A joint authorship publication
of FAO. ILO and Unesco, this
journal is an annual review
of current opinions and experience
in agricultural extension and
their contribution to
TRAINING FOR AGRICULTURE
AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
FAO Economic and Social Development Series
and rural development
Food and Agriculture
United Nations Educational,
Organization of the United Nations
Scientific and Cultural Organization
International Labour Organisation
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS
The designations employed and the presentation of mate-
rial in this publication do not imply the expression of any
opinion whatsoever by the Food and Agriculture Organi-
zation of the United Nations concerning the legal status of
any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or
concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.
The views expressed are those of the authors.
The copyright in this book is vested in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations. The book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, by any method or process, without
written permission from the copyright holder. Applications for such permission, with a statement
of.the purpose and extent of the reproduction desired, should be addressed to the Director,
Publications Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme
di Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.
Printed in Italy
Ralph W. Phillips
J.F. Langeoire and
FAO's training activities
Problems of agricultural extension
An approach to university extension
An integrated approach to manpower
planning and training in the dairy
industries of developing countries
A pilot skills-upgrading programme
in the Sudan
Elements of an effective agricultural
education programme for rural
What kind of extension worker do
Agro-mechanics training using itinerant
The role of agricultural universities
and colleges in the developing world
Water management extension among
small farmers in Central Java
Agricultural teacher training the
Curriculum content for the professional
preparation of lecturers
Appropriate training for rural artisans
The Bangladesh strategy for
agricultural and rural development
FAO's training activities
Ralph W. Phillips
Training has occupied an important place in FAO's Programme of Work, and
in particular in the Field Programme, from the early years following the
establishment of the Organization. Practically all the sectors of FAO are
involved in one way or another in these activities.
The object of this paper is to provide an indication of the diversity and
scope of FAO's training activities. Since these activities have been carried out
for over one third of a century, it is hardly possible to recount them all. Hence,
attention will be given only to selected aspects, as follows:
Project-related group training activities in 1979;
Fellowships initiated in 1979;
Study tours in 1979;
Internal and external coordination of training activities;
Evaluation of training activities.
These aspects are treated in turn, in the sections below. However, before
turning to these aspects of current activities, brief mention of a few earlier
activities will indicate the nature and scope of FAO's long-term interest in
During the period 1947-52, 14 technical training meetings were held, and
9 fellowships were awarded, under a fund transferred to FAO by the United
Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency, in which 540 persons received
refresher training (Phillips et al., 1953). Between 1951 and 1955, 800 trainees
and 365 fellows benefited from agricultural training centres and fellowships
provided under FAO's Field Programme (FAO, 1956). A World Conference
Dr Ralph W. Phillips is Deputy Director-General, FAO, Rome. The activities reported in this
paper were carried out in many different sectors of FAO, and the information was assembled
under the auspices of an Inter-Departmental Working Group on Training, of which the Deputy
Director-General serves as Chairman. The data were tabulated by the Agricultural Training
kLoup, in the Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division.
2 RALPH W. PHILLIPS
on Agricultural Education and Training, in which 350 persons from 96 coun-
tries participated, was held in Copenhagen in 1970, in cooperation with Unesco
and ILO (FAO/Unesco/ILO, 1970). In 1971, a World Consultation on For-
estry Education and Training was held in Stockholm, with 260 participants
from 74 countries and 11 organizations (FAO, 1972). From 1967 to 1974, FAO
issued an annual publication on training for agricultural and rural develop-
ment, and from 1975 onward this has been ajoint undertaking of FAO, Unesco
and ILO, the most recent volume prior to the present one being for 1979
(FAO/Unesco/ILO, 1980). A very recent activity was a study tour of the
agricultural training system in China (FAO, 1980), in which 16 senior workers
from developing countries and 3 FAO staff members participated.
Project-related group training activities in 1979
Although tabulations had been made of FAO's training activities in earlier
years, and in particular for 1977 to test the methodology, 1979 was the first
calendar year for which a reasonably complete tabulation of all group-training
activities carried out in connection with field projects of various types had been
undertaken. During this year there were 292 projects that had training com-
ponents. These training components included 992 separate training activities,
in which 47 096 trainees completed the training offered.
The kinds of trainees, by broad categories, who participated in these
training activities, and who completed the training offered, are shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1. Numbers and kinds of trainees, and numbers of trainees completing training, 1979
Training activities Trainees completing
Kinds of trainees
No. Percentage No. Percentage
Policy makers, administrators,
managers 61 6.2 2677 5.7
Technical specialists 208 21.0 6055 12.9
Technicians and skilled workers 252 25.4 8 553 18.2
Primary producers 153 15.4 16206 34.4
Combinations of above 257 25.9 11498 24.4
Others 24 2.4 1 189 2.5
Kind not indicated 30 3.0 918 1.9
Number trained not indicated 7 0.7 -
TOTAL 992 100.0 47096 100.0
1 Includes university instructors, students, representatives of farmers' associations and nurses.
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES 3
Trainees from the Near East, in Mexico to study wheat and barley breeding, fertilization and
cultivation, inoculate stems of wheat plants to create artificial epidemics of rust, thus making it
possible to select rust-resistant plants. This training activity was sponsored by FAO in the early
1960s, with support from the Netherlands and Sweden, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
It will be noted that there were seven training activities for which the
numbers of trainees were not reported, so the total number of persons com-
pleting training was presumably somewhat higher than the figure of 47 096
mentioned above. It should also be noted that, both in terms of numbers of
training activities and numbers completing training, major emphasis was
placed upon the training of technicians, skilled workers and primary pro-
The distribution of the projects to which the training activities in 1979
related, and of the training activities themselves, among the major sub-
ject-matter sectors of FAO, are shown in Table 2. In view of the overriding
importance of agriculture in most of the developing countries served by these
projects, it is not surprising that training activities in agriculture, including
those in the economic and social fields that were agriculture-related, should
constitute over three quarters of the total. At the same time, it is evident that
countries are giving considerable attention to fisheries and forestry, and given
(he problems of managing the exclusive economic zones (EEZS), and of pro-
RALPH W. PHILLIPS
-a i-~ L~P1
Bangladesh trainees learning fish culture methods at the Government of China's Freshwater
Fisheries Research and Training Centre, at Kwangchow near Canton. Fifty trainees were sent
from Bangladesh to Kwangchow in 1978, under FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme, to
learn new fish farming techniques.
viding wood to meet man's growing needs for fuel and for other purposes,
emphasis on training in these fields is apt to increase.
The allocation of projects with training components has not been recorded
according to a particular division or service because in a large number of cases
divisions or services other than those with the operating responsibility have
carried out a major part of the necessary backstopping. For example, the
Agricultural Operations Division was assigned operating responsibility for 191
projects having training components, but performed backstopping only for 8.
For this reason, Table 3 shows the backstopping activities actually carried out
by the departments or divisions.
It may be noted from Table 3 that 56 projects were assigned for back-
stopping to divisions in the Economic and Social Policy Department, while in
Table 2 only 23 projects having training components were shown as falling in
the economic and social fields. This arises because the Agricultural Operations
Division services the field programmes of both the Agriculture Department
and the Economic and Social Policy Department. Hence some of the projects
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES
TABLE 2. Distribution of projects with training activities, and of training activities among major
subject-matter sectors of FAO, 1979
Projects Training activities
No. Percentage No. Percentage
Agriculture 211 72.2 858 86.5
Economic and social 23 7.9 29 2.9
Fisheries 23 7.9 45 4.6
Forestry 18 6.2 28 2.8
General affairs and information 9 3.1 12 1.2
Administration and finance 6 2.0 13 1.3
Not specified 2 0.7 7 0.7
TOTAL 292 100.0 992 100.0
TABLE 3. Distribution of projects having training components, by backstopping departments or
Department, division or other unit o o Percentage
Plant Production and Protection 39 13.4
Animal Production and Health 36 12.3
Land and Water Development 26 8.9
Food Policy and Nutrition 1 17 5.8
Human Resources, Institutions I and Agrarian Reform 16 5.5
Agricultural Services 14 4.8
Policy Analysis 1 14 4.8
Fisheries (Office of ADG) 10 3.4
Statistics 8 2.7
General Affairs and Information (Office of ADG) 8 2.7
Fishery Industries 5 1.7
Forestry (Office of ADG) 5 1.7
Forest Resources 4 1.4
Forestry Operations 3 1.0
Agricultural Operations 8 2.7
Fishery Resources and Environment 2 0.7
Information 2 0.7
Commodities and Trade 1 0.3
Training shared by:
Two divisions 26 8.9
Three divisions 7 2.4
Four divisions 2 0.7
Five divisions 2 0.7
Not indicated 37 12.7
TOTAL 292 100.0
Units of the Economic and Social Policy Department.
0 RALPH W. PHILLIPS
Trainees at a training centre at Urambo in eastern Tanzania observe a demonstration of how to
apply an insecticide to cabbage. The training centre was built in the mid-1960s with funds provided
by the people of the counties of Devon and Exeter, United Kingdom, as a contribution to FAO's
Freedom from Hunger Campaign.
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES /
Group of boys weeding a lettuce bed, as part of school-club activities carried out under an FAO
Freedom from Hunger Campaign project in Liberia in 1967. The project was supported by
Denmark and the training exercise shown in this picture was supervised by a Danish Associate
Expert, Mr Jorgen Albertus (upper left).
| .- "A" ."
RALPH W. PHILLIPS
TABLE 4. Distribution by regions of projects having training components, 1979
Region No. of projects Percentage
Africa 110 37.7
Asia and the Pacific 48 16.4
Latin America 63 21.6
Near East and Europe 44 15.1
Not indicated 27 9.2
TOTAL 292 100.0
that are listed under "Agriculture" in Table 2 were assigned to divisions in the
Economic and Social Policy Department for backstopping purposes.
The amount of training provided to countries in the respective developing
regions is of considerable interest. Data on this point are set out in Table 4, by
numbers of projects'having training components, and in Table 5, by numbers
of training activities and numbers of trainees completing the training offered.
On all three counts, i.e., projects having training components, training
activities, and numbers of trainees, countries in the African region were recip-
ients of the greatest amount of training. Latin America ranked second, in
terms of numbers of projects and numbers of trainees, while Asia and the
Pacific ranked second in numbers of training activities.
Data on the duration of training activities are shown in Table 6. It will be
seen that about half of the activities were short term, i.e., they were conducted
TABLE 5. Distribution by regions where the training activities were conducted, and number of
trainees completing training, 1979
Training activities Trainees completing
No. Percentage No. Percentage
Africa 304 30.7 13017 27.6
Asia and the Pacific 286 28.8 10765 22.9
Latin America 271 27.3 20 228 43.0
Near East and Europe I 125 12.6 2 754 5.8
Not indicated 6 0.6 332 0.7
TOTAL 992 100.0 47 096 100.0
1 This figure includes three activities carried out in Canada and the United States.
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES Y
A demonstration of the correct use of a tree-climbing kit, being given in connection with one of
four logging training centres set up by FAO in India in the late 1960s with UNDP support.
RALPH W. PHILLIPS
TABLE 6. Duration of training activities, 1979
Duration (months) No. Percentage
Less than one 501 50.5
One to six 250 25.2
Seven to twelve 56 5.6
Over twelve 79 8.0
Not indicated 106 10.7
TOTAL 992 100.0
for periods of less than one month, while about one quarter of all activities fell
in the one-to-six-month range. The rather large number (10.7 percent) for
which the duration is not indicated is regretted. However, incompleteness of
data as reflected in this and other tables arises: because data must be as-
sembled from projects in many countries, in all developing regions, and it is not
always possible to secure complete information; and the central tabulation of
data on training activities is a new exercise, and it has not yet been possible to
develop a methodology that is error proof and that ensures complete returns on
Data have also been tabulated for 1979 on a number of other interesting
points, and these are set out below. The first of these refers to the general level
of training provided, which is related to the data presented earlier in Table 1,
but which stresses the level of training rather than the kinds of trainees. Thus, it
will be seen from the two total columns on the right-hand side of Table 7 that
on a global basis about one fifth of the training offered was at the professional
TABLE 7. Variations between regions in the level of training provided in various training activities, 1979
Africa Asia and the Pacific Europe and USA
No. % No. % No. %
Professional 61 20.1 48 16.8 15 62.5
Technical 137 45.1 138 48.3 6 25.0
Vocational/producer 93 30.6 86 30.1 1 4.2
Combination of the above 12 3.9 13 4.5 2 8.3
Not indicated 1 0.3 1 0.3 0 0
TOTAL 304 100.0 286 100.0 24 100.0
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES
level, while nearly 70 percent was at the technical, vocational and producer
These data on levels of training provided are broken down by regions in
Table 7. It will be seen that there were some rather substantial differences
among regions in this respect. For example, the highest percentage at the
professional level was provided in Europe (including a few training activities
conducted in the United States), while the highest percentages at the technical
level were provided in Asia and the Pacific, Africa, and the Near East. Training
at the vocational/producer level received the greatest emphasis in Africa, and
in Asia and the Pacific.
Training activities may be conducted by international experts, or by
national experts, working alone, or by these two types of experts working
jointly. Data on this aspect of the training activities are shown in Table 8. It will
be seen that 60.7 percent of the training activities were conducted jointly by
international and national experts, while two thirds of the total trainees were
trained through such joint efforts. However, slightly over one fifth of the
training was provided in activities where the training was provided solely by
One of the important products of training should be, of course, that the
recipients are able to impart what they have learned to others. The data
available on training activities carried out during 1979 were, therefore, exam-
ined to determine the expected use of the training in this respect. It will be
seen from Table 9 that the trainees in over two thirds of the training activities
were expected in turn to train others, either at the same level, at a lower level, or
at both these levels.
Another point of interest is the nature of the sites at which training
activities have been conducted. Data on this point are presented in Table 10. It
is not surprising that 60 percent of the activities were conducted in capital
cities, in other major towns, or at other sites such as academic campuses, since
Latin America Near East Not indicated Total
No. % No. % No. % No. %
62 22.9 17 16.8 3 50.0 206 20.8
99 36.5 43 42.6 2 33.3 425 42.8
69 25.5 18 17.8 0 0 267 26.9
39 14.4 16 15.9 1 16.7 83 8.4
2 0.7 7 6.9 0 0 11 1.1
271 100.0 101 100.0 6 100.0 992 100.0
12 RALPH W. PHILLIPS
TABLE 8. Number of trainees who completed training, by kind of trainer, 1979
Training activities Trainees who completed
Kind of trainer
No. Percentage No. Percentage
International expert only 156 15.8 4 802 10.2
National expert only 204 20.7 10358 22.0
Jointly by international
and national expert 598 60.7 31308 66.5
Not indicated 27 2.8 628 1.3
TOTAL 1985 100.0 47096 100.0
i For seven training activities no number of trainees was available, so these activities are omitted from this tabulation.
TABLE 9. Extent to which training imparted in various activities in 1979 was expected to be used
in training others
Expected use of training No. Percentage
To train at same level 151 15.2
To train at lower level 345 34.8
To train at both levels 175 17.6
Not expected to train others 258 26.0
Information not supplied 63 6.4
TOTAL 992 100.0
TABLE 10. Location of training activities, 1979
Location No. Percentage
In a capital city 206 20.8
In another major town 268 27.0
In a rural area 322 32.5
Other sites (academic campus, etc.) 121 12.2
In a combination of sites 62 6.2
Not indicated 13 1.3
TOTAL 992 100.0
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES 13
TABLE 11. Languages used in training activities, 1979
Language No. Percentage
English 303 30.6
Spanish 190 19.2
French 130 13.1
Arabic 33 3.3
Portuguese 31 3.1
Local/national language 177 17.8
Mixed 119 12.0
Not indicated 9 0.9
TOTAL 992 100.0
these are the types of sites at which suitable facilities for training, and housing
for the trainees, are most apt to be available. However, it is worthy of note that
nearly one third of all the training activities were conducted in rural areas.
Training activities are normally conducted in one language only, owing to
the difficulties of conducting training effectively through interpreters, and the
language used is, of course, one suited to the country for which the training is
being provided. The languages used in group-training activities during 1979
are shown in Table 11.
A final point of particular interest in relation to the projects having
training components, and the training activities carried out in relation to those
projects, is the source of funds. Information on this aspect is set out in Table 12.
