Latest News on Agricultural Knowledge : Nov 2021

Extension 3.0: Managing Agricultural Knowledge Systems in the Network Age

This article develops the idea of “Extension 3.0” as an approach to agricultural extension that capitalizes on the network structure of local agricultural knowledge systems. Over the last century, agricultural knowledge systems have evolved into networks of widely distributed actors with a diversity of specializations and expertise. Agricultural extension programs need to manage these networks in ways that maximize the synergy between experiential, technical, and social learning. Using empirical research from California farmers, we highlight the structure of these networks within and across contexts, and the importance of boundary-spanning relationships. We provide some initial recommendations about actions needed to realize the goal of Extension 3.0, which is to deliver relevant agricultural knowledge to the right people, at the right time and place. [1]


The politics of global assessments: the case of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)

The IAASTD – the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development – which ran between 2003 and 2008, involving over 400 scientists worldwide, was an ambitious attempt to encourage local and global debate on the future of agricultural science and technology. Responding to critiques of top-down, northern-dominated expert assessments of the past, the IAASTD aimed to be more inclusive and participatory in both design and process. But to what extent did it meet these objectives? Did it genuinely allow alternative voices to be heard? Did it create a new mode of engagement in global arenas? And what were the power relations involved, creating what processes of inclusion and exclusion? These questions are probed in an examination of the IAASTD process over five years, involving a combination of interviews with key participants and review of available documents. The paper focuses in particular on two areas of controversy – the use of quantitative scenario modelling and the role of genetically-modified crops in developing country agriculture. These highlight some of the knowledge contests involved in the assessment and, in turn, illuminate four questions at the heart of contemporary democratic theory and practice: how do processes of knowledge framing occur; how do different practices and methodologies get deployed in cross-cultural, global processes; how is ‘representation’ constructed and legitimised; and how, as a result, do collective understandings of global issues emerge? The paper concludes that, in assessments of this sort, the politics of knowledge needs to be made more explicit, and negotiations around politics and values, framings and perspectives, need to be put centre-stage in assessment design.[2]


Matching demand and supply in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure: Experiences with innovation intermediaries

The privatization of agricultural research and extension establishments worldwide has led to the development of a market for services designed to support agricultural innovation. However, due to market and systemic failures, both supply side and demand side parties in this market have experienced constraints in effecting transactions and establishing the necessary relationships to engage in demand-driven innovation processes. To mitigate these constraints, a field of intermediary organizations has emerged to assist agricultural entrepreneurs to articulate demand, forge linkages with those that can provide innovation support services, and manage innovation processes. This article aims to give an overview of the different kinds of the so-called innovation intermediaries that have emerged in The Netherlands and to report on their contributions and the tensions that are being experienced with regard to their functioning. The article concludes with a discussion in which it is argued that the state should play a role as a ‘market facilitator’, by funding such innovation intermediaries. [3]

Farmers’ Knowledge towards the Role of Extension Services in Agricultural Development in Opolski County, Lubelskie Province of Poland

This research aimed at identifying and evaluating farmers’ knowledge in Opolski County towards the role of extension services in the agriculture development, identifying the farmers’ knowledge in Opolski County in each item/statement of research (in scheduled questionnaire) and identifying correlation between the farmers’ knowledge and independent variables in the research. For data collection, a questionnaire was designed and tested, in accordance with said objectives. It was consisted of two parts, first part including the personal variables that were related to farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics (age, education level, farm size, contact degree with information sources and methods of agricultural production). The second part included the scale for farmers’ knowledge towards the role of extension services in the agricultural development, this scale was consisted of 20 statements (items). The results showed that the farmers’ knowledge in Opolski County towards the role of extension services in the agriculture development was medium tending to high degree. The results also showed that farmers’ knowledge was high in the statement, ‘Agricultural extension methods help in transferring agricultural information and new knowledge to farmers’. The results also showed there was significant correlation between farmers’ knowledge and variables (age, contact degree with sources information and methods of agricultural production). There was no significant correlation found between knowledge level and independent variables (education level, size of farm).[4]


Socio-economic Characteristics of ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) Extension Functionaries in Assam and Their Relationship to Their Training Needs

The most prominent step in improving the skills of extension functionaries is to analyse their training needs. The ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) Extension Functionaries are always engaged in effective transfer of improved agricultural technologies to service agencies for increasing agricultural production. They act as the nervous system in the process of communicating the latest agricultural knowledge from lab to land. So, it is of utmost importance to update their knowledge and skill periodically according to their needs through systematic and continuous in-service training programme. The aim of the present study was to find out the socio-economic characteristics of ATMA extension functionaries and determine the relationship between those socio-economic characteristics with their training needs. The study revealed that age, educational qualification, service experience, length of service in the present place of posting and training exposure had a negative and significant relationship with training needs of the ATMA extension functionaries. [5]


Reference

[1] Lubell, M., Niles, M. and Hoffman, M., 2014. Extension 3.0: Managing agricultural knowledge systems in the network age. Society & Natural Resources, 27(10), pp.1089-1103.

[2] Scoones, I., 2009. The politics of global assessments: the case of the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). The Journal of Peasant Studies, 36(3), pp.547-571.

[3] Klerkx, L. and Leeuwis, C., 2008. Matching demand and supply in the agricultural knowledge infrastructure: Experiences with innovation intermediaries. Food policy, 33(3), pp.260-276.

[4] Altalb, A.A.T., 2017. Farmers’ Knowledge towards the Role of Extension Services in Agricultural Development in Opolski County, Lubelskie Province of Poland. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.1-8.

[5] Das, P. and Borua, S., 2017. Socio-economic characteristics of ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency) extension functionaries in Assam and their relationship to their training needs. Asian Journal of Agricultural Extension, Economics & Sociology, pp.1-5.

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