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PERCEPTIONS OF LIVESTOCK EXTENSION EDUCATION DELIVERY AND
GLOBALIZATION EFFECTS AMONG DAIRY FARMERS IN THE NORTH COAST
ELENA MARIA TORO ALFARO
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Elena Maria Toro Alfaro
This thesis is dedicated to my parents, Eduardo and Dilcia Toro.
First and foremost I express my gratitude to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for
his immense love, help and fidelity. I give him the honor and the glory in this journey.
I would like to thank the members of my supervisory committee (Dr. Nick Place,
Dr. Tracy Irani and Dr. Roger Natzke) for allowing me the opportunity to work with
them, for their insightful contributions to my professional development, and for their
kindness and support. I am especially grateful to my supervisory committee chair (Dr.
Nick Place), for his guidance, encouragement, and patience. I will always appreciate the
Godly example he set in my life.
I am also indebted to Dr. Ed Osborne and the faculty in the Department of
Agricultural Education and Communication for funding my graduate studies through the
Space Agriculture in the Classroom Grant, and for all their support and encouragement. I
extend thanks to the Agricultural Education and Communication Department staff for
their help and kindness. Furthermore I want to express deep gratitude to Dr. Marta
Hartmann and James Umphrey. In addition, I am grateful to all my graduate colleagues.
I thank my friends Gina Canales and Kelly Jimenez for all the memories and friendship.
I wish them all the best!
I express gratitude to my pastors Ileana and Heriberto Cafiizares for their love,
guidance and words of wisdom. Finally, I would like to thank my parents, sisters,
grandparents, family, and friends for their love and undying support from a distance.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv
LIST OF TABLES .................................................... ......... .............. viii
A B ST R A C T .......... ..... ...................................................................................... x
1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..
B background of Study ............................................... ..... .................... .. 1
M ilk Production in H onduras ........................................ ........................................1
M ilk M marketing ................................... ........................... .........
Support Services Available to the Dairy Industry ................................................3
Directorate of Agricultural Science and Technology (DICTA)............................4
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)..........................................................5
F arm er A sso citation s ...................... .... ........................................ .. ...... .. .. ...6
Recent Events Affecting the Dairy Industry of Honduras...............................6
Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)............................... .8
N eed for the Study ........................................................ ................ .9
State ent of the Problem .......................................................... ............... 11
Purpose and O objectives ......... .................................. .. .. ...... .. ............ 13
L im stations of the Study ........................................... ....................................... 14
Significance of the Problem ............... .... .................. .................. ............... 14
D efin itio n s ................................................................1 5
S u m m a ry ............................................ .................................................1 6
2 LITERATURE REVIEW .................................... ............................... 17
Extension in the Development of the Agricultural and Livestock Sectors.................17
Factors that Affect the Performance of Extension.................................................21
A approaches to Extension Services......................................... ......................... 23
P u b lic ..........................................................................................2 4
P riv a te ................................................................................................................... 2 4
Public Extension ..... ............. .................................................25
Training and visit extension (T&V) ......................................................28
D decentralization ................................................... .. ........ ........ 30
Privatized Extension ............................................................................ .33
Farm er-Led Extension ............................................................ ............... 34
Farm er-to-farm er extension...................................... ........................ 36
Farm er field schools ................... ....................................... .................... 38
The problem census/problem solving (PC/PS) approach...........................40
The NGO-governm ent collaboration ................................. ............... 40
D delivery of Livestock Services................................ ....................................... 44
Importance and Types of Needs Assessments.........................................................46
E education in R ural A reas........... ................. ............ ................. ............... 49
Principles of Adult Education...................... ........... .... ............... 50
Overview of Delivery Methods Used in Extension........................ ...............52
Organization and Development of Farmer Groups .......................................... 55
L leadership D evelopm ent ......... ................. ................... .................... ............... 57
C onclu sion ......... .................. ..................................... ...........................60
3 M E T H O D O L O G Y ............................................................................ ................... 6 1
R e se arch D e sig n ................................................................................................... 6 2
P o p u la tio n s ........................................................................................................... 6 3
Instrumentation ................ ..... .. .......... ....... ............ .... .. ........ 65
D ata C collection Procedures ............................................... ............................. 68
D ata A n aly sis ............................. ....................................................... ............... 6 9
Sum m ary ................ ..................................... ........................... 70
4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................7 2
Demographics .......... ..... ......... ....................72
Background Inform ation .................................. .....................................72
Farm Characteristics ........ .............................. ..... .. ..... ... ........ .... 75
O bjectiv e 1 ............................................................................ 7 8
O objective 2 ............... .......... ......................... ...........................84
O bjectiv e 3 ......... .................. ..................................... ........................... 85
O bjectiv e 4 ............. ................. .................................................................... 87
Felt Needs ........... .. ............................ 87
Ascribed Needs.................... ................................. .. 90
O bjectiv e 5 ............................................................. 9 1
S u m m a ry ............. .. ............... ................. ..............................................9 3
5 DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION.... 94
D iscu ssion of K ey F findings ............................................................. .....................94
O bje ctiv e 1 ..................................................... ................ 9 4
O objectives 2 and 3 ........................................ .. .. .... ........ ......... 99
Objective 4. ............... .. ........................... .................... 101
O bjectiv e 5 ......................................... ............ ............... 104
C o n clu sio n s.................................................... ................ 10 5
Recommendations........ ........ ........ .. ................. ....... 106
Future R research N needed ................................................... ........................ 107
S u m m a ry ........................................................................................1 0 7
A STRUCTURED INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR FARMERS ...............................108
B STRUCTURED INTERVIEW GUIDE FOR INPUT SUPPLIERS .......................118
C STRUCTURED INTERVIEW FOR FARMER ASSOCIATIONS
R EPRE SEN TA TIV E S.............. .................................................... ............... 121
LIST OF REFEREN CES ......... ..... .................................................... 125
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ... ... ............... .................... ............... 134
LIST OF TABLES
2-1. Extension M market Reform Strategies........ .... ..... .... ..................... ............... 24
2-2. Extension Non-Market Reform Strategies. ................................... ............... 25
2-3. Characteristics of Pedagogy and Andragogy........................................ 51
2-4. Delivery methods used in extension services. ................... ............... ......... 54
4-1. Distribution of New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farmers by Gender (n=41).......73
4-2. Educational Background of New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farmers................73
4-3. Years Involved in Milk Production of New CREL, Old CREL and
L large F arm ers. ..................................................... ................. 74
4-4. Distribution of Family Members Working Part or Full-Time on the Farm..............74
4-5. Distribution of Permanent Workers per Farm in New CREL, Old
C R E L and L large F arm s......................................... .............................................75
4-6. Educational Background of Farm W workers. ........................................ ..................75
4-7. Characteristics of New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms..................................76
4-8. Average Pasture Area (acres) on New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms...........76
4-9. Average Daily Milk Production and Number of Cows
in M ilk per F arm ................................................... ................. 77
4-10. Composition of Breeds Among New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms ............77
4-11. Frequency and Percentage of Adoption of Management Practices in
New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms................................... .................. .....78
4-12. Frequency and Percentage of Farmers Who Have Participated in Public and/or
Private Extension Program s. ............................................ ............................ 79
4-13. Top Three Sources of Information used by New CREL, Old CREL and Large
fa rm e rs ........... ........ ............................................................................... 8 0
4-14. Farmers Perceptions of the Quality of Support Services........................................81
4-15. Additional Support Services Needed According to Farmers.................................82
4-16. Distribution of the Frequency and Percentage of Attendees
to Extension Program s. ................................................ ................................ 83
4-17. Percentage of Farms That Send Farm Workers to Training Programs and
Reasons for the Lack of Attendance at Programs in New CREL, Old CREL
and L large Farm s ........................................................................84
4-18. Educational Delivery Methods Used by Providers.......................................85
4-19. Farmers Preferences Regarding Educational Delivery Methods..............................86
4-20. Ranking of Training Priorities of New, Old and Large Farmers.............................89
4-21. Frequency and Percentage of Farmers Belonging to Farmer Associations and
Perceived Benefits of Membership by Farmers. ......... ......................................91
4-22. Farmers Understanding and Perceptions of the Central American Free Trade
A greem ent (C A F T A ). ..................................................................... ...................93
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science
PERCEPTIONS OF LIVESTOCK EXTENSION EDUCATION DELIVERY AND
GLOBALIZATION EFFECTS AMONG DAIRY FARMERS IN THE NORTH COAST
Elena Maria Toro Alfaro
Chair: Nick Place
Major Department: Agricultural Education and Communication
The main purpose of our study was to determine the perceptions of dairy farmers as
to extension's educational delivery and with respect to globalization effects in the north
coast of Honduras. The design for our study was descriptive research. Structured
interview guides were developed for farmers, service providers, and farmer association
board members located in the north coast of Honduras. Two major groups of farmers
were studied. The first group was made up of 41 members of 20 Centros de Recolecci6n
y Enfriamiento de Leche (CREL). CRELs are farmer-owned milk collection and cooling
centers located along the north coast of Honduras. A stratified sample based on location
and length of operation of the CREL was used to select CRELs. The second major group
of farmers was made of 10 large farmers selected based on the leadership they provide to
the dairy industry; they had no affiliation to CRELs. Results indicated that dairy farmers
in the North Coast of Honduras have limited access to formal extension services. Most of
the farmers had been exposed to sporadic, short-term technical interventions that do not
include follow-up activities. As a result, service providers such as concentrate and
veterinary supply companies offer educational programs on a regular basis. Farmer
associations encourage and sponsor these programs but their quality is extremely
CREL farmers in general have positive attitudes toward extension and are satisfied
with existing support services. Nonetheless, CREL farmers had difficulty expressing
their needs and envisioning extension's benefits. Informal networks similar to farmer-to-
farmer extension have emerged among CRELs as a result of the lack of extension. On
the other hand, large farmers see a need for extension but believe there are major
obstacles for its development. Large farmers believe the national extension services are
not responsive to their needs; and expressed their need for specialized services. Both
CREL and large farmers had little understanding of the potential implications of free
trade agreements. Consequently, most farmers see treaties as a negative event that could
seriously threaten the existence of the Honduran dairy industry. The most common
extension delivery methods used by nonformal education providers are one-day seminars,
result demonstrations, field days and farm visits. More-educated farmers prefer
participating in programs where both foundational theory and hands-on and applicable
practice are used to deliver new knowledge. Less-educated farmers prefer hands-on and
experiential-learning delivery methods only. Long-term educational needs for dairy
farmers are not limited to technical aspects of milk production. Finally, leadership
training and organizational development are also key areas that must be targeted in
CRELs and farmer associations.
Background of Study
Our study addressed the field of extension education services in the dairy industry
of Honduras. Nonformal education programs on milk production are offered by
extension and other providers (such as input suppliers and farmer associations). Using
structured interview guides, we examined farmers' perceptions about extension education
programs available in four geographic areas in the north coast of Honduras. Our study
sought to determine the most appropriate methods for delivering educational programs to
stakeholders in the dairy industry. We also assessed farmers' perceptions about the
implications of free trade agreements being negotiated by the Honduran government at
the time of our study. Felt and ascribed needs of farmers were also documented.
Milk Production in Honduras
Honduras is the second largest milk producer in Central America. According to
FAOSTAT (2004), 597,500 metric tons of milk where produced in 2003 making it the
country's second most important agricultural commodity after coffee. The dominant
production system is dual-purpose (85%) cattle production, where cows are milked by
hand once a day. The genetic base in this production system is Bos indicus (mainly
Brahman) and crossbred with Bos taurus breeds (usually Holstein or Brown Swiss). The
most abundant feed resources are native forages and crop residues, but their quality and
quantity is low. Consequently, milk productivity is also low (1,700 to 1980 #
milk/lactation). Another constraint is that forage supply is related to availability of rains.
During the 6-month dry season, the quantity of forage available is minimal, especially
grasses. This causes milk production to drop sharply compared to the rainy season when
there is an abundance of green pastures (Holmann, 2001). Milk production during the
dry season is about 40% lower compared to the rainy season (Argel 1999). In contrast,
in the humid tropics, the lack of forage occurs during the rainy season due to excessive
rainfall, lack of sunlight (clouds), and over-saturation of water in the soils. Overall, the
industry there has been characterized by low milk productivity, and the average daily
milk production per cow is 8.0 lb (INE, 2002).
According to the IV Censo Nacional Agropecuario in 1993 and subsequent
estimations of the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE,1993), approximately 85,000
dairy farmers nationwide are distributed in 5 geographical areas: northeast, northwest,
central, southeast, and southern (Jara Almonte, 1999). However, experts in the field
believe that the number of dairy farms has decreased instead of remaining constant in the
last decade because of natural disasters like hurricane Mitch and the difficulties small
farmers face in marketing milk.
Dairy farming in Honduras is very labor-intensive (LSU Ag Center, 2002). The
dairy industry employs approximately 300,000 people living in rural areas, which
accounts for nearly 35% of the economically active population of the agriculture-and-
livestock sector of Honduras (IICA, 2003). In turn, milk production has considerable
importance in the economy of the country, as a source of employment and also as a major
food supply, as a wealth generator, and for its contributions to the agro-industrial sector
Milk in Honduras is marketed to two types of processors: the industrial circuit and
the artisan circuit. The industrial circuit collects and markets about 25% of the milk
produced in Honduras (Umafia, 1998). Honduras has 5 industrial milk plants. The
industrial circuit is also known as the formal sector, because milk is pasteurized and dairy
products are usually sold in packaged form under reasonably good-quality standards.
Industrial plants usually buy milk from farmers who produce good quality milk. The
milk price paid to farmers by industrial plants is highest (about $0.26 to $0.32/kg), and it
is constant throughout the year. However, this price is obtained by less than 5% of dairy
farms because plants require milk to be cooled in order to obtain a product of higher
hygienic quality; and farms must be located along roads with easy access throughout the
year (Argel, 1999).
The remaining 75 to 80% of the milk is marketed by the artisan circuit, which is
mainly constituted by small-scale rural cheese factories that do not pasteurize milk.
Artisan production is also known as the informal sector because this small family-type of
enterprise does not pay taxes. The milk price paid to farmers in the informal sector is
generally at least 20% lower than the price paid by the formal sector because it is
collected as hand-milked warm milk (i.e., not cooled) and thus, its quality is lower and it
has a shorter shelf life (Holmann, 2001).
Support Services Available to the Dairy Industry
In the past half-century, a number of rural-development organizations have
emerged in Honduras. These include state agriculture institutions, farmers'
organizations, and non-governmental organizations (NGO's). Agricultural institutions
and projects that have attempted to serve rural-development needs have been composed
of a variety of national, international, public, and private institutions. However, projects
were deficient in terms of stakeholder input, and were designed and conducted with
limited farmer participation. These projects made extensive use of outside experts, and
were constituted primarily with an agricultural focus. The underlying assumption was
that if agricultural productivity could be increased, then rural-development would take
place (Carrasco & Acker, 2003). Services available to dairy farmers have also been
limited by the lack of permanent extension-service providers in the most important
production areas and by the lack of expertise in the providers.
Directorate of Agricultural Science and Technology (DICTA)
As a result of the Modernization Law for the Agricultural Sector in Honduras
(passed in 1992), the Agricultural Technology Generation and Transfer System (GTTA in
Spanish) was radically reformed, and the Directorate of Agricultural Science and
Technology (DICTA in Spanish) was created. DICTA is a decentralized entity, under the
Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG in Spanish). DICTA's main functions
include privatizing services for generating and transferring agricultural technology, and
regulating the market for these services. In Honduras, government institutions have
provided extension services free to farmers for the last 40 years. Unfortunately, this has
led to serious sustainability problems and low-quality services, lack of response to
farmers needs, and costly programs (Hermosilla & Macias, 2002).
Currently DICTA offers services to small-scale commercial farmers through
contracts (using donor and government funds) with private-sector service providers such
as domestic consulting firms, NGOs, or individuals. The contracts are tripartite.
Farmers, service providers, and a government representative (in this case, the office of
Modernization of Agricultural Technology Services Project, or PROMOSTA) sign the
contract/agreement, which requires that specific services to the farmers' organization be
provided in exchange for payment. The payment to the service provider is a combination
of funds from a grant fund and farmers' contributions. Farmers' contributions are made
on a gradually increasing scale, with the annual contribution increasing from 10 to 25%
over 3 years.