A large share of the projects, and of the training activities, i.e., 61.6 and 69.9
TABLE 12. Sources of funds for projects having training components, and numbers of training
activities financed from the various sources, 1979
Projects Training activities
Source of funds
No. Percentage No. Percentage
including TCP 34 11.6 62 6.2
UNDP 180 61.6 693 69.9
Trust Funds 58 19.9 150 15.1
Mixed sources 18 6.2 59 6.0
Not indicated 2 0.7 28 2.8
TOTAL 292 100.0 992 100.0
14 RALPH W. PHILLIPS
percent respectively, was financed by UNDP. A considerable share, i.e., 19.9
percent of the projects and 15.1 percent of the training activities, was financed
from Trust Fund resources. The Regular Programme of Work, and in partic-
ular the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), is also an important
source of support for training activities, especially those of an emergency
nature, such as the training of technicians to diagnose animal disease outbreaks
or to deal with plant disease or pest outbreaks.
Fellowships initiated in 1979
Fellowships constitute a clearly defined and important part of FAO's overall
training activities. By definition, under present practice in FAO, fellowships
are study undertakings normally of two months or more in duration, study is
undertaken at no more than two locations, and normally they are undertaken
by less senior government personnel. Such fellowships are administered ex-
clusively by the Fellowships Group in the Agricultural Operations Division,
so data regarding them are available at a central point in the Organization.
During 1979, a total of 783 fellowships were begun. These included 475
designed to provide practical training, 163 to provide theoretical training, 27
aimed at attaining a first degree, and 118 aimed at attaining a higher degree.
As regards regional distribution, 206 were awarded to fellows in Africa,
277 in Asia and the Pacific, 62 in Latin America, 139 in the Near East and
North Africa, and 99 in Europe.
Regarding the place of training, 521 of the fellows carried out their
training in developed countries, and 262 in developing countries.
The broad subject-matter sectors in which training was provided are
shown in Table 13. As with group-training activities, substantially the largest
portion was in the agricultural field.
TABLE 13. Numbers of fellows in subject-matter sectors, 1979
Subject-matter sector No. Percentage
Agriculture 461 58.9
Economic and social 205 26.2
Fisheries 49 6.2
Forestry 62 7.9
Administration/management 6 0.8
TOTAL 783 100.0
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES
TABLE 14. Numers of fellows, by subjects, 1979
Subject No. Percentage
Animal production 51 6.5
Animal health 67 8.6
Dairy 12 1.5
Soils/fertilizers 44 5.6
Water management/irrigation 14 1.8
Crop production 160 20.4
Crop protection 57 7.3
Agricultural mechanization/storage 29 3.7
Agricultural industries 15 1.9
Agricultural marketing 5 0.7
Farm management 7 0.9
Rural planning/economics 80 10.2
Rural extension 46 5.9
Home economics/nutrition 22 2.8
Agricultural census/statistics 57 7.3
Fishery resources 22 2.8
Fishery planning/institutions 15 1.9
Fishery industries 12 1.5
Forest resources 31 4.0
Forest industries 19 2.4
Wildlife management 12 1.5
Administration/management services 6 0.8
TOTAL 783 100.0
A further breakdown of the fellowships, by subjects, is given in Table 14.
These are grouped roughly by departments and divisions, although the subject
categories do not correspond precisely with divisional titles in all cases.
In addition to the fellowships referred to above, mention should also be
made of a small but important group of Andre Mayer Fellowships. These
fellowships are named in honour of Professor Andr6 Mayer, a French physiol-
ogist, who was active in FAO affairs in the early years of the Organization, and
who served as Chairman of the Organization's Executive Committee the
precursor of the FAO Council from 1945 to 1947. These fellowships are
awarded for the conduct of research on problems relating to FAO's Pro-
gramme of Work. Resources for them that are included in the Regular Budget
RALPH W. PHILLIPS
are quite limited. For example, six were awarded for the 1978-79 biennium, but
one withdrew and only four of the remaining five began their work in 1979.
FAO study tours in 1979
This aspect of FAO's training activities, although in part related to fellowships,
is more varied and less precisely defined. It is, nevertheless, an important
aspect and in 1979 involved the training of at least 1 243 individuals.
Study tours are distinguished from fellowships, in current FAO practice,
in a number of ways. Normally, they are less than two months in duration, and
study is carried out in more than two places. Participants are drawn from all
levels of personnel, but most frequently from senior government staff. Partic-
ipants in a study tour may range in number from one or a few individuals up
to organized groups of 30 or 40. Procedures for initiating and handling study
tours are considerably more flexible than those for fellowships, and normally
requests for them are initiated by Field Project supervisors and, in many cases,
arrangements are made by these supervisors.
In view of the flexible procedures followed, and the many countries in
which action may be initiated, the assembling of reasonably complete and
accurate information is difficult. This was undertaken for the first time in 1979,
and the results, by regions and subject-matter sectors, are shown in Table 15.
The numbers shown relate to study tours initiated during 1979. Some of those
initiated late in the year extended, of course, into 1980. As with other training
activities, agricultural (including economic) participants predominated. How-
ever, both fisheries and forestry participants account for higher proportions of
TABLE 15. Numbers of participants in study tours, by regions and subject-matters sectors, 1979
and Fisheries Forestry Total
Africa 65 64 50 179
Asia and the Pacific 235 79 98 412
Europe 171 3 174
Latin America 152 48 125 325
North Africa and
Near East 121 2 30 153
TOTAL 744 193 306 1 243
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES
the study-tour participants than was the case for either group-training activities
or for fellowships. Perhaps the most notable point regarding the division of
study tours among the regions is that, while Africa had the largest number of
project-related group training activities, and the second largest number of
fellowships, this region ranked fifth in the number of participants in study
Internal and external coordination of training activities
It should be evident from the preceding sections of this paper that FAO has
been deeply involved in training activities for many years, and that those
activities are broad in scope and diversity. Thus, training activities are of
concern, in one way or another, to practically all sectors of the Organization. In
addition, they are of concern both to countries that benefit from the training
and to countries that provide support for the training activities. Consequently,
there is considerable need for coordination, both internal to FAO and exter-
nally. Some indications of how the needed coordination is achieved are given
IINTER-DEPARTMENTAL WORKING GROUP ON TRAINING
Recognizing the scope and diversity of FAO's activities related to training and
the need for consistent implementation of approved policies, as well as for
close collaboration and exchange of experience among the organizational units
concerned, the Director-General of FAO reconstituted an Inter-Divisional
Working Group on Agricultural Extension and Training into an Inter-De-
partmental Working Group on Training on 22 February 1978. The latter
Working Group is chaired by the Deputy Director-General, and has members
representing the sectors of the Organization that are most actively concerned
Among its functions, this Inter-Departmental Working Group is expected
to: advise the Director-General on training policies, with a view to making
training activities more responsive to needs; maintain a general oversight of
FAO's training activities; monitor preparations for and implementation of
training activities; facilitate the systematic evaluation of training activities; and
ensure the feedback of such evaluations into the formulation of new pro-
Three preceding sections of this paper on various training activities car-
ried out during 1979, and one of the subsequent sections relating to the follow-up
of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development
(WCARRD), comprise materials arising from activities carried out under the
aegis of this Inter-Departmental Working Group.
1l5 RALPH W. PHILLIPS
TRAINING ASPECTS OF THE FOLLOW-UP OF WCARRD
The Declaration of Principles and Programme of Action adopted by
WCARRD highlighted the importance of training, which was regarded as an
integral part of: peoples' participation; integration of women in development;
access to inputs, markets and services; development of non-farm economic
activities; and education and extension.
To supplement the work of the inter-departmental group that was set up
to ensure follow-up of the WCARRD Programme of Action, the Inter-De-
partmental Working Group on Training established a small task force that -
without duplicating other WCARRD follow-up activities is expected to:
ensure that adequate attention is given to the training aspects; also ensure that
training aspects of WCARRD follow-up action are properly integrated with
other training activities; and in areas where deemed necessary, draw up guide-
lines and define and identify training projects and activities that would be
appropriate in the context of the WCARRD Programme of Action.
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON FORESTRY EDUCATION
This Committee is composed of not more than 30 experts, appointed on the
basis of their technical competence by Member Nations. The Member Nations
are selected by the Director-General, with due regard to representation of the
different regions and of countries with long-established institutions for training
forestry personnel. The Committee's purpose is to advise the Director-General
on the evolution and implementation of FAO programmes relating to educa-
tion in the fields of forestry, watershed and range management, forest indus-
tries and wildlife and national parks management, and on the ways in which
these programmes should be developed.
Although it existed in other forms from 1947, it was established as a
Committee by FAO Conference action in 1963, and held its first session as a
Committee in 1964.
FAO/UNEsCo/ILO COLLABORATION IN TRAINING FOR AGRICULTURE AND RURAL
An Aide-M6moire was signed by the Directors-General of FAO, Unesco and
ILO on 3 May 1968, providing guidelines for cooperation among the three
organizations on activities of mutual interest. Immediately thereafter a first
meeting was held of an FAO/Unesco/ILO Inter-Secretariat Working Group
on Agricultural Education, Science and Training. By the end of 1979, this
Working Group had held 34 meetings with a view to improving planning and
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES 19
The above-mentioned Aide-M6moire also provided for the establishment
of an FAO/Unesco/ILO Joint Advisory Committee on Agricultural Educa-
tion, Science and Training. It consists of 18 persons who serve in their personal
capacities. The Committee's basic function is to advise the three Direc-
tors-General on policy issues. This Joint Advisory Committee has held four
sessions, the last one being in April 1977, in Geneva.
Evaluation of training activities
In any well-planned and effectively operated programme, evaluation is a
continuing process. Thus, for a training centre, a study tour, or a fellowship, the
need for such an activity must be assessed before it is incorporated in a project
or in the Programme of Work. Those responsible for the operation of a centre
or a study tour, or for the supervision of a fellow, must in good conscience -
give attention to the effectiveness of the training as it progresses. And, at the
end, somejudgement must be arrived at as to the overall success of the activity.
Later, if circumstances and resources permit, there should also be some as-
sessment of the extent to which the training has been put to use.
In addition to this type of introspective evaluation, which is carried out to
the extent possible as a normal part of FAO's training work, FAO has con-
ducted formal evaluations of its training activities. Three examples of such
formal evaluations are described briefly below.
A "Review of FAO Field Programmes" is normally submitted to each
session of the FAO Conference. The first of these, essentially in its current
form, covered the 1972-73 biennium, and was submitted to the autumn 1973
session of the Conference (FAO, 1973). It contained a chapter on "Research
and training projects" that was devoted primarily to an evaluation of institu-
tion-building projects and to fellowships. Some attention was also given to
group-training activities carried out for specific purposes, for example, for
cereal breeders, in connection with a Near East cereal improvement and
production project, and for plant breeders, in relation to seed production.
Regarding fellowships, the Review contained the conclusion that fellow-
ships were one of the most important institution-building elements in technical
assistance, and it was noted that, at the end of 1972, a total of 888 fellowships
were being administered by FAO, 830 in connection with UNDP projects, and
58 in connection with projects financed by UNICEF, Government Trust
Funds, and under FFH projects. In this Review, it was also noted that rela-
tively little training had been provided for technicians who carry out routine
field and laboratory operations, although they were the backbone of any
In a subsequent "Review of Field Programmes" (FAO, 1977), a more
elaborate evaluation of FAO's training in agriculture, fisheries and forestry
was presented. In addition to providing an overview of FAO's training activi-
RALPH W. PHILLIPS
ties and an assessment of the various aspects of those activities, it directed
particular attention to problems associated with the training of foresters,
fishermen, farmers and rural women.
The Review for 1976 and 1977 also contained a section on "FAO's role -
past, present, future" in regard to training. It was noted that a major contri-
bution of FAO during the previous two decades had been the establishment
and strengthening of permanent training institutions, and that a significant
portion of the group-training activities had been focused on senior and
middle-level professional staff. Also, considerable effort had been expended in
the training of extension workers, but it was noted that the multiplier effect of
such training can be realized only if adequate supporting facilities are pro-
vided. Considerable emphasis was placed on the point that a lack of adequate
rural orientation in primary and secondary education had contributed to the
acceleration of migration to the towns and cities, and to the low level of
students enrolling in intermediate and higher level courses in agriculture. It was
concluded that such a rural orientation was necessary to provide the frame-
work within which FAO's future training activities should be conceived.
The third of the three examples of evaluation of training mentioned above
was a special study undertaken jointly by FAO and UNDP during 1978 and the
first half of 1979 of a sampling of FAO's training activities. The results are
contained in "Agricultural training report of an evaluation study"
(FAO/UNDP, 1980), which was considered by the FAO Programme Com-
mittee in its Thirty-Eighth Session and also by the FAO Council in its Seven-
ty-Eighth Session. This study was based on a sample of seven country-wide
studies carried out by national institutions in the countries concerned, supple-
mented by a number of project and programme studies to give wider geograph-
ical and subject-matter coverage, and involved a total of 17 countries. The
projects studied covered the period from 1961 to 1979. Some of them had been
completed while others were continuing at the time the study was conducted.
The report of this evaluation study, and in particular the chapter on "Lessons
for the future" are being considered by the respective FAO divisions and
services, and by FAO's Inter-Departmental Working Group on Training,
with a view to bringing about improvements in the design and execution of
training activities. Special attention is being given to regular monitoring and
to practical evaluation of training activities.
These are points stressed in the study as necessary prerequisites to
increasing the impact of such activities.
One other aspect of the evaluation of FAO's training activities should also
be mentioned. FAO, UNDP and recipient governments frequently carry out
tripartite reviews of the projects being carried out in the respective countries.
The training aspects of all such projects are, of course, examined in this
evaluation process. In addition, in-course evaluations are also carried out
during many Trust Fund-financed group-training courses using techniques
developed in FAO.
FAO's TRAINING ACTIVITIES L1
Although this paper contains information on only a limited sampling of the
training activities FAO has conducted during the 35 years since it was founded,
these samples should be sufficient to indicate that FAO's training activities
have been substantial, that they have been broad in subject-matter and geo-
graphic scope, and that reasonable balances have been achieved in such aspects
as kinds of trainees, levels of training, duration of training activities, and the
languages used to impart training. Also, considerable progress has been made
in the use of national experts in project-related group training activities, and in
the utilization of institutions in developing countries for the training of fellows.
Improvements are, of course, possible and should be sought. In order to
plan for such improvements, it is essential to know what has been and is being
done. Hence, one of the greatest values of the recent study of FAO's training
activities, the results of which are summarized in part in this paper, is that it has
provided a data base for use in examining year-to-year trends, in identifying
shortcomings in present and ongoing training activities, and against which to
measure progress as efforts are made to achieve improvements.
Evaluation of the effectiveness and usefulness of training activities is a
matter of concern to the countries they are designed to benefit, as well as to the
organization that provides the training. Most of that at present provided is
included in the projects requested by countries, and is specified in the project
plans which the countries approve. Hence, it is important that countries should
consider whether the training their nationals are receiving is in fact of a type or
types best suited to meet their priority needs.
FAO. The Agriculture Division of FAO -a summary of its organization, development and accom-
1956 plishments from 2 December 1946 to 31 December 1955. 176 p. Rome.
FAO. Report on the World Consultation on Forestry Education and Training (1971). 182 p. Rome.
FAO. Review ofField Programmes, 1972-73. 144 p. Rome. Document C 73/4.
FAO. Review of Field Programmes, 1976-77. 82 p. Rome. Document C 77/4.
FAO. China: the agricultural training system. 131 p. Rome. FAO Economic and Social Develop-
1980 ment Paper No. 11.
FAO/UNESCO/ILO. Report of World Conference on Agricultural Education and Training. Vol. 1,
1970 201 p., and Vol. 2, 184 p. FAO, Rome.
FAO/UNESCO/ILO. 1979 training for agriculture and rural development. 124 p. Rome. FAO
1980 Economic and Social Development Series No. 19.
FAO/UNDP. Agricultural training report of an evaluation study. FAO Council Document CL
1980 78/15; UNDP Evaluation Study No. 4, 71 p. FAO, Rome.
PHILLIPS, R.W., PEEBLES, T.F., CUMMINGS, W.H. & PASSERINI, L. FAO advisory assistance to
1953 member countries under the UNRRA Transfer Fund. 54 p. FAO, Rome. FAO Agri-
culture Development Paper No. 24.
