Assessment of the Capacity, Incentives, and Performance of Agricultural Extension Agents in Western Democratic Republic of Congo

60 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2013

See all articles by Catherine Ragasa

Catherine Ragasa

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

John Ulimwengu

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Josee Randriamamonjy

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Thaddee Badibanga

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: August 2013

Abstract

Agricultural extension is critical for agricultural growth and food security, but making the extension system effective, demand driven, and responsive to the needs of a diverse set of producers remains a challenge. As part of the institutional reforms in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the extension system is being reviewed to identify strategies and practical actions to transform the system to better respond to the knowledge needs in a rapidly changing agriculture and food sector. This paper provides an in-depth review of the agricultural extension system of DRC including an analysis of its policies and legal framework, organization, and management; links to critical institutions; and capacity and incentive of different actors in the system. This review involved document analyses, interviews with key informants, and surveys of 107 extension organizations and 162 extension agents in 156 randomly selected villages in western DRC. This review suggests serious funding constraints, human resource management problems, no linkage and coordination within the extension system and with research and education systems, and a majority of underserved communities and farmers. This review also highlights a good opportunity given the huge human resources (more than 11,000 agents) deployed into the sectors and territories as part of the Ministry’s agricultural inspection system. However, their mandate is not clear and they currently focus on data collection (census) and checking what farmers do and limited in extension and advisory work. This review highlights the urgent need for human resource or civil service reform; public-sector commitment and funding; infrastructure rebuilding and skills upgrading in extension, education and training, and research organizations; and a unified policy or strategy with clear vision, mandate, targets, and performance-based incentive system.

Keywords: advisory services, agricultural extension, agricultural reform, Capacity, incentives, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Southern Africa, Africa south of Sahara, Africa

Suggested Citation

Ragasa, Catherine and Ulimwengu, John and Randriamamonjy, Josee and Badibanga, Thaddee, Assessment of the Capacity, Incentives, and Performance of Agricultural Extension Agents in Western Democratic Republic of Congo (August 2013). IFPRI Discussion Paper 01283. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2343150 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2343150

Catherine Ragasa (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

John Ulimwengu

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Josee Randriamamonjy

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States
202 862 8118 (Phone)
202 467 4439 (Fax)

Thaddee Badibanga

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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