Innovations in agricultural extension: What can Ethiopia learn from global experiences?


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Presented by Ranjitha Puskur, Ponniah Anandajayasekeram and Sindu Workneh at the MoARD Workshop on “Improving Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Approaches”, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 22 June 2006.

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Innovations in agricultural extension: What can Ethiopia learn from global experiences?

  1. 1. Innovations in Agricultural Extension What can Ethiopia learn from global experiences? Dr Ranjitha Puskur, IPMS Dr Ponniah Anandajayasekeram , IFPRI (ISNAR) - ILRI Ms Sindu Workneh, IFPRI (ISNAR) Presented at MoARD Workshop on “Improving Agricultural Extension Service Delivery Approaches” 22 June 2006, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  2. 2. Why do we need innovative extension? <ul><li>Changing demands on extension.. </li></ul><ul><li>better linking of farmers to input and output markets </li></ul><ul><li>reducing the vulnerability and enhancing the voice of the rural poor </li></ul><ul><li>development of micro-enterprises </li></ul><ul><li>poverty reduction and environmental conservation </li></ul><ul><li>strengthening and support of farmer organizations </li></ul>
  3. 3. Changing paradigms.. <ul><li>From NARS to AKIS to AIS .. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is innovation? <ul><li>“ the transformation of an idea into a new or improved product introduced on the market or a new or improved operational process or into a new approach to a service” </li></ul><ul><li>involves more than research and development, </li></ul><ul><li>also entails the workings of the marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>agriculture knowledge system success depends on innovations being disseminated, adopted and practiced by farmers </li></ul>
  5. 5. What are innovative extension systems? <ul><li>recognition and utilization of multiple sources of knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>focus on capacity to solve problems rather than just training for technical capacity building </li></ul><ul><li>adopting an interactive communication function </li></ul><ul><li>viewing extension as a co-learning process and </li></ul><ul><li>institutional pluralism </li></ul>
  6. 6. From Extension to Extension-plus From To Form/content Tech dissemination Supporting rural livelihoods Improving farm productivity Improving farm and non-farm income Forming farmer groups Building networks Providing services Enabling farmers to access services from other agencies Market information Market development M&E Input & output targets Learning Planning & Implementation Doing it alone Partnerships Sources of innovation in extension Centrally generated Locally evolved (through experimentation)
  7. 7. From Extension to Extension-plus From To Approaches Fixed/uniform Evolving/diverse Staff capacity development Training Learning by doing, facilitated experimentation Capacity dev of extension system Personnel and infra Dev of linkages and networks Policy approach Prescriptive/blue prints Facilitating evolution of locally relevant approaches Introducing new working practices Staff training Changing organisational culture through action learning Underpinning paradigm Technology transfer Innovation system
  8. 8. Making extension systems more efficient - Six principles <ul><li>A sound agricultural policy is indispensable </li></ul><ul><li>Extension consists of ‘ facilitation ’ as much if not more than ‘technology transfer’ </li></ul><ul><li>Producers are clients, sponsors and stakeholders , rather than beneficiaries of ag extension </li></ul><ul><li>Market demands create an impetus for a new relationship between farmers and private suppliers of goods and services </li></ul><ul><li>New perspectives are needed regarding public funding and private actors </li></ul><ul><li>Pluralism and decentralized activities require coordination and dialogue between actors </li></ul>
  9. 9. Some elements of innovation.. <ul><li>delinking public funding for extension from private delivery </li></ul><ul><li>decentralization </li></ul><ul><li>empowering farmers to advance consensus approaches to development </li></ul><ul><li>promoting demand-driven services </li></ul><ul><li>broad stakeholder participation in the control, support and implementation of the agricultural technology agenda </li></ul><ul><li>public sector alliances with the private sector </li></ul><ul><li>enabling the private sector </li></ul><ul><li>interconnecting rural people </li></ul>
  10. 10. Current challenges for the Ethiopian extension system <ul><li>Significant increase in use of farm technologies and credit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>But resulting performance enhancement of farmers too low to improve living conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of access to credit </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low output price </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Limited profitability of packages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(EEA/EEPRI study) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Need for extension to forge stronger links with credit and market systems </li></ul>
  11. 11. Current challenges for the Ethiopian extension system <ul><li>Increasing number of Female Headed Households </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Farm women not reached out to </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>71% of DAs and 90% of extension experts are male </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Limited use of mass media </li></ul><ul><ul><li>52% individual methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>39% group methods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>9% mass methods </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Current challenges for the Ethiopian extension system <ul><li>Farmers not involved in planning process </li></ul><ul><li>Operational constraints for DAs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Transport and budgetary constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No on-job training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High farmer-DA ratio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Farmers problems beyond their capacity to address </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dealing with ineffective technologies </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Current challenges for the Ethiopian extension system <ul><li>Lack of clarity in policies – both of extension and agencies and agents </li></ul><ul><li>No longer term strategy, vision and plan </li></ul><ul><li>Limited role of farmer organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Decentralization not matched with capacity and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Poor financial, administrative capacity/autonomy of woredas extension offices </li></ul><ul><li>Only technology shopping and delivery </li></ul><ul><li>M&E indicators lacking </li></ul><ul><li>ICT underdevelopment </li></ul><ul><li>Skill development lacking for problem solving with focus now on technology transfer </li></ul>