In addition to the agricultural sector's modernization, the National System of
Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer (SNITTA in Spanish) was formed. This
group organizes and promotes the activities of the Agricultural Technology and Transfer
System (GTTA in spanish). SNITTA was designated to coordinate the actions of the
public and private sectors and provide services for the generation and transfer of
agricultural technology, allowing the private sector and farmers to participate more fully
in the planning stage of programs (Hermosilla & Macias, 2002).
DICTA has six regional offices in the country: (1) Central-western, (2) Northeast,
(3) Northwest, (4) Southern, (5) Central-eastern and (6) North coast. Each regional office
is responsible for coordinating and diffusing technology-transfer systems and for
supervising and evaluating private firms and consultants (DICTA, 2004). Other than
DICTA there are no other permanent extension service providers in Honduras.
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
Approximately 4,000 NGO's are registered in Honduras. However, it was not until
recent years that NGOs have come to play a major role in the dairy industry. Despite the
existence of a variety of NGO networks and the Association of Non-governmental
Organizations (ASONOG), as well as eighteen NGO networks, the NGO community is
relatively fragmented, lacking coordination and cooperation among different sectors
including government and other institutions, such as universities. There is general
consensus among the NGO community that competition for project funds took
precedence over research and learning. International donors contribute the majority of
financial and other resources to NGOs (Meltzer, 2001).
Farmer associations represent farmers interests at the national level and have
proven to be very influential in the acquisition of external funds for extension programs,
and this is most prevalent in the north coast of Honduras. Nevertheless, farmer
associations have not been characterized for offering services that can lead to improving
the conditions of farmers through educational programs or any other type of assistance.
Most associations have very limited impact on their affiliates and although many are
concerned with issues of food security, land reform, access to markets and technology,
persistent divisions within farmer associations and other organizations continue to
weaken their intentions. At the governmental level the sector remains characterized by
division due to distinct political affiliations (Carrasco & Acker, 2003). Political
favoritism is a major inhibitor of the development of the sector.
Recent Events Affecting the Dairy Industry of Honduras
During the last decade, a series of events have affected the dairy industry of
Honduras. Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras in November of 1998 causing serious
damage to the cattle industry. Some 78,000 hectares of grazing land were destroyed.
Additionally, about 30,000 dairy cows were lost and this accounted for approximately
15% of the stock in the country (IADB, 2002). In response to the disaster, the United
States Agency for International Development (USAID) allocated resources to revitalize
the rural economies affected by hurricane Mitch in Honduras. Within the dairy sector it
aimed to improve dairy farms at two levels: technical aspects of milk production and
farmer organization, that would lead to improvement of milk quality and marketing
As a result of these resources, the Dairy Enterprise Initiative (DEI) directed by
Land O'Lakes International Development organized initially 13 groups of dairy
producers in order to establish farmer-owned milk cooling and collection centers known
as Centros de Recolecci6n y Enfriamiento de Leche (CREL) during 2000 and 2001.
CRELs offer small producers several opportunities including:
* Access to premiums paid by the industrial circuit for cooled milk and volume.
* Communication and networking with other farmers.
* Development of capacity to be organized, for sharing power and decision-making.
However, due to negative experiences in the past, farmers in Honduras had been
reluctant to form cooperatives or farmer groups, especially if money was involved.
Nonetheless, the initial 13 CRELs started operations in late 2001. On average each
CREL had between 15 and 20 small producers. Current production data show that
typically, dairy farmers in Honduras are very small, the daily average is 8 # of milk, and
80% of LEYDE suppliers (the largest processing plant in the north coast of Honduras)
produce 176 # or less per day (0. Javier, personal communication, June 24th, 2003).
The Dairy Enterprise Initiative provided initial training and one cooling tank per
CREL. These CRELs were able to negotiate higher prices and reach commitment from
processing plants in the industrial circuit that they would buy all milk produced by the
CREL as long as milk quality was maintained. The contracts signed with the initial 13
CRELs represented an additional $0.04 to $0.06 per pound of milk. These contracts
represented a breakthrough marketing opportunity for CREL members.
In early 2002, the Honduran Government received requests from farmers in the
departments of Col6n, Yoro and Atlantida in the north coast of Honduras to finance 48
additional CRELs because they realized the advantages CRELs offered. The National
Office of Sustained Rural Development (DINADERS) from the Ministry of Agriculture
and Livestock financed the construction of the 48 new centers, and by the summer of
2003 most of the centers had been built. However, most of the new centers did not start
operating because processing plants in the industrial circuit were not willing to buy milk
under the same conditions negotiated with CRELs in 2000 and 2001. Unfortunately,
training opportunities and support to non-operating CRELs has been limited to basic
training on improving milking procedures and milk quality from the Honduran Dairy
Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)
The U.S.-Central American Free Trade Agreement concluded negotiations in
December 2003. It is the most recent free trade agreement negotiated by Guatemala,
Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and the United States. Costa Rica finalized its
participation on the treaty in January 2004 while the Dominican Republic was integrated
to the treaty on March of the same year. The CAFTA will not only liberalize bilateral
trade between the United States and the region, but also will further integration efforts
among the countries of Central America, removing barriers to trade and investment in the
region by U.S. companies (USTR, 2004). The CAFTA will require the countries of
Central America to undertake needed reforms to alleviate many of the systemic problems
noted below in areas including customs administration; protection of intellectual property
rights; services, investment, and financial services market access and protection;
government procurements; sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) barriers and other non-tariff
barriers (USTR, 2004).
The Government of Honduras, farm groups, and importers have agreed to a quasi-
tariff-rate quota in which prices remains in effect until local grain supplies are exhausted,
after which a 1% duty is applied to imports. Another quasi-tariff-rate quota system is in
place for imports of rice. The United States has strongly opposed the Honduran policies
on these grains as limiting access for U.S. agricultural products. When implemented, the
CAFTA will lead to the elimination of this system. Tariffs on most grains and flour will
be eliminated within 15 years after the agreement takes effect, except for rice tariffs,
which will be phased out over 18 years. Under the CAFTA, textiles and apparel will be
duty-free and quota-free immediately, if they meet the Agreement's rule of origin,
promoting new opportunities for U.S. and Central American fiber, yam, fabric and
apparel manufacturing. The CAFTA will eliminate tariffs on virtually all agricultural
products within a maximum of fifteen years, except for dairy that will take place in 20
years and poultry in 18 (F. Fiallos, personal communication, June, 2004).
Need for the Study
The significant contributions of the dairy industry to the Honduran economy have
been studied by different authors (Galetto, 1996; Merino & Avila, 2000, LSU AgCenter,
2002 & IICA, 2003). Through a review of the literature and a series of informal
interviews with major actors of the sector, it has been found that despite its importance it
has not been studied to as great an extent within the context of extension education.
It is widely understood that dairy farmers in Honduras have had limited access to
extension services. In Honduras, as in many developing countries, it has become
increasingly evident that as DICTA has grown in size and complexity, it has drifted away
from farmer clientele. The lack of relevance of programs to local needs and the limited
interest from farmers to participate provides clear evidence of the problem. Although
major changes have taken place at the national level to increase farmers' participation in
extension program planning and development, such as the Law of Modernization of the
Agricultural Sector in 1992, there is little evidence that farmers' needs are being targeted
and met accordingly.
In their study, LSU Ag Center (2002) identified several critical needs of dairy
farmers in Honduras as perceived by the different members of the industry. Two of the
six recommendations made by the authors related to the provision of extension services,
included: improving quality of milk and dairy products through the implementation of
educational programs, and the creation of an educational program for dairy entrepreneurs
to improve managerial skills. Therefore, one could infer about the need for additional
training and the potential for extension services in the dairy sector of Honduras.
Secondly, limited information is available about potential extension clientele. The
lack of information at the grassroots level constitutes a major constraint for proper
extension planning especially in this time of rapid change. Even the demographics about
the sector have not been updated in a timely manner. The most recent livestock census in
Honduras took place in 1993. Results from this census along with data from the Encuesta
Agricola Nacional de Prop6sitos Multiples (EANPM) conducted by the Instituto
Nacional de Estadistica (INE) (2002) have been used in recent years to estimate changes
in livestock and farmer populations; nevertheless the accuracy of this information is
Efforts to document and update databases have been undertaken by organizations
like the Asociaci6n de Ganaderos y Agricultores de Atlantida (AGAA) who in the
summer of 2003 conducted a survey among 800 of its members who are dairy producers
to develop a database about dairy farms. The lack of relevant information prevented
AGAA in the past of properly documenting proposals and petitions to the Honduran
government and other external funding agencies. AGAA is most likely the most
influential organization in the north coast of Honduras because of its over 1,100
Farmer's perceptions of extension services have changed considerably in a
relatively short time because of the demands the industrial circuit is placing on farmers as
the country is preparing to enter the CAFTA. Farmers have traditionally been reluctant
to improve production systems and facilities since they did not see any incentives from
the market. However, in the last 2 years, farmer organizations and individual farmers are
more actively seeking extension and consulting services. Farmers are being forced to
implement the new regulations and meet milk quality standards.
Our study took place in the north coast of Honduras, in the departments of Cortes,
Atlantida, Col6n and Yoro in an area called Cuenca Lechera de Honduras. The
importance of this area lies in the fact that although it only comprises 14% (14,118) of
the dairy farms in the country, it produces 46% of milk and supplies 85% of the milk
processed by the industrial circuit (INE, 1993; INE 2002). Furthermore, this is the area
where the initial 13 CRELs were established.
Statement of the Problem
The Honduran Dairy Industry is going to experience dramatic changes in the
foreseeable future. According to Umafia (1998), Honduras ranks second in milk
production in Central America only after Costa Rica. Currently, milk production and
processing in Honduras is highly inefficient and non competitive. Consequently, it could
be hit the hardest by open markets since productivity is low and production costs are high
(I. Matamoros, personal interview, June 2003).
Furthermore, Honduran dairy farmers have not had access to extension programs
that offer non-biased, research based information to face the difficulties of milk
production in the tropics. According to Umali et al. (1994), the ability of the livestock
sector to attain its full productive potential is influenced by the availability and quality of
livestock support services. A review of secondary data and informal interviews during
2000 and 2001 revealed that most of the educational opportunities available to farmers in
the north coast of Honduras come from input suppliers such as veterinary and feed
companies that seek to increase sales rather than to educate farmers. Therefore, quality
of such programs has been extremely variable. Moreover, it has been hard for leaders
and farmers to picture the benefits of extension, especially when programs offered have
come in the form of short-term technical interventions with predetermined agendas.
Additionally, farmers are facing a serious of issues such as the lack of credit and financial
services, lack of infrastructure, land tenure and ownership and marketing problems (LSU
Ag Center, 2002). Farmers are small landholders with few exceptions, and they are
poorly organized at the national level. Although farmer associations exist in virtually
every major town of Honduras, their role is very limited.
A particularly important segment of the dairy industry are CRELs. These centers
are offering an unprecedented opportunity for small farmers to access better milk prices,
to share knowledge and experiences with other farmers and to improve milk quality in the
country. However, CRELs need the expertise and guidance from extension and visionary
leaders to become sustainable units of production. The lack of extension services or the
provision of services that ignore farmer needs and views could prove fatal for rural
economies as CRELs are serving as a model for a large number of farmer groups across
the country. The number of CRELs nationwide has grown from 13 in 2001 to 61 in
2003, and it is expected to reach 75 by the end of 2004.
Based on the above, our study seeks to determine perceptions about extension
services from New and Old CREL members as well as from leaders of the industry in
order to provide foundational data that can be translated into practical recommendations
for extension service providers.
Purpose and Objectives
The main purpose of our study was to determine the perceptions of three groups of
dairy farmers (New CREL members, Old CREL members and large farmers) on
extension's educational delivery in the northern coast of Honduras. Our study focused on
CREL farmers. New CREL farmers are defined as: farmers belonging to CRELs that had
recently started operations at the time of our study and Old CREL farmers as farmers
belonging to CRELs that had started operations in the years 2000 and 2001. The large
farmer group in our study is comprised of leaders in the areas the study was conducted.
The specific objectives for the study were to
* Objective 1: Determine the perception of each group of farmers about extension
* Objective 2: Determine educational delivery methods used in extension programs
offered to dairy farmers in Honduras.
* Objective 3: Determine preferred educational delivery methods for dairy farmers in
* Objective 4: Determine felt and ascribed educational needs for dairy farmers in the
north coast of Honduras.
Objective 5: Determine perceptions of dairy farmers on open market policies and
its effects on the dairy industry in relation to educational needs.
Limitations of the Study
Due to the large number of dairy farmers in the north coast of Honduras
(N=14,895) one potential limitation of the study is that it is focused on three purposive
samples of dairy farmers. Thus, the findings of our study may not be generalized to the
population of all dairy farmers in the north coast of Honduras.
Another potential limitation includes bias potential from assessing only perceptions
of importance, rather than actual knowledge of extension services from farmers.
However, secondary research indicates that knowledge-related perceptions and actual
knowledge can be highly correlated (Ary et al. 2002). In addition, to decrease the
potential bias in the interpretation of the findings by the researcher, a group of experts in
the fields of extension and milk production contributed to the analysis of primary data
Significance of the Problem
Currently, little is formally documented as to the perceptions about extension,
preferred delivery methods and about the implications of CAFTA from CREL members,
leaders of the dairy industry and from Honduran dairy farmers in general. This problem
is significant to extension providers, farmer associations and the Honduran government
because it is important to address farmers' needs in the near future in order to strengthen
rural economies. Determining the perceptions of CREL farmers and leaders of the
industry will help to paint a clearer picture of the strengths and weaknesses of existing
services, and it will provide foundational data to potential providers. In addition to new
knowledge and strategic recommendations, an increase in the awareness of the
importance of extension in the development of the industry are important outcomes of
Included are the terms and definitions that appear frequently throughout our study.
* Agricultural extension: A series of socially sanctioned and legitimate activities
which seek to enlarge and improve the abilities of farm people to adopt more
appropriate and often new practices and to adjust to changing conditions and
* CRELs: Centro de recolecci6n y enfriamiento de leche (CREL in Spanish).
Farmer-owned milk cooling and collection centers located along the north coast of
* New CREL farmers: Farmers belonging to CRELs who where either in the process
of starting operations or had recently started operations at the time of our study.
* Old CREL farmers: Farmers belonging to CRELs who had started operations in
the years 2000 and 2001.
* Large farmers: Farmers who were not affiliated to CRELs but where considered
leaders in the same geographical areas where CRELs are located.
* DICTA: Directorate of Agricultural Science and Technology (DICTA in Spanish).
DICTA is a decentralized entity, under the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock
(SAG in Spanish). DICTA's main functions include the privatization of services
for generating and transferring agricultural technology.
* NGO's: Non-governmental organizations.
* Farmer-led extension: Multidirectional communication process between and
among extension staff and farmers. It involves the sharing, sourcing and
development of knowledge and skills in order to meet farming needs and develop
innovative capacity among all actors. This approach seeks to involve farmers in
training other farmers and trainers, and in sharing, sourcing and transferring
knowledge and skills.
* Adult education: It is a process whereby adults gain knowledge or skills in a set of
organized activities designed to enhance their quality of life involving educators.
* Delivery method: Is the medium through which educational content is transmitted
and human interaction occurs.
* AGAA: Asociaci6n de Ganaderos y Agricultores de Atlantida (AGAA in Spanish).
Farmer association located in the Atlantida region.
* AGAS: Asociaci6n de Ganaderos y Agricultores de Sula (AGAS in Spanish).
Farmer association located in the Sula region.
* SAGO: Sociedad de Agricultores y Ganaderos de Olanchito (SAGO in Spanish).
Farmer association located in the Olanchito region.
* CAFTA: Central American Free Trade Agreement. The CAFTA is the most recent
free trade agreement negotiated by Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua,
Dominican Republic and the United States.
In summary, the dairy industry in Honduras is a very important economic activity.
However, milk production and processing is highly inefficient and noncompetitive.
Consequently it could be hit the hardest by open markets since productivity is low and
production costs are high. In addition, the lack of adequate extension and support
services has hindered the development of the industry. Based on the above, our study
seeks to determine perceptions about extension services from New and Old CREL
members as well as from leaders of the industry in order to provide foundational data that
can be translated into practical recommendations for extension service providers, farmer
associations, input suppliers and farmers regarding the delivery of extension education
programs related to milk production. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the literature
reviewed for our study.
