Agricultural Extension Agents' Use of Learning-Based Extension Methods in Trinidad and Tobago
Abstract: Agricultural extension agents are highly credited for their roles of providing advice to farmers and supporting their learning and decision-making to improve livelihoods. The use of appropriate methods to promote learning in developing countries, including Trinidad and Tobago, has often been highlighted as a development priority. Nevertheless, agricultural extension agents encounter difficulties in applying new competencies. Understanding and utilising appropriate methods based on farmers’ learning needs is critical. This study sought to investigate extension agents’ use of learning-based extension methods. A survey was conducted with 106 extension agents. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis were used to analyse data. The findings show that male agents prefer Plant Clinics and Farmer Field School learning methods. Social influence and networking among organisations had a significant influence on the use of Discovery Based Learning methods. The positive influence of social pressure motivated the agents. The study recommends supporting facilitative conditions through a coordinated programme and to focus on farmers’ learning as a critical consideration for improving the use and impact of learning-based methods
Keywords: Learning-based methods, agricultural extension, extension agent, Trinidad and Tobago
Allahyari, M. S., Chizari, M., & Mirdamadi, S. (2009). Extension-Education Methods to Facilitate Learning in Sustainable Agriculture. Journal of Agriculture and Social Science, 5(1-2), 27-30.
Al-Awadhi, S., & Morris, A. (2009). Factors influencing the adoption of e-government services. Journal of Software 4. (6) doi: 10.4304/jsw.4.6.584-590
Anderson, J., & Feder, G. (2007). Agricultural Extension. In Handbook of Agricultural Economics, vol.3. (pp. 2344 – 2367). Washington, DC: World Bank.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Bentley, J. W., Boa, E., Danielsen, S., Franco, P., Antezana, O., Villarroel, B., . . . Colque, S. (2009). Plant health clinics in Bolivia 2000—2009: operations and preliminary results. Food Security, 1(3), 371-386. doi: 10.1007/s12571-009-0033-z
Bello-Bravo, J., Seufferheld, F., & Agunbiade, T. A. (2011). Gender and Farmer Field Schools in Agricultural Production Systems in West Africa. The International Journal of Science in Society. https://doi.org/10.18848/1836-6236/cgp/v02i04/51280
Brubaker, J., Danielsen, S., Olupot, M., Romney, D., & Ochatum, N. (2013). Impact Evaluation of Plant Clinics: Teso, Uganda. Retrieved 29 October 2019, from https://www.cabi.org/Uploads/CABI/expertise/CABI-WP6-impact-of-plant-clinics-teso-uganda.pdf
CABI. (2019). Plantwise: helping farmers loses less and feed more. Retrieved 29 October 2019, from https://www.cabi.org/projects/plantwise/
Caffarella, R. (2002). Planning Programs for Adult Learners: A Practical Guide for Educators, Trainers and Staff Developers (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Chikaire, J., Nnadi, F., Nwakwasi, R., & Ejiogu-Okereke, N. (2011). The Changing roles of agricultural extension to achieve food security and improve rural livelihoods in Imo State, Nigeria. Researcher, 3(10), 41-48.
Danielsen, S., & Kelly, P. (2010). A novel approach to quality assessment of plant health clinics. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 8, pp. 257-269
Davis, G. (2006). Avoiding the "Rut" in Program Development and Delivery: Improving Our Understanding of Learning Style Preferences. Retrieved 16 March 2019, from https://www.joe.org/joe/2006august/rb1.php
Davis, K.E. (2009). “Agriculture and Climate Change: An Agenda for Negotiation in Copenhagen: The Important Role of Extension Systems.” Washington DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.
Davis, K., Nkonya, E., Kato, E., Mekonnen, D. A., Odendo, M., Miiro, R., & Nkuba, J. (2012). Impact of Farmer Field Schools on Agricultural Productivity and Poverty in East Africa. World Development. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.05.01
Davis, K., & Sulaiman, V. R. (2014). The New Extensionist: Roles and Capacities to Strengthen Extension and Advisory Services. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 21(3), 6-18. doi:10.5191/jiaee.2014.21301
FAO. (2016). Farmer field school guidance document: Planning for quality programmes. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.
Faure, G., Desjeux, Y., & Gasselin, P. (2012). New Challenges in Agricultural Advisory Services from a Research Perspective: A Literature Review, Synthesis and Research Agenda. The journal of agricultural education and extension, 18(5), 461-492. doi:10.1080/1389224X.2012.707063
Friis-Hansen, E., & Duveskog, D. (2008). Linking the learning process in Farmer Field Schools to impact of transformative change. Paper presented at the workshop on Rethinking impact: Understanding the complexity of poverty and change 26-28 March, Cali, Colombia.
Author. (2013). The history of agricultural extension in Trinidad and Tobago. Kingston: Ian Randle Publishers.