  14. 14. Seeking lessons from experiences.. <ul><li>Policy environment –agricultural policy/development strategy and objectives of the extension system </li></ul><ul><li>Governance structures –decentralization, privatization, and pluralism (including partnerships/linkages) </li></ul><ul><li>Management approach –Monitoring and Evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Extension techniques –mass communication using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) </li></ul><ul><li>Performance – demand-orientation </li></ul><ul><li>Impact –Gender and HIV/AIDS </li></ul>
  15. 15. Government strategy/policy for Agricultural extension and policy process <ul><li>Bangladesh - Agricultural Extension Policy 1999 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a Strategy to implement Policy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role, goal and key components of Ag extension defined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Policies favouring privatization and increased role of NGOs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>All providers agreed on implementation strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agricultural Extension manual published </li></ul></ul><ul><li>India - Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension 2000 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ policy environment will promote private and community driven extension to operate competitively, in roles that complement, supplement, work in partnerships and even substitute for public extension’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mozambique – Extension Master Plan 1999-2004 </li></ul>
  16. 16. India- structural changes <ul><li>Formation of new organisations with less bureaucracy, more flexibility and wider expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an autonomous body at the district level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>focal point for integrating research and extension activities and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for de-centralising day-to-day management of public agricultural technology system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A R-E unit within each district includes KVKs, key line Departments and farmers </li></ul><ul><li>State Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute ( SAMETI) created to provide training to state extension functionaries on innovative areas of project management, participatory planning, HRD and information technology </li></ul>
  17. 17. Agri-clinics and agri-business centres <ul><li>operated by private entrepreneurs </li></ul><ul><li>main aim is to provide accountable extension services to farmers through technically trained agricultural graduates at the village level </li></ul><ul><li>financed through bank loans, 25% of the cost subsidised by the central government </li></ul><ul><li>provide testing facilities, diagnostic and control services and other consultancies on a fee-for service basis </li></ul>
  18. 18. Reform processes – China and India <ul><li>India </li></ul><ul><li>centrally devised and driven initiatives </li></ul><ul><li>lock extension into long-cycle extension paradigms </li></ul><ul><li>China </li></ul><ul><li>extension innovations emerging continuously from the extension practice </li></ul><ul><li>extension policy providing an enabling environment </li></ul>
  19. 19. Roles for public and private sector actors in extension
  20. 20. Public Private Partnership <ul><li>Cameroon- A good practice example </li></ul><ul><li>partnership between the government extension service and private agro-input supply companies </li></ul><ul><li>The private suppliers provide the new technologies </li></ul><ul><li>the national extension service shares its experience in testing new technologies with farmers through small-scale demonstration plots </li></ul><ul><li>key to success </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ability to leverage the comparative advantage of each party without compromising the efficiency, objectivity or the principles of the extension services. </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Challenges.. <ul><li>Co-ordination of linkages </li></ul><ul><li>Bangladesh- NGO Liaison committee </li></ul><ul><li>India – ATMA </li></ul><ul><li>Uganda – Res-Ext Liaison Unit (RELU) </li></ul><ul><li>Zimbabwe – National Level Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Kenya – National FS Co-ordinating Committee and National Res-Ext Liaison Committee (NRELC) </li></ul>
  22. 22. Demand orientation <ul><li>Case of Philippines </li></ul><ul><li>The (Philippine) National Agricultural and Fisheries Council (NAFC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an inter-sectoral and inter-agency body having representation from peoples organisations and NGOs engaged in agriculture and fisheries sector </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>facilitates regular consultations and dialogues between government and the private sector </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Agricultural and Fishery Councils at the sectoral, regional, provincial and municipal levels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>involving farmers, fishers, traders, rural bankers and agri-business entrepreneurs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>provides inputs on major programmes and policy decisions and help plan and monitor programmes </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Monitoring and Evaluation <ul><li>only about one half of all national extension systems have some type of monitoring and evaluation (M & E) capacity - FAO </li></ul><ul><li>M & E units are weak and are limited to ad hoc studies </li></ul><ul><li>M&E has a negative image because these units may concentrate on problems, exposing weaknesses and failures </li></ul><ul><li>M&E should be used in a positive manner to improve extension's performance and increase its efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>attitudes about and uses of M & E must be changed if this capacity is to be used to advantage in strengthening extension's performance and impact </li></ul><ul><li>Several approaches available </li></ul><ul><li>All advocate simplicity and timeliness </li></ul>