To understand the importance of Extension services for dairy farmers in Honduras
and the importance of documenting farmers needs, it is important to see what the relevant
literature relays on the subject.
* Extension in the development of the agricultural and livestock sector
* Factors that affect the performance of extension
* Approaches to extension services
* Delivery of livestock services
* Importance and types of needs assessments
* Education in rural areas
* Principles of adult education
* Overview of delivery methods used in extension
* Organization and development of farmer groups
* Leadership development
Extension in the Development of the Agricultural and Livestock Sectors
In developing countries where agriculture is the principle means of livelihood for
40 to 90% of the population (Jazairy, 1992), strengthening the ability of agriculture to
compete domestically and in export markets is an important premise for an economically
competitive agricultural sector. The State of Food and Agriculture Report from FAO
(2000) concluded that reducing poverty and food insecurity is not simply a question of
enhancing agricultural productivity and production or of generating more income.
Productivity is the result of complex relations that involves not only farmers but also
complex relationships. Maalouf et al. (1991) have stated that the quality, capability and
performance of farmers in agriculture are fundamental indicators of the level of the
agricultural sectors efficiency, productivity, development and sustainability.
Furthermore, high capability and good performance in farmers are not inborn qualities-
they are acquired. Most farmers in the developing world have a low level of formal
education and extremely few have the opportunity to study agriculture in the formal
school system. As observed in developed countries, it can be inferred that education is
important to develop the agricultural and livestock sectors. In reality, extension services
are continually important even to educated farmers, and research and learning that
accompanies adoption of new technologies is especially important for the advancement
of farmers with low knowledge levels (Rivera et al. 1991).
According to FAO (1990) the Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension has
stated that farm people who receive nonformal education through extension programs
generally increase their productivity and efficiency. Still, extension resources are
available to only 1 out of every 5 farmers in the developing regions of the world (Rivera,
1995). Research shows that in Africa, 2 out of every 3 farmers have no contact with
public extension services; in Asia 3 out of 4; in Latin America, 6 out of 7 and 5 out of 6
in the Near East (Maalouf et al. 1991).
Agricultural extension work is a significant social innovation, an important force
in agricultural change, which has been created and recreated, adapted and developed over
the centuries. Today, the organizations and personnel engaged in agricultural extension
encompass a diverse range of socially sanctioned and legitimate activities which seek to
enlarge and improve the abilities of farm people to adopt more appropriate and often new
practices and to adjust to changing conditions and societal needs (Jones & Garforth,
The services provided by extension have significant public-good attributes. It is
estimated that there are at least 800,000 official extension workers worldwide, and some
80% of the world's extension services are publicly funded and delivered by civil servants
(Feder, Willett and Zijp, 2001). Universities, autonomous public organizations, and
NGOs deliver about 12% of extension services, and the private sector delivers another
5% (The World Bank, 2003a). Agricultural extension responsibilities include the
transferring of knowledge from researchers to farmers, advising farmers in their decision
making and educating farmers on how to make better decisions, enabling farmers to
clarify their own goals and possibilities, and stimulating desirable agricultural
developments (Van den Ban and Hawkins, 1996). Extension is a function pursuing many
different purposes: livestock development, forest use and conservation, fisheries
engineering and capture, food and nutrition education, as well as well as crop
development. Even in programs designed to foster agricultural crop production,
extension may be concerned with providing information on other crucial issues such as
food storage development, processing, farm management, and marketing (Rivera et al.
2001). In addition, the effectiveness of extension programs is key to the development of
the agricultural and livestock sectors. Rivera (1997) and Swanson et al. (1997) agree that
for agricultural extension to be successful there has to be at the very least a viable
technology system comprising four main factors:
* Commitments to a purpose-specific and target-specific extension/technology policy
covering those factors that directly impact the technology system, including the
utilization of technology by farmers.
* A practical research program involving a technology development system
connected to basic research innovations but devoted to applied and adaptive
* An extension/technology transfer system organized into the sub-functions of
knowledge transfer and input transfer, but responding to any and all purposes, such
as: program actions to promote sustainable agriculture, reduce non-point sources of
pollution, and/or help farmers organize.
* Responsive feedback system that assesses technology utilization by farmers.
Furthermore, John B. Claar, former INTEPAKS Director offers 10
recommendations from an organizational perspective on how to make agricultural
extension successful (adapted by Rivera, 2003). These include:
* Develop a clear-cut mission for the organization, stating what the scope is to be,
whom it has to serve, what the expected outcomes are to be, and how it will be
* Take account of the constraints in the external environment: policy, markets, input
supply, credits, roads and cultural factors.
* Access available information: research-extension linkage, farmer interaction and
feedback and informal and formal lateral linkages with industry, input suppliers
* Develop internal technical capacity within extension by increasing the formal
education levels, augmenting farmer in-service education and developing and
deploying technical support staff such as Subject Matter Specialists so that they can
better adapt to general recommendations.
* Developed balanced methodology that is re-enforcing. Use mass media, personal
contacts, wholesaling through other organizations or firms, farming systems
research, field-testing, demonstrations and visits.
* Develop and implement an internal management system that provides for personnel
motivation, supervision, reporting, and delegation of authority and plan of work.
* Deal with the human factor. Avoid or soften top down, targeted or technology
centered approaches by involving farmers in problem identification and promoting
interaction in setting programs and securing feedback.
* Budget enough funds for program operations. Ensure budget not mostly for
salaries and provide mobility and teaching tools.
* Organize and structure the organization so that there are clear lines of authority and
that the scope of the work includes relevant areas.
* Divest the organization of roles or functions that conflict with the primary mission,
such as regulatory obligations, credit or input supply functions and administrative
Innate in these recommendations are the notions that the success of extension lies
in the strength of the linkages with research bodies and farmers, the expertise of field
agents and the leadership of administrators.
Factors that Affect the Performance of Extension
Shifting trends in agriculture are affecting the traditional roles of agricultural
extension. Numerous authors Qamar (2000), Rivera et al. (2001), Swanson et al. (2003)
suggest that agricultural extension organizations in both developed and developing
countries are undergoing considerable reexamination and change due to the "new
agriculture." This is a trend that is led by the backdrop of declining public resources,
increasing corporate control over key agricultural sector components, increased
competition from abroad, and new relationships among producers and between producers
and end-user markets. Globalization is inextricably linked to privatization, and countries
are finding themselves confronted by a new and highly competitive global market
(Fresco, 2000). In view of that, the participation of farmers in these new economic
relationships demands new skills and knowledge, new communication networks among
like-minded producers, and the ability to identify and take advantage of emerging
marketing and agro-processing opportunities.
Consequently extension organizations, if they are to remain viable institutions,
need to plan and deliver extension programs that can help farmers take advantage of the
new opportunities to increase their income within this new agricultural economy
(Swanson et al. 2003). The threats of not complying with the new roles and
responsibilities are evident, the last decade witnessed an accelerated decline in the
credibility of public sector extension, and unless extension grows to beyond technology
transfer, and clearly articulates its role in facilitating broader changes supportive of
evolving rural livelihoods, its ability to remain relevant in the future is extremely
doubtful (Tadesse, 2003).
According to Rivera (1997) at least nine exogenous forces began to impose their
leverage in extension in the last decade. These forces included
* Expanding international trade and the penetration of competitive global pressures
into local markets.
* The problematic nature of food security, and access to food.
* The exponential population growth, migration and urbanization occurring in the
* The rapid development of science and technology.
* The increasing pressures on land use.
* The need for sustainable agriculture and natural resources management.
* The growing expectations for participation and control of institutional decision-
* The imbalances in supply of and demand of well trained agricultural workers.
* The persistence of poverty, AIDS, illiteracy and the poor quality of human
development services in most developing countries.
Furthermore, the challenge of addressing these needs are complicated by both the
limited access of farmers to relevant agricultural information and the public sector's
apparent dearth of financial resources for agricultural extension. In this regard if
extension is to be relevant and responsive in the 21st century, it needs to service farm
families in an increasingly complex, interdependent, rapidly changing, resource stressed
world and it must be affordable (Antholt, 1991).
Approaches to Extension Services
In practice, extension organizations everywhere pursue the overall goals of
technology transfer and human resource development, though within each organization
there is a mix of objectives and within each country there is a mix of organizational
patterns (Nagel, 1997). Technology transfer has a focus on production and technical
efficiency and has been predominant in recent years while human resource development
has focused more on institutional building, organization work, leadership development,
increasing farmer knowledge and social change (The World Bank, 2003a). These two
premises have led to a wide variety of approaches to extension. A well-recognized
categorization of extension approaches is the one by Axinn (1988). His book Guide on
Alternative Extension examines eight approaches to extension. These include: the
general agricultural extension approach, commodity specialized approach, training and
visit approach, the agricultural extension participatory approach, project approach,
farming systems development approach, cost sharing approach and the educational
institution approach. An alternate classification by Nagel (1997) differentiates between
approaches that at least in principle, target all persons in rural areas engaged in farming
and those that purposely select clientele according to specific criteria. The general
clientele approach is offered by Ministry-based Extension (in most countries) and
Cooperative Extension in the United States. While selected clientele approaches includes
commodity-based extension, commercial services and client-based & client-controlled
Anderson and Feder of The World Bank (2003b) prefer to focus on specific formats
or approaches to extension that have appeared in the last three decades as an attempt to
overcome some of the weakness inherent in the public extension systems of recent
decades. These include Training and Visit (T&V), decentralization, privatized extension
and Farmer Field Schools (FFS). In contrast Rivera et al. (2001) distinguishes between a
variety of public sector reform strategies supporting the new paradigm market-driven
income-generation (Table 2-1). According to this distinction, market reforms encompass
four major reform strategies. These include: revision of public sector systems, pluralism,
cost recovery and total privatization.
Table 2-1. Extension Market Reform Strategies.
Revision of public sector Cost recovery
Public via downsizing & (fee-based) systems
some cost recovery
Delivery previously in Mexico)
Pluralism, partnerships, power Privatization (total)
(Chile, Estonia, Hungary, (The Netherlands, New Zealand
Venezuela, S.Korea, Taiwan) England & Wales)
Source: Rivera et al. (2001)
The non-market reforms comprise two main reform strategies: decentralization and
subsidiarity. Decentralization is focused on transferring central government authority to
lower tiers of government, and subsidiarity is the transferring or delegation of
responsibility to the lowest level of society. Table 2-2 employs illustrates non-market-
oriented structural reforms. Both Table 2-1 and 2-2 highlight the main strategies adopted
worldwide by countries undertaking public sector institutional reform and provides
examples of countries that have followed such reforms.
Based on the above, it is deemed necessary to review public, private and farmer-led
extension in order to gain a deeper understanding of the factors or reforms that can
surface in the analysis of our study.
Table 2-2. Extension Non-Market Reform Strategies.
Decentralization to lower tiers Transfer (delegation) of
Political of government responsibility to other entities
Administrative (Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico (Bolivia, to farmer organizations;
Issues The Philippines, Uganda & Ecuador, mixed with farmer-led
others) NGO programs; Peru, extension
devolved to NGOs)
Source: Rivera et al. (2001)
The evolution of public agricultural extension arrived at a worldwide turning point
in the 1980s; it was, so to speak, the end of the beginning as Rivera et al. (2001) defines
it. The traditional approach of public extension led by ministries of agricultural mostly
needed to be redefined and modernized. A basic premise for such change lay in the fact
that the public sector in general is overly burdened with numerous activities and so it was
believed that moving some of them to the private sector might allow more effective
implementation of essential services (Schwartz and Zijp, 1994). At the time public sector
extension worldwide had been criticized for not doing enough, not doing it well, and for
not being relevant. Critics emphasized the insufficient impact in effectiveness, in
efficiency, and the lack of programs that fostered equity (Rivera et al. 1991).
Furthermore, Benor and Harrison (1977), in one of the most influential extension
publications ever, evaluated ministry-based extension systems and found that its poor
performance was related to four leading causes. These causes included: inadequate
internal organizational structures, inefficiency of extension personnel, inappropriateness
or irrelevance of extension content and dilution of extension impact. Their findings in
the late 1970s can be considered root causes for many of the problems public sector
extension is facing today.
In addition, Nagel (1997) cited the contradictory nature of the goals of public
extension as one of the leading causes for the lack of success. He argued that goals were
too ambitious for a single organization. After all, public interest implies serving farmers
and the urban population, securing subsistence production and promoting cash crops for
export, reaching the masses of rural households and serving the needs of specific groups,
extending assistance to high-potential and disadvantaged producers all at the same time.
Consequently it has been hard for extension to program and deliver quality programs to
the different segments of clientele, and often this has led extension to ignore or give less
emphasis to less advantaged farmers.
Wilson (1991) found that public extension services demonstrated a bias towards
farmers with better access to productive resources and larger holdings in a study
conducted in Ecuador. Moreover, Nagel (1997) argues that priorities for extension have
too often been pro urban in terms of price policy, favoring innovative individuals within
the modern sector, neglecting poorer strata and forgetting about women farmers. In
addition he considers that priority setting for research has been rarely based on extension
field evaluations because the system did not foster critical upward communication.
While on the technical side, knowledge has been transformed into field messages that
frequently led to distorted and outdated communication.
Yet another central problem for public extension might lie in the fact that extension
has never been seen as a purely educational activity by ministries of agriculture and
governments (Nagel, 1997). In contrast, Rivera (2003) blames the internal bureaucratic
and field mismanagement, inadequate infrastructure and institutional support and
insufficient training for the range of programmatic and specialized problems that have
needed to be resolved. Nagel (1997) argues that the hierarchical and highly bureaucratic
way in which services were organized hampered a full realization of their potential.
Nonetheless, one of the major challenges, if not the most important, that public extension
has faced is to serve large numbers of farmers using limited public funds. Realistically,
large numbers of farmers cannot be reached by publicly supported extension services and
consequently millions of farmers are not yet being reached by agricultural extension
services (Malouf et al., 1991).
To remedy some of the problems discussed earlier in terms of coverage and fiscal
arrangements, the public sector has been (1) shifting its services to the private sector
sometimes totally as in the case of the Netherlands (Proost & Duij sings, 1991), New
Zealand and Peru (Rivera, 2003); or (2) partially through contractual, outsourcing
arrangements like in Chile, or by (3) adopting private sector practices such as cost-
recovery schemes or fee-based activities for services that were once freely provided.
Such is the case in Northwest Mexico where fee-based programs have been established
for large farmers (Rivera et al. 1991), and in Honduras where farmers are expected to pay
a portion of the costs of extension (Hermosilla & Macias, 2002). As a result, there is an
increase of the private sector in extension (Rivera, 2003). Due to its importance, the
provision of private extension and its modalities is discussed later in this chapter.
Still, aside from the need to partner with the private sector and to enter where
markets fail, public sector services are necessary to protect the environment, ensure
public health, prevent inequity regarding access to public information, and provide for
emergencies (Qamar 2000; Rivera 2003). Also, a professional public extension serves to
validate information from commercial sources, transfer practices (not just technology),
conduct and report accomplishments and promote organizational action (Rivera, 2003).
Furthermore, one of the primary reasons for public sector extension is for its public good
attributes. According to Kalambokidis (2004) public value is created when a service
benefits society as a whole. When a service is recognized as having significant public
value, even citizens who do not directly benefit from the service will endorse its public
funding. The perception of agricultural information as a public good and subject to
market failure has provided the prime argument in policy debates since the 1960s for the
continued provision of government extension services (Marsh & Pannell, 1999).
Two of the most important reforms to public extension that took place in the past
three decades are discussed next. The first is Training and Visit extension, developed and
promoted by The World Bank in the 1970s and 1980s as a means to improve
organizational and programmatic structures of public sector extension and the second is
decentralization, a major reform that led to a transfer of powers, responsibilities and
functions from government to market (Rivera, 1997).
Training and visit extension (T&V)
The T&V model in the strict sense of the word is not a separate approach but one
way to organize ministry-based extension in developing countries (Nagel, 1997). This
model was promoted by the World Bank between 1975-1995 as a national public
extension system and was applied in more than 70 countries. T&V attempted to tackle
some of the weaknesses of extension at the time. T&V extension consisted of the
following features (The World Bank, 2003b):
* A single line of command, with several levels of field and supervisory staff
* In-house technical expertise, whereby subject matter specialists are to provide
training to staff and tackle technical issues reported by field staff
* Exclusive dedication to information dissemination work.
* A strict and predetermined schedule of village visits within a 2 week cycle where
contacts are to be made with selected and identified contact farmers.
* Mandatory bi-weekly training emphasizing the key set of messages for the
forthcoming 2 week cycle.
* A seasonal workshop with research personnel.
* Improved remuneration to extension staff, and provision of transportation.
T&V is considered the most ambitious of all the attempts to rehabilitate extension.
It is estimated that most of the $2.3 billion spent by The World Bank between
1974 and 1984 went to T&V system projects (Kaimowitz, 1991). However the
appropriateness and achievements of T&V have been fiercely contested (Hulme, 1991).
The World Bank (2003b) has reported that the costs of T&V structure were higher by
some 25 to 40% than the systems they replaced. This made T&V extension more
dependent on public budget allocations. Secondly, the design intended to tackle the
accountability issue by improving management's ability to monitor staff activities, taking
advantage of the strict visit schedule, the identifiable contact farmer, and the intensive
hierarchy of supervisory staff. However, the problem lied in the fact that the quality of
extension services was not practically monitored, and ultimately managers and policy
makers could not observe the impact of T&V extension. In conclusion, the lack of
accountability to farmers was not resolved. Lastly, some of the features of the design
could not stand up to practical realities. For example, the contact farmer approach was
often replaced by a contact group approach because biases in the selection of contact
farmers led to diminished diffusion. As a result, the consequences for extension were
Nonetheless, the T&V had significant impacts for extension. The first and more
recognized is that approximately 60 to 70 countries government operated extension
services were positively restructured (at least in part) and their internal systems
redesigned. The second, and not so commonly perceived impact, according to Hulme
(1991), is that T&V has been a powerful force in defending the role of the public sector
in agricultural development. T&V proved to have administrative advantages including
defined lines of authority and personnel management; however, it could not be sustained
after extension projects ended (IFAD, 2004). The limited success of T&V in its present
form as a nationwide extension system should not discredit the quality and
appropriateness of many of its elements. Applied less rigidly and combined with the
tools of human resource development as well as with the concept of participation, these
elements may constitute a valuable base for reforming extension organizations, large or
small (Nagel et al., 1992).
Recent decentralization efforts take place in a context of extension re-
conceptualizing and re-structuring that generally acknowledges that supply-side
extension should be abandoned for demand-driven approaches that are more responsive
to farmers' needs. Several factors argue for a re-assessment of extension, including the
fiscal crisis that has made it hard for governments to provide adequate resources for
extension and pressures towards more participatory approaches that allow farmers to
influence the design, implementation and evaluation of extension activities (Van
Crowder, 1996). The chronic difficulties of maintaining a public-sector extension service
and the importance of farmer participation have led to a wider scope for extension
through non-governmental intermediaries such as NGOs and farmer organizations.
Financial pressures have led to exploration of ways to reduce government costs by
decentralization, privatizing extension services and cost-sharing arrangements with
NGOs and farmers' organizations (Van Crowder, 1996).
The decentralization of extension services retains the public delivery and public
funding characteristics of traditional centralized extension but transfers the responsibility
for delivery to local governments (The World Bank, 2003b). Rondinelli (1981),
distinguishes between four different categories of decentralization:
1. Deconcentration is defined as a transfer of power to local administrative offices of
the central government.
2. Delegation is the transfer of power to sub national governments and/or parastatals,
or other government entities.
3. Devolution is the transfer of power to sub national political entities.
4. Privatization is the transfer of power to the private sector.
Decentralization not only gives local government control over personnel and
finances, but in theory it focuses control closer to the level of farmers and thus can
improve extension accountability to their needs. Rivera (1996) has observed three policy
directions that dominate extension decentralization:
1. Decentralization shifts the burden of extension costs through fiscal system
redesign with greater local government shifts for participation in financing and
2. Decentralization of extension enables structural reform with the goal of improving
institutional responsiveness and accountability.
3. Decentralization refocuses the management of extension through farmer
participatory involvement in decision-making and responsibility for extension
The advantages of decentralization are improvement in accountability, increased
coordination of local resources and higher commitment of clientele and leaders due to
increased participation in the planning and implementation stages of extension programs.
Nonetheless, decentralized extension also comes with serious threats such as: greater risk
of political interference and utilization of extension staff and resources for other
purposes, difficulties with maintaining agent quality due to the loss of economies of
scales in training. Most critical is the fact that extension-research linkages are more
difficult to organize, and issues with financial sustainability increase. In actuality, costs
are not decreased but instead they are merely transferred to the local level (The World
Furthermore FAO (1997) states that decentralization has not adequately developed
alternatives to be used in places where the human resources at the local level are
considered poor and illiterate as in the case of Honduras. A study conducted by Llambi
and Lindemann (2001) in seven Latin American countries (Colombia, Chile, Peru,
Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela) showed that none of the reforms leading to
decentralization have reached all their alleged goals, namely increased market
competitiveness, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability and sound
governability. Furthermore, they affirm that after 2 decades of reform there is still a
tension between macroeconomic policies and agricultural policies. They have stated
"Nor in any case have we found a neat policy for the restructuring of the whole
agricultural public sector (p.7)." They feel that there is always an unavoidable and
unrelenting tension between the forces of centralization and decentralization. In all the
Latin American cases this tension exists not only between central and local governments,
but it also manifests itself in the relationships between regional and local governments.
Tension even exists at the local government level between the local offices and rural
communities. In contrast, the proceedings of the International Seminar El espacio
municipal: nuevos desafios y posibilidades para el desarrollo rural con participaci6n
ciudadana from FAO (1997) state that decentralization in Bolivia has led to increased
participation of peasant and indigenous groups in decision making at the local level. As a
result, extension providers are tailoring their programs to needs of these less advantaged
segments of rural population.
In its pure sense, privatization implies a full transfer of ownership from government
extension to a private entity, with that entity meeting all costs and receiving any profits
(Rivera and Cary, 1997). In reality what has emerged are a series of approaches like the
fee-for-service for extension (where the provider may be a public entity or private firms
or consultants). In developing countries it usually entails considerable public funding
even if the provider is private (The World Bank, 2003b). The diverse financial
arrangements adopted in the last 2 decades by governments worldwide to fund
agricultural extension services provide a menu of options for consideration.
The cost recovery approach has been used in countries like Mexico where fee-
based systems among large-scale farmers in the Northwest region of the country are used.
The voucher system used Chile and Colombia has replaced partially or totally public
extension delivery systems by vouchers distributed by government services for farmers to
use in hiring private extension consultants. These vouchers are attached to agricultural
bank loans, committing a certain percentage of the loan for extension services (Rivera
and Cary, 1997). The gradual privatization process such as the one that occurred in the
Netherlands was done by transferring one half of the field extension personnel to farmer
associations while the responsibility for linking research and the privatized extension
services, policy preparation, implementation, and promotion and regulatory tasks
remained under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture (Le Gouis, 1991 cited by
Rivera and Cary, 1997). The technical staff of farmer associations has since transferred
to a private company, the DLV Adviesgroep Inc.
Some of the criticisms to forms of privatization of extension services are that there
is a focus on commercial farms. Questions arise about extension services for poor and
less advantaged farmers or those for whom the value of information is lower. New
Zealand is one of the few countries in the world that is on the verge of becoming fully
privatized. Although there has been no formal assessment of the impact of the changes in
New Zealand there appears to be less interactions between organizations, reduced
feedback from farmers to science providers, and more limited information distribution,
particularly to farmers who are less well-off (Rivera and Cary, 1997).
Still, Maalouf et al. (1991) believes that because of the problems agricultural
extension is facing in developing countries, neither publicly or privately supported
extension work can do the job alone or separately. Cooperation and complementation of
the public and private sectors in the area of extension offer the potential to
* Increase resources for extension services to farmers.
* Reduce overlap and significantly increase the number of farmers reached by
* Increase and improve the utilization of agricultural research findings from both
public and private interests supporting agricultural research and development
Over the last decade, a growing number of organizations have sought models which
seek to be both more effective in serving farmers needs and institutionally more
sustainable. Farmer-led extension seeks to promote farmers and other rural people, rather
than professional extensionists and researchers, as the principal agents of change
(Scarborough et al., 1997). The proliferation of such approaches has been attributed to
the dissatisfaction with results from traditional extension programs and the contraction of
funding for public extension (The World Bank, 2003b). Farmer-led extension
encompasses a diversity of activities that seek to ensure that agricultural extension or
research services are responsive to resource-poor farmers' needs and potentials. Experts
in the field (Scarborough et al. 1997) have defined farmer-led extension as a
multidirectional communication process between and among extension staff and farmers.
It involves the sharing, sourcing and development of knowledge and skills in order to
meet farming needs and develop innovative capacity among all actors. Farmers have a
controlling interest and are 'center stage' as the protagonists, and they play a key role in
technology development and delivery. This approach seeks to involve farmers in training
other farmers and trainers, and in sharing, sourcing and transferring knowledge and skills.
The Norwegian farmer-led Research and Extension Circles (R/E) constitute an
example of successful farmer led programs. The circles revitalized the Norwegian
extension services and contributed to increased agricultural production and more active
agricultural communities in rural areas. The R/E circles are farmer-initiated, based on
farmer membership and run by its members. Haug (1991) attributes the success of the
program to the farmer-led structure, along with government-supported fee based private
extension, on-farm adaptive research and the combination of both adaptive research and
Variations of farmer-led extension include Farmer-to-Farmer extension, Farmer
Field Schools (FFS), the problem census/problem solving approach; NGO-government
collaboration; and other approaches that provide limited external assistance that enable
farmers to manage, adapt and spread innovations through their own efforts (The World
Bank, 2003a). A brief discussion of the most relevant approaches to Farmer-led
extension is provided next.
Farmer-to-farmer extension, in which farmers are the primary extension agents, is
probably the most common form of farmer-led extension. It involves farmers
undertaking extension activities, with or without the support of external agents
(Scarborough et al. 1997). Holt-Gimenez in IFAD (1996) has referred to the movement
as "farmers helping their brothers... so that they can help themselves... to find solutions
and not be dependent on a technician or on the bank. (p.1)" The pure farmer-to-farmer
vein is often found in areas where appropriate government services are almost non-
existent or recommended technologies have been inappropriate. Farmer-to-farmer is
founded on a spirit of voluntarism from within highly motivated groups. The two pillars
of this methodology are farmer innovation and farmer solidarity (IFAD, 1996). In other
words, it is largely self-contained and self-reliant. Scarborough et al. (1997) affirm that
the campesino-a-campesino (peasant-to-peasant) movement in Latin America, the best-
known farmer-to-farmer extension network, typifies this approach. This network is
active in many Latin American Countries as well as in parts of Southeast Asia and Africa
and is characterized by
* The emergence of a 'movement' initiated and sustained by farmers.
* The generation of most innovations by farmers themselves, with occasional
external support, for instance from an NGO.
* The provision of training by farmers, to farmers, often through the creation of a
structure of farmer-promoters and farmer-trainers.
The basic methodological principles for farmer-to-farmer extension detailed by
Bunch (1982) in Two Ears of Corn have not changed significantly (Scarborough et al.
1997). These principles include obtaining rapid and recognizable results, starting small
and going slowly, limiting the introduction of technology, using small-scale
experimentation and developing a multiplier effect. Nonetheless, the authors state that
the advantage of these basic principles lies in their flexibility. Holt-Gimenez in IFAD
(1996) recognizes that the development of the campesino-a-campesino technological
basket has been unsystematic, evolving as campesinos from different areas become
interested and begin experimenting with and sharing their innovations. The campesino
learning methods documented in the technological basket are deductive, hands-on and
frequently laced with humor and local folklore.
Among the benefits and advantages of farmer-to-farmer extension (Scarborough et
al.1997 p.35) are as follows:
* Language: Farmer-extensionists speak the same language as their colleagues, both
literally and culturally, easing communication and understanding.
* Relevance: Farmer-extensionists are likely to understand their colleagues
constraints, potentials and aspirations better than more educated, non-farming
* Availability: Farmer-extensionists can often be available at times more suited to
other farmers than professional extensionists find possible.
* Accountability: Farmer-extensionists working in their own communities are more
directly accountable to the farmers they serve than is the case with professional
extension officers. This is particularly true if farmer communities contribute to the
costs of farmer-extensionists work.
* Credibility: Farmer-extensionists have the same background, and farm under
similar constraints as other farmers. Their demonstrations of new technologies and
management practices can therefore be more convincing than those undertaken by
* Sustainability: At the end of the project, the farmer extensionists stay in the
community and may continue to pursue agricultural or other rural-development
However, this approach is likely to be limited to those areas for which new
technologies are available, and it is unlikely to be offered to farmers through public
extension services. Still many experts suggest that extension's new priorities should be
"farmer-led" and believe that the concept of "farmer first and last" have come to
prominence (Rivera et al. 1991).
Farmer field schools
Farmer field schools (FFS) are another form of farmer-led extension because of the
central role farmers have in the program. FFS is a participatory approach designed
originally as a way to introduce knowledge on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the
grassroots level to advance the principle of stakeholder participation in program decision-
making with a view of eventually giving full responsibility to stakeholders for program
development (Rivera et al. 2001). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) first
introduced the program to rice farmers in Southeast Asia in 1990. FFS has since spread
to other regions, and today it is beginning to develop in Latin America as one of the
alternatives to traditional national extension activities, in such countries as Bolivia,
Ecuador and Peru (Rivera et al. 2001).
FFS is mainly used in IPM programs and represents an attempt to get away from
centralized extension practices and return the locus of interaction to the farmers' fields
(Scarborough et al., 1997). The FFS approach relies on participatory training methods to
convey knowledge through field schools to make farmers into ".. confident pest experts,
self-teaching experimenters, and effective trainers of other farmers" (p.20) (Wiebers,
1993 cited by The World Bank, 2003b). The FFS experience entails some 9 to 12 half
day sessions of hands-on, farmer experimentation and nonformal training to a group of 20
to 25 farmers during a single crop growing season. Initially, paid trainers lead this
village-level program, delivering elements and practical solutions for overall good crop
management practices and through group interactions. Attendees sharpen their decision-
making abilities and are empowered by learning leadership, communication and
management skills (van de Fliert, 1993 cited by The World Bank, 2003b). FFS requires
that professional researchers and extension officers become experts both in farming and
in facilitating farmers to undertake their own research.
Some of the major criticisms of FFS include issues about accountability, financial
sustainability and dissemination of knowledge by trained farmers. Because it requires
significant investments in time, trainers and facilities, FFS can be an expensive way of
diffusing new science-based knowledge and other information to farmers. Quizon et al.
(2000) add that the intense training activities are expensive per farmer trained, and they
imply that the amount of service actually delivered by each farmer would be small when
considered from a national perspective. The World Bank (2003b) suggest that cost
effectiveness and financial sustainability could be improved if farmer-trainers were to
become the main trainers, perhaps with significant community funding, and if informal
farmer-to-farmer communications were to facilitate knowledge diffusion. A study
conducted by Rola et al. (2002) with Rice farmers in Iloilo, Philippines suggest that there
is very little diffusion of FFS acquired knowledge from field school graduates to other
community members presumably because the content of the training is not easy to
transmit in casual, nonstructured communications. Still the findings of this study imply
that graduates retain their field school acquired knowledge.
FFS can be complementary to farmer-to-farmer extension, and most programs
encourage their participants to share their methods and results through farmer-to-farmer
extension. Quizon et al. (2000) affirm that FFS provide an interesting perspective as an
alternative learning or problem-solving approach. They state that other authors see FFS
not as an extension approach for disseminating information, but as an empowerment and
The problem census/problem solving (PC/PS) approach
The problem census is a participatory, group-based extension method that enables
farmers to identify their needs and problems, and recommend appropriate solutions and
action by building on the knowledge and experience of the farmers involved
(Scarborough et al., 1997). Experiences in Nepal and Bangladesh document that farmers
are demonstrating great interest in and enthusiasm for incorporating their felt needs into
the planning process, and they are coming up with their own ways for meeting those
needs. Strengths of the PC/PS include a decrease in the communication gap between
farmers, researchers and extension staff and an increased presence of extension staff in
the communities. This has led to increased farmer participation, built up farmers
confidence, increased trust in extension staff and most importantly the development of
realistic plans and programs. The problems of this approach include a lack of training for
facilitators and of qualified personnel within extension to face some of the multi-
disciplinary issues identified during the process.
The NGO-government collaboration
During the last decade several factors have led (some would say pushed)
government agencies and NGOs toward more collaborative efforts in agricultural
research and extension. This has been caused by two major factors. First, although
traditionally dominated by the public sector, in many parts of the world extension
services have been effectively provided to thousands of communities through innovative,
resource-intensive NGO programs. Secondly, public sector capabilities have been
reduced by shrinking budgets, the declining relative contribution of agriculture to the
economy, and poor returns on investments (Scarborough et al. 1997). As a result,
comparative advantages have moved NGOs and governments to work together in order to
provide better research and extension support to agricultural production. Collaborative
linkages between government agencies and NGOs focus primarily on concrete, time
bound activities such as training programs, but linkages can include a multitude of
activities (Scarborough, 1997). Farrington (1997) considers of crucial importance the
fact that because NGOs are independent, they are not mandated to collaborate with
research and extension services in the way that government departments might be. He
posits that NGOs will only collaborate if governments have something useful to offer.
Although much has been said about NGOs, it is important to review some of the
strengths and weakness that affect collaboration with extension. According to Farrington
(1997) the strengths of NGOs include
* Horizontally short lines of communication that allow flexibility and quick
responses to clients needs and to changing circumstances.
* Access to remote areas. NGO concerns with the rural poor means that they often
maintain a field presence in remote locations where it is typically difficult to do so.
* Access to new tools and methodologies. NGOs have pioneered a wide range of
participatory methods for diagnosis, innovative dissemination and have even
introduced system approaches for testing new technology. Often these efforts have
extended into processing and marketing as with soy in Bangladesh and cocoa in
* NGOs experience with group formation based on felt needs has proven to be a
In contrast, some of the weaknesses of NGOs outlined by Farrington (1997) include
* Small size, independence and differences in philosophy limit learning from each
other's experience and against the creation of forums, whether at the national or
* Some fashionable locations have become densely populated by the diversity of
NGOs. Problems have arisen not merely from competition for the same clientele,
but of some NGOs undermining the activities of others (Overseas Development
* Some NGOs are more accountable to external funding agencies than to the clientele
they claim to serve. Donor pressure to achieve short term impact, combined with
the lack of cross-learning has led in some cases to the promotion of inappropriate
technology such as protected horticultural systems in the Bolivian Andes (Overseas
Development Institute, 1991).
* The fact that some NGOs have placed great emphasis on volunteerism, sometimes
promoted at the expense of financially sustainable alternatives.
Farrington (1997) found that evident in SIDA's farm-level forestry project in North
Vietnam where the scope for supporting an emerging private nursery sector in the
provision of technical advice was ignored, and complex and largely voluntary advisory
services at the village level were promoted instead.
Collaboration between NGOs and governments can take place in various forms
Scarborough et al. (1997). Common collaboration activities include problem
identification, planning, technology development and the provision of critical production
inputs such as information, credit, seeds and animals. Furthermore, Farrington (1997)
has found what he calls example configurations that offer potential for replication and
adaptation in three areas: providing technical advice and feedback, training, and working
with groups. Experiences of NGO-government collaboration are mixed. In Chile, the
government has contracted private technology companies to cater to the larger
commercial farmers, and NGOs for small subsistence-oriented farmers. However,
similar attempts in India have been largely unsuccessful. One reason for this is the NGO
concern that many of the technical recommendations from governmental research
institutes are not relevant to small-scale farmers. Another reason is that mechanisms for
bottom-up feedback in existing technologies and for articulation of demands for new
technologies remain weak (Farrington, 1997).
Nonetheless, the potential impact of NGO-government collaboration is that it
allows institutions to avoid duplicated efforts in the field and to increase coverage. Still,
Scarborough et al. (1997) considers it an uneasy partnership that in many cases is still
built around the lack of trust and deep suspicion on both sides. Difficulties over
ownership and control of individual (or joint) resources often remain an obstacle.
Differing institutional agendas may prevent collaboration from being based upon a shared
vision and common objectives. A common problem faced by NGOs has been that
government agencies seek to implement change more rapidly than NGOs feel is
sustainable. Scarborough et al. (1997) concluded that collaboration between government
agencies and NGOs is usually more difficult than originally thought. In addition,
Scarborough et al. (1997) outline important lessons learned from collaboration based on
the experiences of 70 participants to the farmer-led extension workshop held in the
Philippines in 1995. These lessons show that
* Farmers can be very active partners in extension and can set an agenda and direct a
process in which government agencies and NGOs can participate to meet the needs
of the farmers and their communities.
* Whatever extension approach is used, it should ensure that farmers are encouraged
to share their experiences with others.
* Benefits can be achieved from NGO-government collaboration.
* During the process of collaboration, stereotypical views held by one group about
the other partner can be broken down, even if quite slowly.
* It is important to get the agenda and parameters of collaboration right at the outset.
Delivery of Livestock Services
The livestock sector plays a crucial role in the economies of many developing
countries as an important source of protein-rich products. It is a vital generator of
employment. For many farmers in the developing world, livestock also provides a means
of storing wealth, a cushion for food shortages, and a source of fertilizer and/or fuel, a
means of transportation, and as source of traction in agricultural production (The World
Bank, 1992). Nonetheless, the ability of the sector to attain its full productive potential is
influenced by the availability and quality of livestock support services (Umali et al.
According to The World Bank (1992) livestock services can be grouped into two
major functional categories: health and production services. Health services include
curative and preventive services and the provision of pharmaceuticals. Curative services
include the provision of clinical care, while preventive services consist of vaccination,
vector control, eradication programs, and disease control measures such as quarantines,
the slaughter of diseased animals and movement restrictions. On the other hand,
production services include research and extension relating to improved livestock
husbandry and the provision of input supplies such as seeds, feeds and artificial
insemination. Production services try to improve livestock productivity by such means as
genetic upgrading of livestock through artificial insemination, the improved formulation
of feeds, the use of improved forages and changes in management practices.
Consequently, the major players that shape the livestock services sector are
veterinarians and veterinary paraprofessionals, stockowners (commercial livestock
farmers, sedentary or mixed farm producers, pastoralists, and small backyard raisers),
herders, consumers, government, inter-governmental, non-governmental donors in
developing countries, and private entrepreneurs providing specialized services. In
addition, veterinary paraprofessionals (field technicians, field vaccinators, producer
representatives) assist veterinarians with their duties. In some countries, the limited
number of trained veterinarians and their unwillingness to serve in remote rural areas has
made paraprofessionals very valuable. In most cases veterinarians, sale agents of
agribusiness and veterinary pharmaceutical companies, provide information regarding
livestock upgrading, improved production practices, hygiene and sanitation, and feeding
as a complementary service to farmers. Increasing competition in the livestock sector
market has led to complementary livestock services extension, designed to promote and
strengthen customer loyalty and expand market shares (Umali et al. 1994).
Countries like Argentina, Brazil and the United States have seen an increase in the
number of private consulting firms specializing in the provision of technical and
extension services. These private consulting firms thrive because their services are
tailored to the needs of specific farmers or farmer groups and are not necessarily relevant
to other producers, and this minimizes free-rider problems. Umali et al. (1994) affirmed
that in Argentina and Brazil there is a growing tendency toward market segmentation in
extension services. Private consulting firms tend to cater to the specialized technical and
extension needs of the large-scale farmers, while government efforts have concentrated
on the medium and small-scale enterprises.
The provision of livestock service has often been in the domain of the public sector
(Umali et al. 1994). Over time, a growing diversity has developed in the manner in
which livestock services are delivered in individual countries. In most developing
countries, livestock services still remain a government responsibility, while in more
developed countries, some support service functions of the government are being
performed in partnership with, or have been transferred to, the private sector. de Hann
(1999) foresees strong support for livestock development in the near future as there is
now increasing realization, that livestock development programs can play an important
role in reducing rural poverty in the developing world. Second, the demand for animal
products in the developing world is growing fast, and it can be expected to continue.
Recent projections show that over the next twenty years, the demand for meat in
developing countries will increase by about 2.7% and the demand for milk by 3.2% (de
Hann, 1999). In response to these events de Hann believes there is a change in focus
from pure production, to an increasing attention to the milk and meat production of
smallholders and mixed farmers. He believes that improving the national supply of
livestock products is increasingly seen as a pure private responsibility while public
services are increasingly being concentrated on environmental mitigation and poverty
Importance and Types of Needs Assessments
A major struggle for extension is being responsive to the needs of clientele. Needs
assessments are a systematic process to identify clientele needs in order to set program
priorities and make decisions about the allocation of resources (Seevers et al. 1997).
Needs assessment helps determine if gaps exist between what is and what should be in
terms of the outcomes of extension programs and then determining the priority of these
needs (McCaslin & Tibezinda, 1997). Some of the most popular approaches used to
identify needs in communities are: needs assessment, customer profiling and asset-based
analysis. The needs assessment approach is very popular in extension and community
development organizations while asset-based analysis and costumer profiling are used
less. On the international scene, an increasing emphasis has been placed on citizen
involvement through bottom-up and grassroots program planning and development
(Swanson et al. 1997).
Techniques used in needs assessment include individual (face-to-face interviews,
questionnaires, key informant interviews), group (focus groups, delphi technique,
nominal and informal groups), secondary source (census reports, records and previous
studies) and rapid rural appraisal. The most direct method of assessing needs is to ask
potential learners what their interest level is for a particular educational topic (Bielema &
Sofranko, 1983). If done well, needs assessment is both a process and a method. As a
process, it can build leadership, group cohesion, and a sense of local involvement in the
community or clientele. As a method, needs assessment is a tool that helps a community
plan for and implement strategies in areas as diverse as crime watch programs, business
expansion efforts, and youth recreation (Israel & Ilvento, 1995).
Needs assessment has long been an important program development tool, but one
that is often expensive to undertake. A disadvantage of this approach is that it often
requires staff that are well educated to conduct interviews and facilitate focus groups in
order to gather information that reflects the needs and real problems of clientele. Another
difficulty is that problems identified can be the cause of other problems that could be
ignored by respondents and therefore not be included in the needs assessment. On the
other hand, needs assessment can identify unforeseen needs in the community or
problems that had not been considered. Advantages of this approach include evidence of
support for policy options, and an increase public involvement in policymaking and
The second approach is customer profiling. Bazik and Feltes (1999), state that
customer profiles include the following information: demographics, enterprises, preferred
methods of receiving information, business management practices and major sources of
information used in making management decisions. Balanko-Dickson (2001) has found
that most companies experience 80% of their business from 20% of their customers, and
as a result, it makes sense to direct time and energy toward customers who are important.
The company attempts to really get to know them, to understand their buying patterns,
interests, tastes and attitudes. For extension, customer profiling can have great
implications. As discussed by Bazik and Feltes (1999), customer profiling can allow
extension to know in greater detail the segments of population it is serving and have a
deeper understanding of their wants and needs. The use of costumer profiling can direct
resources to develop programs that are extremely interesting and appealing to clientele.
Marketing strategies have proven to be very successful for the private sector. However,
extension has not taken advantage of this resource to the fullest and by using costumer
profiling it would be the first step toward developing marketing strategies. The third
approach is the use of an asset-based approach. This approach focuses on a very realistic
perspective. It outlines the importance of identifying available resources and building
from them. This approach allows the use of resources in a very efficient way. However,
one important criticism is that clientele needs and wants can often be ignored. As a
result, clientele might feel that programs are not appealing to them. Agents that use the
asset-based approach have to make sure they market their programs extensively and to let
clientele know how the areas being targeted benefit them directly.
Education in Rural Areas
Education and training are the two most powerful weapons in the fight against rural
poverty and for rural-development. Unfortunately, these are among the most neglected
aspects of rural-development interventions by national governments and by donors
(Gasperini and Maguire, 2002). In addition, The World Bank (2002) has found that
although the wider context of extension and education services is key to informing and
influencing rural household decisions. Unfortunately rural areas usually lag behind urban
areas in their access to information. Such lags jeopardize the ability of rural people to
realize their full potential and improve their economic, social and environmental
conditions. The researchers stress the importance that rural information and education
have in unleashing the potential of rural people and enabling them to change their living
situations and bring about sustainable development.
Gasperini and Maguire (2002) from FAO state that educational opportunities are
not equally distributed. Quality of education is lower in rural areas and one reason is that
curricula and textbooks in primary and secondary schools are often urban biased.
Education is irrelevant to the needs of rural people, and it seldom focuses on issues such
as skills of life and rural-development. Furthermore, curricula of vocational and
technical agricultural education and higher education still focus heavily on production
and productivity, and are often obsolete.
Accordingly, Rivera (1995) states that agricultural education and training must be
an integral part of any agricultural and rural-development efforts since out of school rural
populations represent the largest human resource group in almost every developing
country, and the most urgently in need of well-planned programs aimed at agricultural
education. This group of farmers, fishermen, foresters, young adults and youth comprise
70 to 90% of the rural population. They need comprehensive nonformal, community
based, on-the-farm education and training programs aimed at the development of rural
enterprise as well as more efficient farm production. Gasperini & Maguire (2002)
suggests that the concept and practice of agricultural education should be redesigned in
the developing countries as education for rural-development and food security. Indeed,
many needs are rapidly emerging such as trade-related education on agro-health (plant
and animal health and food safety), value-added agro-processing, and agro-market
competitiveness. These needs arise from the obligations that countries take on as
members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the increasing urgency to build
competitive advantages aimed at global agricultural market niche opportunities.
Based on these facts it can be inferred that a large majority of people in rural areas
who urgently need extension and educational training programs are adults. As such, it is
important to understand the adult learner.
Principles of Adult Education
Facilitating the learning experience for adults necessitates an understanding of
adulthood in conjunction with the learning process. A wide range of concepts are
invoked when the word adult is used Mott (2002). Some tend to think of adults in terms
of age. Rogers (1996) has stated that no single age can define an adult even within one
society, let alone a comparative basis, because legal and social liabilities come into play
at different ages. He argues that a more satisfactory approach may be to identify some of
those characteristics inherent within the concept of adulthood. Though they may differ
by the person and culture, far-sightedness, self-control, established and accepted values,
security, experience and autonomy are among the most common ones.
Research has shown that adults and children learn differently. Knowles (1990)
determined that two types of teaching are involved with learning: pedagogy and
andragogy. Table 2-3 demonstrates the differences between the two approaches.
Table 2-3. Characteristics of Pedagogy and Andragogy.
Dependent learner Self directed and independent
Motivation based on external rewards Internal incentives and curiosity
Climate of learning: formal authority, Informal climate with mutual respect,
competitive and judgemental consensual, collaborative and supportive
Planning done by teacher Participatory decision-making
Diagnosis of needs done by teacher Mutual assessment
Delivery by transmission and assigned Inquiry projects, independent study and
Readings experimental techniques
External evaluation Self assessment
Source: Baren-Stein & Draper (1993) (p.255).
Pedagogy refers to the art of teaching children and andragogy to the art of teaching
adults. These two philosophies are not necessarily age dependent, but represent different
"philosophical orientations or approaches to teaching and learning (Barer-Stein &
Draper, 1993 p.4)".
Adult Education is a process whereby adults gain knowledge or skills in a set of
organized activities designed to enhance their quality of life involving educators. An
adult's ability to acquire new information may have more to do with lifestyle, social
roles, and attitudes rather than with an innate ability to learn (Seevers et al., 1997).
Malcolm Knowles (1990) has outlined Nine Characteristics of Adult Learners to
use when dealing with any adult learner regardless of level, subject or situation (p. 194).
* Adults need to control their learning.
* Adults need to feel that learning has immediate utility, ie., that the application of
ideas has to be relayed.
* Adults need to feel that learning focuses on issues that directly concern them.
* Adults need to test their learning as they go along, rather than receive background
theory and general information.
* Adults need to anticipate how they will use their learning.
* Adults need to expect performance improvement to result from their learning.
* Adult learning is greatest when it maximizes available resources.
* Adult learning requires a climate that is collaborative, respectful, mutual and
* Adult learning relies on information that is appropriate to what is known at a given
time (i.e., it is developmentally paced).
In conclusion, adult learners require a personal productive time, where meaningful
connections are made between previous knowledge and experiences with new bodies of
knowledge and/or skills that will lead to immediate results.
Implications for extension include selecting educational delivery formats and
teaching methods that provide learning opportunities that produce the desired learning
outcomes (Birkenholz, 1999). Furthermore, extension agents need to understand the
social situation, physical conditions and infrastructure of the individual farmers
(Lionberger and Gwin, 1982). In the past, approaches to agricultural changes have
tended to treat farmers' methods of gaining information as a closed system, and it has
become more obvious that adults and especially farmers' systems of information
acquisition and decision-making are involved with linkages in a broad social context
(Bruening et al., 1992).
Overview of delivery methods used in extension
To effectively facilitate the learning process, learners must engage in activities
that expand their knowledge base from what is known to encompass to that which was
previously unknown. Richardson et al. (1996) recognize that extensive learning research
has consistently shown that learners need and want to gain some type of experience with
new information as well as to be supported and reinforced in the learning process. In the
process of receiving information, gaining experience with it, and being reinforced in the
learning process learners need to assimilate or integrate the new information with
knowledge they already possess. Thus, to promote effective and efficient learning, a
delivery system should include methods, whenever possible, that provide desired
experiential opportunities for the learner, reinforce the learner, and provide opportunities
for the learner to integrate new information with existing knowledge and skills.
Delivery methods can be classified according to the nature of the contact, the
form of communication or function (Seevers et al. 1997). Furthermore, delivery methods
can be classified according to the stage at which the method can be used in the learning
process as illustrated by Richardson (1996).
Based on this last classification, delivery methods are classified into four
categories: experiential, reinforcement, integrative, and other. Table 2-4 provides the list
of the delivery methods that are included in each category.
The three initial categories indicate the stage at which the various delivery
methods can be used most effectively in a program delivery system.
* Other methods are applicable in a wide variety of systems or that can be used for
limited or special situations. Obviously, many of the methods listed can fit under
more than one category.
* Experiential methods allow the learner to gain experience with or to feel the
information presented. This experience may occur through physical activity or it
may involve the senses, emotions, or social interaction, depending on the content of
the educational program. As the Father of Extension (Seaman A. Knapp) stated:
"What a man hears, he may doubt; what he sees, he may possibly doubt, but what
he does, he cannot doubt (Rasmussen, 1989)."
* Reinforcement delivery methods provide informational, emotional, or social
support for the learner to facilitate learning and enhance or maintain the motivation
to continue in the learning process.
* Integrative methods provide the learner opportunities to discuss, clarify, or
otherwise gain greater understanding of new information that can be classified.
These methods generally provide opportunities for learners to merge new
information with their existing knowledge.
Table 2-4. Delivery methods used in extension services.
Experiential Reinforcement Integrative
On farm test
Analysis of data
Leaflet or flier
Home study kit
Video cassette Audience reaction
Interactive video Listening team
Audio compact disk Interview
Video compact disk Teleconference
Source: Richardson et al. (1996) (p. 2).
According to Birkenholz (1999, p. 44), when selecting an appropriate delivery
method, educators should consider the following:
* Objectives and goals. The educator should determine if the purpose of the
instruction is to create awareness, interest, gain knowledge, to apply new
information, to teach or perform a skill or to help learners modify, adopt or clarify
their attitudes or values.
* Content. The content will allow the educator to search for specific methods.
* Resources. The cost of instruction and availability of funds to deliver the program
should be analyzed. Adequate facilities and equipment should also be taken into
* Skills of the educator. The skills and expertise of educators or extension agents are
important to farmers. Farmers come to programs to learn new things and will often
test their instructor's skills and knowledge.
* Size and educational level of the target group.
* Desired interaction of learners among themselves and the instructor.
* Available time. These are some of the main considerations that should be taken into
account when designing and carrying out extension programs for farmers. As an
educator it is necessary to take into account that each group of learners has different
learning styles and preferences. These differences should challenge the educator to
bring a wide variety of delivery methods into the program to enhance the learning
experience of all learners.
Organization and Development of Farmer Groups
ISNAR (2002) categorizes farmer groups into three broad organizational types:
local grassroots organizations, federations or networks and farmer associations. Local
grassroots organizations are formally constituted groups with memberships drawn from a
community or groups of communities where interactions are mostly face-to-face and
within a horizontal organizational structure. For example, women and peasant groups
have emerged in countries like Honduras with the collaboration of NGOs. Federations or
networks are multi-tiered organizations composed of an apex body and base units.
Examples of these are the National Federation of Labour in the Philippines, the General
Agricultural Workers Union in Ghana, the National Federation of the Landowners and
Agriculture Shareholders in Romania, the National Confederation of Agriculture Workers
in Brazil (IUF, 1997) and the Federaci6n Nacional de Agricultores y Ganaderos de
Honduras (FENAGH). On the other hand, farmer organizations (FO) are vertically
integrated organizations with a single governing board, usually with specialized
committees and subunits. These are legally constituted entities that have an identifiable
membership, a governing body and rules for decision-making.
Chamala and Shingi (1997) have categorized farmer organizations into two types:
community-based, resource-orientated farmer organizations; and commodity-based,
market-orientated farmer organizations. The characteristics of community-based,
resource-orientated farmer organizations include that they are generally small, have well
defined geographical areas, are predominantly concerned about inputs and the client
group is highly diversified in terms of crops and commodities. On the other hand,
market-orientated farmer organizations specialize in a single commodity and opt for
value added products that have expanded markets. These organizations are generally
small and operate in a competitive environment and the rate of success is generally
determined by their capacity to arrange for major investments and a continuous flow of
raw materials. Success stories about these type of organizations have been documented
in India with dairy FOs such as Anand Milk (Chamala and Shingi, 1997) and the Camara
Nacional de Productores de Leche of Costa Rica (Camara Nacional de Productores de
Research suggests that farmer groups are key to the development of the agriculture
and livestock sector. FOs generally represent farmer's demands and interests and provide
support services for technology adoption and develop members' capacities to use
technology (ISNAR, 2002). Since FOs are community-based, and better placed to
understand the social, economic and technical needs of farmers, they are ideal
organizations for extension to work with. However, many FOs lack capacity,
information, new technology, finances and resources (SACRED-AFRICA, 2003).
Therefore, it is important to strengthen FOs so that they can exert an effective demand for
agriculture-related services and become active partners in the process of technology
Addressing the issue of small farmer group associations is both important and
timely according to FAO (1999). It is timely because with the privatization of markets
and downsizing of public sector programs, many farmer groups are struggling for
survival as government subsidies are reduced and markets reformed. Many of the largest
government systems have neglected the opportunity to organize groups, empower their
clientele and press for equity (Axinn et al. 1997). Furthermore, studies have revealed that
belonging to a farmer association or other organized groups contributes to the adoption of
sustainable agriculture practices as is the case in Rond6nia, Brazil in a study conducted
by Caviglia-Harris (2001). The participation of farmers in groups often increases
communication between farmers and as a result encourages a sense of peer pressure
One of the great challenges leadership development specialists face is how to best
facilitate the development of community leaders, given the social and economic
challenges faced by these communities. According to Stedman (2004), Bass (1990, p.78)
defined leadership as
... the focus of group processes, as a matter of personality, as a matter of inducing
compliance, as the exercise of influence, as particular behaviors, as a form of persuasion,
as a power relation, as an instrument to achieve goals, as an effect of interaction, as a
differentiated role, as initiation of structure, and as many combinations of these.
Burns (1978) defined leadership as the process of mobilizing, by persons with
certain motives and values, various economic, political, and other resources, in a context
of competition and conflict, in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by
both leaders and followers. As it can be inferred, leadership includes many variables, the
leader him/herself, the followers, the situation, the task, the relationships and more.
Many authors have discussed the differences between leadership and management.
Kotter (1990) argues the functions of management are to provide order and consistency
and in contrast, leadership is to produce change and movement. On the other hand,
Northouse (2001) has stated that the functions of leadership and management are similar,
but a difference exists. Historically, Northouse identifies leadership from the early
studies of Aristotle, whereas the study of management begun in the early 1900s as a
response to the industrialization of society.
According to Apps (1993), emerging ways of thinking in extension will lead
organizations to have a new view of competition, examine the differences between
efficient and effective, question specialization, broadly define knowledge to include
multiple perspectives, and realize that change isn't constant. Change itself is changing.
It is increasingly unpredictable and as a result, next to impossible to prepare for. As a
result Apps believes that leaders in extension need to: know what they believe and value,
live with paradox, be risk takers, study the context, inspire, empower, build bridges
among people and among ideas, challenge the process, embrace ambiguity, serendipity,
encourage artistry, appreciate humor, collaborate and above all be guided by quality.
Rivera (2003) considers that poor leadership is a serious problem in extension. He
believes that organizations work the way they do because of the way people work in
these organizations, and often enough the way they work is a reflection of their
leadership. He states that to be truly effective, leadership involves leaders at all levels in
order to bring about development. Barbuto & Etling (2002) consider that leadership
development is a process, not an event. Furthermore, it is a process that requires a long-
term initiative, typically lasting between six and eighteen months. They believe that for
leadership development to occur there most be a variety of developmental experiences
and also the ability and opportunity to learn from these experiences. In addition, they
state individuals who have gained experiences, but haven't learned from them (or
learning without practical experiences) will not experience any substantive leadership
development. The key elements of leadership development experiences include
assessment, challenge and support. Consequently, these experiences must be carefully
planned to incorporate each of these three components. Finally, they conclude that
effective programs are those grounded in solid leadership theory and research.
In contrast, Sandmann & Vandenberg (1995) believe that leadership development
is not a commodity to deliver or a how-to manual or an iteration of current practice. It is,
rather, a perspective, a set of ideas, a way of thinking based on the architecture
underlying multiple variations of community action leadership development. Community
action leadership development is leadership development for community organizations
and it aims to develop individual's abilities to build both a group community spirit and its
capacity to engage in effective action. Organizational development is the increase of a
group's capacity to engage in concerted and effective action to achieve group goals.
Finally, Sandmann and Vandenberg consider that leadership development is the growth
of individual's capacities to facilitate community development and organizational
Leadership development programs have been launched in several countries. The
New Zealand Young Farmers Leadership Development Program sponsored by the
Ministry of Agriculture in March 2004 is an example of such initiatives. The program
was initiated by young farmers to increase the number of young people becoming
involved in rural community and industry leadership roles. The primary objective of this
program was to develop young members so they may participate more effectively in
organizations related with the agricultural sector throughout their lives.
This literature review chapter was comprised of the following: extension in the
development of the agricultural and livestock sector, factors that affect extension
performance, approaches to extension services, delivery of livestock services, importance
and types of needs assessments, education in rural areas, principles of adult education,
overview of delivery methods, organization and development of farmer groups and
leadership within farmer groups. Literature documents that there are potential reasons to
assume that the quality and availability of extension services to dairy farmers in
Honduras, and this plays a major role in the productivity of the sector. Our study seeks to
identify farmers educational needs, based on the subject areas highlighted in this
literature review. The next chapter focuses on methods and procedures utilized in our
Chapter 1 provided a description of the situation of milk production in Honduras,
the factors affecting it and of the extension services available to dairy farmers in
Honduras. Chapter 1 also identified the need of the study, purpose of the study,
objectives of the study, the limitations and significance.
Chapter 2 presented relevant literature to the areas covered in our study. Included
was a discussion of the following topic areas: 1) extension in the development of the
agricultural and livestock sector, 2) factors that affect the performance of extension, 3)
approaches to extension services, 4) delivery of livestock services, 5) importance and
types of needs assessments, 6) education in rural areas, 7) principles of adult education,
8) overview of delivery methods, 9) organization and development of farmer groups and
10) leadership within farmer groups.
This chapter explains the methods used to accomplish the objectives of the study.
The main purpose of our study was to determine the perceptions of three groups of dairy
farmers (New CREL members, Old CREL members and large farmers) on extension's
educational delivery in the northern coast of Honduras. For our study, milk collection
centers known as CRELs were categorized into New and Old CREL. New CRELs were
either in the process of starting operations or had recently started operating at the time of
our study while Old CRELs had started operations in the years 2000 and 2001. Large
farmers were not affiliated to CRELs but where considered leaders in the same
geographical areas where CRELs were located. The five objectives for the study were to:
1) Determine the perceptions of three groups of dairy farmers about extension services, 2)
Determine educational delivery methods used in extension programs offered to dairy
farmers in Honduras, 3) Determine preferred educational delivery methods for dairy
farmers in Honduras, 4) Determine felt and ascribed educational needs for dairy farmers
in the north coast of Honduras and 5) Determine perceptions of dairy farmers on open
market policies, and its effects on the dairy industry in relation to educational needs.
This chapter will describe the methods and procedures used to accomplish the
objectives of the study as it relates tol) research design, 2) sample selection, 3)
procedure, 4) instrumentation, 5) data collection, and 6) data analysis.
This is an exploratory descriptive study of dairy farmers in the North Coast of
Honduras. An extensive review of secondary sources included reports from the Ministry
of Agriculture of Honduras, the Directorate of Agricultural Science and Technology
(DICTA), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), LSU Ag
Center, the Central American Federation for the Dairy Sector (FECALAC), the IV
National Agriculture Census of Honduras, the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica (INE).
Additionally, interviews with key people of the dairy industry were used to determine the
The study made use of three different structured interview guides to collect the
necessary information to accomplish the objectives of the study. The first structured
interview guide was designed for large farmers, New CREL and Old CREL farmers.
CREL is the acronym for milk collection and cooling centers in Spanish. The second
structured interview guide was for leaders of the most important farmer associations
located in the same geographical areas where the study was conducted. The third
instrument was designed to collect information from input suppliers and extension
providers working in the same geographical area of the study.
The researcher accomplished objectives 1 through 5 by using a mixed
methodology, descriptive statistics and content analysis from the responses gathered in
the structured interview guides. The advantages of using a mixed methodology or of a
combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies is beneficial to the research
process. It enhances the quality of social assessment (World Bank, 2003b) and
contributes to a deeper understanding of the situation being studied.
Three groups of farmers: a) 27 New CREL farmers, b) 14 Old CREL members, c)
10 large dairy farmers recognized as leaders by the industry, seven input suppliers and
three representatives of the farmer associations comprised the samples of our study.
Our study took place in the region known as the Cuenca Lechera de Honduras that
comprises four geographical regions. These are the Sula Valley (SV), Atlantida Region
(AT), Yoro (YO) and Col6n (CO). The first two geographical regions are where the first
13 CRELs where established in Honduras. While the newer CREL where established in
the four geographical regions.
Large farmers were purposively selected based on the leadership they provided to
the industry. To select CREL farmers, a total of 20 CRELs were chosen from a total of
63 organized at the time of the study. CRELs where randomly selected based on length
of operation and location. CRELs defined as Old, had 2 years of operation while New
CRELs where either in the process of formation or had recently started operating at the
time of our study. Four CRELs from each region were originally selected (SV, AT, YO
and CO) except for the Atlantida Region where four new and four old CRELs were
chosen. However, interviews were not conducted in the Cuyamel CREL (SV) due to
difficulties with transportation. As a result, the Salitrin CREL located in AT was added
to the study. A description of the location and length of operation of each CREL is
presented in Table 3-1.
Table 3-1. Geographical location and length of operation of CRELs selected for the
Location of the
Km 17 Rd. to La
Atlintida New Esparta
Atlintida New Ceibita Way
Atlintida New Salitrin***
Atlintida/Col6n New Lis lis
4 Yoro New Juncal
Yoro New Coyoles Aldea
Yoro New Calpules Aldea
Yoro New Maloa
5 Col6n New Corocito
Col6n New La Esperanza
Col6n New Feo
Col6n New Bonito Oriental
Pilot test Sula Valley New Bonanza
Sula Valley Old Taulabe
* Old CRELs had been operating since 2000 and 2001. New CRELs had either started
operating in 2003 or were about to start operations at the time of the study.
** CREL not interviewed.
Furthermore, two farmers were randomly selected from each CREL except in one
CREL in the Yoro region where three farmers were interviewed. Interviews were
conducted in CRELs or at individual farms, depending on farmer's preferences. The
average length of each interview was 30-45 minutes.
Input suppliers included one veterinarian, two managers of agribusiness firms, one
salesman and two field agents from the Instituto Nacional de Formaci6n Profesional
(INFOP). INFOP is the largest nonformal education provider in Honduras. Regarding
farmer associations, the vice-presidents from the Asociaci6n de Ganaderos y Agricultores
de Sula (AGAS) and the Sociedad de Agricultores y Ganaderos de Olanchito (SAGO)
were interviewed as well as the president of the Asociaci6n de Agricultores y Ganaderos
de Atlantida (AGAA).
