Japan's Extension System


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Extension system of Japan

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Japan's Extension System

  1. 1. Early extension efforts in japan Extension work in Japan was first started by farmer’s organizations and later it was taken up by government. Before the second world war, the cooperatives used to be the main agency for agricultural extension. They employed the agricultural expert who worked directly under village cooperative. He looked after most of the needs of the farmers. After the world war, an extension organization on the American pattern has been introduced in 1948.
  2. 2. three principles followed in extension organisation are 1) A complete separation of the regulatory and service duties from the educational aspects of extension. 2) Giving prominence to the Home Improvement 3) Joint financing by the National and Provincial governments.
  3. 3. Subject Matter Specialists (700) Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishries ( MAFF ) Research division Education division National level 1.Extension division (National Agril Extension Council) 2. Women & Life division Coordinates the work of prefectural Directorates of Extension Prefectural Directorate of Extension(47) Prefectural Agril Extension Council Prefectural level Agril Extension centres (600) Extension advisors (10,000): 7 agril advisors and 1 home improvement advisorRural local leaders, village councils and cooperatives Farm families
  4. 4. National level : The Ministry of Agril and Forestry is responsible for conducting research, extension information collection, land reclamation, policies on agril product’s exports, imports and other regulator works. The extension division has three sections: 1. Extension 2. Extension Education 3. Home improvement The Extension division coordinates the work of prefectures and runs 54 training centres for farm youth. Main function is pre- service and in-service training and rural youth programmes. The extension division takes charge of affairs such as the qualifying examinations for Subject Matter Specialists, Production of slides and films, radio programmes and evaluation of the local work. The home improvement section covers food, clothing and home management problems.
  5. 5. Prefectural level: Responsible for the planning, training and appointment of the local advisers. Supply of equipment, plans for extension work and deals with administrative matters of local functionaries. SMSs are paid from the national budget. They belong to one of the 23 special fields like rice, soil, livestock, etc., they are the link between the farmers, farm advisors and research stations. SMS are placed in Perfectual directorate of Extension.
  6. 6. Local level: Farm advisors and home advisors are local government officers.  They are paid half by local and half by national funds. Extension work in Japan Is organised for what is called ‘area’. An ‘Area’ consists of about 3,000 families with about 7,000 acres of land. The local staff assist and guide the farmers in farm management and all aspects of home economy. The village local leaders are selected to be the promoters of the extension work.
  7. 7.  Japan’s 13 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.
  8. 8.  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.
  9. 9.  The Japanese research–extension system is characterised as a bottom-up approach with prefectural research  Japan’s research–extension linkage system offers a range of opportunities for farmers’ participation in joint decision-making on research themes at the prefecture level.  The strong research–extension linkage in Japan can partly be attributed to the exchange of staff between agricultural research and extension organisations enabling personnel to work for a specified time in each other’s establishment.
  10. 10. Role of Agril Extension Service in Japan: 1. To improve agricultural production 2. To improve the standard of living in rural areas National government financially supports 40% of prefectural extension services Extension information centre: Started in 1988. • It was established from the need for information management within the agriculture extension service. • The Central information centre manages a computer net work system called Extension Information Network (EI-net)
  11. 11. At prefectural level also information centre is maintained The database contains : News related to farm and home, market, weather, research results, statistical information, chemicals, fertilizers, machinery database useful for Ex.Advisors
  12. 12. Main features of extension in Japan  Due to high rate of literacy , extension teaching is readily accepted by the farmers.  It functions through the agency of a department of Agriculture and has no direct links with the research organisation except at the prefectual level through SMS who are under Extension Directorate.  Extension is done by a team of farm advisors(7-9), in each of the local area. Each person serves on an average about 600 farm households. This permits a close contact between them and they can discuss problems of common concern and receive inspiration and help from each other.
  13. 13.  The representatives of local bodies have little control over extension, but adequate contact is provided informally through cooperatives which are powerful and comprehensive in nature.  Extension is entirely educational and democratic with no coercive approach.  Rural boys and girls, after completion of their nine year’s compulsory education, may enter one of the 54 youth training farms for one or two years of practical training in farm, and may become youth club leaders in their home communities.
  14. 14. • As of 2005, there are approximately 9,000 extension personnel working all over Japan at about 450 agricultural extension centers,research institutes of prefecture level, etc. In recent years, the number of extension personnel, however, has drastically dropped because of the difficult financial situations of both at the central and prefecture governments. • Under the changing situations above, the formulation of extension information activities by using computers has been more important than before for promoting efficient and effective extension activities. In order to improve the situations above, Japan Agricultural Development and Extension Association (JADEA) established the system that could share information possessed by most extension advisors in 1975.