Author. (2014). Envisioning the future of extension and advisory services in the Caribbean. Journal of International Agricultural and Extension Education, 21(3):19-31.
Ghosh, S., Taron, A., & Williams, F. (2019). The Impact of Plant Clinics on the Livelihoods of Bangladeshi Farmers. CABI study brief 29: Impact. https://dx.doi.org/10.1079/CABICOMM-62-8107
Gupta, B., Dasgupta, S., & Gupta, A. (2008). Adoption of ICT in a government organization in a developing country: An empirical study. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 17(2), 140-154. doi: 10.1016/j.jsis.2007.12.004
Helene-Collion, M., Alex, G., Byerlee, D., & Rivera, W. (2004). Extension and rural development: converging views on institutional approaches? Retrieved 29 October 2019, https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/409a/49050d8bd118bcc543de15b615608efd8626.pdf?_ga=2.162846012.1474604606.1572371365-516127670.1554667443
Kantner, D. (1982). How Agents and Clients View Programs. Journal of Extension, 4-9. Journal of Extension, 4(9), 4-8.
Landini, F. (2015). Different Argentine Rural Extensionists' Mindsets and Their Practical Implications. The journal of agricultural education and extension, 21(3), 219-234. doi: 10.1080/1389224X.2014.927375
Loevinsohn, M. E., Berdegue´, J. A., & Guijt, I. (2002). Deepening the basis of rural resource management: learning process and decision support. Agricultural Systems, 73(2002), pp. 3-22.
MFPLA. (2011). Strategic Plan 2011-2015. Ministry of Food Production, Land and Marine Affairs, Government of The Trinidad & Tobago.
Mulder, M. (2018). Conceptions of professional competence. In S. Billett, C. Harteis & H. Gruber, International handbook of research in professional and practice-based learning. (pp. 107-137). Netherlands: Springer.
Oakley, P., & Garforth, C. (1997). Guide to extension training. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Qamar, M. (2013). World Wide Extension Study-Trinidad and Tobago. G-fras.org. Retrieved 27 January 2018, from http://www.g-fras.org/en/world-wide-extension-study/central-america-and-the-caribbean/caribbean/trinidad-and-tobago.html#ict
Author. (2017). Value of modern extension methods in improving image and quality of extension: Perception of extension agents in Trinidad and Tobago. Journal of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development, 9(8), 155-162. http://dx.doi.org/10.5897/jaerd2017.0882
Rivera, W.M., & Qamar, M.K. (2003). A new extension vision for food security: Challenge to change. Rome: FAO.
Rivera, W. (1998). Agricultural extension as adult education: institutional evolution and forces for change. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 17(4), 260-264. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0260137980170405
Roling, N., & Pretty, J. (1997). “Extension’s Role in sustainable agricultural development.” Improving Agricultural Extension. A Reference Manual., Burton E. Swanson, Robert P. Bentz, and Andrew J. Sofranko, chapter 20. Rome: FAO.
Spence, J. (2010). Developing the agriculture sector. Trinidad Express Newspaper.
Sulaiman, V., Hall, A., & Raina, R. (2006). From Disseminating Technologies to Promoting Innovation: Implications for Agricultural Extension. Paper prepared for the SAIC Regional Workshop on Research-Extension Linkages for Effective Delivery of Agricultural Technologies in SAARC Countries, Hyderbad, India.
Swanson, B. E. & Rajalahti, R. (2010). Strengthening agricultural extension and advisory systems: Procedures for assessing, transforming, and evaluating extension systems. Agriculture and Rural Development Discussion Paper 45. Washington, D.C: World Bank.
Tropical Agriculture Platform. (2016). Common Framework on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation System: Guidance Note on Operationalization. CAB International, Wallingford, UK.
Van den Ban, A.W., & Hawkin, H.S. (1996). Agricultural Extension. Second Edition. London: Blackwell Science Ltd. pp. 59-66.
Van Mele, P., Salahuddin, A., & Magor, N. P. (Eds.). (2005). Innovations in Rural Extension: Case studies from Bangladesh. Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Publishing
Venkatesh, V., Morris, M., Davis, G., & Davis, F. (2003). User Acceptance of Information Technology: Toward a Unified View. MIS Quarterly 27 (3): 425-478
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. (2017). Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives. Paris, France. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002474/247444e.pdf
World Bank. (2012). Agricultural Innovation Systems. An Investment Sourcebook. Washington DC: The World Bank. Pretty, J.N. and S.D. Volouhe, 1997. Using Rapid or Participatory Rural Appraisal. In: Improving Agricultural Extension, Swanson, B.E., R.P. Bentz and A.J. Sotranko (Eds.). Rome: FAO
Copyright (c) 2020 Jeet Ramjattan, Ataharul Chowdhury, Wayne Ganpat
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).