Agricultural Science, JSS 1, Week 1
Topic: Agricultural Extension
- Meaning of Agricultural Extension
- Methods agents adopts in Agricultural Extension
Meaning of Agricultural Extension
Agricultural extension is simply the application of scientific research and new knowledge to Agricultural practices through farmer education.
Methods agents can employ
(a) The individual method, in which the agent deals with farmers on a one-to-one basis
Individual methods of extension
Individual or face-to-face methods are probably the most universally used extension methods in both developed and developing countries. The extension agent meets the farmer at home or on the farm and discusses issues of mutual interest, giving the farmer both information and advice. The atmosphere of the meeting is usually informal and relaxed, and the farmer is able to benefit from the agent’s individual attention. Individual meetings are probably the most important aspect of all extension work and invaluable for building confidence between the agent and the farmer.
Forms of Individual Method
Farm visits are the most common form of personal contact between the agent and the farmer and often constitute over 50 percent of the agent’s extension activities. Because they take up so much of the agent’s time, it is important to be clear about the purpose of such visits and to plan them carefully.
Farm visits can:
– familiarize the extension agent with the farmer and his family;
– enable him to give specific advice or information to the farmer;
– build up the agent’s knowledge of the area, and of the kinds of problems which farmers face;
– permit him to explain a new recommended practice or follow up and observe results to date;
– arouse general interest among the farmers and stimulate their involvement in extension activities.
– Make an appointment if possible.
– Decide the purpose of the visit.
– Review previous records and information.
– Prepare specialist subject matter that might be required.
– Schedule the visit into the overall work plan.
Making the visit
The agent must always remember the basic educational purpose of extension and his role in this process. The agent’s role is not just one of transmitting new knowledge or recommendations; he must also devote time during visits to building up the farmer’s confidence and interest. One of the first points to think about when making a farm visit is how to start a conversation. The first few minutes of contact are extremely important for establishing a good relationship, particularly if it is the first meeting.
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