Agricultural Extension Field Diary
Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS)
Malawi Department of Agriculture Extension Service and Michigan State University, 2016
It is widely acknowledged that agricultural extension workers play a critical role in agricultural development. Apart from ensuring that farmers have access to various technologies on various crop and livestock enterprises for sustainable productivity, they also play a key role as sources of information in the communities they work in. In order to be effective in their mandate, agricultural extension workers need to be able to plan their work effectively. This diary has been developed to help the frontline extension worker effectively plan and implement extension activities. The diary provides an opportunity for the extension worker to develop work plans for carrying out specific extension activities based on the agricultural calendar.
- Suggested Activities Month by Month
- Recommendations for Sustainable Crop Production
- Soil and Water Conservation
- Conservation Agriculture
- Maize-Legume Crop Associations
- Crop Rotation
- Variety Recommendations for Important Crops
- Extension Approaches
- Agricultural Extension Methods and Strategies
- Gender and HIV Mainstreaming in Agriculture
- Agribusiness Management
- Farm Business Records
- Farm Business Plan Template
All farmers demand and access high quality agricultural extension services.
To provide demand-driven agricultural extension services in partnership with civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, private sector and farmer organizations; and promote equalization and coordination in service provision at all levels in order to achieve food, nutrition and income security at the household level.
The goal of the agricultural extension program is to assist farmers in achieving and maintaining self sufficiency in food production and income generation through promotion of technologies proven to improve productivity. Extension puts emphasis on assisting farmers to become aware of improved technologies in all crop and livestock enterprises. Farmers are encouraged to demand extension and advisory services to meet their needs.
Key Features of Extension Policy
Pluralistic extension service
This ensures that several players, such as public/government, NGOs and private companies take part in the provision of extension services in a country. This gives farmers a greater choice of quality services and enable them to develop new skills for a market-oriented economy. Demand-driven extension services Extension services need to respond to farmer demands with consideration to their resource endowment. Extension service providers need to dialogue with farmers to support them with appropriate services so as to enhance learning.
This requires that farmers are not looked upon only as beneficiaries of extension but also as clients, sponsors and stakeholders. This calls for mechanisms for great accountability of extension services to farmers and their representatives to bring high quality services. Where extension is by private providers, farmers must be given a chance to choose among extension deliverers, especially when the farmers are the ones paying for the services. For public extension services, farmers should have a voice in the way extension services are planned and implemented.
Those who benefit, pay (service at cost)
This recognizes that it is economically impossible for government to provide all extension services. Where possible, farmers and other private sector players must also provide resources to support for extension services.
While encouraging private sector involvement in extension service delivery, the public sector must make sure that marginalized and vulnerable segments of the society such as women, youths and people with disabilities are not left out of the development process.