In order to collect the necessary information to complete our study, the researcher
developed an instrument for each group of participants: farmers, input suppliers and
farmer organizations. The researcher developed these instruments after reviewing
surveys from Holman et al. (2003) and the Macon County Survey on Improving Farm
Income through the Production of Specialty Farm Products developed by faculty of the
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.
The first structured interview guide developed collected data from the two groups
of farmers in reference to their perceptions of extension services, preferences in regards
to educational program delivery as well as their perceptions about globalization and its
effects on the dairy industry of Honduras and finally a demographic section. The
instrument included an additional question for CREL members in order to gain a deeper
understanding of the changes that have occurred to farmers after they had joined CRELs
(See Appendix A). This instrument had four sections. The first section included
questions regarding availability of extension and other support services, availability of
training for farm workers and others in relation to milk production, preferences regarding
program delivery, factors that affect participation in programs, sources and channels of
information available, training priorities and a recount of positive and negative
experiences regarding extension services. The second section inquired about farmers
perceptions regarding farmer associations. Although this was not an objective in the
study, the researcher considered it was important to document such perceptions due to the
importance these organizations have as facilitators of most educational programs
available and in the acquisition of funds for extension programs. The third section
seeked to determine farmer's perceptions regarding globalization, and the implications
this event can have at the farm, as well as the local and national level. In addition,
farmers were asked if any changes had been made in their farms in preparation for such
event. The fourth and last section of the structured interview guide collected data on
educational level, gender, family involvement in farm activities, farm location and size,
breeds in the herd and the use of best management practices such as the implementation
of artificial insemination, feeding concentrate, milking facilities, use of improved grass
varieties and checking for pregnancy.
The second structured interview guide targeted input suppliers. It was used to
collect information about the type of services provided by suppliers, educational
programs offered and the frequency of these, delivery methods used, felt and ascribed
needs of farmers as seen by providers, limitations and barriers to education for farmers
and providers, opportunities for professional development and the educational level of
providers (See Appendix B).
The third instrument was designed for farmer associations to determine the
educational opportunities provided and sponsored by these associations, farmers
preferences in the delivery of programs as seen by these organizations, felt and ascribed
needs of farmers as seen by farmer associations, farmer's involvement with the
associations, the role of farmer associations in the development of the dairy sector,
organizational structure within the associations, employee profiles and opportunities for
professional development for them, partnerships with extension and other organizations
related with the dairy industry and finally their contributions to increase farmers
understanding of the Central American Free Trade Agreement known as CAFTA (See
Face and content validity and reliability of the instruments were important
considerations for the researchers to make in determining the credibility of the study.
The scientific validity evidence is based on content, which can be gathered by having
competent professionals who are familiar with the process of the survey examine the
items to judge whether they are appropriate for measuring what they are supposed to
measure (Ary et al. 2002). For this purpose, a panel of two experts from the Department
of Agricultural Education and Communication and two experts from the Animal Science
Department at the University of Florida and Zamorano, Panamerican School of
Agriculture in Honduras reviewed the three structured interview guides for face and
content validity. Validity is defined as the extent to which an instrument measures what
it claims to measure. Consequently, face validity refers to an instrument or document
appearing valid for its intended purpose (Ary et al. 2002). Prior to the study, a pilot test
was conducted with the structured interview guide with four farmers in two CRELs in
order to determine face validity.
Our study is unique because there is limited information available to the dairy
industry of Honduras and the Honduran Government about the characteristics, needs and
perceptions of dairy farmers. Our study is considered pertinent by the experts involved,
and will not only establish baseline data, but will provide with a better understanding of
the participants' educational needs.
Data Collection Procedures
A review of our study by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) preceded any data
collection. The IRB-02, located at the University of Florida, reviews non-medical
research proposals for ethical soundness. The IRB approved the research proposal and
assigned an IRB protocol number (2003-U-536) for our study. The researcher presented
each participant with a translated version of the informed consent letter prior to each
interview. The informed consent described the study, the researcher, and any potential
risks associated with participating in the study. Additionally, participants were provided
the approximate amount of time that participation in the study would require and they
were informed there was no compensation for their participation. Participants opted to
voluntarily participate in the study and confirmation of their acceptance of the terms in
the informed consent was signing the form before the interview started. After formal
approval for the IRB, data collection began. Data collection occurred during the months
of June, July and August 2003. Interviews lasted from 25 to 40 minutes. Formal review
of data occurred during October through April 2004.
The researcher and an additional trained professional conducted the interviews to
farmers. Training for the additional professional included a detailed explanation of the
purpose and objective of the study, a thorough review of the structured interview guide
for farmers and a description of the guidelines to be used during the interview. The
researcher administered all of the interviews to input suppliers and farmer association
representatives. Of the total population targeted for the study, 96% of the original
population was interviewed due to the fact that it was not possible to interview members
from one CREL in the Sula Valley Region.
The researcher assigned individual study identification numbers to each interview
guide. This was to maintain respondent anonymity. Raw quantitative data from the
structured interview guides was entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. In addition,
data for each farmer was carefully revised for mistakes that could have occurred while
entering the data. A separate spreadsheet was created for each group of farmers. Data
was then analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for
Windows Release 11.5.0 (SPSS, 2002). Descriptive statistics were determined for each
For the qualitative data sets, content analysis was used to determine trends and
patterns in the data and draw conclusions. Content or document analysis is a research
method applied to written or visual materials for the purpose of identifying specified
characteristics of the material. Furthermore, content analysis focuses on analyzing and
interpreting recorded material within its own content (Ary et al. 2002). In our study, the
answers to open-ended questions in the structured interview guides were classified
according to categories established from a preliminary review of the data. Additional
categories were added if needed. Data was then organized and conclusions were drawn.
Research objectives 1, 2 and 3 were analyzed by relying solely on the quantitative
data set. Frequencies and means were determined for this purpose. The first objective
was to determine farmer's perceptions about extension services. Farmers' structured
interview responses only were taken into account to answer objective 1. Objective 2 was
to determine the educational delivery methods used in extension programs offered to
dairy farmers and objective three was to determine farmers preferred delivery methods.
Farmer's responses as well as input suppliers and farmer organization responses were
taken into account to answer these two objectives.
Objectives 4 and 5 were answered by analyzing qualitative data and quantitative
data sets. Frequencies and means where determined for numerical data and content
analysis was used for qualitative data. The fourth objective consisted of determining felt
and ascribed needs for dairy farmers in the north coast of Honduras. Structured interview
guides from farmers, input suppliers and farmer association's representatives were used
to answer this objective.
The fifth objective was to determine farmer's perceptions regarding globalization
and its effects on the dairy industry in relation to educational needs. To answer objective
5, quantitative data from responses from the farmer and the farmer association structured
interview guides were used to determine farmers perceptions. In addition, open-ended
questions in this section were analyzed in order to assess farmers understanding of the
This chapter described our study in terms of the research design, the population of
the study, the instrumentation, and data analysis procedures. In summary, this is a
descriptive study of the perceptions of three groups of dairy farmers in the north coast of
Honduras about extension services, delivery methods, and of globalization and its effects
on the dairy industry in relation to educational needs. The populations under study
included two groups of farmers, input suppliers and farmer association's representatives.
A mixed methodology was used. Accordingly, structured interview guides were
designed for each group of participants (farmers, input suppliers and farmer associations
representatives). The results of our study were obtained by determining descriptive
statistics such as frequencies and means on the quantitative data sets and by determining
trends and patterns via content analysis for qualitative data.
Chapter 4 will report the results of the study. Findings for each objective as well as
the demographics of New CREL, Old CREL and large farmers will be provided.
The results of the study are presented according to the objectives identified in
Chapter 1: These were to
* Determine the perceptions of three groups of dairy farmers about extension
* Determine educational delivery methods used in extension programs offered to
dairy farmers in Honduras.
* Determine preferred educational delivery methods for dairy farmers in Honduras.
* Determine felt and ascribed educational needs for dairy farmers in the north coast
* Determine perceptions of dairy farmers on open market policies and its effects on
the dairy industry in relation to educational needs.
New CREL farmers were members of CRELs that were either in the process of
formation or had recently started operations while Old CREL farmers were part of
centers that had been operating for approximately 2 years. Large farmers had no
affiliation to CRELs but were considered leaders in the same geographical areas where
the CRELs are located.
Selected demographic characteristics were identified for the three groups of farmers
studied (New CRELs, Old CRELs and large farmers). These included gender,
educational level, number of years involved in milk production and general farm
management information. Results indicated that 96.3%, 92.9% of New and Old CREL
members, respectively and 90% of the large farmers were male (Table 4-1). In addition,
Table 4-2 reveals that 40.7% (n=l 1) of New CREL farmer's highest level of education is
in the category of 4th to 6th grade, while 50% of Old CREL farmers (n=7) is in the 7th to
11th grade range. In contrast, 60% (n=6) of the large farmer group has a college degree.
Independent of educational level, 14.8% (n=4) of New CREL farmers and 14.3% (n=2)
of Old CREL farmers reported they are not literate. Table 4-3 shows that of the three
groups there is a large number of farmers who have been part of the industry for the last
10 to 20 years.
Table 4-1. Distribution of New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farmers by Gender (n=41)
New CREL farmers Old CREL farmers Large farmers
Gender n % n % n %
Male 26 96.3 13 92.9 9 90.0
Female 1 3.7 1 7.1 1 10.0
Total 27 100.0 14 100.0 10 100.0
Table 4-2. Educational Background of New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farmers
Education level n %
New CREL farmers
No formal education 2 7.4
1st 3rd grade 5 18.5
4th 6th grade 11 40.7
7 -11th grade 4 14.8
College Incomplete 2 7.4
College 3 11.2
Total 27 100.0
Old CREL farmers
1st 3rd grade 3 21.4
4th 6th grade 2 14.3
7 -11th grade 7 50.0
College Incomplete 1 7.1
College 1 7.1
Total 14 100.0
7-11th grade 1 10.0
College Incomplete 1 10.0
College 6 60.0
Master's 2 20.0
Total 10 100.0
Table 4-3. Years Involved in Milk Production of New CREL, Old CREL and Large
New CREL farmers Old CREL farmers Large farmers
Length n % n % n %
0-10 years 5 18.5 4 28.6 1 10.0
10-20 years 15 55.6 4 28.6 4 40.0
20-30 years 4 14.8 3 21.4 3 30.0
More than 30 years 3 11.1 3 21.4 2 20.0
Totals 27 100.0 14 100.0 10 100.0
Table 4-4. Distribution of Family Members Working Part or Full-Time on the Farm
Spouse Sons Daughters
n % n % n %
New CREL farms
Work on the farm 10 37.0 10 37.0 2 7.4
Do not work on farm 17 63.0 16 59.3 24 88.9
Not applicable* -- 1 3.7 1 3.7
Totals 27 100.0 27 100.0 27 100.0
Old CREL farms
Work on the farm 8 57.1 8 57.1 3 21.4
Do not work on farm 6 42.9 6 42.9 11 78.6
Not applicable* -- --
Totals 14 100.0 14 100.0 14 100.0
Work on the farm 5 50.0 4 40.0
Do not work on farm 5 50.0 6 60.0 10 100.0
Not applicable* -- -- -- 0
Totals 10 100.0 10 100.0 10 100.0
* Farmer did not have sons or daughters.
In relation to work force, 85.2% of New CREL farmers, 64.3% of Old CREL farmers and
70% of large farmers work solely on their farms. In addition 37% of spouses and sons,
and 7.4% of daughters of New CREL farmers work part or full-time on the farm (Table
4-4) while a slightly higher participation of family members was reported in Old CREL
Table 4-5 indicates that New CREL farms had on average 4.03 permanent workers
(SD=2.38), Old CREL farmers employed 3.42 workers (SD=1.86) and large farmers had
on average 7.5 permanent workers (SD=4.55). Additionally, the education level of farm
workers in New and Old CREL and large farms is presented in Table 4-6.
Table 4-5. Distribution of Permanent Workers per Farm in New CREL, Old CREL and
Number of New CREL Old CREL Large farms
n % n % n %
0-2 10 37.0 4 28.5 -- --
3-5 8 29.6 9 64.3 4 40.0
6-8 8 29.6 1 7.2 2 20.0
9-12 1 3.8 -- -- 3 30.0
13 or more -- -- -- -- 1 10.0
Totals 109 100.0 48 100.0 70 100.0
M 4.03 3.42 7.5
SD 2.38 1.86 4.5
Table 4-6. Educational Background of Farm Workers
Education level of farm workers n %
No formal education 21 19.6
1st 3rd grade 42 39.2
4th 6th grade 38 35.5
7 -11th grade 6 5.7
Total 107 100.0
No formal education 12 25.0
1st 3rd grade 7 14.5
4th 6th grade 28 58.3
7 -11th grade 1 2.2
Total 48 100.0
No formal education 9 12.9
1st 3rd grade 33 47.1
4th 6th grade 28 40.0
Total 70 100.0
Farm characteristics of New CREL, Old CREL and large farms are presented in
Table 4-7. All large farms (n=10) have access to tap water, electricity and have adequate
facilities (milking parlor). On the other hand, 25.9% of New CREL farms do not have
any type of facilities to milk cows and 37% do not have access to tap water. In contrast,
92.9% of Old CREL farms have access to tap water and approximately 85.8% of farms
have at least a corral with roof and concrete floors to use for milking cows. The number
of farms operating under dual-purpose systems is high, 96.3% (n=26) of new CREL and
78.6% (n=l 1) of Old CREL, whereas it was only 20% (n=2) of large farms.
Table 4-7. Characteristics of New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms
Characteristic New CREL Old CREL Large farms
n % n % n %
Access to tap water 17 63.0 13 92.9 10 100.0
Access to electrical 7 25.9 7 50.0 10 100.0
Road access 5 miles 23 85.2 14 100.0 6 60.0
Open field 7 25.9 0 0.0 0 0.0
Corral with roof 6 22.2 2 14.3 0 0.0
Corral with roof
and concrete floor 14 51.9 6 42.9 0 0.0
Milking parlor 0 0.0 6 42.9 10 100.0
Totals 27 100.0 14 100.0 10 100.0
Table 4-8. Average Pasture Area (acres) on New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms
Group Acres SD
New CREL 130.0 145.6
Old CREL 145.0 188.0
Large farmers 252.6 226.1
On average, pasture area is very similar between New and Old CREL farms (Table
4-8) as well as the number of cows in milk for the peak season of New and Old CREL
farms is 29.3 and 32.2, respectively. However, milk production among Old CREL farms
is 42% and 35.9% higher on average for the peak and low season respectively than in
New CREL farms (Table 4-9).
Table 4-9. Average Daily Milk Production and Number of Cows in Milk per Farm
Group Daily Milk Production Cows in Milk
Peak Low Peak Low
n (lb) n (lb) n cows n cows
New CREL 26 381.9 26 261.3 26 29.3 26 23.5
SD 39.2 39.6 2.6 2.6
Old CREL 14 659.8 14 407.9 14 32.2 14 24.2
SD 156.0 114.6 5.9 4.6
Large farms 9 2633.8 9 2537.2 9 94.2 9 90.6
SD 1992.1 1936.6 59.1 58.6
Table 4-10. Composition of Breeds Among New CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms
Brown Swiss x Brahman
Holstein x Brahman
Gyr x Brahman
Holstein x Brahman
Brown Swiss x Brahman
Gyr x Brahman
Holstein x Brahman
Brown Swiss x Holstein
Brown Swiss x Brahman
In addition, Table 4-9 indicates that milk production as well as the number of cows
in milk within large farms changes decreases slightly from one season to the other. The
composition of the breeds for each group is presented in Table 4-10. The crosses
Holstein x Brahman and Brown Swiss x Brahman are the most prevalent in New and Old
CREL farms. Although the Holstein x Brahman is also common in large farms there is
also preference for Brown Swiss x Holstein and Holstein animals.
