Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Agricultural extension: A statement...
 What is communication?
 The front line extension worke...
 The learning process
 Models of extension communicat...
 Visiting a farm
 Giving a talk
 Conducting a demonstration
 Leading a discussion
 Using problem solving techniqu...
 Using visual aids
 Annex: The on-farm grain storage...



{,s;/37 ExtensionCommunicationManualforFront-Line r AgriculturalExtensionStaff


ExtensionCommunicationManualforFrontLineAgriculturalExtensionStaffByJohnFox1990PreparedfortheOn-FarmGrainStorageProjectUSAID Project No 615-0190DPRAIncorporatedManhattan, Kansas, USA(Co ..tr.etorfi.-IProject fundedby and sponsored bytbeKenya Ministry of AtricuItua-e


No parta ofthismanualmaybereproduced, except bytheKenya Agricultural Extension ServicesStaff in the direct performanceofitsduties, without written permission.


ForwardToachievethegovernment'sobjectiveof foodself-sufficiency, Kenya's farmersmustincreasefoodproductionandensureitsproper preservationinorder to satisfytherapidly increasingpopulation. TheOn-FarmGrainStorageProject, sponsored by the MinistryofAgriculture, is introducing improvedgrainstorage management technology tothe small-scale fanners. Oneofthe efforts of achieving this aim is throughthereduction of losses to rodents, birds, mouldsand insects. Theseloss!)s, which could reach 25%or more, occur infarmsfromthetime grain reachesmaturityinthefield untilitis consumed.Theproject was initiated in 1983 usingtheregular agriculturaleltensionservicestodisseminatethetechnologies to the farmers.The field extension workersarcexpected to accomplish thisbyworking with individuals,and sometimes by organizing field days attendedbylarge groups oHarmers,Having only a minimumoftrainingin extension communication skills,few reference materials,andpractically no visual aids, someaftheAgricultural Assistants have not been able to communicatetheproject'sandothermessages as effectivelyasthe Ministry would like. The Ministry hopes, therefore, thatthroughthisextension communication manual, theeffectiveness ofthefront line extensions workers willbesignificantly increased. Thismanualwill also be usefulattheInstitutesof Agriculture, whichareresponsiblefortrainingthe future frontline agricultural extension workers.E.K.Kandie Directorof AgrU:/J.lture,


..PrefaceThe GrainStorageProject is pleasedtomakethis exten sion communicationmanualavailabletoKenya'sMinistryof Agri culture.It is hopedthatthis practical guide will serve Kenya'sfront-lineagriculturalextension staff formanyyears.Thefront-line workers are generalagriculturalistsandtheymustdeliver informationtofannerson a wide rangeofsubjects.TheirelTectiveness inthis taskdepend6 both ontheirknowledgeortneirsubjects and ontheirability to communicate with farmers.Theauthorspeaks directlytothefront-line workers. Andthesuggested methodsandtechniques shouldhave application inthecommunication of subjects acrossthefullrangeofagriculturalextension-notjustpost-harvestmanagement.Likewise.thein for mation contained inthemanualshould beofusetothose educa tionalinstitutionswhichtrainKenya'sagriculturalextension staff, Also,themanualwillhaverelevance for extensionstaffinothercountries.Theauthor,JohnFox,hasnearlythirty years experienceinadulteducation and extension communication.He has taughtcommuni cation skills, conducted research programmes, produced simula tionsandgames, videotrainingtapesandprevious handbooks on communication, Hehasover tenyearsof work experience with various professional groups in KenyaandotherAfrican countries. Hespenttwoyearsteaching communicationandadulteducation skillsatthe University of Nairobi'sAdultStudiesCentre, Kikuyu. Inpreparationforthismanual,John Fox accompanied front line extension workers ontheirdailyfarmvisitstogainclose, firsthand eltperience oftheirworkroutinesandinteractionswith farmers and hehasattendednumerousprojectfie1ddaysin western Kenya.Thechaptersfollow a logicalpattern.Thefirst live eltplore thecase for employing a discussionandaction-based methodology in exten sion work;thefollowing chapters show how this methodology can be applied in a varietyofsituationsandformats.Theagriculturalextension workers whoreadthismanualwill find guidelinesandchecklists for individual application.Buttheman ual also containsmaterialthatcanbeadaptedfor role playinganddiscussions intraininggroups.Dr.WalterG.Reid,JrTeam Leader, DPRA On-Farm GrainStorage Project


