A New Mission of Agricultural Research and Extension in West-African Agriculture
Sociologia Ruralis, Vol. 31, Nos. 2/3, pp. 162-168, 199
Posted: 22 Jun 2007
Recent evaluations of rural development projects in Africa revealed a disappointingly low degree of adoption of the proposed messages or technology packages. This apparent ineffectiveness of the conventional agricultural research and extension system is due to the lack of innovations adapted to specific constraints of the different farming systems of resource-poor farmers, as well as to outmoded concepts of rural development. To overcome this bottleneck the authors propose new roles for agricultural research and extension in Africa: the search for viable innovations should not be left to conventional agricultural research alone. The latter should focus on the development of sustainable strategies, answering those problems (macro-economic, social, ecologic) which would be neglected, if one merely attempted to meet short-term individual interests. Indigenous agricultural systems of knowledge would have to be revitalized as well. One of the main tasks of research and extension services should be to support farmers' experimentation in providing viable options, limiting risk, and analysing and developing indigenous knowledge. The communication of solutions should be left to more efficient external channels, either of the peasantry itself or of professional organizations.
Published as: Kohnert, Dirk / Weber, Paul (1991): A new Mission of Agricultural Research and Extension in West-African Agriculture. Sociologia Ruralis, 31 (1991) 2/3:162-68.
Keywords: agricultural development, extension service, agricultural research, training and visit approach, West Africa, Benin
JEL Classification: Q16, Z13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation