EXTENSION SYSTEM IN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
LAND GRANT COLLEGE SYSTEM (1862)- land grant college system came into being with the
passage of morrill act by the U.S.Congress in 1862, which provided grants of public land to states and for
establishing maintaining at least one college (in a state) where the leading object was the teaching of
branches of learning related to agriculture and the mechanic arts.
FARM DEMONSTRATION WORK (1903)- farm demonstration work began in 1903 when dr. Seaman
a knapp of the bureau of plant industry of U.S.D.A. Appointed 22 men in southern states to demonstrate
the best methods of growing cotton under boll-weevil conditions.
SMITH LIVER ACT (1914)- in 1914, the congress passed the smith-lever act, creating a nation wide
“Co-operative extension service”, so called because it is a co-operative arrangement between the
government, the landgrant colleges, and the people. It is a partnership agency in which the officials of
government federal, state and county-sit in council with rural people and together analyse local conditions,
take stock of their resources, and make help to carry out programmes for the financial, educational and
social benefit of the community and its individual members.”
OUTLINE OF ORGANISATION OF CO-OPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
The following chart shows the levels at which government many give authority and funds to have the
various parts of the service. Contractual relationships are covered by written agreements, for example
between land-grant college and the counties, and in some states between the county government and the
sponsoring organisation. Co-operative relationships run throughout the service. Note that co-operative
extension service is a branch of the land grant institution.
Federal congress United states department of agriculture secretary,
Director of extension (one of many divisions in the department)
State legislatures land-grand institution
President of governing board
College of agriculture
Co-operative extension service
Director of extension
Supervisors and specialists
County government county sponsoring organisation
County extension service
County extension agents
Citizens leaders, members and co-operators
Thus the co-operative extension service has three major units, the county, the state and the nation.
Each has an organisational pattern adapted to the work of the unit. These patterns vary in detail according to
the legislative enactments and institutional concepts. However, an idea of the state organizations of
extension service can be had from figure.
Funding: Generally states, counties and farmers organisations furnish approximately half the funds and the
federal government half.
Summary of functions:
1. The federal director of extension: represents the secretary of agriculture in the states, the counties and
the colleges. Associated with the director are a group of administrative officials, liaison officers, and subject
matter specialists. The federal directorate develops policies affecting agriculture.
2. The state extension director: is the leader responsible for the operation of the directorate in the state. He
is responsible for the administration and execution of all duties and obligations agreed upon by the land
grant colleges and the united states department of agriculture. He administers all funds, looks after all
projects and plans, examines and approves all publications, and is the link between the state and the united
states department of agriculture in matters of rural development.
3. The supervisors under the state directorate: are the representatives of the state director and his eyes
and ears. The supervisors interprets extension objectives, methods and procedures to the county personnel
and often also to the people. He brings back to the state director information on problems, needs and
activities of the agents and the people.
4. The state subject matter specialists: each such specialist usually deals with one subject, but in some
counties he has to deal with several. The subject matter specialist represents a subject matter department of
the united states department of agriculture, the research stations and the land grant colleges. On behalf of the
director, he assist the county agents in their subject- matter programme.
5. The county agents: the county is the crucial unit in extension work. The county activities are centred
around the county agent, who is generally assisted by a home agent, an associate agent and an assistant
agent. There is no paid staff below at the ground level as it is considered that only an adequately trained
person can impress the sceptical farmer and the rural people. These county agents therefore, cannot reach
every individual farmer frequently and have therefore to approach and enthuse all, through organised groups
such as commodity organisations (dairy, fruit, cotton etc.) or multipurpose clubs (women’s clubs, 4-H
Clubs, the farm bureau, the national grange, the national farmer’s unit).
6. County extension council: an elected body composed of one man and one women from each township in
the county. It is responsible for arranging local financing and for assisting in planning, executing and
supervising county extension work.
History and Agricultural Extension System in Japan
Agricultural extension work had also started before 1900 in Japan. Following the Meiji
Restoration in 1868, new administrative structures and various modernizing policies were
adopted. Two agricultural colleges were established in the mid-1870s, staffed by Western (mainly
European) teachers. At these colleges and government farms, experimental work was conducted
and new practices were tested and developed. At the same time, agricultural fairs and exhibitions
were begun, and progressive Japanese farmers gave talks and demonstrations at them. These led
to the development of many agricultural societies from 1881 onwards, a "movement" formalized by
legislation in 1899. In 1885, the government also initiated, at national and prefectural (State)
levels, a system of appointing experienced farmers as itinerant agricultural lecturers (because the
Western "experts" knew little about rice husbandry). Supported by the work at government
experiment stations, established from 1893, these farmers formed the basis of agricultural
extension work. This activity, including the establishment of demonstration farms, was allocated
in 1903 to the numerous agricultural societies which, with state funds, appointed agricultural
technicians. In 1910, the 1899 law was strengthened; thereafter, farmers were required to belong to
a village agricultural society which was linked to a national network and hierarchy of societies, and
farmers were compelled to adopt the technical guidance and recommendations of the societies'
extension workers - what became known as "forced extension".