Problems of agricultural
extension in Africa
OBJECTIVES AND ORGANIZATION
Before studying the problems that arise in agricultural extension in both
anglophone and francophone countries in Africa south of the Sahara, two
main statements should be made.
The first is that these countries have inherited their systems of adminis-
tration from the countries of which they were formerly colonies. They did not
begin with a blank sheet, The structures they built and are still building were
fashioned after models they did not choose, and they are now attempting to
reshape them to better fit their needs. Neither the present situation nor the
changing pattern of these structures can be understood without first knowing
the models upon which they were originally fashioned.
The second is that one of the major points at issue is that the French word
vulgarisationn" is not the exact equivalent of the English word "extension".
"Extension" covers all activities of which the purpose is the practical applica-
tion of scientific data discovered in the various research laboratories and
institutes and taught in the various schools and universities. There is nothing
derogatory about the term as such. Quite the reverse; it implies a far-ranging
field of application on which in-depth studies are carried out and is one of the
In French, however, the term connotes belittlement in some sense. "Vul-
gariser" (to popularize) is to bring advanced scientific knowledge down to the
level of mediocre or inferior audiences or users. To a certain extent, this implies
a lowering of the level of what is being taught. This is why the French
"Grandes 6coles" and universities have a slightly contemptuous attitude to-
ward this type of activity and are quite happy to leave it to the commercial
enterprises or public relations people.
When dealing with vulgarisationn agricole", this attitude is emphasized
because the extension activities are directed toward a section of the population
that includes a restricted number of rich landowners or companies, and a very
large number of small farmers, who are, all too easily, described as backward,
rough and primitive (even though this is far from the truth). With this situation,
Ms H. Stevens, Agricultural Extension Officer, FAO, Rome.
therefore, it is very easy to think that anyone, even without any special training,
or with only a very rudimentary training, can become a rural extension agent.
And unfortunately, this has been happening all too often.
Organization of agricultural extension
Where should agricultural extension be situated in the administrative and
social patterns of a country, when agricultural extension is organized as a
One would be tempted to think "At the Ministry of Agriculture, of
This would be logical. But unfortunately, this logic is not always followed.
Agricultural extension in the United Kingdom is a very well organized
service. It is part of the Agricultural Development and Advisory Service of the
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. The Service has a network of
advisers serving farm families at a rate of one adviser (an agronomist) to each
1 000 to 1 200 families and it works closely with agricultural research institutes
and schools. As a matter of comparison, in the United States the ratio can be as
low as one agronomist-extension agent to 280 rural families.
In France, agricultural extension and its structures are organized in a
much less systematic fashion. Technically speaking, all extension activities fall
under the Ministry of Agriculture through its regional and departmental ser-
vices of agronomy. The departmental services of agronomy control and su-
pervise, and act in an educational capacity. They do indeed perform an advi-
sory function for the farmers in their department when there are problems to
be solved. But there is no specific body of officials within the Ministry of
Agriculture dedicated solely to extension and responsible for a certain number
of families in a specific geographical sector.
The development of agricultural extension in France has taken place
largely in the private or semi-private sector, namely:
In the State-subsidized professional agencies such as the Chambers of
Agriculture, Farmers' Unions;
In the private commerce sector for advertising purpose; and
In the non-profit private organizations, whether State-subsidized or
not, in the form of social work or agricultural instruction, both of which are
important in France.
Objectives of agricultural extension in the United Kingdom and France
One might be tempted to think that the objectives of agricultural extension are
more or less the same everywhere, and that the goal is always to increase the
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA
income of the farmer. But, in fact, this is not the case. Why? Because the
objectives of agricultural extension reflect not only the interests of the rural
families for which it was established, but also, and sometimes predominantly,
the agricultural policy of the country in which the service operates. There is a
particularly marked difference in this respect in the case of France and the
THE UNITED KINGDOM
It is significant that the Ministry of Agriculture in the United Kingdom is
called the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF). For the
United Kingdom, forced to import a large part of the food it consumes,
increasing food production is vital. So much so that there is apparently no
concern for the fact that agriculture can produce such non-food commodities
as wood or textile plants. The task of agricultural extension is accordingly
precise: to increase food production. The interests of the rural family are not
overlooked within this perspective, but they take their place within a clearly
defined national policy.
The Ministry of Agriculture in France is not concerned with food and the food
industries; the "service de ravitaillement" has not operated since the end of the
Second World War. Like all other industries, the food industries come under
the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.
Increasing food production is not a priority objective of French agricul-
tural policy, for the very good reason that French agriculture tends to produce
surpluses in this area. For example, part of the French wine crop has to be
distilled each year, and skim milk surpluses often have to be used for feeding
poultry and pigs. The problem in French agriculture is rather to produce under
conditions that will be competitive with those of the neighboring Common
Market countries (a difficult problem, in view of the social charges imposed by
the French system). Producers must also be able to find markets for agricul-
tural commodities, and to maintain prices at a level where they can enjoy living
standards comparable with those of other French citizens.
We may conclude from the foregoing that agricultural extension has quite
different aspects in the United Kingdom and in France.
The United Kingdom has a body of officials composing a service directly
under the Ministry and clearly oriented toward improving and increasing food
production. The service has close links with research and teaching. This last
feature is even more marked in the United States.
France, instead, has a plethora of diverse activities, all functioning under
the technical supervision of the departmental agricultural services of the Min-
istry of Agriculture. But this is purely technical supervision, not administra-
tive responsibility. These activities are highly differentiated. Their objectives
range from encouraging the vocation of farming to commercial profits for
private enterprises, not forgetting a vast gamut of non-profit, educational activ-
ities, the objective of which is to help farm families to raise all aspects of their
standard of living.
This set of circumstances is not without its influence for those African
countries that have modelled themselves on one or the other of these European
Agricultural extension in French- and English-speaking Africa
The first thing we notice upon examination of agricultural extension in the
French- and English-speaking countries of Africa south of the Sahara is that
the basic problems these countries have to solve are exactly the same in both.
Leaving out those countries rich in minerals, which change their economic
situation considerably, all share the following features:
An agriculture-based economy;
A young, rapidly growing population that has to be fed;
A national budget largely dependent on one or more export crops;
Access to rural populations in these areas is difficult;
Rural populations rarely all speak the same languages;
Often villages lack the basic necessities such as running water, food
storage, orderly marketing and so on;
Extension agents often work without any form of back-up;
And lastly, what often happens is that extension workers are sent to
their posts without proper equipment and without adequate preparation.
These are the harsh realities faced by agricultural extension workers in
most African countries, regardless of their colonial legacy.
Extension objectives and structures in African countries
Given the foregoing, the UK system offers definite advantages over the
French system, at least at the outset. Paradoxically, the United Kingdom, one
of Europe's most heavily industrialized countries, proposes a model better
adapted to the situation in the African countries than does France, which is
nonetheless a major agricultural country. No doubt this is first of all because
feeding the population is the basic objective of agriculture, and this is (or
should be) the case in the African countries as well.
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA
Next, there is no particular administrative problem in setting up an ex-
tension service under the Ministry of Agriculture in accordance with the UK
model. This does not mean that all the English-speaking countries have a
well-organized, smoothly running extension service... that is quite another
story! Anywhere in Africa, such a service is very costly, and many countries are
not yet able to afford it.
And, in the final analysis, from the administrative standpoint, agricultural
extension is considered a normal part of the Ministry of Agriculture, just as the
increase of food production is considered its normal objective. In the An-
glo-Saxon countries, the preoccupation with yields appears to eclipse all other
sides of the problem. If human factors are mentioned, it is generally with
reference to an economic objective to be obtained, and not for their own sake.
The worth, interest and suitability of the economic objective appears to be
unquestioned, and requires no discussion.
In French-speaking countries, on the contrary, the administrative body of
the Ministry of Agriculture has never included an extension service. Social
development cannot take place in a country where 95 percent of the population
are farmers if rural extension is not developed properly. In fact, rural extension
services have developed in certain ministries, only to be passed on to another
ministry, without ever having found their fixed place: in ministries of human
promotion, of youth and sports, of planning, etc. According to the French
model, these rural extension activities developed also in the private or semi-
private sector (soci6t6s d'intervention, missionary organizations, etc.).
The difficulties encountered by the French-speaking countries originate
mainly in a lack of administrative structures. Agricultural extension must be
within the Ministry of Agriculture and must be adequately budgeted. When
this is not the case, activities undertaken by other agencies lack the technical
support they so urgently need. The peasants' awareness is awakened to their
needs and problems, but they can neither respond to these needs nor resolve
these problems by themselves. The outcome of such efforts is therefore not the
hoped-for development, and it may well be that they even spawn frustration
and bitterness when the peasants' hopes are dashed. It cannot be said too often
that success in agricultural development is possible only when there is a solid
grounding in agronomy, agricultural economics, business and farm manage-
ment, production of rural handicrafts and home economics. The
French-speaking governments are becoming increasingly aware of this.
The determinedly practical approach of the English-speaking group
to the problems listed above seems to simplify, if not to solve them, and does
make it easier to look for the answers. Nonetheless, where profit is sought
to the detriment of the human factor, the results may very well be deplorable.
In this respect, the views of the extension agents from six Nigerian States
on what they considered to be their duties are most interesting. Here is how
they classified, in order of magnitude, the problems arising in the exercise of
28 H. STEVENS
Insufficient transport facilities for extension staff;
Lack of proper markets and low prices for farm products;
Lack of cooperation in programme implementation from local people;
Lack of staff motivation;
Inadequate technical background in agriculture;
Inadequate extension staff;
Lack of money among farmers;
Farmer reticence with regard to innovations;
Non-participation of local people in planning programmes of work.
This classification deserves special attention, highlighting as it does the
importance of the human factor in identifying the problems one runs into in
the field. Unquestionably, in the French-speaking countries, the first two
problems mentioned lack of transport and farm price scales would also
have been listed first. There problems are found everywhere without excep-
tion, and everywhere they weigh heavily on extension activities. But it is
significant that all the other difficulties mentioned are of a human nature. The
French-speaking group would add:
That sometimes fixed farm prices favour cash-crop speculations...
and raise the profit margin of the exporter... but do not reach the farmer, who
is actually underpaid. Where such market imbalances exist, it is pointless to
expect miracles of the extension worker;
That sometimes cash crops also invade crop land formerly set aside
and cultivated by women for food crops. These crops frequently form the basis
of the family's diet. If this enterprise is taken from them their families' situation
progressively deteriorates and poverty spreads and worsens in the very situa-
tion where it had been hoped to raise the standard of living;
That the money may very well not be spent for the family's good for
several reasons: it may not be fairly shared between the man and woman; there
may be no local market for the consumer goods the family needs; or the man
may be led to drink and to increase the number of wives he possesses. "Why
should I wear myself out picking cotton?", said a peasant to one of our experts
one day, an expert who had managed to help the man double his crop yield.
"I've picked enough to pay for soap, petrol, salt, tobacco, and to offer each of
my wives a cloth to clothe herself with. What use is the rest of the crop to me?
It's nothing I need!"
When the only thing sought is to increase crop yields, sooner or later the
peasants come to know as much about this as the extension agents, thus
rendering them superfluous, particularly if their training was rudimentary at
Finally, the French-speakers would have placed the English-speakers' last
comment first, namely that rural peoples play no part in the planning of
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA LY
programmes affecting them. And this is also why the French approach is not
to try to motivate these people from the outside but rather to solicit their views,
to first hear them tell what it is they want, so as to design a plan for action
based on these things.
The many problems that arise from training extension agents in Africa are
identical in anglophone and francophone countries. The first one is to know
what is the main objective of this training and to which service the young agent
will be appointed, since rural extension should meet well-defined needs. Then,
another problem immediately appears who will pay the extension gradu-
ates? One cannot propose long and costly studies to candidates and then leave
them with employment problems. The same difficulties arise in both franco-
phone and anglophone countries. The poorest of these countries cannot afford
the expenses of extension agents at the level required; moreover, in these
countries, the private sector is very poor or simply does not exist. As a result of
this situation, governments can only offer very low salaries, which results in the
recruitment of non-qualified, or poorly qualified personnel, and this, in turn, is
the source of countless further difficulties.
If, however, it is decided that a diploma is required for extension work, a
rush for diplomas takes place. This has been a sort of plague in Africa during
recent years, since a diploma is usually obtained after oral and written exami-
nations, and, once obtained, it enables the bearer to obtain a continuing post in
administration (at least, that is what he hopes). But to grant a state-officer
position to a good pupil who has only learned by heart what he has been
taught, without asking something more from him than written work, is not the
best way to make a responsible adult out of a pupil.
Such experiences have convinced the governments that rural develop-
ment should reach all sectors of farmers' lives and this is why, more and more,
rural extension is becoming an essential component of an integrated rural
development. But in this scope the profile of the agricultural extension agent is
a changing one. He can no longer sing the docile refrain of advice and
instructions originating with the more experienced technical higher-ups, nor
can he be a simple technician skilled in the manual arts and able to persuade
the peasants as to what they have to do, nor can he be simply a motivator
capable of understanding the peasants' problems and earning their confidence
so as to help them grow and change... No, the main problem of the devel-
opment agent is that he has to do and be all these things at once. He has to be
able to analyse the situation of the farmers for whom he is responsible. He has
to be able to unearth the basics of an always complex problem and seek
solutions that will inevitably bring into the open his technical expertise and
practical skills. At the grass-roots level, these various responsibilities cannot be
shared among a team; that would be too expensive and besides, peasants
generally give their trust to an individual whom they know, not to three or four
To sum up, if we take account of the fact that many extension agents have
only the most elementary training, are poorly paid and have no opportunity for
advancement, we can measure the extent of the problem of agricultural ex-
tension in Africa.
In the face of this problem, the French and the English approaches are
clearly complementary. It would be highly advantageous if they were less
cloistered in terms of their contact with one another, if they became better
acquainted, exchanged experiences, compared results and looked for solutions
together. Such an exchange of views would be especially profitable in the area
of training for extension agents.
Who to train?
In Africa, given the changed job profile for extension agents, the choice of who
to train to do the job is limited to two possibilities.
One can choose to train students graduating from secondary school at
a certain level. This varies from country to country but should be at about the
end of the fourth year of secondary studies in the moderately advanced coun-
tries, and at the end of the full secondary cycle for those countries where
educational standards are already high and where there exists an imperative
need to find outlets for young secondary-school graduates.
Or one can choose to train staff in the field, on the job already, having
been recruited several years before without the necessary background and who
must receive refresher and further training if they are to be brought to the
These two types of prospective candidates are different. They cannot be
treated in the same fashion.
The first are young students with a good level of general culture. But they
have acquired their knowledge in urban establishments that have tended to cut
them off from the countryside and the true situation there. Most of them are
not at all motivated toward agriculture, and even less toward life in the bush.
They dream of a city career, and generally feel contempt for the rural milieu.
The second, however, are part of the rural milieu and are well acquainted
with it. Most of them are already married and established. They are not so
young. They already have family responsibilities, they are aware of the diffi-
culties of their vocation, and they want to better their situation, yet they have
no ambition to change jobs. However, the level to which they are trained goes
no further than primary school. They particularly lack the fundamentals in
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA
science. In undertaking to train them, not only their level of instruction, but
also their attitudes as adults and their family responsibilities must be taken into
Another question that arises is how to determine where these develop-
ment agents are to be trained. The ambition of every African is to get a training
scholarship in Europe, the United States, the USSR or China. For any activity
related to extension work, especially at the mid-levels, studies abroad are
unsuitable. The problem is that these courses do not acquaint students with the
real situation in their country especially if the students are young and have not
yet worked in the field. Under these circumstances students invariably return
to their home country with knowledge that is inappropriate to their situation. It
may be years before this expensive knowledge can be adapted and applied
with advantage in the local situation.
How has extension training evolved in the African countries?
Extension training has not evolved in exactly the same way in all the African
countries, because each country has retained its own freedom of action and
originality in this field. However, for these countries the first years that fol-
lowed independence were a period of improvisation and feeling their way. The
resources available to them were very small. Extension activities were orga-
nized on the spot as well as they could be using school-educated village men or
women without specialized training, or with only elementary training as ex-
tension agents. At present the governments are trying to see their way clearly in
this field to integrate the experiences that have proved positive.