  24. 24. Bangladesh – a good practice example <ul><li>self-assessment processes carried out by the thana (sub-district level) and district staff </li></ul><ul><li>system includes both assessment of outcome and assessment of process </li></ul><ul><li>assessment of outcome </li></ul><ul><ul><li>review of Block Supervisor diaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Seasonal Extension Monitoring System (SEMS) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) survey system </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Interconnecting rural poor using appropriate media <ul><li>“ Interconnectivity” refers to the use of appropriate IT </li></ul><ul><li>Application should be considered along with more traditional extension methods </li></ul><ul><li>Address the problem of scale, complexity, and fiscal sustainability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print with graphics and radio – appropriate and cost-effective for developing countries </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Modern ICTs need significant initial and operating cost </li></ul><ul><li>Suitability depends on the message, target audience, and social environment </li></ul>
  26. 26. Gender - constraints <ul><li>women's legal and cultural status </li></ul><ul><li>property rights and inheritance laws </li></ul><ul><li>gender-determined responsibilities such as feeding the family, which trade off basic household self-provisioning goals and care of the family against production for the market </li></ul><ul><li>the way that agricultural services are staffed, managed, and designed </li></ul><ul><li>less mobility and time availability </li></ul><ul><li>lack of formal education which hampers them from taking part in extension activities requiring formal reading and arithmetic skills </li></ul>
  27. 27. Low coverage <ul><li>In Zimbabwe – 40-60% of HHs are Female-headed, only slightly more than 10% participate in extension training </li></ul><ul><li>Staffing pattern </li></ul><ul><li>Design of trainings </li></ul><ul><li>Hierarchical information flow </li></ul>
  28. 28. Special programmes <ul><li>Bangladesh - Home stead gardening component </li></ul><ul><li>to make new technology available to women, to augment production of vegetables, fruit and livestock and introduce better ways of processing and using food </li></ul><ul><li>way of diversifying the diets of the rural poor, attacking malnutrition, using underutilized homestead space and, boosting family income through the sale of surplus homestead production </li></ul><ul><li>under contract, NGOs would work with women to improve homestead gardening practices </li></ul><ul><li>NGOs organized women into groups to encourage then to take up intensive homestead cultivation and improve food handling and preparation </li></ul><ul><li>building on their success, women have used these groups to obtain group loans to start micro-enterprises </li></ul><ul><li>the most significant benefit - solidifying the NGO-department partnership, which will long outlast the project </li></ul>
  29. 29. Ethiopia <ul><li>a 2-year Pilot Project at MoARD supported by FAO in 1994 in three Regions </li></ul><ul><li>Paper on women by the TGE (1993) -policy addressing women’s strategic and practical gender needs provided a conducive environment </li></ul><ul><li>involved training extension staff in PRA and gender analysis to ensure client-oriented extension planning </li></ul><ul><li>A guide for field level workers (in Amharic) was developed entitled “How to make your extension program more client-oriented’, which included the use of gender-analytical framework in planning </li></ul><ul><li>Four major challenges faced </li></ul><ul><ul><li>difficulty of institutionalizing the process </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>necessity of involving policy makers at all stages and levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>need to raise gender awareness amongst rural men and women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>importance of addressing women’s lack of decision-making power </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. India - ‘Cafeteria for Women’. <ul><li>provides guiding principles and an approach to develop projects and programmes with gender issues in consideration </li></ul><ul><li>essentially guidelines, and allows the implementing agency (who will be developing the programme or project), at the district/block level, to choose an approach that fits into their specific situation (based on local problems, socio-economic conditions of women, nature of primary occupations, availability of suitable organisations to partner with etc) </li></ul>
  31. 31. Nigeria <ul><li>Experimented with different agricultural development strategies with varying implications for rural women </li></ul><ul><li>A Women in Agriculture (WIA) unit, with female extension staff, was established in every Agricultural Development Project (ADP) throughout the country, </li></ul><ul><ul><li>to identify the technical and information needs of rural women </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>assisting them to become more productive through training and technology dissemination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>meeting their needs through trained and qualified female agents working with women's groups </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The WIA units today are fully integrated into the ADPs. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Some dos and don’ts.. <ul><li>Do not view rural women as a homogeneous social classification or to derive policies and services for “women in agriculture” </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid a centrally generated blueprint for tackling issues related to farm women </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to recognise the various categories of women farmers that exist and their needs in the agriculture sphere and from there to develop appropriate strategies to assist them </li></ul>