The Japanese agriculture has experienced several phases of reforms and modernization for
more than a century ago. Since the end of the Second World War Japan started to embark on a
concerted effort to revitalize its agriculture sector in order to boost production to meet the
escalating demand for food. The Central and Prefectural Governments worked closely to enhance
the training of farmers to uplift their technical and managerial skills and to ensure sustainability,
and this was remarkably carried out through the activities and programs by the agricultural
The Japanese extension system for agriculture which started in 1948 was meant for helping
farmers to acquire useful, appropriate and practical knowledge in the domain of agriculture
(Fujita, n. d.). This system was adapted from the Western extension system into the Japanese
culture to suit their local needs and requirements. Traditionally, extension focuses on
disseminating R&D information from research laboratories to farmers (Roling, 1990), providing
farmers with technical advice as a guide to improved farming methods (Williams, 1968), training
of new, youth and women farmers as well as community reorganization.
Indicators of Research –extension linkage forms
1.(a) Number of national research institutes 19
(b) Number of research institutes/experimental
stations operating at state level
2. Ratio of extension worker to farm families 1.252
3. Adult Literacy (Percentage of total population with
4. (a) Nature of agricultural administration Decentralized and many
role given to prefectures
(b) Number of Bureaux/departments/agencies in
Japan’s 19 national research institutes have networks with 255 prefectural research
institutes and experiment stations through six national agricultural experiment stations. Since the
national government does not directly offer extension services, agricultural research–extension
linkage in Japan operates at the prefecture (state) level. It is a bottom-up management system in
which decisions on linkage activities are taken at prefecture level without the direct involvement of
national officers. Research–extension linkage involves the use of subject-matter specialists,
technical committees, joint study meetings, and staff exchanges between prefectural research and
extension organisations. Farmers’ problems and needs are compulsorily sourced by district
extension centres from farmers, agro-cooperative societies, schools, and town/village
administrative offices. Local needs identified by extensionists are supplemented with those
identified by researchers and subject-matter specialists.
In general, decisions on the selection of farmers’ problems/needs as annual research
themes are finalised at prefectural level by a committee comprised of researchers, administrators,
subject-matter specialists, extension workers, farmers’ representatives and knowledgeable
persons. Although national officers are not directly involved in this process, they make input by
putting forward unresolved research themes that have been referred to them and by highlighting
policy directives on research themes from the National Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries. The Japanese research–extension system is characterised as form A; a bottom-up
approach with prefectural research and extension organisations of equal status.
Extension System in Malaysia
In Malaysia, agricultural extension has been regarded as an important tool which complements the
function of the major agents of change, viz. the researchers, the farmer, the service institutions (for credit,
farm inputs, etc.) and government support services, to enhance agricultural productivity in the Country.
The philosophy of extension is based on the concept of helping the people to help themselves
through educational processes. Extension is primarily concerned with the dissemination of ideas in the form
of technology to rural people and the promotion of action that leads to overall improvement of their farm,
home and community.
Due to the emphasis to accelerate economic development and better exploitation of the agricultural
export potential of Malaysia’s main export crops, research into the various commodities are being carried
out by separate organizations. The Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia (RRIM) was the first of such
research organizations to be set up on this basis. It was established in 1925.
The agricultural extension of Malaysia is shared by a number of ministries through their extension
agencies, e.g. in the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), it is the Department of Agriculture (DOA), which is the
lead agency in extension on most crops except rubber and pineapple; the Department of Veterinary Services
(DVS) on livestock; and the Department of Fisheries (DOF) on fisheries. The Ministry of Land and
Regional Development provides extension services to the rubber smallholders.
The extension services are organized at two levels:
Firstly, the federal level which provides the backstopping support to the network at the state level;
Secondly, the state level extension services which provide technical advice to the farmers through
the scheduled training and the field visits (T & V) and through the Rural Agricultural Training Centres
Figure 1 show the extension method which is practiced in Malaysia. The research is conducted by
the technology production agencies. Once the research finding has been established, it is passed on to the
technology transfer agencies, which will then pass it further to the users.
