Mohamed Kassem (ARC) • 2019 IFPRI Egypt Seminar "Fertilizer policy in Egypt and options for improvements"
Prof. Mohamed H. Kassem
Director, IC4D Unit, AERDRI, ARC
The Extension System problem
• The critical obstacles are the decline in both budget and field
• According to the government current situation, it is expected
that neither the extension budget will be supported, nor
new staff will be recruited. The problem then is "How can
public extension fulfill its goals with a very limited budget
and core staff?"
• The government trend to solve such a strategic problem is
the PPP (P3s), or the Public-Private-Partnership.
• The PPP is not privatization; it is more like sharing what we
all have to get the best for everyone.
By definition a partnership, involves two or more parties committed to a common
goal, sharing risk and yielding a reward to all the partners.
A PPP is a project in which there is cooperation between the public and private
sectors in one or more areas of the design, development, construction, operation,
ownership or financing of infrastructure assets, or in the provision of services.
The ministry is working now on that issue in parallel to reviewing the agricultural strategy 2030.
One of the scenarios of PPP in extension can be:
• All field activities would be implemented by the private sector, NGOs, freelance
agents and technology brokers.
• Governmental extension would keep the functions of planning national programs,
contracting and licensing, monitoring, training, authorizing and certifying, good
practice provision, and extension knowledge management.
• The budget source varies according to the objectives of extension activities, the
source can be the government, the private sector, NGOs, COs or the customer.
_ California Debt & Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC), Privatization vs. Public-Private Partnerships: a comparative analysis, ISSUE BRIEF, CDIAC #07-04, (August 2007)
Expansion of Extension concept
Recent changes in extension environment suggest that:
• It is not only for farmers, but also for all value chain players including the
• Extension should aim to widen value chain player’s choice to access valid and
• It is not only an educational system, but it includes also communication,
innovation and problem solving
• It is not only for information dissemination, but also for knowledge sharing and
• It is not only for good practices, but also for optimized agriculture
• It is not only for raising production, but also for clean sustainable agriculture
• It is not only a public service, but also a profitable service
Fertilizers from extension perspective
• Somehow Fertilization, irrigation and plant protection should be
treated as one package
• They share the accumulating effects on human and environment
• Farmers see them as a source of high risk.
• This is why farmers try to overuse/overdose them.
• Farmers are not the only responsible players of the fertilizer
overuse/overdose. Input suppliers and market players support
• PPP is a part of the problem and the solution
Potential solutions for fertilizers’ problem
• All players of the value chain should be addressed by Extension.
• Farmer Field Schools for Integrated Crop Management is the best
approach to convince farmers and revive crop rotation.
• Alternative fertilizers should be advocated, and new innovative
Fertilizer mixes can be introduced.
• Input suppliers’ recommendations should be closely monitored.
• Introduce precise agriculture innovations
• Strengthen farmers organizations (coops and contractual agriculture)
• Customer awareness to enhance using bio-products