My reflection paper on the above subject.
My final belief that is related to extension is that a person should recognize that other people know something that he/she doesn’t and what they know can be of use to that person. As extension science emerged, it recognized that clients like farmers have their own indigenous knowledge which can be used as an input to the extension program. As Vanclay’s (2004) principle 15 says, “farmers construct their own knowledge through experimentation and trial and through their own theorising”. Further, “all individuals and groups create knowledge about their own experiences of the world”. Government agencies and NGOs have long accepted the fact that indigenous knowledge is important when designing an extension program. As I’ve also said in the earlier part of this paper, the extension worker shifts to a more participatory approach, getting the client’s knowledge so that he or she may incorporate it with his or her own knowledge and into the program. The client will also be involved in creating solutions to the problem they identified together with the extension worker. This recognizes the fact that the clients know more about their situation, that they understand more their needs and problems and they know more how they want to answer it. Van den ban (2006) further said that the extension process became more participatory as the role of the extension worker (or the organization the extension worker represents) becomes more facilitative rather than imposing. She also cited Sulaiman and Hall’s (2004) overview of trends in agricultural extension which included forming farmer groups to building independent farmer-operated organizations which does not only mean that the extension process became participatory but also, it became empowering to the side of the farmers.
As a conclusion, I believe that extension science as it continuously evolve is more than just communicating, solving problems, ensuring food security and conserving the resources, but it is also more of empowering and strengthening the capabilities of people so that in the future, they can be independent and they themselves would be able to extend a helping hand to other people.
Evenson, R. 1997. The economic contributions of agricultural extension to agricultural and rural development. In: Swanson, E. E. (ed.). Agricultural extension: A reference manual. Rome. FAO.
Mosher, A. T. 1974. An introduction to agricultural extension. University of Sri Lanka.
Roling, N. 1988. Extension science: Information systems in agricultural development. Cambridge University Press. pp 22-32; 36-62.
Swanson, B. E. 2010. Changing extension paradigms within a rapidly changing global economy. Rural Development news.
Van den Ban, A. W. 2006. World trend in agricultural education. In: Best practices in poverty alleviation through education for the new century. (eds). Mancebo, S. T. and Perlas, M. B. Asia Pacific. Association of Educators in Agricultural Education and Environment (APEAN) International Conference Proceedings.
Vanclay, F. 2004. Social principles for agricultural extension to assist in the promotion of natural resource management. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture. pp213-222.