Development in the Agricultural Extension System under the FOA
Farmer’s Organization Authority (FOA) is a statutory agency which was established under the
Ministry of Agriculture to galvanize the largely unorganized and inefficient small farmers in the rural areas
by promoting their participation in farmer’s institution. Its major task is to set up and develop the farmer’s
organizations (FOs) at the area, state and national levels towards viability and eventual self-reliance.
The FOA has a three- tiered organizational structure. At the headquarters’ level is the director-
general who reports to the chairman of the FOA board and manages 12 divisions headed by the respective
directors. The division involved with the socio-economic function of the FOA includes the Trading,
Agriculture Development, Farmer’s Development, Industrial Development, Technical Development and the
Training Divisions. The headquarters at the central level is responsible for policy-making, planning,
coordination, monitoring and evaluation. The National Farmers Organization (NAFAS) comes under the
direct jurisdiction of the Federal FOA office.
1. Research and Extension Linkage
Presently, research in the fields of agriculture, fisheries and livestock is being undertaken by
various agencies. Among these are the Malaysia Agriculture Research and Development Institute
(MARDI, Crops and agro-based industries); Palm Oil Research Institute Malaysia (PORIM, oil-palm);
Fishery Department (livestock & animal husbandry); National Tobacco Board (tobacco); Agricultural
University (livestock, crop commodities, fishery and food technology); and the private sector.
The Training Division of the FOA arranges courses and seminars to be conducted with the
cooperation of the research agencies. These benefit the planners, the project managers, the extension
workers and the entrepreneurs.
2. Extension Methods
Different extension approaches or a combination of them are being applied depending on the
locality, the community, the cropping pattern and the type or nature of projects being carried out.
a. Mobilization and Member Education
Under this programme the FOA disseminates current information about the latest
agricultural/agribusiness developments through campaigns, dialogues, publications, audio-visual
presentations and exhibitions.
FOA has designed certain training programs in two aspects:
1) To change the attitude of the farmers and the officers and to inculcate in them values that would
engender harmony among them.
2) To increase efficiency, skills and enrichment in knowledge among the members.
To achieve the objectives of the above programmes, the FOA organized courses on motivation,
knowledge, entrepreneurship, leadership and technical subjects; on-the-job training, field visits,
seminars, demonstration, and other extension programmes.
b. Community Based Human Development Approach
This project is well supported by the Ministry of Agriculture. Under this programme, funds have
been given to improve the physical infrastructure of the community such as agri-roads, bridges and
3. Commercialization of Agricultural Technologies
Among the programmes being carried out by the FOA are agribusiness activities and the
development of entrepreneurs among the farmer members. Commercially viable projects are being
encouraged to be implemented by the FOs and their members either as group or individual projects.
Under the entrepreneurial programme of the FOA, potential entrepreneurs among the farmer members,
who have been identified, are provided assistance in the form of loans or grants in order to help them
develop their enterprise into bigger and viable ventures.
Policies / Measures
The measures relating to the improvement of the agricultural extension system being undertaken are:
1. Since agricultural development programmes fall under the jurisdiction of several ministries, it has
been recommended that a National Agricultural Council be established to coordinate the planning,
policy formulation and implementation of agricultural development programmes. The council is to
be comprised of senior representatives of the ministries involved in agricultural development.
2. In order to encourage the farmers to be self-reliant, price support policies should be provided at
appropriate times. However, the production subsidies must be provided on a selective basis. This has
been done in the case of paddy and tobacco.
3. A policy of extension programmes needs to be formulated whereby the roles and functions of
agencies are clearly outlined and demarcated to avoid overlapping of functions.
Fig.1 Schematic Presentation of Extension Methods Practiced on TOT in Malaysia
Research- RRIM Extension Adoption
MARDI FOA Group Farmers
PORIM RISDA Farmers’ Association
UPM FELDA Individual Farmer
MARDI= Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute
PORIM= Palm Oil Research Institute of Malaysia
UPM= University of Agriculture Malaysia
DOF= Department of Fisheries
DVS= Department of Veterinary Services
FOA= Farmers’ Organization Authority
RISDA= Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority
FELDA= Federal Land Development Authority
FELCRA= Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority
MADA= Muda Agricultural Development Authority
KADA= Kemubu Agricultural Development Authority