INTRODUCTIONAGRlCULTURAL E:XTENSION: A SfATEMENT OFPRINCIPLES 1. WHATISCOMMUNICATION?AnDlustration TheMainConsiderations A Communication Model The Characteristics ofGoodCommunication2.THEFRONTLINE EXTENSION WORKERWorkingWithintheTrainingandVisitSystemA Competency AnalysisA Competency List fortheCommunication AspectsofExtension WorkContents, 3" FARMERS" PressurePointsThe Adoption CurveTHE LEARNING PROCESS33The Crucial Conditions for LearningAdultsas Learners ImplicationsMODELSOF EXTENSION COMMUNICATION ," Three Modes of Communication ChoosingtheModejii


Contents6. VISITING A FARMPlanninga Visit MeetingtheFannerRelating LinesofCommunicationPractising SkillsFollowing UpThe Advantages ofFannVisits Recording a Visit Checklist forPreparinga Visit Checklist forEvaluatinga Visit 7. GIVING A TALKTheMeeting PlacePlanningaTalkNotesPersuasionSettingtheClimate Appearance GesturesTheEyesTheVoiceTheBasic Qualities of EffectiveSpeakingChecklist for Giving aTalk8. CONDUCTING A DEMONSTRATIONInvolvingtheFarmers Focusing DemonstratingSummarizingFollowing UpChecklist forEvaluatinga Demonstration" 87


9. LEADING A DISCUSSION Expected Behaviourin Groups Some Reasons for WorkingwithGroupsTheDiscussion Process Leadingan WormalDisC11lIsion Group Organizing Group DiscussionsTheConditions for Effective Discussion10.USING PROBLEM SOLVING TECHNIQUESForce Field AnalysisBrainstonning11. USING VlSUAL AIDSWhy Use Visuals?WhatMakes a Good Visual Aid? How to PresentVisuals Which Aidto Use? Checklist of Visual Aids A Note onUsingFilm and Video Recordings-or RadioMaking Your Own Visual Aids F1ipchartsPOSTSCIDPTANNEX_TheOn-Farm GrainStorage PI-oject Contents 1>,'""


IntroductionThismanualisaddressedtofront-line agricultural extension work cr1l-8griculturalassistants primarily,butalso toother divisional ordistrict level stafTwhoare engaged in face-to-face communicationwithfanners.Itisaboutcommunication skills-those skills whichmakeall the difference between success or failureintheextension worker's efforts toencouragefannerstoincreasetheirproductionandimprovetheirqualityoClire.IthasbeenwritteninsupportoftheKenya Ministry of Agricul.ture'scampaigntoreduceserious grail"ilosses by advocatinganddemonstratingefficientpost-harvestpest-controlandstorage techniques. So theexamples of technical topicsaredrawn mainly fromthesefields.Buttheinfonnationandadvice on communication processes contained inthismanualwill be relevantforthefull range ofagricultural extension mess.ages-and itshould also be applicableincountriesotherthanKenya, The manualbegins with a discussion of/lome fundamental factors influencing communication.Itreviewsthefunctionsandresponsi bilitiesofthe front-line workenl andidentifiesthekey communica tion competenciesthey need for effective job perfonnance.Itconsid enl theposition ofthefarmers themselves, explores theconditionsunderwhich they will be prepared to considerandaccept changesintheirhabitual waysofdoing things.Itreturnsto the extension workersand analyzes themeansby whichtheycan influence the motivationandreceptivenessofthefarmers. The manualthentakesupin tum themainkinds of communicationactivity-visitinga farm, speaking in public, giving a demonstra tion, leading a groupdiscussion-andidentifies the factors which,