The transition described above has left countries with a two-fold task:
First, the training structures that already exist must be set in order. This
means that some will have to be expanded while others are scaled down;
Second, it must be decided how agents who have undergone these
adequate forms of training can be brought to the level required for the re-
sponsibilities that they now face. Inevitably this must place increased strain
on existing in-service training structures.
As far as the future is concerned, the need is to train young personnel to
meet the real needs of each country. For this future action, three levels of
trained personnel will be required:
Grass-roots agents directly in contact with the farmers;
Medium-level supervisory personnel (local or regional level);
Executive personnel (chiefs of service).
32 H. STEVENS
In the training processes for these three levels, agricultural extension must
be considered as a specialist profession, and even those who are detached from
the field level, for example the executive personnel, should be fully conversant
with elementary extension procedures. For this reason extension should also be
envisaged as a subject to be included in the training of all rural development
agents, including those who will not be extension workers.
All the above points related to the training of extension personnel in
Africa apply equally well to both English-speaking and French-speaking
Main phases of implementation of extension training
The implementation of agricultural extension training involves a number of
actions to be executed, which can be divided in stages that usually follow each
other in logical succession.
These main stages are:
1. Determination of the responsible government agency;
2. Identification of needs;
3. Study of training objectives and a profile of the personnel to be trained;
4. Training content and methods;
5. Training on the job.
DETERMINATION OF THE RESPONSIBLE AGENCY
In French-speaking countries the agency responsible is generally a ministry or
a state secretariat. The extension services that employ the young graduates also
belong to a ministry or a state secretariat that is not always the same. The very
first condition to be met for successful training is to obtain an agreement
between the employing and the training ministry (ies).
In the English-speaking countries, the fact that the universities do not
necessarily come under the authority of a particular ministry, and therefore
can have political and economic autonomy, places extension training in a
much better position.
IDENTIFICATION OF NEEDS
The needs are of two types:
The employing agencies must be asked exactly what they expect of their
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA 33
extension agents and what tasks they intend to assign to them. In some coun-
tries, the private and semi-private sectors are beginning to offer jobs to persons
qualified in extension and thus are in direct competition with the public sector.
This is a sure sign of the economic value of such trained personnel and is a vital
point that must be taken into account.
This refers to the number of extension workers at different levels that have to
:be trained. Usually the number to be trained is determined by manpower
indicators such as the number of farmers to be served, as well as by the
financial resources of the employing agency. Unfortunately these two factors
TRAINING OBJECTIVES AND PROFILES
On the basis of the data collected in the needs analysis performed in point 2
above, the following can be established:
The number of trainees needed at different levels and in the different
specialities within the profession;
An accurate job profile of the extension agents to be trained, and
therefore the training objectives.
Two specific examples taken in English- and French-speaking countries
afford a comparison of the two approaches.
The training needs for extension personnel were identified by S.K. Taiwo
Williams, University of Ife, Ibadan, Nigeria, as follows:
Agricultural technical competence;
Understanding of the extension service;
Counselling and guidance;
Communication principles, teaching and techniques;
Social structures, leadership, social evolution options and processes;
Principles of work organization, administration and supervision;
Evaluation principles and techniques.
Below is the equivalent analysis taken from a preliminary document for
the reorganization project of the Institut pratique de d6veloppement rural in
Knowledge of the rural sector;
Execution of technical operations;
34 H. STEVENS
Influence on the society;
Although the second of the two lists is much shorter than the first, the
similarities between these two documents are so striking that it is difficult to see
any real difference. Where, then, does the difference lie?
The English-language document mentions technical competence first; the
French document starts with knowledge of the rural sector.
However, it is obvious by now that the views held by the Africans of the
Niger and Nigeria are the same. The only difference that could exist is in the
emphasis given to the various aspects of the extension worker's role.
Possibly only a single point, but an absolutely fundamental one, should be
clarified at this stage. The Kolo framework project document specifically
states: "The farmer alone is the leading actor in rural development; capital and
technology play an important but secondary and incentivating role".
Would the English-speaking countries accept this fundamental principle?
For, we may ask: should extension put development techniques at the service
of the farmers, or should extension be used to put the farmers at the service of
TRAINING CONTENT AND METHODS
The subjects that should be included in the extension-worker training pro-
gramme are almost the same in both the English- and the French-speaking
countries. The following are those that appear to be the most desirable in such
Training in human sciences (stressing, in particular, survey techniques
that afford a thorough knowledge of the rural sector in the French-speaking
countries, and emphasizing the use of audio-visual material in English-speak-
Agricultural technical training adapted to the region;
Training in economics and management;
Training in work planning and organization;
Practical training on the farm through periods spent in the field and on
Language training: useful local languages, French or English.
In the English-speaking countries, home economics is integrated in the
programmes more effectively than in the French-speaking countries, and is
often added. The proportion between theoretical courses and practical work is
substantially the same in both cases: about 60 percent practical to 40 percent
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA J
Probably the training methods are the area where the differences between
the two systems are most marked. In the French-speaking countries until
recently, the methods have been highly academic in the most formal sense of
the term. Formal study given by a teacher in classrooms relies very much on
memory, which is confirmed by one or more written papers. Grades obtained
in these papers contribute to the final examination, which is the key to the
The negative contributions made to proficiency in field responsibilities
produced by this method have left the agricultural education authorities to
look for something different. Thus, little by little, participatory methods are
acquiring increasing importance in the new training establishments. The
principle of these methods involves more reliance on the observation, judge-
ment, imagination and practical experience of the students than on their
memory. The purpose is to train not only young technicians who are techni-
cally competent in their speciality, but also and perhaps above all to train people
capable of observing and initiating action through understanding rather than
by repetition of basic theory. It is this type of person who is able to assume
responsibility in different and unforeseen situations.
The method described above leads to a transformation of the school
atmosphere and, in particular, of the examination criteria. The problem is no
longer to judge a student by what he has learned and can recite orally or in
writing, but rather by what he is able to do in each of the stages of his training.
Is there anything similar in the English-speaking countries? It seems not.
Possibly the reason is that the Anglo-Saxon mentality, being much more
practical than the French mentality, never experienced the errors that, in the
French-speaking countries, have provoked a wholesale reaction. In the En-
glish-speaking countries, the problems arise with less intensity, and have
been felt less harshly and analysed less rigorously.
TRAINING ON THE JOB
Until a few years ago, because there were no other possibilities, young rural
development agents who did not have appropriate training, or did not even
have any specialized training at all, were hired and assigned hastily. It is
unfortunate that these grass-roots agents are now those who are in direct
contact with the farmers. They are no longer young, they have family respon-
sibilities and do not possess the funds to resume regular studies. Furthermore,
they do not possess the basic educational level that would enable them to
undertake the kinds of training now available. Consequently they have almost
no chance of promotion in their difficult and exhausting profession and their
salary is very low. Personal incentive to improve the quality of their work is
lacking and they are difficult to supervise and support because they are dis-
persed in the bush.
Confronted by this situation, the African countries have begun to adopt
measures. These are of two kinds:
Preventive measures. Preventive measures consist of trying to prevent a
repetition of the errors committed in the past by not appointing untrained
personnel who have no chance of acquiring the necessary training.
Remedial measures. These measures involve organizing in-service training
for all the grass-roots agents scattered in the bush and who need such training.
There is no alternative other than training them in their own country, and even
in their own district whenever possible. A variety of measures have been taken
to achieve this training objective including:
Short training sessions;
Written technical documentation;
The rural radio and, possibly, mini-cassettes.
In both the English-speaking and in the French-speaking countries, all
these measures have been tried and applied. However, what we have been able
to do in this field is still inadequate because the young African countries do not
have the financial resources necessary for human investment, which, costly as
it may be, is nevertheless vital.
What conclusions can we draw at the end of this study on agricultural exten-
sion in the English- and French-speaking countries south of the Sahara? Three
very important points seem to emerge.
The first point is that extension is one of the aspects of a global agricultural
policy; it cannot, by itself, make such a policy succeed. However, what we can
expect to achieve is the participation of the farmers. In most African countries,
farmers constitute approximately 90 percent of the population on whose la-
bour the economy of most of these countries is based. Whatever policy is
adopted must serve the interests of these farmers. Farmers will not follow
extension advice if agricultural prices are set in such a way that the farmer has
no interest in working to sell, if the instructions for extension tend to increase
cash crops that upset the farm balance and leave the farmer's family hungry, if
no market is organized so that he cannot sell anything, if nothing is available to
buy with the money anyway, if political instability or even banditism does not
even guarantee him the fruit of his labour, and for a host of other reasons.
Extension workers cannot perform miracles and it is unfair to expect them to.
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN AFRICA
The climate in the country has to be such that there is adequate incentive to act
on the advice of the extension workers.
The second point is that there must be a coordination in field activities on
at least a district level if not a national level. Achieving a coordinated approach
does not necessarily mean the imposing of a rigid framework. It does mean,
however, that a coordinating authority such as a ministry should have re-
sponsibility for supplying appropriate information and documents, providing
a place where the officers responsible for field projects can meet each other,
and where a philosophy adopted by a government as final can gradually
emerge from the comparison of many experiences.
Lastly, the third point concerns the differences existing between the En-
glish- and French-speaking countries. What strikes an observer of tendencies in
these countries is both their convergence and their complementarity. In these
conditions, it is highly advisable to organize bilingual seminars where the
officers in charge of agricultural extension in countries belonging to the same
ecological regions could meet each other, exchange their experiences, compare
them, relate them to one another, and enrich them reciprocally.
FAO has proposed a regional seminar programme of this kind. The
author hopes that this study may contribute to support this initiative, to show
its justification, and to encourage the African governments to participate in it.
It is also hoped that as a result of these encounters, regional agencies may be
created that can help the African countries to find joint policies in the agri-
cultural extension field.
An approach to university
Australian experience with the acceptance and adoption of extension as a
discipline has not been very much different from that in other countries. The
two major variables have been the length of time taken to establish functional
extension frameworks and the size of the resulting systems. From the point of
view of the type of training presented, there is now general agreement among
extension faculties at universities that the balance between the social and
technical aspects of agriculture is critical to their success.
The approach at Melbourne has been to offer postgraduate extension
training to those who already have a sound technical background in agriculture
and some years of experience in working with rural groups. These students are
able to gain most from the course because they are motivated to do it, they
already have the technical component, and their experience enables them to
see theoretical extension issues in their true perspective. Separation of the two
types of training in this manner is considered to be a better approach than a
single "hybrid" course, which may achieve neither purpose well.
Famers have always sought advice about their crops and livestock from people
in the community whose knowledge and experience they respect. Unless new
information is brought into the community, most farmers continue to work
their land in much the same way their fathers and grandfathers have done so
before them. New ideas occasionally penetrated into communities when trav-
ellers brought word of new ideas or practices outside.
The idea that agricultural scientists and technologists may have an im-
portant role to play in introducing new ideas and in stimulating discussion of
Dr H.S. Hawkins, Senior Lecturer in Agricultural Extension, University of Melbourne, Australia.
progressive methods did not emerge until early in the twentieth century. Since
then, the profession of agricultural extension has spread to most countries of
Evolution of extension expertise
Early extension workers, or agricultural advisers as they were often called,
based their professional advice on technical information available from re-
search centres. As production costs rose and international markets began to
influence farmers' financial situations more obviously, advisers began to pay
more attention to the economics of practices they recommended. Many early
extension workers concentrated their efforts entirely on technical aspects of
agriculture, but the more observant among them were aware that some ideas
were more acceptable to farmers than others. Also, they noted that some
farmers were more anxious to try new ideas while others were not interested in
learning about improved farming methods from people trained outside the
community. Pioneers in rural sociology had produced evidence of the many
factors that influenced people to accept new ideas more rapidly, and universi-
ties began to extend their teaching interests to economic and social aspects of
agriculture, as well as continuing to promote the scientific disciplines asso-
ciated with soils, plants and animals.
Acceptance as a discipline
Agricultural extension emerged as an academic discipline in Australian uni-
versities with the appointment of a rural sociologist to the Faculty of Agri-
culture at the University of Melbourne in 1960. Postgraduate training in
extension commenced shortly after that at the University of Queensland.
There has been a steady growth in extension training in Australian uni-
versities since those early developments. Extension education and research
staff were appointed to Sydney, Melbourne and Queensland universities, and
courses of varying lengths were offered by visiting lecturers in most other
Australian faculties of agriculture.
Further growth of extension training at the undergraduate level is un-
likely. Most agricultural science students come from towns and cities. Many
have little appreciation of farm life and the cycles of agricultural production
before starting their courses. Although they learn something of these aspects in
their undergraduate programmes, they are trained primarily as generalists,
with a strong bias toward research. Undergraduate extension training must be
seen as preparation for the major task of in-service training and organization of
field experience. It serves to make students aware that there is more to agri-
culture than soils, plants, animals and money. People are a key component in
UNIVERSITY EXTENSION EDUCATION
agricultural systems. Hence, it is important for undergraduate agricultural
students to appreciate how ideas spread in rural communities, and what factors
influence people when they make up their minds to accept or reject agricultural
A social and technical blend
Many technically trained agriculturists have a "blind spot" about technolo-
gy. They regard technical information as the answer to farming problems,
without knowing enough about farmers' viewpoints. Farmers who do not
accept research ideas quickly are regarded as backward or excessively con-
servative, when perhaps they have very good economic or social reasons to
question the wisdom of adopting the recommended technology. Extension
training at the undergraduate level can be regarded as successful if it creates
awareness of these issues and makes young graduates more sensitive to farm-
ers' ideas and less anxious to give answers to problems without a deeper
understanding of the situation.
The most appropriate time for deeper academic studies in extension is at
the postgraduate level. Graduates who have received in-service training and
who have worked both with other experienced extension officers and on their
own are ready intellectually and psychologically for what postgraduate train-
ing has to offer.
Some are anxious to answer questions about their work or experiences,
and hence are motivated to follow a research path. Others have many ques-
tions about their work role and how they relate to farmers, research workers
and other people in agriculture. This latter group is ready for deeper explora-
tion of the social and economic disciplines that it may have been exposed to
briefly in the undergraduate years.
Emphasis on field extension
Postgraduate extension training at Melbourne University has evolved in two
streams. A limited number of students with specific research interests develop
research projects leading toward a Masters or PhD degree. Most field exten-
sion staff, while recognizing the importance of research in extension evalua-
tion, do not wish to pursue behavioral research as a career. Their interests
range broadly through the social and economic disciplines that relate to their
with farmers. For this reason Melbourne University has offered a
h aduate diploma course in agricultural extension since 1966. Preference
given to enrolling students with at least two years' extension expe-
2gh most participants in the course have been in the field for much
42 H.S. HAWKINS
The problem-solving approach
Many experienced extension workers returning to study, while not ready to
accept simple answers to situations, do believe strongly that recipe-like answers
to extension problems exist. Their initial expectation is that university staff
members will "give the answers". It comes as a rude shock to some that there
are no universal answers to most extension problems. But they soon learn to
develop an approach to problem solving based on the needs and interests of
their farmer clients. During the course their critical skills are sharpened, and
abilities in listening and observing are increased. Many students achieve high
levels of skill in counselling and other non-directive educational techniques.
The close relationship between extension research and education is a key point
that distinguished university-based extension training from other post-second-
ary extension education. Development of postgraduate extension education
at the University of Melbourne has been tied closely to the development and
research programme of the Agricultural Extension Research Unit. Staff of the
Unit contribute to the postgraduate teaching programme, and work closely
with students on their research projects. The interaction stimulates students to
explore ideas more objectively and to greater depth than they might do other-
wise. It also ensures that the content of the teaching programme is revised
continually as new research information is generated. Students benefit from
participation in current research projects and contribute to the pool of knowl-
edge from which their successors will draw.
Objectives of the programme
Postgraduate training at Melbourne has evolved steadily since course-work
was first offered. Although it is recognized that participants in the programme
are adults learning about adult education, the formal requirements of a de-
gree-granted institution place some constraints on the flexibility and general
approach to arranging a satisfactory teaching/learning situation. The objec-
tives of the postgraduate diploma course are toward:
Increasing the students' awareness of their personal communication
skills and improving their ability to communicate successfully with rural
ple or the clientele with whom they work;
Increasing the students' knowledge and understanding
structures and processes in formal organizations and in rural
especially with regard to changes in these organizations and
UNIVERSITY EXTENSION EDUCATION 4.j
Introducing students to principles of adult education, and familiariz-
ing them with methods, including group dynamics and the use of mass com-
munication media such as the press, radio and television;
Introducing students to the various educational philosophies that can
form the basis of extension education for adults;
Introducing students to the philosophy and some practices of social
research in order to help them interpret research findings and undertake more
valid and reliable evaluation studies;
Broadening the students' understanding of the concept of resource
management, the underlying economic principles and procedures, and im-
proving knowledge of aspects of agricultural policy and marketing likely to be
of importance in working with rural people and rural industry.
These training objectives are attained through participation in formal
courses, field excursions and practical exercises, seminars and discussions, and
by undertaking a small research project. The course lasts approximately 10
months and normally is undertaken full-time.
Students enrolled in the course are required to take four compulsory core
units and two electives. The electives may be chosen from a limited range of
other postgraduate courses available in the Faculty of Agriculture and For-
estry or, in the case of students with special interests in other disciplines, may
be chosen from subjects offered by the Faculties of Education, Psychology or
PRINCIPLES OF EXTENSION EDUCATION
This introduces students to aspects of psychology, social psychology and so-
ciology relevant to extension. Theories and strategies of human communica-
tion in interpersonal and group situations and through the mass media are
examined. Practical training is given in discussion methods, interviewing and
EXTENSION RESEARCH METHODS
Students are introduced to the philosophy of science, and particularly to the
role of extension research as a behavioral science. They receive practical
instruction in a range of social research methods, in information retrieval
through traditional library sources and computerized data bases, and in writ-
ing literature reviews and research reports. Each student has to undertake a
small personal research or extension evaluation project. Much of the time is
taken up with discussion of research problems and the formulation of research
proposals. Some attention is given to data processing and the use of mini-
computers, although students are not expected to achieve high levels of
EXTENSION PHILOSOPHY AND MANAGEMENT
Many students, despite years of field experience, have always regarded exten-
sion as a process of persuading farmers to adopt new ideas. Few have consid-
ered the implication of different philosophies and approaches to their work.
Principles of adult learning are discussed and related to field practice. Provoc-
ative positions such as those presented by Paulo Freire, Luis Ramiro Beltran
and Everett Rogers are compared with current approaches to extension in
industrialized and developing countries. Students also are exposed to a range
of organization and management theories. Although most of them have come
from rural-based offices to study, many of them soon enter the administrative
levels of their services and benefit from understanding communication and
leadership processes in formal organizations.
The structure of rural populations in the changing conditions prevailing in
agriculture in many industrial countries is examined under this head. Particu-
lar attention also is paid to the factors that influence the diffusion of innova-
tions and the adoption or rejection of practices recommended by extension
workers. The history, types and methods of social surveys are studied, and
students are trained in survey techniques, including interviewing, data pro-
cessing and report preparation.
Elective subjects offered in the Agricultural Extension Section include the
Resource management economics
Extension officers increasingly are called on to offer help in managing rural
resources on a sound economic basis as well as on a sound biological basis.
Emphasis is given in this subject to decision making at the farm level and the
wider implications of resource-use decisions. Students examine production
relationships in the light of different forms of resource use. They develop skills
UNIVERSITY EXTENSION EDUCATION 45
in budgeting, financial control and enterprise planning. A popular exercise
each year involves participation in computerized farm-management simula-
Agricultural policy and marketing
The individual family farm is a small business enterprise in the wider economic
system of a nation. Students taking this subject investigate agricultural support
policies and the effects of tariffs and other forms of economic control, as well as
pricing and marketing policies of different industries. It helps extension offi-
cers place their work with individual small enterprises in the broader perspec-
tive of the national economy.
Some constraints are implicit
The organization and presentation of postgraduate extension education are a
demanding task. In common with agricultural science, extension education
embraces a number of disciplines. It is difficult to find academic staff with a
deep knowledge of many of these disciplines. For this reason extension edu-
cation groups must be associated with large educational institutions in which
these disciplines are well represented and from which specialized help can be
Academic demands for postgraduate study are heavy. Students may have
little time free for field work among farmers other than that directly associated
with their studies. Similarly, it is easy for staff to become remote from the
realities of field practices and current farm problems. It is essential for uni-
versity extension education groups to retain close working relationships with
field extension services. Many countries, including Australia, do not have the
close affiliation between teaching, research and extension inherent in the
United States Land Grant College system. Organizational boundaries must be
crossed, and staff and students must keep closely in touch with field problems
if they are to stay outside the "ivory tower".
An integrated approach
to manpower planning and training
in the dairy industries
of developing countries
Manpower planning is a process of ensuring that the correct number and type
of human resources are available for development programmes. It involves
determining current and anticipated manpower that would be available in a
no-change situation, and comparing this with the trained manpower at all
levels that would be needed when the planned development programme was
implemented. Projections for both the no-change and development situations
have to take into account such things as anticipated wastage, attrition, and
other factors, if they are to be soundly based.
Manpower planning is not a simple process. It is, however, a vital require-
ment in all development programmes. That it has not been granted its
proper status in many past development programmes is regrettable, but it is a
requirement that can be met with a moderate degree of application.
Manpower planning is defined as the process of ensuring that the correct
number of people are at the right places at the right time, doing things for
which they have been trained and are most economically useful. In planning
manpower requirements for a developing industry within a country, all these
things have to be considered as well as circumstances that apply to the partic-
ular industry. Manpower planning for the development of a dairy industry in
a country, for example, requires in-depth consideration of many work areas
that may not have strong links with the actual milk production or treatment
processes. They are nevertheless essential for the orderly development of the
industry as a whole.
In the case of the dairy industry, which will be used as an example
throughout this paper, there are two major areas that need to be considered
concurrently. These are dairy husbandry and dairy technology. Both areas
Mr Winkelmann is Dairy Officer (Education and Training), FAO, Rome.
48 F. WINKELMANN
need to be developed together because it is pointless to increase dairy herd size,
production efficiency and total milk quantity if the equipment and trained
personnel are not available to process, store and market the milk and manu-
factured milk products. Training programmes have to be planned to have
trained personnel available to operate at all levels within the development
Manpower in developing countries
The first and foremost characteristic of developing countries is the continuing
rapid rate of population growth. This is often around 3 percent per annum,
with a consequent continued expansion of the labour force and an age struc-
ture in which up to 50 percent of the population is under 20 years of age. A high
rate of illiteracy is also characteristic of many developing countries, together
with a growth of formal education facilities which is unable to keep pace with
the ever-increasing number of school-age children. Furthermore, the largest
proportion of the total population in these countries, sometimes more than 75
percent, live in rural areas. Most of these people earn their livelihood in one
form or another from agriculture. This sector of the population is subjected to a
steadily increasing man/usable land ratio and, consequently, more pressure on
the environment and natural resources.
Manpower planning for dairy development
Detailed estimates of the demand for trained manpower for national dairy
development, and in fact, for the development of the national livestock sector
as a whole, are best based on detailed information on the role of this sector
relative to other sectors of the national economy. Such information needs to
include the status and potential for development of the dairy industry, its place
in the framework of socio-economic development plans, the availability and
allocation of resources for its development and the organization of the sector.
The manopower planning process for national dairy development can be
divided into the following three major areas:
Analysis of the dairy sector and of national dairy development plans
and programmes, planned inputs and intended and actual pace of dairy de-
Identification of the most appropriate technologies for dairy develop-
ment taking into account available resources;
Forecasting the supply of and demand for trained manpower and
future training requirements, or in other words the mechanics of the manpower
MANPOWER PLANNING IN DAIRY INDUSTRIES 49
ANALYSIS AND NATIONAL DAIRY DEVELOPMENT PLANS
The views of governments of many developing countries when establishing
dairy development plans are likely to be influenced mainly by the need to
ensure adequate nutrition of their population, to save on the expenditure of
foreign exchange, and to provide maximum employment.
But, initially, a number of factors could influence governments to import
the bulk of milk products needed, either as final products or as intermediate
products for recombination in the country. Factors that could have this effect
range from a shortage of arable land, the lack of funds for dairy husbandry
development, a desire to produce animal protein such as pork and poultry as
rapidly as possible, or to export locally produced oilcake suitable for animal
feeding rather than using it in the country itself.
If all the milk consumed is provided by imports in the form of final
products, trained manpower is needed only for marketing the milk and milk
If milk and milk products are reconstituted and/or recombined in the
country, then specialized personnel for processing and marketing are required.
Should, however, milk be produced in the country, personnel trained in milk
production and collection would be required in addition to the trained per-
sonnel for milk processing and marketing. There is also a need for the training
of maintenance personnel, laboratory and quality control personnel, and per-
sonnel involved in the coordination of the dairy industry, ranging from staff for
producer organizations to staff for government planning offices. From the
need for such categories of personnel it can be seen that the dairy industry is a
complex and highly specialized agro-industry handling a delicate and highly
Experience has shown that in countries in which most of the milk and milk
products consumed are reconstituted and/or recombined from imported
intermediate products, the recombining industry itself has to a certain extent
taken care of the training of the locally recruited staff it needs. But the
governments of countries that plan to develop milk production and increase
the share of locally produced milk in total consumption will have to provide
the trained manpower required, including personnel trained in reconstitution
and recombination techniques. This would be the case especially in those
countries in which milk plants both process locally produced liquid milk and
manufacture recombined milk and milk products from milk powder and milk
fat or other fats.
For this first stage of manpower estimations, analysis of the dairy sector
and the national dairy development plan should provide the following infor-
The overall demand for milk and milk products and the market share
for locally produced milk and milk products that is likely to be obtained as a
result of the government's dairy policy and related commitments regarding
milk product imports, and producer and consumer education;
The organization and structure of the dairy sector, including the col-
lection of data on the rural population involved in milk production and details
about their educational background. Data are also required on milk produc-
tion, collection and processing throughout the year, individual herd sizes and
composition, the feed and animal health situation, and the capabilities of the
extension service that is available to assist;
The manpower employed in the dairy sector by occupation and level of
The anticipated organizational, structural and technological changes
and their implications for input/output ratios with particular attention to
The education and training system, its quality, capacity and output.
This section is intended to provide manpower planners with a situation
analysis of the industry that they intend developing. Compilation of this
information gives a report that is status quo in nature rather than one which
includes projections associated with the proposed development programme.
IDENTIFICATION OF APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGIES
There is a variety of technologies that may be used in most developing coun-
tries, ranging from traditional and simple production techniques that charac-
terize economic activities at early stages of development, to the capital-inten-
sive and labour-saving technologies of highly industrialized countries.
The question to be answered is which technology between these two
extremes would be the most appropriate one to further dairy development in
the country concerned. It is obvious that a technology cannot be reviewed
independently of the socio-economic environment in which it is to operate.
Thus, identification of the most appropriate technology should take into ac-
count the following considerations:
Most of the currently available modern technologies have originated in
developed countries in which labour is scarce and capital readily available,
whereas in many developing countries capital is scarce and labour is readily
available and relatively cheap;
Technologies of developed industrial countries are often geared to
large-scale operations that may not be suited to developing countries having
comparatively small domestic markets and therefore not being able to compete
in foreign markets against well-established exporters. The introduction of such
technologies in developing countries has resulted in substantial under-utiliza-
tion of production/processing capacities and higher costs. Units of smaller
MANPOWER PLANNING IN DAIRY INDUSTRIES ) 1
scale should correspond more closely to existing levels of organizational, man-
agerial and entrepreneurial talent, and training should be less complex and
therefore more readily assimilated. This aspect is of particular importance in
countries in which the milk producers are the owners of the processing facilities
and are expected to be their managers as well;
Highly sophisticated technologies often involve maintenance prob-
lems and imports of costly spare parts that cannot be made locally and hence
require foreign currency that, in many developing countries, is in short supply;
Labour-intensive technologies, particularly those associated with milk
production, provide large employment opportunities.
When capital is the limiting factor, an important consideration in choos-
ing a production technique should be the ratio of output to capital. If a
technology can achieve a high output/capital ratio and at the same time use
more labour, then this technology should be chosen. It is crucial to bear in
mind the need to reduce substantially, if not to eliminate, unemployment.
Against this background, a technology could be considered "appropriate"
if, first, it matched in an optimal manner the resource position of the country
concerned or even of individual regions within that country, i.e., the three
production requirements of land, capital and labour.
The second requirement concerns the competitiveness of the technology
to be chosen at the time of import and in the future with traditional technolo-
gies on the one hand, and modem technologies on the other, from the points of
view of engineering efficiency, economic viability and social acceptability. To
determine this competitiveness, which would make the technology chosen a
tool to increase the country's self-reliance, the analysis of the technologies
envisaged should include:
The identification of constraints on the success of indigenous technol-
ogy and of possibilities for upgrading such technology;
The careful scrutiny of available foreign technologies both at the time
of import and at appropriate periods thereafter, and the identification of the
one to be used taking into account the resources with which it has to be
Another consideration concerns the management aspect. Appropriate
technology should be viewed as not only pertinent to engineering technology,
but also to the efficient organization for execution and management.
FORECASTING SUPPLY AND DEMAND FOR TRAINED MANPOWER
Supply of trained manpower. The basic technique for estimating the future
supply of trained manpower for the key occupations and levels of skill is
32 F. WINKELMANN
Take the present supply of trained manpower;
Deduct from it wastage through deaths, retirements, emigration,
changes to other occupations, etc., between the present time and the end of the
Add to it the expected numbers undergoing training between the
present time and the end of the planning period and deduct the estimated
wastages resulting from persons not completing their training or going into
other occupations after having completed their training.
The result is the future supply of trained manpower. However, the im-
plementation of this conceptually simple approach is usually difficult, partic-
ularly the estimation of wastages from the present supply through deaths and
retirements, and wastages from the numbers being trained.
Demand for trained manpower. There is no infallible or ready-made meth-
odology for forecasting manpower demand that can be utilized without con-
sidering the circumstances to be suited in each individual case. There are useful
statistical techniques, such as extrapolation based on past trends, and relating
manpower numbers to expected production and productivity trends or to some
other statistical series relevant to the sector or industry concerned (such as
output or sales).
Another method that might provide useful indications of likely future
trends for developing countries is the making of international comparisons of
employment structures of the dairy industry in countries at various stages of
development; structures observed in more advanced countries could be con-
sidered as objectives to be attained by less advanced countries. The same holds
true as regards employment structures of more advanced firms or govern-
mental or semi-governmental institutions within a country, which may be used
as models for development.
Examination of manpower requirements using the above methods can
provide a substantial part of the basis for forecasts. But it is important to
recognize that the use of these techniques is only part of the process and it is
essential to bring informed opinions of persons familiar with and involved in the
dairy industry to bear on the task of identifying which changes might occur.
Future training requirements. From the conceptual point of view, the
forecasting of future training requirements is as simple as the first part of the
forecasting process described above. Forecasting future training requirements
consists of the following elements:
Take the total number of trained manpower required by occupation
and levels of skill at the end of the planning period;
Deduct from this total the present stock of trained manpower by
occupation and levels of skill;
Add the number of expected wastages over the planning period
(deaths, retirements, emigration, etc.);
MANPOWER PLANNING IN DAIRY INDUSTRIES
Add the number of expected wastages from training programmes over
the planning period;
The total will give the number of persons that need to be given training
during the planning period.
As with forecasting the supply of trained manpower, difficulties are likely
to be encountered with the calculation of expected wastages. While wastage
rates during training may be obtained from training institutions, information
on wastage rates of the personnel employed may not be readily available. They
would have to be based on past wastage rates, which should be calculated by
adding the trained manpower at the beginning of the period and new entrants
during the period, and subtracting the trained manpower at the end of the
period. This gives the past wastage figures. These estimates of wastage rates
can be amended taking into account differences between the age structure of
the future and past labour force and the observations of the employers.
The manpower planning principles outlined in this article are being ap-
plied in the FAO Dairy Training Programme, which has been sponsored by the
Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) since 1956 and more
recently by other countries such as Finland and New Zealand. Experience has
shown the importance of adjusting the supply of trained manpower according
to the employment opportunities available, and of ensuring that the training
system permits countries to achieve this after assistance from external sources
has been withdrawn. For this latter reason, training modules for all sectors of
training within the dairy sector are developed, whenever possible, as parts of
the courses presented by permanent educational institutions in the particular
countries. With this approach the Programme aims at ensuring the availability
of courses that can be assembled according to the requirements of individual
training for development pictorial review
Algeria. Pine seedlings
are planted as part of a
programme in an arid
~I-~~ ~x F -.R- ~- ;3
~v i -4
agent and Farmers'
work in a school
Malawi. A home
meets with women in a
village to discuss home
they can carry out as a
worker shows hybrid
maize to farmers.
wm .6. 1P
as part of a
the article by
M. Adams in
students at the
taking part in
a field exercise
as part of their
the article by
H. S. Hawkins
in this issue.)
Thailand. An extension
agent teaches a farmer
how to conserve his soil
by the use of a
leguminous cover crop.
Kenya. Small kitchen
gardens play an
important part in
A pilot skills-upgrading programme
in the Sudan
Skills-upgrading training programmes for those already in employment exist
in many developing countries in a variety of forms. In the Sudan, such pro-
grammes have so far generally been limited to employees in the public sector or
the formal private sector. The Government of the Sudan's Youth Training
Centres Project, which is assisted by UNDP/ILO, has recently introduced an
innovation in the Sudan: a pilot programme for upgrading the skills of young
men employed in small workshops in a rural-hub town in the far west of the
country. Such workshops can be found in all the rural centres in the Sudan and,
in the larger towns, they are concentrated in special "light industrial areas".
The workshops undertake production and repair work in the field of
vehicle maintenance, metalwork and (to a lesser extent) carpentry and electri-
cal repairs. These workshops belong to the upper end of what is generally
known as the "informal" sector, being small scale, labour intensive and with
the workers' skills acquired outside formal training institutions. A typical
workshop consists of the owner, who is a skilled craftsman normally well into
middle age, one skilled worker and two or three young men who are at various
stages of learning the job. We may call such young men 'apprentices' although
no binding contract is established and the amount of time it takes a boy to
develop into a skilled worker depends on his own ability and willingness to
learn. When he starts in the workshop he receives one or two meals a day and
no pay. After some weeks, when he begins to be useful, he receives a very small
wage and subsequent increases depend on the speed with which he learns the
job. At any stage in his career as an apprentice he may leave his employer for
another workshop; he may wish to learn additional skills not needed by his first
employer or he may feel that another workshop has a more profitable business
and can offer more work and therefore better wages. Employers generally
think that a period of between three and five years is required before an
apprentice can be considered a skilled worker.
In return for his initially low wages, the apprentice expects to be trained by
his employer, and the best of the employers feel a moral obligation to assist
their boys in learning their trade as efficiently as possible. The existence of such
Dr Eyben is Research and Evaluation Expert with Project SUD/79/005, the Sudan.
64 R. EYBEN
a moral obligation stems from the personal ties between owner and employee;
it is rare for a boy to become an apprentice unless he is introduced to the
employer by a mutual friend or relative. The obligation to train means that
most employers are prepared to allow their apprentices the chance of attending
The Youth Training Centres (YTC) Programme provides trade-entry-lev-
el vocation preparation training in a range of basic skills. Centres are located
throughout provincial Sudan and, every year, specific courses are selected for
each centre in accordance with the demand for skills in the local community.
At the end of the course the centre assists the trainees in finding regular
employment in the field of their newly acquired skill.
Providing part-time skills-upgrading courses for those already employed
in the relevant field seems to be a suitable complementary activity to the main
OBJECTIVES OF THE UPGRADING COURSES
Upgrading programmes for the small-scale private sector have been imple-
mented in other countries, for example, at the vocational improvement centres
of Northern Nigeria. For the YTC programme, implementing such courses was
a chance to work more closely with the informal skills-training system of the
private sector.-Trainees would be recruited from among the apprentices
working in the light industrial area. The courses could:
Help improve the quality of goods and services provided by the light
Enable the trainees to reach a higher level of skills faster and more
efficiently than would be possible simply by the on-the-job training they were
receiving in their employers' workshops;
Create close and cordial relations with the trainees' employers who
would be subsequently more prepared to employ future vocational prepara-
e Ensure that the existing workshops and instructors would be more fully
The decision was made to investigate the feasibility of starting pilot courses in
metalwork and auto mechanics at Nyala. The centre there has well-equipped
PILOT SKILLS-UPGRADING PROGRAMME IN THE SUDAN 65
workshops and is only a 10-minute walk from the light industrial area.
To assess whether such courses would be welcomed by the apprentices
and their employers, research was carried out in the light industrial area in
November 1978. The backgrounds and working conditions of the apprentices
were investigated as well as the times of year and hours in the day they would
find most suitable for attending the proposed courses.
The concept was generally welcomed by the target population, and the
centre staff was eager to participate in a pilot programme that they believed
would help improve the centre's image in the local community.
DESIGNING THE COURSES
Following the completion of the needs-assessment study it was decided that:
Courses would be held during the dry season as a number of work-
shops closed at the beginning of the rains when the employees left to work on
the family farms;
Courses would be held in the late afternoon at the end of the working
day; there would be four courses, two in metalwork and two in mechanics, each
requiring attendance for three days a week;
Trainees would be recruited only from the light industrial area and
would be at least 16 years old with a minimum of one year of on-the-job
experience in the relevant skill;
Each course would have an average of only 12 trainees to allow greater
individual tuition. This would be necessary because the trainees would ob-
viously have varying levels of skill;
The courses would be based on the modular principle, with a trainee
having the option of taking only those modules that interested him, and the
centre recruiting additional trainees as and when required for each module;
To encourage a high attendance rate, trainees would be offered an
afternoon meal and workshop aprons;
Implementation would be carefully followed by the course designers
and a subsequent evaluation would make it possible to ascertain whether or
not similar programmes should be introduced at other centres.
In early 1979, the metalwork and auto mechanics instructors came to
Khartoum to develop the new courses under the supervision of the ILO
Vocational Preparation Programme expert. Course outlines were prepared,
with the total duration of the courses not lasting more than four months. Prior
to the return of the instructors to Nyala, the writer visited the centre and
discussed the new courses with the director. The director was asked to take an
active part in the implementation of the course and to submit his own opinion
as to the success of the courses.
66 R. EYBEN
The courses started in mid-March. In May, the Vocational Preparation
Expert and the national counterpart of the writer went to Nyala to undertake a
mid-course evaluation and to advise on any problems that had arisen. In
September, one month after the courses had finished, they returned to the
centre, in the company of the writer, to make a final evaluation.
As a result of the needs-assessment study the previous November, many of the
employers and apprentices were aware that courses might start but some
employers remained suspicious; involvement with a government institution
might lead to the trainees demanding the legal minimum wage. One employer,
Faisal, was, however, enthusiastic about the idea. He organized a meeting in
the light industrial area and explained the benefits, for the employers, of an
apprentice skills-upgrading programme. He took a list of questions raised by
those attending the meeting and obtained answers from the YTC. At a subse-
quent meeting, employers agreed to encourage their apprentices to enrol. A
total of 51 applied for mechanics and 32 for metalwork (about a third of the
total number eligible).
Trainees were selected in accordance with the criteria already established
and basically had a similar background to those interviewed during the
needs-assessment study. The only difference was that, unfortunately, the cen-
tre staff decided not to enrol those applicants who had not been to school.
Because the emphasis was to be placed on practical training, it had not
been thought necessary to restrict eligibility to those with literacy and numer-
acy skills. Mistakenly the whole issue of educational requirements was not
discussed with the director and the instructors before the courses started. When
the instructors started selecting the trainees they felt it would be impossible to
teach an educationally mixed class and therefore illiterate applicants were
rejected. Three of them succeeded in being enrolled by declaring that they had
been to primary school (subsequent private interviews' ascertained that this
was not the case).
Although the course outline was basically followed, the instructors did not stick
to the modular principle. The training programme was not announced, sched-
I A total of 23 trainees were interviewed by the writer and/or her counterpart. Information about
the backgrounds of the remaining 17 was obtained from the enrolment forms.
PILOT SKILLS-UPGRADING PROGRAMME IN THE SUDAN
uled or conducted as a series of short independent courses, and two met-
alwork trainees, who replaced early drop-outs, joined in mid-module. Ob-
viously, the modular principle requires a great deal of administrative work as
regards enrolment and it is probable that the centre staff decided it would be
too difficult for them to operate.
A greater amount of theoretical training was provided than planned for,
particularly in the auto mechanics course. The reaction of the trainees to this
varies. Some appreciated the theory, pointing out that they were learning why
things had to be done, a task which their employers had not had time to
perform in the past. These trainees took careful notes and some regularly
showed their notebooks to their employers and discussed points with them.
One trainee, with seven years of schooling, wished that he had been provided
with a textbook covering the syllabus. However, some trainees complained that
there was an over-emphasis on theory and that they found it difficult to follow.
This was also the comment of some employers who grumbled that over-em-
phasis on theory was typical of any government skills-training institution.
A number of trainees would have liked to have improved or learned
certain skills that were deliberately not offered in the course, either because the
YTC workshops were not suitably equipped, or because such skills and the
associated equipment were not present in Nyala. It should be mentioned, too,
that it was not the intention of the programme to train boys in skills that would
act as a passport out of the rural areas.
The employer Faisal, already mentioned, was invited by the mechanics
instructor to teach the course for two evenings. This was an excellent devel-
opment and employers' participation should be encouraged at any future
IMPROVEMENT IN SKILLS
Lack of resource personnel meant that no before-and-after testing procedure
could be devised.
However, the majority of employers interviewed stated that they had
noticed a marked improvement in their apprentices' skills.
The instructors graded the trainees at the end of the course and it was
encouraging to note that those with little education had improved as much as
those who were more fully literate and numerate.
DURATION AND ATTENDANCE
At the request of the trainees, the initial plan of each course being held three
days a week was changed by the director to five days a week. This meant that
only one course, instead of two, was given in each skill area.
68 R. EYBEN
Because of this reduction of the number of courses from four to two, the
centre took the maximum possible number of trainees: 20 for each class. When
designing the programme, 12 per class were suggested as sufficient. The
instructors subsequently confirmed this, explaining that it was difficult to train
more than this number when the initial levels of skills were so varied.
Once again at the request of the trainees, the duration of the courses was
extended to six months. The majority of the trainees interviewed in September
commented that they would have preferred an even longer course.
The problem in deciding the correct duration for a course is to predict the
rate at which trainees will drop out. Prior to implementation, the writer was
concerned that too lengthy a course would mean too few trainees in the last
months. The total number of those dropping out permanently was lower than
anticipated. Of the 22 metalwork trainees, 14 completed the course, while in
mechanics 16 out of21 finished.
The drop-out rate of about 30 percent in both courses was attributed to a
variety of reasons, none of which pointed to deficiencies in the educational
programme. It is worth noting that the drop-out rate was much lower than for
many of the vocational preparation courses at YTCs. This was surprising
because it was assumed that a high drop-out rate would be normal in a
situation in which the trainees had already had a hard day's work before
coming to the centre. The low drop-out rate therefore probably indicates the
commitment of the apprentices to making a successful career in the light
Although the number completing the courses is known, no records of
absenteeism were kept. However, discussion with the instructors revealed that
it was high. The mechanics instructor thought that some boys did not come
when they were not interested in learning one aspect of a particular skill area.
In other words, some trainees were following the modular principle although
the instructors were not.
Trainees also admitted that on occasions they were prevented from com-
ing because of the pressure of work in the light industrial area. Employers'
attitudes varied as regards releasing the boys in time, some feeling that work
came first, with others stressing that they made sure the apprentice left on time
and questioned them the following morning to check that they had actually
gone to the centre.
INCENTIVES FOR TRAINING
As originally recommended, the trainees were provided with a meal before the
start of the class. The trainees complained about the quality of the food and the
director himself was aware of the problem. Budgetary limitations made it
impossible to remedy the situation.
The trainees did not receive the aprons they were promised, but few
PILOT SKILLS-UPGRADING PROGRAMME IN THE SUDAN 69
commented about it. This measure was probably unnecessary because the
trainees attended immediately after work in the light industrial area and were
already dressed in their working clothes.
All those participating in the pilot programme were encouraged to give their
opinions about their experience and recommendations for future courses.
The director and instructors were pleased with the obvious success of the
courses. The following specific points were made:
The trainees were more disciplined and attentive than those attending
traditional vocational preparation courses and the instructors enjoyed teaching
Because of varying skills levels the number of trainees per course
should be limited to 12;
Head Office could have provided better back-up support regarding
budgetary provisions and procuring and dispatching tools and equipment;
The centre's public image had definitely improved as a result of the
close contacts established with the light industrial area.
Regarding this last point, one disturbing innovation should be mentioned.
The metalwork trainees produced considerable quantities of furniture, which
were sold to the public at a lower price than that produced in the private
workshops. This was possible because the centre, unlike the private shops, was
in a position to obtain the raw material at the official price and because there
were no overhead or capital equipment costs. The matter was discussed with
the YTC staff and it was pointed out that the good relations with the light
industrial area would be badly spoilt if the centre undercut the market price.
The director was discouraged from his idea of starting a full-time production
shop at the centre.
Twelve out of 23 employers were interviewed in September. Ten of them
thought that the courses had been worth while and were very enthusiastic.
Four employers increased the trainees' wages in the first month after the course
70 R. EYBEN
had terminated. This is significant when it is considered that August and
September are the slackest months of the year. One employer commented that
his trainee would be able to pass beyond the apprenticeship stage as a direct
result of the course.
Apart from noticing an improvement in skills, a number of employers
stated that the trainees' sense of organization had improved, as well as their
general behaviour and attitude toward work. Unlike most of the trainees, the
employers attached little importance to the YTC certificates. One commented
that the true 'certificate' was the higher standard of the boy's work.
Some other specific points made by the employers:
The timetable of the courses meant that it was sometimes difficult to
release the boys from work in time. One suggested that the course should start
later in the evening (but most of the trainees did not want this as it would
prevent them from going to the cinema and on days when there was less work
they would have to wait for the course to start). Another thought that the
employers could release the apprentices for a three-month full-time course; the
course would be run as a production/repair shop and the boys could thus earn
an income while training. Apart from the pedagogical problems this might
involve, it is doubtful whether many of the employers would keep the boys'
jobs for them;
Many felt that the courses should have been longer;
The good relations developed between the centre and the employers
could be further developed; it was suggested that the YTC could organize
refresher courses for the skilled workers and employers.
All the trainees who completed the course and who were interviewed said that
they were satisfied. Their main areas of complaint concerned the shortage of
some tools and the bad food.
The writer was, however, concerned that many of them saw their certifi-
cate as a means of moving into government service, or of migrating away from
the rural areas, whereas the aim of the course had been to assist those wishing
to make a career in the local "informal" sector. The centre director was coming
under considerable pressure from some of the trainees to help them in finding
jobs in the public sector. Trainees are attracted to the public sector because of a
guaranteed income and less strenuous working conditions.
What happened to the trainees within one month of their graduation is sum-
marized in the following table:
PILOT SKILLS-UPGRADING PROGRAMME IN THE SUDAN 71
Employment status of graduating trainees, September 1979
Status Metalwork Mechanics Total
Still working in light industrial area 7 11 18
Left light industrial area for other
kind of job 3 3
Working at YTC 1 1
Studying at vocational training centre
(WAU) 1 l
Not known 5 2 7
TOTAL 14 16 30
Although it is too early, and in any case difficult, to assess the impact of the
courses in upgrading the skills and services offered by the small workshops in
Nyala, it is clear that most of the trainees and their employers felt that the
courses had been worth while. Despite some trainees' ambitions to use the
training to leave the informal sector, it is encouraging to note that the great
majority did not immediately leave their former place of work. Close relations
have been established with the employers and it is hoped that they will now be
more prepared to engage future vocational preparation trainees.
The success of these pilot courses has encouraged the YTC programme to
plan introducing similar courses at some of its other suitably located centres. It
is vital that in each case the courses be designed to meet the local requirements
and, if basic skills modules are developed, they must be adapted each time to
suit local needs and the educational level of the majority of the trainees. If
demand is sufficient, the idea of two parallel courses could be revived: one
course being purely practical, for illiterates and semi-literates and those not
interested in theory, and the other course more theoretical, for those appren-
tices working to know why as well as how. Because of varying levels of skills,
classes must be kept small so that trainees can receive individual attention.