  33. 33. Extension related strategies to face the challenge of HIV/AIDS <ul><li>Formulation of a national policy on AIDS and extension </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation of extension staff </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revision of pre-service and in-service training curricula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fast-track training of extension staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revision of extension strategies and technical messages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation of multimedia extension materials on HIV/AIDS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible actions in the field </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Institutional partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anti-AIDS extension campaigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preparation of rural leaders for collaboration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extension-HIV/AIDS specific studies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inter-country extension networks on HIV/AIDS </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. The way forward.. <ul><li>Need for a national/regional agriculture extension policy/framework and a strategy to institutionalize the changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in organisational cultures and professional attitudes – through action learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Change agents” within the system and political commitment at a high level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear definitions of mandates and roles of functionaries at various levels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review of incentive structures </li></ul></ul>
  35. 35. The way forward.. <ul><li>Making extension services/training demand-driven </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Participatory Extension and market-oriented approaches need to be mainstreamed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Needs capacity development - integrate into TVET curriculum </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Capacity development – staff and system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social science skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only training - but learning by doing , facilitated experimentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not only personnel and infrastructure – but development of linkages and networks </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Farmer capacity building <ul><li>Capacity building of farmers should be aimed at helping them respond to constantly evolving markets, in addition to improving production and productivity.. </li></ul><ul><li>Organize commodity based farmer interest groups and build their capabilities to bargain, negotiate and understand market functions, stakeholder strategies and, price formation </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance interactive and communication skills of individual farmers to exchange views with customers and other market forces </li></ul><ul><li>Support to entrepreneurship </li></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>FTCs as knowledge centres – nodes for experiential learning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stimulate a diversity of extension innovations that respond adaptively to local and evolving circumstances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recognise value of diversity of approaches and arrangements – flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from experiences to distill principles for scaling up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Important to pilot innovative approaches in few FTCs and scale up based on experiences and lessons learnt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No blue prints even for market-oriented extension support </li></ul></ul>The way forward..
  38. 38. Optimal use of FTCs <ul><li>Depends on.. </li></ul><ul><li>Quality and relevance of services and training offered – ensured through community consultations </li></ul><ul><li>Technical and financial support to DAs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective linkages of FTCs with woreda level marketing and co-operative experts </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Continuous upgrading of skills of DAs </li></ul><ul><li>Provision of adequate and relevant training and demonstration materials , both related to production and marketing and, their continuous updating </li></ul><ul><li>Effective inclusion of gender and HIV concerns in extension activities </li></ul>
  39. 39. Critical role of M&E <ul><li>Review the current M&E plan </li></ul><ul><li>Revise it to make it more learning oriented - move towards more innovative targets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome monitoring and responsibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Mainstream planning, implementation and M&E tools </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability to farmers or FAs - farmer control over R&E resources </li></ul>
  40. 40. Equity.. <ul><li>Integration of HIV and gender concerns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate into TVET and university curricula </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate short awareness sessions into all training programmes/courses </li></ul></ul>
  41. 41. Organizational culture changes <ul><li>Rigid patterns of control and centralized modes of planning, stifle innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition of assessing performance in terms of technology adoption and not outcomes or impacts </li></ul><ul><li>History of regarding only successes and reluctance to report and analyse reasons of failure </li></ul><ul><li>Tradition of working independently and mistrust of other agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Up-ward accountability for resource utilization rather than output achievement and client satisfaction </li></ul>
  42. 42. Finally.. <ul><li>Crafting institutional reforms is a pragmatic, exploratory and social learning process that unfolds over years and decades </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot a few studies (learn by doing) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiment with institutional innovations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn from experiences of others </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Approach less important than its ingredients </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Thank you.. </li></ul>