Introduction can leadtoa successful performance on eachofthese different occasions. The intention has beento make the writingasrelevantandpracticalaspossible,bygiving illustrations basedonactual field experience andbyincluding checklists which relate directly to the various tasks ofthe extension worker's everyday work routine. Allhough the word "heft isused throughout this manualforthe sakeofstylistic simplicity, thesuthorand the projectarewell awarethatin many cases,inKenya and inothercountries, the front-line extension worker may well be a woman and working with womenfannersaswellaswith men.So,whenever the words like "heft appear, please assume "helshe"or "hislhers", AGRICULTURALEXTENSION:ASTATEMENTOFPRINCIPLESIn writing this guideforfront-line workers, a numberof basic assumptions have influenced what has been said about extension methods:1.Extension becomes most effective when there is a three-way interactive communication between research agencies, the fronlrline field workers and the fanners.2.Effective extensionstartswhere thefannersareand seekstobuildontheir established knowledge and skills.3.Effective extension utilizes the knowledge and skills of fanners. 4, Effective extension is addressed to the practiceof fanning and, therefore,itemploys active, problem centred and diseussion-based methods of communication.


1WhatIsCommunication? Kilonzo wasquite /'lew to theextension service.ItwasmidJuly,andhe was visiting one ofhis rontact farmers ina locatiofl5()me twenty kilometres (rom Kisumu by the shoreof Lo.ke Victoria.Afewweeks previously he had attended anorientation course for agrnultural assistants (AA's) on post-harvestandgrain management techniques-part ofa programme in Westem Kenya10get across extension messages related to reducing the losses beingexperiellCedbysmall-scale farmers inthehandlingofthei,.maizecrops.Itwas ht:J.rvest time; and oneofthe objectivesofthe campaign was to encourage farmers toharvest early, when the maize was matUN!enough-rather than leave itinthe shambo to dry-where it wouldbe todamageby insects, birds and rodents. Armed wuh hisleaflets explaining whenandhowto harvest, whereand Iww to store tlu! grain, Kilonzo felt confident that hehad somethingto tell and teach his farmer. Wlu!n tlu!y met,hecame straighttotlu! point. He produced his leaflets, explained the purposeofthe new campaign and sJwwed the farmer the illustratwnin the leaflet onJww to test for wlu!n tlu! maizeis ready for haroesting. Helooked aroundthe compoundand saw four traditional basketstores-

WhatIsC -,,--.onunWUCl.UltH&..Kilonzoexplained thatthecribs thefarmerwastalking about were (orderrwnstration only, thathe didn't need suchabig store because his shamba wasa small one;andthat the traditional baskets he had inhiscompound could beaoopted with very little upnse.Th farmer rwdded and said norrwrt.Kilonzo left behind the leaflets with their drawingsand IMir uplanalions,wishedthefarmerwell(orhis harvestandhis stores, and said he would retu.rn aftertwoweeks.Over 1M next few weeks he returned anumberoftimes.Someof themaizehad indeed beenharvested early and putin the stores todry. But thebasketswere still close totheground."Whatabout raising them?-he asked."'Yes, Iwill 00that, said the farmer. -But 1 can't afford to do it yet.Andwhataboutthat 1IW crib--when can I Mve onetoo? Again, Kilonzo explained thatthefreecribswereonlyfordemon stratumpurposes and ell()ughhad been already erectedinthearea. whyare your basketsstillsmearedwith heasked. "Well,yousee, inthis neighbourlwod there ho.s been a lotofstealing;andI'm afraidifpeoplesee I havegrain inthestoresthenitwill bestolen." Kilonzo sympathued, scratched hisMad andwalkedoffto see one ofhisfavourite demonstration farmers,whohadbeengivenoneofthe new cribsand whoseemed to bedoing all that wasaskedof him--

