choose the demonstration fields?

- Which farmer(s) does the target group agree as the most suitable to take care of the demonstration fields?

- What should be the responsibility of the extension worker in the maintenance of the demonstration fields (on farm research - OFR)?

- How can the farmer's interest in maintaining the demonstration field be encouraged?

- How should the farmer be compensated for his/her work?

- Who will cover the risks of a crop-failure?

- What is the best location for the field to allow comparisons with other cultivation methods?

- What guarantee is there that the new method being demonstrated is definitely better than the method normally being used by the farmers? In what ways is it better?

- How do these demonstration plots relate to the broader context of the extension work?

Related Keywords

6.5 Research
K Farming Systems Research

Pointers to the GTZ - Munual

Volume 1:

114 Demonstrations

Volume 2:

177 C5: Experience of technical demonstration
291 E6: Demonstration plots
309 E11: Establishing a school garden

Note Insufficient or unsuitable means of transportation are the most frequent reasons for extension events not happening.

Principle Keep transportation requirements to a minimum when designing your extension service.


Question List

- What are the transport requirements of the extension service (regular passenger transport, excursions, transport of products)?

- How do other organizations solve their transport problems?

- How do the farmers solve their transport problems?

- What public transport facilities are available?

- What vehicles can be rented?

- Which means of transport are suitable for the region?

- What kind of vehicle should be allocated to which extension worker (motorcycle, moped, private car)?

- How are the extension staff members/the target group involved in decisions about the transport requirements?

- Who can use the vehicles, who is responsible for their distribution?

- What are the advantages of a vehicle pool? What are the advantages of assigning vehicles to individuals?

- How is continuous availability of vehicles guaranteed?

- Who maintains and services the vehicles and who trains staff in maintenance and repair?

- Who is responsible for the supply of spare parts?

- What is the cost of transport compared to the economic value of extension work?

- How is the use of the vehicles regulated?

- What are the regulations about the private use of vehicles?

- Who sets the regulations about the use of vehicles and who supervises this?

- How can the transport system be continued after the project ends?

- What are the alternatives to providing transport for the extension workers (decentralized stations, walking etc.)?

Related Keywords

1.4 The Social Environment
2.4 Operation Planning
2.5 Organization of the Extension Service

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

Volume 1:

194 Transport

Volume 2:

339 E19: The use of vehicles Infrastructure

Note Extension services depend on infrastructure (e.g. accommodation, training facilities, storage, stables, roads, wells).

Principle Be aware of subsequent maintenance costs when planning to build infrastructure.


Question List

- What premises are needed for the extension work (housing, training, storage, stables)? Who decides whether they are necessary?

- Where should the premises be built to avoid insurmountable or unnecessary transport problems?

- What type of construction is most suitable for the location? What criteria must be used in making this decision?

- Who decides on the type of construction and the financing?

- What part of the costs are paid by the target group?

- How should the buildings be constructed?

- Who builds the training premises?

- Who builds any necessary accommodation for the extension workers in the villages?

- How is ownership agreed where buildings are partially built by the target group?

- Who decides how the premises will be used?

- What other events may training premises be used for?

- Who pays for maintenance and repairs of the buildings?

- Who holds keys and has access to the buildings?

- Who is responsible for other rural infrastructure (roads, wells, market places ...)?

- What financial contribution can be expected from the users?

- How should the project be involved?

- Who is responsible for maintenance of the infrastructure?

Related Keywords

2.5 Organization of the Extension Service
3.4 Post-harvest Storage/Processing/Marketing
3.6 Organizational Development
5.6 Demonstration Plots/Pilot Farms
D Functions of Extension
E Animation/Organizational Development

Pointers to the GTZ - Manual

Volume 1:

121 Extension work in training centers
187 Infrastructure
193 Living quarters and offices

Volume 2: