Agricultural Extension in Africa (World Bank Discussion by Aruna Bagchee

By Aruna Bagchee

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While extension for the profitable commercial crop and livestock enterprises can, in due course, be provided by private sector agri-business, public sector extension will continue to be important for a long time for food crops and for poor farmers. Public sector extension must increase its efforts towards serving women farmers, addressing environmental issues, in providing a choice of technologies, and in establishing formal links between research and farmers' groups. In this way, Mr. Cleaver concludes, extension services can also fulfil another important function, namely, that of bringing farmers' problems to the notice of research services.

In Kenya, the implementation of the sample surveys was entrusted to the Central Bureau of Statistics, and in Burkina Faso to the National Directorate for Studies and Planning. The extension service, or the Ministry of Agriculture, was not involved in the data collection process in either country. It is important to stress this because it precludes the possibility of enumeration bias. The evaluation study was also able to compute the returns to the pre-T&V extension system in Kenya, as it had access to the Kenya Rural Household Budget Survey of 1981/82, the year preceding the introduction of T&V in Kenya.

1: Extension Helps Improve Nutrition in Togo In Togo, extension has succeeded in increasing the production of short-duration (90100 days) maize in the Savanna region. In this region, the cultivation of maize previously ranked fourth among the cereals. After three years of sustained efforts by extension, maize has overtaken other cereals, because of its high productivity. e. Similarly, to solve the planting material crisis facing approximately a million yam growers in the country, extension disseminated a new technique evolved by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Ibadan, Nigeria.

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