Andwhatdowehave tothink clearly about?Theproblemis-therearesomanythings.Whenwecommunicatewearerather like ajugglerwho is tTyingto keep several balls in theair.Ifone is dropped, thewhole actisspoiled.Whatarethe balls?What aTe theconsidemtionsthatwehave to keep, simultaneously,inmind?Thismanualisanattempt to answerthatquestinn. Fir-st, letus tryto answeritin very general terms. Inanyactof communication theTC will bethreemainconsiderations: The Message TheMedium The Occasion Since we will be usingthese terms quite frequently, theyought to be explained.The MessageA communicator commWlicatessomething-hehasa subject or a message.Intheillustmtion,Kilonzo's messages wereabouttheharvestingandstoringofmaize.Buthehadothermessagestoo.Perhapshewantedto express his concern forthewelfare of thefanner.Whenhe scratched his head,hewas sending a nonverbal messageabouthis frustrationthathe seemed to bemakingso little impact. Thenatureofthemessage will, to a certain extent,dictatethe wayitia sent-particulaTlythe orderinwhichthematerialis given. For instance,ifyouareexplainingtheway astomgecrib is made, you will most likelystructurewhatyou say-and your demonstm< tion-according tothechronologicalorderoftheprocess. You will beginatthebeginning: explainwhatmaterialsareneededandthengo on to describe howthe site is selected, howthepostholesaredug-andsoon. Ontheotherhand,ifyouaretryingto persuade afanneroftheadvantagesofharvestingearly, you willwanttoputmoststresson thoseitemsyouthinkwillhavemost effect. If, for instance, you knowthathe loses a lot ofgrainintheshambabecauseitiseatenby birds, youmightbegin bytalkingabouttheproblem ofthe birds--and the hewill makeifhe gets his maize quickly into store for drying.,


What/. Communication? ,Ifyour message lend. il.llelftovisual illustration, then you willsupportwhatyou aresaying witha picture oradrawing-buttm.takesus to the next point.TheMediumA communicator communicates ina language. Butwhichlan guage?Local ornational language? Iam communicating with youinEnglish; Iam makingtheassumptionthat you will befamiliarenough with thevocabulary and grammAr of English for youtopia upmy meanings. Butifr were towritein myownnative dialect ofEnglish,only certain people from the countyofLincolMhire ontheeast coast ofEnglandwould understand me.Uyou can. thencommunicate in the language your fannerswiU most elUlilyuudentand. And whichwords?YouandImightunderstandwhat. hectarei5 butdoesthefarmer you aretalkingwith?Ifyouwant to describe a plotortwohectares,it might bebettertotalkoflOO by 200 paces.Butwhatisa "pace"? Anormalwalkingsteporadeliberate stride?Betterto showit.Evenbettertoask him to paceitoutwith you.Youmayhaveheardthe old Chinese proverb onleaming-butin case you haven't, hereitisagain: MI hearandI forgetI see andIrememberIdo andIunderstand.-Another wayof making asimilarpointis to quote some researchfindings on leaminr:that we learn about 1()'l, fromwhatwehear, 50'1> fromwhat wesee and 90'1> froma combinationof seeing andhearing. Returningto thestory orKilonzo-he hadhisleafletaon harveating andstoring maize; butperhapsherelied onthemtoomuch. Maybe he should have sat downtotalk withhis farmer, asked him ifhe hadany problem&-rather than pitching straightin w;th his g10uy leaflets,85 ifthey alone would convince. IfKilonwhadbeen talking with a groupoffarmers,he would have needed a different medium: large postersorprepared drawings on a Ripchart. If his extension officersatheadquarterswanted to reach a lI13611 offarmers with a particularmessage, thenthey would havethe choice of usingthe mass media-thenewspapersortheradio. C1olJ.plul


However,weareonly touching on a topic thatwill be explored in some detail throughout the manual:what factors affect our choiceoramediumtoget across a message? At this stageitwillbeenough to make the pointthatoneofour main considerations in communi catingIImessage is the decision aboutwhatmedium-orcombina tionofmedia-wechoose.TheOccasionEveryactof communication takes placeina specialsituation-theoccasion. The occasion will involve three basic elements: thesenderof the message; the receiver of the message; therelationshipbetween thesenderand receiver. One ofKilonzo's messages wasthatifa storagebasketis raised one metre abovetheground andaircan blow freely through it, the maize canbeharvested early and lell. to dry effectively and safelyinthe crib. How well Kilonzo could deliverthatmessage would depend ona number of factors: Is he familiar enough with the subject tobeconvincing? Can he, for instance, work :::out how much grain and money the fanner would be losing by using his traditional methods of harvesting and drying? Canhe give a realistic estimateofhowmuchitwould costtoraise the crib? When would the fanner reap the benefitofthe expense?Inadditiontothematterthere is themanner:CanKilonzoputhis message across without criticiring or puttingdown the fanner? Does he have the confidence ortheskill to startwith a friendlychatand thenletthe conversationturntothe matters he wantstobe raised? Canheletthefanner'sproblems and ideasbeexposed before he offers his own solutions? ,


WhatIs Co11JJ11lUZicatWn? Much depends on Kilonzo's knowledge ofthefarmer; his ways ofdoing things, his reasons for doingthesethings. For instance,itmaybethatthe farmer was concernedtohidewhatwasinside thebasket,more becausehefeareddemands from relativesthanattacksfrom thieves.But this isnotsomethingthatthefarmerwould easily admit. Only ifKilonzo isfamiliarwith local customscanheinterpretwhy thingsaretheway they arc. IfKiloD2:o wants to influenceafarmer'swayofdoingthings,bemustworkintermsoftheneedsandiDterestsofthatfarmer.lfwbatKilonzosaysdoesDotappeal to thoseneedsand interests, be will fail.A lotdepends,too,onattitudes:OnlyifKiloDzoisenthusiasticabouthisjobandbelievesinhiseItensionmessages,willhebeconvincing.Onlyifbeaanidentifywithhisfarmer'sneedsandaspirations, will hebeabletobuildasuccessfulrelationship.Take,for example, the issueoffree cribs that comes upintheillustration.Whatthefarmersaysisnaturalandsensible.Ifotherfarmers have been giventhem,thenhewouldbenaivenot to askfor onetoo.As wellasstatingthefacts,perhapsKilonzo should also haveexpressed hisunderstandingofthefarmer's position:andthengone on totalkthroughwithhim how he couldhaveimproved his ownstoresascheaplyaspossible.CombiningtheElementsTheremustbe a harmonybetween the messageandthemedium, between thesenderandreceiver.Alltheconsiderationsandelementsareintertwined.But,to explorethecomplexities ofcommu nication, we need to separateout certain aspects. Since thismanualgrewoutofaparticularprogramme,andmost oftheillustrativematerialistakenfrom themessagesofthatprogramme,itmightbehelpful to have anoutlineof Kenya'sOn-FarmGrainStorageProject.-ifyouarenotalreadyfamiliarwith it. You will find abriefdescription intheAnnex, page 133. Inthenextchapterwe considerthesenderofmessages-you.We will lookattherolesandfunctions of front-line workerswithintheTrainingandVisit extensionsystemthathasbeenestablishedinKenyaandanumberofothercountries.Thiswillenable us to identifythe occasions on which youareengagedin eommunieation andto discusstheskillsand competencies thatareneeded for a successful performanceofyourfunctions I


Thenwetumtothereceiver of yourmessages-the fanner. Wewilltryto establish some key characteristicsoffarmersandtheirfamilies,inorder to analyze those factors which might affecttheirwillingness toae<:ept new ideas and different practices.Wewillthenbeina position to explore the problemsandpotentialsforbuildinga productive relationshipandopeningupeffective lines of communication. But, beforewe take upanddevelop thesethemesinlaterchapters,letuslookatcommunication in a visualway-bybuilding up a diagramthatwill help youtounderstandsomething more aboutthestructureandlogic of this manual. ACOMMUmCATIONMODELrAlrIiill.IJ Message LWJ SenderReceiver When communication occura,there i8aSender(8),aReceiver(R)anda Message (M):MButhow doweknowthatourmessage is being understoodinthe waythatwewantittobe understood?Howdoweknowthatour message is actually being received? Sometimesweonlyknow-likeKilonzo-whenwego back anddiscoverthatnothinghashappened.Butw hy waitandwasteourtime?Wecan leam somethingonevery,


WhatlsCommunication? communication occasion by becoming receiversourselvesandwatchingand listening toreactionstowhatwehavejustsaidordone. WehaveFeedback(Fl.Feedback iswhatcomes back to usasa response tothe messages we send.Itmay be intheform of a question, acommentorashrugartheshoulders.Communicationismosteffective whenitis a two way process. Anda number ofsections inthismanualwill be discussingways in which wecanencourageandusefeedback,whetherin one-to-oneor group occasions. Yet, so often ourcommunication is reallymiscommunication.Something, someBlockage(B),getsin thewayofourmessllges:MBFThesquiggly linerepresentswhateveritisthatgetsinthewayofhannonyand under;jtanding.&metimcs itisrightthatthelineisthereinthemiddle-becausetheblockage willbesomeexternalfactor likethenoise of a tractor thatliterally blocks outthesoundofourvoice.Ortheheatof thesunthatdistractsand sapsenergy andattention.But ofl.en itshouldbedrawnasifintheheadofeitherthesenderor receiver or both.Thenitmightrepresenta blockage related toattitudes.Like thethoughtintheheadofanelderlymalefannerwhoisbeingaddressedby a young female extension worker: does sheknowaboutfarming?She'stheagemateof mygrand-daughters.And allsheknowsis Oritmightrepresenta simplemisunderstandingof a word. Yousay andyoumeanonly a teaspoonful. Ihearyousay butimaginea cupful.Thiscould beanimportantdifferenceifyouaretalkingaboutahannfulchemical! CIu:>pt., I


Soaswellaslookingattechniquesand procedures for such occasionsasfarm visiting,demonstratingand leading discussions,weshall needtolook insideourownandotherheadsandexplore a littlepsychology-ateaspoonful rather thanacupful-inorder tounderstand more clearly those thoughtsandfeelingsthatcan easily become blockagesto communic31ion. THECHARACTERISTICSOFGOOD COMMUNICATION To summarire theideas presented inthisopeningchapter-andtoestablish some basic principles which underlie allthatis said throughout thismanual-hereis a listof characteristics: 1.Good communication istheresultof clear thinking.2.Good communication has a specific purposeandcarries specific messages. 3. Good communication is adapted to theoccasion-totheneeds and interests of those receiving it. 4. Good communication utilizesanappropriate medium. 5. Good communication isgraphic-throughwords or picturesit creates clear, accurate images intheminds of those whoarcreceiving it.6.Good communicationisbased on good listening. "


Whatls ComnmnirotiJ:>n? I INotes


2TheFrontLineExtensionWorkerWORKINGWITHINTHETRAININGANDVISITSYSTEMTheTrainingandVisit system of extension (T&V) is now operating inmOTethanforty developing countriesinMrica, Asia, Europe, CentralandSouthAmerica.Itisasystemwhichemphasizes simplicity inbothobjectivesandoperation.Itprovidescontinuous feedback fromfannerstoextensionagentsandtoresearchstaff;itallows for continuousadjustmenttothe farmers' needs.lthasspreadrapidlyaroundtheworld, becauseitisseenas an effectivemeansofincreasingfannproductionandbecauseitissuch a flexibletoolatall levels of an agricultural ministry'soperation.Priarto1983,when T&Vwas introduced inKenya,theagriculturalextension service provokedmanycomplaints.It'was seenasuncoordinated and haphazard. Front-line workers were accused ofgivingouttoo many,irrelevantanduntimelymessages.Thecon nection between research andextension wastenuousandweak. Two-Way CommunicationWith T&V,you-thefront-lineworker-becomethevitallinkin achainwhichensurestwo-way communication between researchinstitutionsand fanners:"


Fronl-line ExtensionStaff Subiect MatterSpecialistsResearChTheFrontLineExtensionWorkerAn importantaspect of your professionalism isthat,throughregulartrainingsessions. youarcin close touchwithrelevant scientific developmentsandresearch.It is only inthiswaythatspccificrecommendations can befonnulatedwhich will be usefultofarmers intheirspecific situations. Youmusthavetheabilitytoidentify productionconstraintsinthe field and, in aswciation with your colleagues. developappropriatemeasuresto counter them. Whenthisbeginstohappen,thenyouandyourservice build credibility for yourselvesintheeyes ofthefanners.Theremaybeoccasions whennearbyfannerscanbe invitedtoview researchresultsata laboratoryorotherexperimental establishment.Also,theremay be timeswhenitisappropriateandconvenient toinvite aresearchertoa Farmers'Training Centreor someother place tomeet with a group offarmers, Mostgenerally, however,thefeedbackorflowofinform ali on between farmers and researchers mustpassthroughthe front-line extensionstaff and SubjectMatter Specialists (8MS's).ConcentrationofEffortEffective T&V ensuresa concenl.Tation of effort.Allextensionstaff carry outspedficdutiesthatcomplementandsupporttheactivitiesofstaffatotherlevels.Youyourself will be working only on agricultural-related concerns, only on those cropsand practices thatarerelevantto aparticular season in your locality. You will be workingprimarily-thoughnotexclusively-thlough a smallnumberof contact farmers whoareexperienced, skilledand re enoughtobetaken as a model byotherfarmers. ClulpUT 2


Concentration should, also, be thekey faetor inyourfortnightlytrainingsessions. Attention shouldbe focused on thoseconstraintsthathave been identified inthefieldandon the major pointsgeneratedthrough research whichareofimmediate concemtofarmers.Time-Bound Activities Messages andskill,shouldbetaughttofannersin a regular, timely fashion. so thatthefanners ""ill beable tomake immediate and best useofthem. You areexpectedto visit your fanners regularly, on a fixedday eadl fortnight. Similarly, allother super visoryextension staffahouldbemaking timely and regularvisils tothe field. The should beattending monthly workshops where they discuss particularfanningconditions for specific areas. The recommendations that arefonnulaled atthese meetings arethen passed on to youatyournexttwo fortnighLly trainingsessions. Inthisway, there is a continuous exchange of relevant infonnalion related tothefanningactivitiesofyour locality. FieldOrientationFannerscan onlybeserved effectivelyifanextension service is in close contactwiththem. This contact needstobe rCb'Ulur, frequent,andon a schedule known to them.Asa front-line worker, you will have groupsoffarmers thot you visit onafixed day every two weeks. Butallotherextension staff, includingtheSMS'a, should bespendingalarge part oftheirtime in the field, also on regularscheduled visits. District-level Exten sion Officers, researchers andtrainers, mustalso go tothefield regularly iftheyaretounderstandtheproblems faced by fanners andby youinyour daily work routine.Itistoallow 8!mudl timeaspossible in thefieldthattheadministrativeand report-writingtasks arekepttoa minimumwithinthe true T&V system. Nevertheless,thehabitof keeping a dailydiaryofyourcontaets, andproblems encountered inthefield.willenable you to contribute more effectively in )'Ourtraining sessionsand to provide material forany reports that you do ha\'e towrite.By spending mostof your timeinthefield, you are pUlting yourself ina positiontounderstandthefanners'production problems and toactasthatimportantlink between thefarmersandresearch.Youwill,of course, onlybean efTecth'e linkifyou listen as muchasyou talk! "


TheFrontLineExtensionWorker "Let us now go on to discusswhatit takes for youto beaseffectiveas possible asbothIIsenderand receiver of messageswithinT&V_orwithinanystructurefor delivering extension messagestofann m. A COMPETENCYANALYSlS As II{ront-line agriculturalesten5ion worker, whatever systemofextension you are operatingin, YO\lrexperience canbe categorized inthree broad areas: things youknow;thingsyoucando;thingsyouthinkandfeelaboutwbatyou know anddo.These broad categoriesof experience are often referred to simplyas:KNOWLEDGE_SKI'LLS_ATTITUDESForIIsuccessful work performance, you will need whsvccompetencies in allthree categories.Each ofthe categories can bedivided, ontheonehand,intotechnicalorsubjectcompetencies; and. ontheotherhand, into communicationorsocial competencies. From your initialtraining,your in-service training,andfrom your field experience, you acquire a good deal or knowledge andskill related tothe practiceoragriculture,theconditions andproblemsoragricultural production in particular localities.You acquire knowledgeabouttheagency which employs you. aboutthe schedules oryour extension system andaboutthe organizational networksinthe community through which you work. Youthinkandreel certainthinp about Agriculture andabout Extension-y," haveanattitudetowards your c:hosen areaoractivity.Ir,inthemain.it is a positive one. then itislikelythatyou aremotivated to continually up-date and improve your prorcuional ,kills.Ir,inany respect.. yourattitude is a negative one,thenitwill beimportant ror youto reOec:t onhow you might c:haoge those Clulp<