Table 4-11. Frequency and Percentage of Adoption of Management Practices in New
CREL, Old CREL and Large Farms
Area Practice Chi- New CREL Old CREL Large farms
n % n % n %
Pasture Use of 5.39* 18 66.6 12 85.7 10 100.0
Fertilization 6.43* 16 59.3 11 78.5 10 100.0
Feeding and Feed 7.65 16 59.3 12 85.7 10 100.0
Feed cows by 14.5* 8 29.6 7 50.0 10 100.0
Reproductive Artificial 9.41** 1 3.7 2 14.3 6 60.0
Check heat 9.44* 7 25.9 4 28.6 8 80.0
Check for 24.5*** 4 14.8 3 21.4 10 100.0
Management Keep records 6.43* 16 60.3 11 78.6 10 100.0
Record type: Production 9 33.3 10 71.4 10 100.0
Health 0 0.0 2 14.3 8 80.0
Reproduction 13 48.1 10 71.4 10 100.0
Accounting 8 29.6 6 42.9 8 80.0
Inventory 3 11.1 0 0.0 5 50.0
* Significant .05
** Significant .01
*** Significant .001
Adoption of management practices known to increase milk production is lowest
in New CREL farms followed by Old CREL farms (Table 4-11). In contrast, all large
farms had implemented most of the management practices outlined within the structured
The first research objective was to determine the perceptions of each group of
farmers about extension services. To determine farmers perceptions it was first necessary
to determine the availability of extension services. The findings revealed that only 18.5%
of New CREL farmers, 42.9% of Old CREL farmers and 60% of large farmers had
participated in extension programs offered by DICTA. Farmers explained that DICTA
had not offered programs on a permanent basis in the regions covered by our study in a
long period of time. Qualitative data showed that 60% of large farmers believe DICTA is
not capable of offering quality programs to them in the near future. In addition, a
significant number of New CREL farmers reported negative experiences with DICTA
mainly due to inexperience of field agents and lack of follow-up on programs. Despite
these facts, a large percentage of farmers in the three groups reported they had
participated in extension programs in the past sponsored either by public or private
organizations (Table 4-12).
Table 4-12. Frequency and Percentage of Farmers Who Have Participated in Public
and/or Private Extension Programs
Farmer Group n %
New CREL farmers 26 96.3
Old CREL farmers 12 85.7
Large Farmers 10 100.0
New CREL, Old CREL and large farmers described extension services (either
private or public) as short-term and sporadic. Farmers stated that extension programs
have usually concentrated on specific areas i.e. pasture management, vaccination
programs or artificial insemination. According to farmers, extension has not taken a
holistic approach and so it has been hard to improve farm productivity if other aspects of
milk production are left untouched. However, the major critique of farmers to extension
programs was that they do not conduct follow-up activities. Consequently, only a small
percentage of farmers in the three groups of farmers seek extension agents for
information and advice (Table 4-13).
Table 4-13. Top Three Sources of Information used by New CREL, Old CREL and
Source of New CREL Old CREL Large Farmers
information Farmers farmers
n % n % n %
Veterinarian 7 19.4 7 26.9 7 33.0
Salesmen 6 16.7 4 15.4 3 14.3
Consultant 1 2.8 -- 2 9.5
Other farmers 10 27.8 10 38.5 3 14.3
Extension agent 3 8.3 3 11.5 2 9.5
Rely on own 9 25.0 2 7.7 1 4.8
Magazines and 3 14.3
Totals 36 100.0 26 100.0 21 100.0
Most New CREL (27.8%) and Old CREL (38.5%) farmers rely on other farmers for
information and advice while 25% of New CREL farmers rely solely on their own
experiences. Large farmers seek veterinarians (33%), salesmen (14.3%), other farmers
(14.3%) and books and magazines from other countries (14.3%) for information and
advice. In addition, farmers indicated that despite the lack of permanent extension
services, sporadically there are educational programs and training offered by input
suppliers and agricultural universities sponsored by farmer associations in which they
receive new information.
According to farmers, a large number of input suppliers such as concentrate and
veterinary supply companies and farmer associations offer support services. In addition,
there are short-term extension programs such as the ones conducted by NGOs such as
Land O'Lakes and Zamorano, Panamerican School of Agriculture. INFOP, the largest
nonformal education provider in the country had recently conducted training for some of
the CRELs in the Atlantida Region. Consulting companies from other countries are
slowly starting to emerge in the areas where the study was conducted; however, few
farmers mentioned having received information about the services they offer. Otherwise,
it was reported that there are only three well-known veterinarians in the Atlantida, Yoro
and Aguan Valley Regions.
Table 4-16, shows that 50% of Old CREL and large farmers consider that support
services in general are doing an excellent job, and only 14.3% and 20% respectively
believe support services are bad. In addition, 51.5% of New CREL farmers, 56.3% of
Old CREL farmers and 10% of large farmers believe they do not need additional services
(Table 4-15). According to researcher observations and interviews with input suppliers,
most of the services identified by farmers in Table 4-15 are either not offered or were
very weak. As it can be inferred from Table 4-14 mostly farmers, sons and workers
attend educational programs; female participation is minimal. Farmers from the three
groups cited lack of time, bad timing for programs and no interest in the topic as the top
reasons for not attending programs.
Table 4-14. Farmers Perceptions of the Quality of Support Services
Group Rating n %
New CREL farmers
Excellent 8 29.6
Good 17 63.0
Bad 1 3.7
No experiences 1 3.7
Total 27 100.0
Old CREL farmers
Excellent 7 50.0
Good 3 21.4
Bad 2 14.3
No experiences 2 14.3
Total 14 100.0
Excellent 5 50.0
Good 3 30.0
Bad 2 20.0
No experiences 0 0.0
Total 10 100.0
Content analysis of qualitative data showed that New and Old CREL farmers
attend most educational opportunities available while large farmers were more selective
of the programs they decide to attend. In this regard, the researcher observed that Old
CREL farmers seek educational programs more actively than New CREL farmers.
Table 4-15. Additional Support Services Needed According to Farmers
Number of times
Needs by group n %
New CREL farmers
Technical assistance on permanent basis 10 30.3
Consulting services 2 6.1
Artificial insemination 2 6.1
Laboratory for feed and pasture analysis 1 3.0
Research 1 3.0
No additional services needed 17 51.5
Total 33 100.0
Old CREL farmers
Technical assistance on a permanent basis 7 43.9
No additional services needed 9 56.1
Total 16 100.0
Consulting services 3 30.0
Technical assistance on a permanent basis 3 30.0
Adaptive on farm research 2 20.0
Laboratory for feed and pasture analysis 1 10.0
No additional services needed 1 10.0
Total 10 100.0
Old CREL farmers select representatives to attend educational programs especially
when these are offered in other cities and later share the findings with the rest of the
members in the CREL. Old CREL farmers also stated they try to attract experts,
extension programs and other individuals who can bring educational programs to the
CREL. In all Old CRELs except one, farmers expressed the value of extension. In this
sense, New CRELs were less organized than Old CRELs most likely due to the short time
that had passed since they started operating and the limited attention and support services
they had received at the time of our study.
Table 4-16. Distribution of the Frequency and Percentage of Attendees to Extension
New CREL Old CREL Large Farms
n % n % n %
Farmer alone 13 39.4 10 66.7 5 45.5
Spouse 4 12.1 0 0.0 0 0.00
Son 8 24.2 3 20.0 3 27.3
Workers 8 24.3 2 13.4 3 27.3
Totals 33 100.0 15 100.0 11 100.0
An important part of the human capital in rural areas is farm workers. As indicated
in Table 4-15 farm workers are exposed to less training than farmers despite that fact that
they do a large part of the work in the farm. Only 44% of New CREL farmers, 7.1% of
Old CREL farmers and 30% of large farmers stated they send their workers to the few
training programs available. In this regard, the reasons cited for lack of assistance
include lack of time and bad scheduling of programs. In addition, 26.3%, 33.3% and
14.3% of New CREL, Old CREL and large farmers respectively find the level and/or
delivery used in such programs inadequate for the educational level of most workers, and
therefore farmers feel it is not a good use of time to send workers to training programs.
Moreover contradictory reasons for not sending farm workers to programs include the
fact that 10.5% of New CREL farmers and 13.3% of Old CREL farmers believe that
increasing knowledge and skills of farm workers leads to: workers knowing more than
the farmer and workers moving to another farm where they get paid better salaries. It can
be concluded that not all farmers see training for farm workers as a positive event. On
the other hand, an external factor such as the high turnover rate of farm employees cited
by large farmers is another important factor that hinders training.
Table 4-17. Percentage of Farms That Send Farm Workers to Training Programs and
Reasons for the Lack of Attendance at Programs in New CREL, Old CREL
and Large Farms
Group Farms Reasons for lack of attendance
n % %
New CREL 12 44.4 Lack of time 31.6
Inadequate training 26.3
Bad schedules 15.8
Not needed 10.5
Lack of transportation 5.3
Old CREL 1 7.1 Lack of time 46.7
Inadequate training 33.3
Workers leave after training 13.3
Large Farms 3 30.0 Bad schedules 28.6
Lack of time 14.3
Workers leave after training 14.3
Inadequate training 14.3
High turnover rate 14.3
Despite the apparent satisfaction of farmers with current services provided, Table
4-14 shows that 81.5% (n=22) and 92.9% (n=13) of New CREL farmers and Old CREL
farmers expressed that they are willing to consider paying for technical assistance as a
CREL. Accordingly, 90% (n=9) of large farmers also stated they would consider paying
for consulting or technical assistance services that would lead to significant increases in
Objective 2 of the study was to determine the educational delivery methods used
in extension programs offered to dairy farmers. The interviews with input suppliers,
extension agents from INFOP, farmer associations and farmers were used to answer this
Table 4-18. Educational Delivery Methods Used by Providers
Method Input New CREL Old CREL Large farmers
suppliers and farmers farmers (n=10)
farmer (n=27) (n=14)
N % n % n % n %
Meetings 9 100.0 22 81.4 11 78.5 10 100.0
Method 7 77.7 15 55.5 10 71.4 7 70.0
Field days 9 100.0 20 74.0 9 64.2 10 100.0
Farm visits 5 50.0 12 44.4 7 50.0 6 60.0
1 & 2 day seminars 5 66.6 10 37.0 6 42.8 8 80.0
Written media 6 50.0 10 37.0 10 71.4 6 60.0
Mass media 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
One-on-one contact 4 66.6 9 33.3 8 57.1 10 100.0
Table 4-18 shows that method demonstrations, meetings and field days are the
most commonly used delivery methods among the three groups of farmers. To a lesser
extent, input suppliers offer 1 or 2 day seminars and extension agents mostly conduct
group visits to farms. In addition, model farms had been used in the past to demonstrate
technologies. Limited availability of written media such as pamphlets, booklets and
magazines was reported. In addition, the usage of mass media providing information
regarding milk production was not reported. Finally, one-on-one contacts from service
providers and extension programs were more common with large farmers (100%) than
with New CREL (33.3%) and Old CREL (57.1%) farmers according to providers.
This objective was to determine preferred educational delivery methods of dairy
farmers. The results for objective 3 are shown in Table 4-19.
Table 4-19. Farmers Preferences Regarding Educational Delivery Methods
New CREL Old CREL Large farmers
Method farmers farmers (n= 10)
N % n % n %
Hands-on, experiential only n 55.0 6 42.9 2 20.0
Mix of hands-on and 7 26.0 8 57.1 8 80.0
Didn't know 5 19.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Meetings 22 81.4 11 78.5 10 100.0
Method demonstrations 15 55.5 10 71.4 7 70.0
Field days 20 74.0 9 64.2 10 100.0
Farm visits 12 44.4 7 50.0 6 60.0
1 & 2 day seminars 10 37.0 6 42.8 8 80.0
Written media (pamphlets, 10 37.0 10 71.4 6 60.0
Mass media 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
One-on-one contact 9 33.3 8 57.1 10 100.0
Farmer preferences were as follows: 55% (n=15) of New CREL farmers preferred
delivery methods that used applicable, hands-on and experiential learning. In contrast
57.1% (n=8) of Old CREL farmers, and 80% (n=8) of large farmers believed a mix of
practical and theoretical methods would be more adequate for programs targeted for dairy
farmers. In addition, the use of reinforcement methods such as brochures, booklets and
pamphlets in educational programs was mentioned by a large number of farmers. The
most popular hands-on delivery methods are farm visits, field days and process
demonstrations. In addition, short seminars (1 to 2 hours in length) are the most accepted
method for delivery of theoretical content. Farmers noted that regardless of the method,
presenters should provide some form of reinforcement method of the content covered
during the program, and they should speak slowly and allot enough time for a question
and answer section. Most New and Old CREL farmers expressed these are extremely
important factors for them.
This objective in our study is to determine felt and ascribed needs of farmers.
Interviews with farmers, farmer association's representatives and input suppliers were
used to answer this objective.
A technical assistance program in general terms was seen by most New CREL
farmers as a very important service they needed; although 40% (n=l 1) of the farmers in
this group were not able to prioritize their educational needs. On the other hand, 70%
(n=10) of Old CREL farmers expressed not only the need for technical assistance
programs but were specific about their educational needs. Still a total of 28% (n=4)
farmers in this group were not able to determine educational needs. The qualitative data
analysis revealed that in contrast to New CREL farmers, Old CREL farmers expressed
their educational needs from a group perspective rather than an individualistic
perspective. Furthermore, Old CREL farmers stated they needed to strengthen CRELs.
Old CREL Farmers considered that marketing options could contribute to this goal.
Nonetheless, in this sense Old CREL farmers ignored ways extension or technical
assistance programs could contribute to this objective. Large farmers were more explicit
and detailed about the subject matter areas that should be covered by educational
programs as well as for their needs and those of dairy farmers in general. Large farmers
believe they need services provided by qualified individuals on a permanent basis.
Nonetheless they see a lack of trained individuals to conduct such services in the country,
especially field agents. Large farmers complained that field agents are usually very
young with limited field experience and expertise, and low salaries.
Furthermore, this group offered detailed explanations on the importance and need
of establishing not only extension services for farmers but also of starting training
schools or programs targeted for farm workers and herdsmen. In this regard, 30% of
large farmers expressed the need to educate farm owners about the importance of
developing and maintaining good relations with farm employees. Large farmers cited
that farm workers are usually under paid, receive no incentives and have few benefits as
farm workers. Other major issues included the need of educational programs that teach
how to manage finances and credits wisely. According to farmer associations and large
farmers themselves, a high percentage of dairy farmers are high in debt as a result of bad
management of loans acquired in the past. Finally all large farmers expressed the need
for youth programs. They stated that there is lack of pride and incentives for farmer's
children of continuing in the industry and consequently of future leaders.
Table 4-20 lists subject matter areas that should be targeted by extension programs
according to farmers. The ranking identified: pasture management, feeding and nutrition
and improving milk quality as the top three priorities. This finding is not surprising since
feeding and nutrition costs are the highest portion of the expenses in dairy farms in
Honduras (Merino & Avila, 2000). The lack of information in regards to feeding
programs for cattle added to extreme environmental conditions make the implementation
of feeding programs a real challenge for most farmers in Honduras. Additionally, milk
quality has become a major issue especially for New and Old CREL farmers who place
milk into a single storage and cooling tank unit.
Table 4-20. Ranking of Training Priorities of New, Old and Large Farmers
Technical Areas n %
New CREL farmers
1. Feeding and nutrition 9 14.8
1. Improving milk quality 9 14.8
2. Pasture management 7 11.5
3. Farm management 6 9.8
4. Animal Reproduction & Artificial Insemination 4 6.6
4. Marketing 4 6.6
5. Improving genetics 3 4.9
6. Milking procedures 2 3.3
6. Vaccination and deworming 2 3.3
7. Record keeping 1 1.6
7. Forage conservation 1 1.6
7. Forming strategic alliances 1 1.6
7. Use of electrical fences 1 1.6
Considered all important 11 18.0
Total 61 100.0
Old CREL farmers
1. Pasture management 5 16.7
2. Feeding and nutrition 4 13.3
2. Improving milk quality 4 13.3
3. Farm management 3 10.0
4. Forage Conservation 2 6.7
4. Raising replacement heifers 2 6.7
5. Reproduction and A.I. 1 3.3
5. Improving genetics 1 3.3
5. Milking procedures
5. Record keeping 1 3.3
5. Animal health 1 3.3
5. Use of electric fencing 1 3.3
Considered all important 4 13.3
Total 30 100.0
1. Pasture management 5 21.7
2. Feeding and nutrition 3 13.0
2. Improving milk quality 3 13.0
3. Animal reproduction and A.I. 2 8.7
3. Farm management 2 8.7
3. Use of electrical fencing 2 8.7
3. Record keeping 2 8.7
4. Milking procedures 1 4.3
4. Animal Health 1 4.3
Considered all important 2 8.7
Total 23 100.0