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Band 050: Knorr et al.:The History of Agricultural Extension in Malawi

After some highlights about the emergence of Agricultural Extension in industrialised countries, a detailed outline of its history in Malawi is given. Besides publications the source of assessment of the Malawi extension system are interviews with farmers as well with actual and with retired extension staff from 2001. Recent developments since 2001 are again followed by literature review. As a result there is a clear picture, that despite regular reforms and changes in the extension approach, most of it did not really reach the ground, did not much affect, what happened at field level. The problems could never be solved in a satisfactory way, and as a consequence extension failed to fulfil its role for rural and small farmer development. The most crucial deficit seems to be, that at no times there was enough appropriate extension content, to justify all the efforts and costs of transfer. The recommended technologies were either too risky, or dependent on non-available inputs, too general and not adapted to local conditions. 

The recent reform, explained in detail in this book, seems appropriate, but also highly ambitious, certainly needing longer periods for full implementation. Looking to the past, one would be rather pessimistic about its chances for success. But seeing new market opportunities emerging and clear indicators for economic growth in Africa and even in Malawi, there is some good reason for hope. The book is a key to better understanding of the past and present problems of agricultural extension systems in Africa.

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Kommunikation und Beratung, Band 50
Jochen Knorr, Maria Gerster-Bentaya, Volker Hoffmann
ISSN 0947-0352
2007; x + 120pp.; 21 x 14,8 cm; paper

25.60 EUR
Artikelnr.: 978-3-8236-1513-2
  • (Preis ohne MwSt: 23.93 EUR)
  • (enthaltene MwSt: 1.67 EUR)