  15. 15. • One function of the systems is to collect the “Case Information of Extension Activities (CIEA)” that is information on the achievements of extension activities based on extension programs, information on extension methods, information on the technologies developed by farmers, information on research findings, etc. from extension advisors. •Another function is to provide information above to extension advisors
  16. 16. • According to this system, extension advisors can quickly receive information on technical matters and information on extension methods from advisors in other prefectures. • Besides, farmers can also look for the informative sites in other prefectures, and receive specialized technical information from extension advisors in other prefectures. •On the other hand, the methods of both collecting and providing information have been drastically improving for about 30 years. Up until today the methods of providing CIEA have been changing from snail mail, fax, and personal communication network to Internet.
  17. 17. Basic flow of collecting and providing CIEA and usage of snail mail The basic flow of collecting and providing CIEA from 1975 to 1990 is drawn and are explained as follows: 1. JADEA collects CIEA from extension advisors through prefecture governments once a year. Each prefecture government provides CIEA to JADEA after having selected CIEA including information about special products that should not be informed to other prefectures. 2. JADEA stores CIEA after having classified CIEA with the categories such as crop, vegetable, fruits, etc.
  18. 18. 3. The publications with the lists of CIEA were made by JADEA. Afterwards, the publications were delivered to all prefecture governments and extension centers. 4. Extension advisors and subject matter specialists request CIEA, which they wanted to receive, by using telephone and letters after they had checked the publications. 5. The copied CIEA was delivered to the extension personnel by snail Mail Usage of fax Around 1985, the use of fax started in many offices in Japan.
  19. 19. Usage of personal communication network •The closed network, which was called “FVAN” (Fukyu; extension in Japanese, Value Added Network) and whose main purpose was communication among extension personnel, started in 1988 •The rented space of the computers owned by the networking company was used for FVAN until 1991, so that the main services of FVAN were mail service and bulletin board services (BBS).
  20. 20. In 1992, JADEA developed “Extension Information Network” (“EI-NET”) system that is a personal communication network system. JADEA has had its own host computers and has been providing database services. Usage of Internet •In 2000, the new EI-NET system started, so that users can access the system through Internet. •At that time, many functions were added including “i-mode” services, which users can access by using Internet services of mobile phones. Besides that, users can search CIEA with a thesaurus and receive CIEA attached with pictures and figures.
  21. 21. •In addition to the database services, BBS services are actively used at present in the new EI-NET. •A lot of technical information is exchanged among extension personnel that is one example of “question and answer” on the countermeasures. Ex: information on the preventive measures for pests and diseases are frequently exchanged by attaching the pictures with actual situations of crops, with the article.
  22. 22. Current situations of Local Network system As of 2005, there are around 4,000 farmers participating in the Local Network system all over Japan. The system has been in operation for 10 years. This system enables farmers not only to receive the specific cultivation information such as crop growing information, pests and disease forecasting, information, etc., but also to communicate with extension advisors and farmers in other prefectures by using the nationwide forums
  23. 23. Home pages managed by extension centers, prefecture governments and farmers •Besides the Local Network system, most of the extension centers in Japan are providing information to farmers, consumers, etc. on the home pages of extension centers or prefecture governments. The examples of provided contents are for farmers - the technical information such as cultivation techniques, usage of chemicals, weather information, etc., for consumers - the public information such as the roles of extension systems, the activities of extension advisors, how to cook farm products, etc.
  24. 24. • On the other hand, an increasing number of experienced farmers, have recently been setting up their own home pages in order to make their farms’ cultivation situations more transparent such as the usage of chemicals, selling farm products through Internet, to directly communicate with consumers, and so on.
  25. 25. PROBLEMS OF EI-NET, LOCAL NETWORK SYSTEM AND HOMEPAGES 1.EI-NET system The number of CIEA collecting and providing has been moderately decreasing for 30 years. As the result, it is feared that they can’t maintain the system, which enables extension personnel to possess the common information. This is because extension personnel tend to receive information unilaterally, so that they have little intention of exchanging information with other extension personnel.
  26. 26. The decline of usage of EI-NET system The amount of usage of EI-NET such as EI-NET connection and article registration has also been declining. It means that the need for EI-NET among extension personnel has been also decreasing
  27. 27. The reasons for the decline of usage of EI-NET are considered as follows: • Extension advisors can receive information to some degree by using only Internet search engines such as Yahoo, Google, etc. • No one had been taking care of most forums of EI- NET so that the system of board operators in most forums was abolished. •The user interface of the new EI-NET, which started in 1999, has become worse with the low performances such as the slow speed of database search. •Inactive communication between extension advisors and researchers
  28. 28. 2. The Local Network system and the home pages managed by extension centers  The number of the farmers participating in Local Network hasn’t increased so much; moreover the farmers participating in most prefectures are very limited. As for the home pages, the contents provided by some extension centers are poor and information has not been frequently updated by some extension centers, so that there is no full time staff responsible for the maintenance of the homepages.