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A Comparative Analysis of the Alternative Approaches in the Provision of Agricultural Extension Service

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Abstract:

In a climate of declining government support for conventional provision of extension service and the evidence of lack of success of traditional methods, the need for alternative methods is recognized. This study critically examined current alternative approaches in the provision of extension service world-wide stressing the features, gains and shortcomings of each approach. The approaches considered include privatization, commercialization, decentralization (deconcentration, delegation, devolution, and transfer to private firms and NGO), and cost-sharing. One of the key features of all the reforms is that they aim at recovering a part or all of the cost of the provision of extension service so as to take the burden away from the public sector, cut down on expenses, improve management and staff professionalism, and make users’ problems become main priorities. The paper further compared the approaches based on their major characteristic features and country case examples. Finally it recommended that individual countries should endeavor to make situational analysis and independent economic, political and technical determinations, not the use of implantation or formulas, in developing funding and delivery arrangements to provide for agricultural extension service.

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