Above all, the experience of the Nyala courses has shown that in-depth
consultation with and between all those concerned (centre staff, employers,
apprentices) is the single most important factor for ensuring that the courses
are geared to the requirements of the trainees and the community.
Elements of an effective
programme for rural development
How can an agricultural educator contribute to the rural development of his
country? Since his expertise is in the area of agricultural education, he could
very well contribute by assisting his colleagues in striving toward achieving
excellence in the various aspects of the educational enterprise. To lead people
toward greater heights requires that the leader has clearly in mind the charac-
teristics of successful programmes, characteristics that he himself wishes to
have his colleagues follow. But effective leadership is impossible without
definite goals. This article describes many of the features of selected elements
of effective agricultural education programmes and offers practising educators
a check-list for the improvement of almost any agricultural education pro-
gramme. It contains reminders of beneficial concepts that the reader might have
forgotten, or might not have had time to implement. In some instances, the
concepts might be new. In any event, the author's objective is to stimulate
dialogue among agricultural educators in the hope that rural development may
The term "agricultural education" is best clarified at the outset. In this
article, agricultural education is considered to include all aspects of school
education relating to agricultural knowledge and skills required for training
the learner to become a more proficient farmer. It is education offered under
the auspices of the public school system below that of collegiate and university
training. The institutions of higher learning have been excluded because they
do not aim to train people for proficiency in farming. Rather they prepare
students to fill professional positions requiring a college degree. Discussion in
this article will thus be confined to agricultural education programmes under
F.K.T. Tom is Dean of the College of Agriculture, University of Hawaii at Hilo. Formerly
professor of agricultural education, Cornell University, visiting professor at the University of
Liberia and the University of the Philippines, and Principal, South Pacific Regional College of
Tropical Agriculture, Western Samoa (now School of Agriculture, University of the South Pacific).
74 F.K.T. TOM
the auspices of the public school system that have as their main objective the
training of persons with improved proficiency in farming.
There are many items that could be included in a check-list of reminders of
what to do in order to present a high-quality agricultural education programme
that can contribute to rural development. Unfortunately, there is scant reliable
evidence that the items covered in this article are indeed correlated with
effective rural development programmes. Such evidence is simply not avail-
able! Nevertheless, the author hopes that the items he proposes will in them-
selves have a ring of internal validity and logical consistency that the reader
may be inclined to accept.
The success of any enterprise depends upon the leadership provided. In agri-
cultural education, leaders are needed who have a firm faith in the future of
farming, a faith "born not of words but of deeds". Such persons should be
aggressive in promoting agricultural education, keeping in mind that although
other objectives might be desirable, one should not lose sight of the fact that
training people to improve their proficiency in farming is by far the most
important. Good leaders are needed to inspire their co-workers to believe in
and to teach their students the following: the inherent worth of man; the true
dignity of labour on a farm; the desire to adopt that which is morally right and
to reject that which is not; the attitude of fair play for all, regardless of race,
colour or religion; the feeling that it is good to do more than one's share, that it
is worth while to go that extra mile; and the belief that there is a future in
Competence in theory and teaching methodology
There is now general agreement that to be effective an agricultural educator
needs to know his subject matter thoroughly and in addition must possess the
pedagogical skills that will enable him to communicate this knowledge effec-
tively to students. For this reason, the pre-service training of agriculture teach-
ers should include both components, the technical and the pedagogical. It
should certainly include course work in all those agricultural enterprises that
the prospective teacher is likely to find in his school district. Naturally, if he is
expected to teach people how to grow rice, wheat and maize, or to raise cattle,
poultry and swine, then his preparation should definitely include training in
these fields. Furthermore, his training should include not only the theoretical
aspects of the production of the given enterprises, but also the practical aspects
of managing the enterprises themselves. He should be able to perform all the
tasks associated with the theory being presented and preferably should dem-
onstrate techniques rather than just talk about them.
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT /D
When implementing a course in teaching methodology, major emphasis
should be placed on arranging for the student to receive actual practice in the
science and art of teaching. Study after study has shown that of all pedagogical
work undertaken by prospective teachers, the actual experience of teaching is
the most valuable. Thus, if there is any one thing a teacher educator should
want to do well, it is to see that the student-teaching experience given under his
supervision is of the highest possible calibre. This means that pain must be
taken to select the teaching centre with utmost care to ensure that the curricu-
lum, the students, the facilities, the faculty, the local community, and most
important, the supervising teacher himself, all meet the standards established
by the teacher training institution. These standards should have been set earlier
with full realization of the major importance that student-teaching experience
has in the training programmes of prospective teachers.
Not only must teachers be well prepared upon entering the profession, they
must remain competent throughout their careers. Systematic in-service train-
ing programmes throughout the school year and during vacation periods
should be provided to keep teachers informed of recent developments in
teaching and in their specializations. Some ways of accomplishing this are:
Holding regular training sessions, seminars, conferences, meetings;
Conducting workshops for teachers;
Undertaking course work at appropriate agricultural institutions;
Providing students with suitable instructional materials;
Arranging for students to receive on a periodic basis research reports
from the local and regional agricultural experiment station;
Using the best personnel available to supervise the work of teachers;
Encouraging teachers to form their own associations to promote pro-
fessional improvement activities.
An effective agricultural education programme will certainly include
strong emphasis on competent training in subject matter and in pedagogy, both
on a pre-service and an in-service basis.
Relevance of curriculum
In looking at the curriculum of any agricultural education programme, at least
two aspects can be identified the subject matter being taught, and the
teaching activities being used. Within these two broad aspects, the following
reminders can be listed:
The subject matter taught should include those major knowledge, skills, and
attitudes that a successfulfarmer usually possesses
For reasons associated with economy of time, curriculum planners should give
high priority to identifying and concentrating on the essential knowledge,
skills, and attitudes that successful farmers of a given community possess. Once
these have been identified, they should be evaluated in terms of their probable
impact on improving the student's proficiency in farming. Those judged to
have the most impact should be selected for inclusion in the curriculum.
The curriculum should emphasize both the development ofmanagerial ability and
the acquisition of manual skills
Among the most important tasks performed by a farmer is the making of
decisions related to the physical and financial management of the farm. The
decisions to be made all have something in common: they require a cognitive
and reasoning input on the part of the farmer. For example, the farmer
contemplates the problem and then evolves a decision. Once a decision is
made, however, it is interesting to note that, for its implementation, certain
clearly identifiable manual skills are usually needed. After a farmer decides
which insecticide to use, he must go about applying it, usually as a dust or as a
spray. Then he must prepare the equipment for use. He uses certain physical
skills, which, if he does not already possess them, he must acquire. Thus, the
curriculum to which prospective farmers are exposed should contain strong
emphasis on both types of activities, the making of management decisions and
ihe performing of manual skills. Unfortunately, certain school systems
over-emphasize one at the expense of the other. Educators should strive for a
balance between both aspects in all programmes for which they are respon-
The curriculum should emphasize "learning by doing"
Without question, one of the most important characteristics of effective agri-
cultural education programmes is that they rely extensively on the tried and
proved "learning by doing" principle, a principle that states that the student
learns best when he actually engages mentally, attitudinally, or manually in the
skill being learned. What implications does this have for the teacher of agri-
cultural subjects? It means that when he makes plans for his teaching, he
should ask himself such questions as: "If I want my students to learn how to
make wise management decisions, what should I have them do?" Hopefully, he
would answer: "I must arrange a learning situation in which my students can
gain actual experience in making those decisions". Similar answers should be
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT //
obtained to questions related to the manual skills and attitudinal areas of the
School farms should be exemplary
Providing a good example is a big step toward helping people to adopt im-
proved farming methods, the assumption being that it is easy to learn when
there is a model to follow. The following are listed as desirable characteristics
for school farms.
The size of the enterprises on a school farm should be equal to those
being conducted by the better farmers typical to a given community. In other
words, each school farm enterprise should be large enough to be commercially
feasible, that is, capable of supporting a family. This is a constant example to
students, who learn that a farm the same size as the enterprise could earn them
a comfortable living.
The farming procedures used should be those recommended by agri-
cultural authorities and practised by progressive farmers. Ineffective, old-
fashioned methods have no place on a modern school farm when suitable
alternative methods are available.
Under normal circumstances each enterprise on the school farm
should return a reasonable profit. If any fails to be profitable under apparently
good management, such an undertaking should be discontinued. There is
certain no need to continue the teaching of any enterprise that consistently
loses money! Besides, the school has the moral responsibility to demonstrate
that farming can indeed provide students and their families with a satisfactory
standard of living. One way the school can help develop this attitude in the
minds of its students is to use all the financial transactions of its farm as a basis
for instruction in record keeping. In this way, students gain practice in record
keeping as well as seeing how much return can be expected from various forms
Printed instructional materials
People learn through one or more of the five senses of sight, sound, taste, smell,
and touch. Of these, by far the most important are sight and sound. In a highly
literate society, probably most learning results from seeing the printed word,
followed by diagrams, pictures, specimens, and so on. Unfortunately, in the
developing countries, which normally have a largely illiterate population, the
spoken word is often the only channel of communication that is reliable. Even
so, every attempt should be made to develop printed materials for retention by
the students. Printed media have as one of their major advantages permanence
I~ F.K.T. TOM
for reinforcement of the message at a later time. For this reason, teachers
should provide at least some printed materials to supplement their lecture
In addition to being a more effective method of learning than the lecture,
the use of printed materials has the advantage of teaching students that they
have within themselves the capability of moving ahead academically in the
study of any subject simply by locating the proper materials. Whereas learning
via the lecture approach teaches the student to rely completely upon the
knowledge of the instructor, the use of a variety of printed materials demon-
strates the almost unlimited amount of knowledge available if one could only
teach oneself to read and take advantage of the printed page.
When to offer agricultural education
Education is best offered at a time when the student can readily see a definite
need for the information being given. For example, the best time to teach a
student how to calibrate the weed sprayer is when he has that particular task to
perform. It follows then that agricultural training, to be fully relevant, should
be provided immediately prior to the time most students leave school to
commence full-time work on a farm. In the United States in past years, the
bulk of vocational agriculture was taught at the eight and ninth grade levels,
but now students remain in school longer. Today most training for farming is
offered at the eleventh and twelfth grade levels with a few schools even offering
this training in the thirteenth and fourteenth grades.
Cooperating with other agencies involved in promoting the welfare of farmers
Most people in developing countries depend almost exclusively upon farming
for a living. The school therefore has not only a responsibility, but also an
opportunity to assist the bulk of the population in raising their standard of
living. It should not be overlooked, though, that assisting farm families is a
legitimate objective of other organizations as well: for example, the extension
service, community development agencies, and semi-autonomous govern-
mental agencies of one kind or another. This being the case, attention should
be given to ways and means in which the school can cooperate with other units
to make maximum use of scarce financial, physical, and personnel resources.
In this article, agricultural education is defined as that branch of public school
education of less than college grade in which the primary objective of the
AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION PROGRAMME FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT 79
instruction is to develop increased proficiency in farming. It is through
achieving this objective well that agricultural education can best contribute to
rural development. When one looks at how agriculture is taught throughout
the world, it is possible to note certain distinguishing characteristics of out-
standing programmes. These are the points that have been covered here.
Another writer might have selected an entirely different list of features to
highlight. Nevertheless, those cited possess sufficient credibility to serve as a
basis for discussion prior to the organizing and implementing of ever-needed
programmes of self-improvement in agricultural education to enhance rural
development on a world-wide basis.
What kind of extension
worker do we need?
In order to carry out agricultural extension work in the field in developing
countries, do we need people with specialized knowledge or people with
broad-based knowledge? This question has been the subject of frequent dis-
cussion in the agricultural extension services of many countries during recent
years. In some cases, extension workers whose professional training has qual-
ified them to diagnose and suggest solutions to the main problems of agricul-
tural production in their areas of work have been replaced by extension
workers who are specialists in only one aspect of agricultural production.
Some of these replacement experiments have not given the results ex-
pected. Countries like Honduras and El Salvador, among others, after having
tested the effectiveness of specialized extension workers for some years, have
now taken steps to return to reliance on extension workers with a broader type
of knowledge. There are two significant points that warrant discussion in this
issue. First, individual extension services must give careful consideration to
both alternatives before making a decision which, of necessity, implies large-
scale operational changes; and secondly, the training programmes for ex-
tension workers must be carefully designed to prepare the type of personnel
necessary for field work.
Experience in Honduras
The main drawbacks noted in Honduras during the period when priority was
given to extension work which concentrated on the specific aspects of produc-
The policy led to the development of institutional mini-structures
parallel to the Extension Programme that, either through international coop-
eration funds or thanks to the assignment of national resources, had their own
Mr Rucks is International Director of the Project for the Training of Producers and Agricultural
Workers, PNUD-FAO, El Salvador.
82 C. RUCKS
budgets and selected their own personnel. When economic and human re-
sources are limited, the strengthening of specific projects naturally results in a
weakening of the Extension Programme's regular activities. This was proved in
1978 by the Secretariat for Natural Resources, which was responsible for the
operation of the Extension Programme, through an overall evaluation of the
technical assistance services provided to Honduran agricultural producers.
One of the conclusions reached in this evaluation was that the institutional
weakening of the Extension Programme caused by the constant drain of
human resources and material for specific production aspects was one of the
factors responsible for the low overall quality of the technical assistance pro-
The farmers started to receive technical assistance from various ex-
tension workers, each of them concentrating on their own particular aspect of
production and all losing sight of the farm as a single production unit. The
specialists even went so far as to compete with each other for the farmer's land
for the crops with which they were specifically concerned. During the evalua-
tion mentioned in the previous point, it was ascertained that the Matasano
Rural Settlement in the Jamastran Valley had received, in one week, visits
from 13 different advisers from different branches of the State bodies con-
cerned with agriculture. At least three of these had made different proposals on
soil use to the peasant group, each one trying to get the largest possible area for
the cultivation of the crop for which he was responsible. The members of the
Matasano Rural Settlement stated that this situation was a nuisance and that
they would prefer a technical representative of the Extension Programme to
advise them on planning the production unit. They stated further that technical
experts on individual crops should give them advice on request and only when
problems arose with regard to their respective crops.
As a result of this evaluation, the Secretariat for Natural Resources de-
cided to restructure the Extension Programme to put the emphasis on the
production unit, including, of course, the human element which is an integral
part of it.
If a programme for extension officers is to fulfil its purposes, it is first necessary
to know what type of functions the person is required to perform. The training
provided can then be oriented in the appropriate direction. Answers to the
following four questions provide a fairly clear indication of what needs to be
included in a programme:
What type of personal qualities are needed for successful agricultural
WHAT KIND OF EXTENSION WORKER DO WE NEED?
What level of specialization should be reached?
In what field should we give extension workers specialized training?
What basic knowledge is essential in order to carry out effective ex-
Everything connected with academic education has been excluded from
this analysis because graduates from both universities and non-university
higher agricultural schools normally possess the basic knowledge necessary to
make good extension workers. All that is required is additional training in
extension-type subjects, which are listed in detail later in this article. For
present purposes, consideration is given mainly to the training of graduates
who already form part of an extension service or who are about to be recruited.
Specialists or generalists?
The argument is between training that is geared toward progressive speciali-
zation in specific subjects and training that covers broad agricultural issues
including the elements necessary to resolve the problems that normally arise in
a given zone. In the first case, it would be desirable to have, in the medium
term, extension workers whose level of specialization would enable them to
resolve problems associated with crops, pests, and diseases, another group
trained to resolve irrigation and drainage problems, others to advise on crop
management, and so on. The generalist argument is upheld by those who think
that the training provided for extension workers should not go too deeply into
specialist areas of knowledge, but rather should cover the important production
aspects of the zone's main agricultural initiatives.
In the first case, a team of extension workers would need to be assigned to
each area of work so that they could complement each other and together cover
the whole range of problems presented by agricultural production in the zone.
In the second case, the extension worker would need to have the support and
technical backstopping of a group of specialists at regional level who were
available to provide advice in the field whenever a problem in a given disci-
pline went beyond his level of knowledge. This is really a summary of the two
sides of the argument.
Profile of the extension worker
There are two fundamental reasons why it is advisable to give an extension
worker the training necessary to resolve the whole range of problems presented
by agricultural production in a given area. On the one hand, the human and
financial resources available limit the number of multi-disciplinary technical
teams of extension workers that can be employed at local level. On the other, it
84 C. RUCKS
is inadvisable to separate the problems presented by an agricultural production
unit into separate items to be handled by different extension workers. It is as
well to state here that a farm constitutes an operational unit whose various
complex problems interact, so that their separation for treatment by different
people constitutes a distortion of reality.
If one aim of the extension service is to produce farmers and peasants able
to manage a farm efficiently, then training of extension workers should be
aimed at producing those who can keep a few steps ahead of the farmers and
peasants they are advising. This applies to attitudes, knowledge and skills
connected with the organization, administration, and actual production of the
agricultural enterprise. The training programmes designed to produce exten-
sion workers who correspond to this profile must therefore contain the fol-
Methodologies for identifying the problems and resources of a given
area with the participation of the local population;
Organization and action at community level;
Organization and administration of a farm;
Planning the production of a farm;
Production techniques for the zone's main agricultural products;
Marketing of agricultural produce;
Methodology for communicating to farmers and peasants.
At farm level, regardless of whether farms are run on an individual or an
association basis, the extension worker must be able to help the producer or
group of producers answer questions similar to: What should we produce?
How should we market the produce?
The training programme for extension workers thus aims to produce
persons who are able to: advise the farmers and peasants how to organize and
administer a farm as an economically efficient production unit; plan produc-
tion in each cycle to make the best possible use of the resources available;
decide what techniques are best suited to each line of production; apply the
techniques so determined; and market the products to obtain a fair return for
the effort made. These considerations apply to both agricultural and econom-
It is also very important that the extension worker develop the ability to
guide the farmers and peasants so that the greater profits obtained from
agricultural production result in an improvement in the standard of living of
If this approach is to work, specialists must be available to support ex-
tension workers when a high degree of technical competence is required. But
these specialists must not isolate themselves in their studies or confine them-
selves to research until they are finally called on to help the extension worker.
Rather, their specialization should be the product of their technical knowledge
WHAT KIND OF EXTENSION WORKER DO WE NEED? 85
and the knowledge obtained from direct contact with rural problems, through
team-work with other specialists, extension workers, and producers.
The experiences in Honduras and El Salvador have shown conclusively that
extension workers should have a level of technical competence such as would
be obtained through completion of a degree or diploma course in general
agriculture. In addition they should have completed an extension course that
has as its basis many or all of the elements detailed in the "profile" section of
this paper. Finally, there is no substitute for field experience in melding the
technical and social/economic aspects into one composite picture. Ideally, new
extension workers who have completed courses in both of these aspects should
spend some time working with an experienced extension worker before ven-
turing forth on their own. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. It can still
be said, however, that, even without experience, extension workers trained in
both the technical and social/economic aspects of agriculture are much less
likely to make serious mistakes than those who have received training in
technical agriculture alone.
Reverting to the argument between specialist and generalist extension
officers, the above statement on extension training applies equally well to both.
However, the case based on experience in Honduras and El Salvador illustrates
the pitfalls of a total reliance on specialist extension officers alone. Generalist
extension officers who are able to solve the problems of particular areas in
which they operate have proved to be more effective at this level than those
with a high degree of expertise in a limited number of subject areas. Undoubt-
edly there are numerous single-crop locations where the arguments stated
above would not always apply. But, as a general rule, training programmes for
extension workers should aim at producing individuals with a broad-based
knowledge of agriculture rather than specific knowledge of a limited number
using itinerant instructors
J.F. Langeoire and M.D. Skretvedt
Industrialized countries have training programmes for nearly all levels of
workers. Programmes have been developed over a number of years that cater
to the changing needs of workers and individual countries. Countries with
developing economies, many of which have recently become independent,
have not yet reached this stage. They are, however, confronted with many
issues concerning education and training. Of prime concern is the fact that the
few existing and planned training centres are insufficient to meet the demands
for skilled people. Trained personnel are also in short supply in many existing
centres, to say nothing about staff needs in the future.
Most developing countries are under extreme pressure to raise produc-
tivity in agriculture to earn foreign exchange and to feed their populations. The
use of agricultural machinery, especially its efficient use, is seen as one way to
increase productivity in the agricultural sector.
Most agricultural machinery is efficient if used properly, but machines are
becoming increasingly sophisticated. In order to use these machines effective-
ly, people must be trained to operate, maintain and repair them. This article,
based mainly on experiences in the Sudan, presents a method of accelerated,
specialized training organized at the village level, designed to accomplish these
tasks. A number of courses were held in the Sudan in 1979 with encouraging
results. Some difficulties were encountered, but efforts are continuing to im-
prove and expand the programme.
Levels of training
Skill training in the agricultural machinery sector in industrialized countries
can be summarized as being provided for three main categories of workers:
Mr Langeoire is an ILO expert in agricultural machinery at present in the Sudan, and Mr Skretvedt
is an official with the Vocational Training Branch of the ILO in Geneva.
J.F. LANGEOIRE AND M.D. SKRETVEDT
Manufacturer's level. Workers are trained in vocational-technical schools
and universities and/or participate in apprenticeship or on-the-job training
programmes in the factory;
Distributor's/dealer's level. Similar to the situation at the manufacturer's
level. Additionally, young, mechanically inclined workers are hired and learn
skills on the job as apprentices;
On-farm level. Most workers have grown up with the work. Many have
also attended vocational-technical institutes.
The situation in most developing countries is quite different:
Manufacturer's level. There are few manufacturers of power-driven farm
equipment and those that do exist have quality control that varies from very
good to very poor. Most power-driven farm equipment is imported;
Distributor's/dealer's level. Distributors/dealers are usually shopkeepers
and many do not have service or workshop facilities. The workshops that do
exist are often poorly equipped and organized and staff and workers have little
or no training;
On-farm level. On-farm training is almost non-existent. Inadequate
instruction and training are given, and operators usually know only how to
drive the machines in their charge. They have little basic knowledge about the
operation and maintenance of machinery.
Government's role in training
Most governments realize the important role of an economically viable, effi-
cient agricultural sector in their economies. Many also see the need to modern-
ize and mechanize this sector to some degree. In the less developed econo-
mies, importations of farm tractors and equipment represent substantial por-
tions of scarce foreign currency. This expensive equipment must be used effi-
ciently and be properly managed if the expenses are to be recovered through
The adequacy of mechanical training given to operators is uppermost in
the minds of those responsible for presenting relevant training in developing
countries. All too often, however, the emphasis is placed on high-level techni-
cian training, leaving little financial resources for training people at field level
to operate and care for tractors and equipment. Most attempts to meet training
needs are made through vocational and technical training centres that may or
may not be at the correct level.
AGRO-MECHANICS TRAINING USING ITINERANT INSTRUCTORS
Current efforts usually take the form of young, educated people being
recruited to attend resident training programmes of up to three years. This
results in a few highly trained technicians having had little contact with real
working conditions in rural areas. All too often they see their training as a step
to higher levels of specialization through additional training, either within their
own country or through fellowships in a foreign country. Few consider working
in repair workshops in their own country, where both wages and status are low.
A realistic approach
Considering the limited funds available for training, it is advisable for gov-
ernments to adopt a realistic approach to training; preferably this should
include a system that is adapted to existing circumstances. One method within
such a system, which can be used effectively for skill training, involves itinerant
instructors. Itinerant instructors travel from work site to work site, or from
village to village, giving training courses on the spot. These courses take place
in the local environment and concern problems currently being experienced
with agricultural machinery.
Specific training is given to accomplish simple yet important tasks con-
cerning operating and maintaining machines. The result is an immediate
improvement in the skill level of the worker and better performance and care
of the machine. People are trained and educated whether or not they are able
to read and write. Most of these people have had no previous opportunity to
pursue any skill-training programme.
The training programme
Need. It can be said that, with few exceptions, the majority of tractors used in
developing countries cannot be expected to run beyond 2 000 hours. Their
useful life should be at least 10 000 hours with average care and maintenance.
No country in the world can afford waste of this magnitude.
Another factor to consider is machine reliability. It is important to be able
to depend on machines during critical periods of the growing season, such as
planting and harvesting. Machines that are properly maintained and correctly
operated can be counted on to perform 95 percent of the working time.
Content. Course content must be determined on the spot for each location and
condition. Usually, the following characteristics are taken into account:
Training in machinery management needed by supervisors;
Existence of an ample number of situations in the area that can be
improved through skill training;
J.F. LANGEOIRE AND M.D. SKRETVEDT
Use of a practical rather than a theoretical approach;
Extensive use of visual aids to explain the necessary theoretical con-
Accurate determination of course duration, which will depend on local
Short, specific courses of usually not more than two to three weeks;
Small-group instruction (20 or less);
Demonstration by instructor, which is then followed by demonstra-
tions by trainees.
Working conditions of itinerant instructors
Instructors must have autonomy in deciding on the content of courses based on
local needs. They must be able to stay in remote areas for periods of up to four
weeks and they should be given incentive payments for their work in addition
to regular salaries.
On many occasions it is necessary to bring to the course food, sleeping
materials, tents, gas lamps, and so on, as well as training materials, tools, and
spare parts. Public transportation facilities should be used if practicable. In
some cases, the use of four-wheel drive vehicles may be necessary. Additional
capacity is possible through the use of two-wheeled trailers carrying up to 600
kg of material.
Qualifications and training of itinerant instructors
Instructors should have practical experience and be able to demonstrate that
they have the practical skills to train others. A good technician, with mechanics
skills and a positive attitude toward work with rural people usually makes a
Training to upgrade instructors in practical and pedagogical skills can be
given by existing training institutes. Qualified instructors should assist in de-
veloping training materials. They should accompany the itinerant instructor on
the first course given in each subject-matter area.
Effectiveness of the itinerant instructor method
Because skills training is based on existing local needs, the skills learned are
immediately put to use. Benefits are apparent to the workers in the form of
their increased level of skills and in the increased reliability of their machines.
Tools, materials and a reasonable supply of spare parts must be available at the
work site or village to enable workers to follow recommended practices. Itin-
AGRO-MECHANICS TRAINING USING ITINERANT INSTRUCTORS
erant instructors should not become involved in the supply of lubricants,
spare parts, tools or other supplies for any scheme, village, or programme
because this removes any protection they have by being otherwise uninvolved
in community affairs. Matters of this nature are better left to oil companies and
Type of approach
A broad, practical, problem-solving approach normally is of most benefit to
workers using what is normally a variety of agricultural machines. Operators
will undoubtedly be called upon to operate and maintain many different types
of machines under difficult circumstances, and a broad-based programme is the
only type of programme that can cater for this effectively. Without such
training, dangerous, improper and expensive procedures may be followed, and
these can lead to injury and damage to equipment. A broad-based skills
training programme, offered at the remote work site or village level, can reach
the poorest groups of people who may have had no previous opportunities for
Progress in the Sudan
Courses in two subject areas have been offered so far in the Sudan: one for
operators of wheeled tractors and attached implements, and another for oper-
ators of diesel-driven irrigation pumps. After completing the courses, trainees
who had never before touched a machine operated them safely and correctly.
They now understand the possibilities and limitations of each machine, the
function of each major component of an engine, and the importance of lubri-
cation and regular maintenance such as changing filters and checking oil and
water levels in the engines. They also know how to change and repair tyres and
tubes, regulate equipment for maximum efficiency and clean and purge fuel
Many other skill-training courses could be developed using the same
approach and methods. Village masons, carpenters, tailors, weavers, black-
smiths, potters, leather workers, millers, well diggers and bakers could all be
trained in a similar fashion.
An open mind with a flexible attitude and no preconceived ideas is
needed to develop programmes at the village level. Local traditions and culture
must be taken into account at all times. The best way to avoid problems is to
encourage participation of local leaders and the trainees themselves in the
design and evaluation of programmes.
IF. LANGEOIRE AND M.D. SKRETVEDT
As more experience is gained, the itinerant instructor approach will become
even more relevant and successful in the Sudan. However, each geographical
area and skill activity present unique factors that must be considered in
planning a programme. This approach presents an alternative to other skill-
training programmes in the Sudan and is especially suitable for remote areas.
Numbers of course participants are best limited to 20. In the Sudan many
people other than the trainees followed and observed the training from the
sidelines in the open environment. These people undoubtedly benefited from
the exposure without affecting those involved in the learning exercises. The
warmth and acceptance expressed by the villagers were most encouraging for
the instructors. The younger people attending courses exhibited sincere
interest and motivation, which is sometimes not as evident among students in
urban schools and training centres.
Short skills-training courses given on the spot can easily be designed to
meet specific skill-training needs of a rural population. More people can be
reached at a lower cost than through traditional methods using specialized
training centres. Each country should examine this approach to see how it
could best be used in extending skill training to its rural areas.
The role of agricultural universities
and colleges in the developing world
Despite the importance of its other resources minerals and oil, for example
- no country can build a solid and lasting economic base to benefit its citizens
unless it has a developed agriculture. Without a significant flow of raw mate-
rials from its own land, the processing and manufacturing enterprises in most
developing countries are vulnerable. If subsistence agriculture is not enough,
the prime question becomes, how far does a country push its agricultural
production beyond subsistence? Far enough, one would hope, to ensure a
significant flow of raw materials to the processing and manufacturing elements
of its economy.
It goes without saying that science and technology are basic to an
increased agricultural production. But science and technology in a vacuum do
not change anything. Avenues must be opened through which the material
demands produced by science and technology, and the knowledge and skill for
their application, reach the man on the land.
Agriculture cannot be moved ahead without trained and dedicated lead-
ership at all levels. The production of this leadership is at best a slow, costly,
sometimes frustrating endeavour. Agriculture is not a "status" occupation. At
the university level in particular it is not in a good competitive position with
other professions or with the liberal arts. This is not an original observation on
the part of the writer. Able leaders in every developing country have recog-
nized this fact for a long, long time. That is the reason they have searched in the
past few decades for institutional changes that will emphasize the importance
of agriculture and will induce fine young minds that traditionally turn toward
the status professions to turn toward agriculture. The agricultural universities
and colleges that have in the last quarter of a century been established in many
developing nations around the globe have been uniquely successful in induc-
ing this change of attitude.
How have they done it?
Mr Hannah is a lawyer, Texico, Illinois.
94 H.W. HANNAH
Agricultural universities have become a medium through which the many
basic sciences physical, economic, social undergirding agriculture have
been given a place of importance in the educational structure of the country.
Of even greater importance, they have become the medium through which
these basic sciences have spawned a widespread study of their application to
the myriad problems which beset even the smallest-scale cultivator.
In any country, and particularly in developing countries, a wide gap exists
between the research worker in his laboratory and the cultivator in his field.
Not only must this gap be bridged, but there must be feedback all along
Agricultural universities and colleges have demonstrated that this gap can
be bridged despite the problems with which they have been confronted in
One of the hurdles these new institutions had to overcome was the argu-
ment of the education "purists" that the term "university" should not be
constricted or modified by any other word that indicated that its programme
would comprehend anything less than that afforded by a liberal arts education.
In their role of serving agriculture, the new universities and colleges have in a
sense answered this argument by agreeing with it. They have said, in effect,
"Yes, we know the liberal arts and sciences are important in education; there-
fore they are incorporated in our programme. But they are incorporated in a
way that does not dilute our commitment to the training and education of the
kind of manpower needed in agriculture and to our admitted bias toward
research that will improve the lives of our farm people and increase production
from their land". Thus, in all of these universities, the educational plan from
the very beginning included a faculty of basic arts and sciences.
Another major task of the new universities, and perhaps one of their most
difficult roles, has been that of instilling in students a desire to come to grips
with real problems and not to seek a sinecure in a government office. One
would not expect, and the universities have not achieved, 100 percent success
in attaining this objective. In terms of percentage, however, success has been
significant. What have the agricultural universities done to achieve this
turn-around? The things they have done are fundamental and must be con-
stantly emphasized. The following are the major ones.
Other things being equal, more students will have an understanding of and be
more committed to work in the agricultural environment if they come from an
agricultural environment. Thus, through various schemes, the new universities
have enrolled sons and daughters of cultivators, able young people who with-
out a special recruitment programme would perhaps never have gone to a