circumstancesorfactorsthatproducethe negalive thoughts and feelings aboutwhatyouaredoing. This manual is not concerned with the technical or "content" side of your work; it is concerned withyouas a communicator.Itis about ways in which you cangetyour technical knowledge across tofarmersas effectivelyaspossible.Itisaboutthe crucialcommuni cation or social skills of extension: your relationships with farmers, your abilitytoachieve arapportwith themandtohelp them withtheircareofcropsand livestock.&! letus considertheactual competenciesthatareinvolved inthecommunication of your technical information. But, first,itmightbehelpful to giveanexample from another field ofactivity. If I make a list of the competencies involved in being a writer,itcomesoutlikethis-andyoumight lind some parallels with your own situation: I. Knowledge of a particular language:its grammaticalstructuresandvocabulary.2.Knowledge of certain subjects, upon whichthewriting is based.3.Knowledge of publication channels:whatparticular newspapers, journals orotheragencies expect, intermsofsubjectmatterandpresentation.4.Skill in researching forrelevantinformation: from observing, interviewing or reading. 5. Skillinselectingthemost relevant materialfora particular occasion.6.Skill in organizingthatmaterialtoform a logical sequence of ideas. 7. Skill in choosinganappropriate vocabulary for particular readers. 8. Skill in using stylistic devices, likeparagraphingor punctuation, to makethewriting both clearandemphatic. 9. Skillinusing illustrations or examples,tomakethewriting concreteandlively.10.Abilitytoreviewwhathasbeenwrittenin a self critical way,inordertoreviseandmodify it."


TheFrontLineExtensionWorker II.Enthusiasmfor the topic.12. Emp<"lthy withthepeopleandevenLSthatare treated inthewriting. As you will see, tliis is arather crude analysis. since somt'oflhese twelve competencies couldbe broken down intootheror sub competencies. However,tthinkitwill serveasanillustrationofwhatis involved inconstructinga competency list. Now, rsuggestyoupausefor a while,beforeyoucontinuereading.andrenectonyourown functionsas an extension worker. Note downthecommunication competencies you identifyascrucial in carrying outyour functions effectively. Afterwards, you can compare yourlistwith myattempttodoitfor you.Thisisanimportantexercise, becauseyOIlcanthenlise your competency listto 3ssess your owntrainingneeds. So. have a goatreviewingthekindsofthings you doin relationto farmers andyour position intheextension service.Perhapsit will helpif you firstmakeanactuallistofyourmainfunctions: suchasfarm visiting, holding field day demonstrations.attendingtrainingsessions.Thengo ontoidentifyandlist the necessary competen cies,asin my example. intermsof knowledge, skills andattitudes.A COl\fPETENCY LISTFORTHE COMMUNICATION ASPECTSOFEXTENSIONWORK1.Knowledge of the organization in whichtheextensionagentworks: the network of colleagues, superiors and contacts.2.Knowledge of thecommunityinwhich he works:itssocialandeconomic characteristics.3.Knowledge of individual farmers: theirpersonalities,aspirationsandproblems. 4. Knowledgeofresources:egocredit facilities. fertilizers, equipment,bothwithinandoutside theI':ommunity, thatcanbeutilized inthepromotion of efficient farming. 5. Skillinrelatingtopeople:theabilitytoexpress himself dearly andtheability to listen. 6. Skillinmotivatingandmobili?ing people: theability to encourage farmers toadoptandexperimentwithnew methods.


7.Skillinworkingwithpeople: establishing and facilitating meetings with farmers and participatinginfarmers' activities.8.Skill in demonstratingfanning methods and procedures: using techniques thataregraphic and have impact. 9. Skillinmakingandusing educational aids: making charts, handouts, using projection equipment etc.10. Resp&t forthe existing knowledge and skill of farmers. 11.Empathy with people living onlowincomes in rural areas.12.Patience and tolerance when recommendationsarenot readily taken up.13. Readiness to listen toand learn from those he is teaching.14.Readiness to review and revise methods and approaches.Howdoes mylistcompare with your own? Perhaps the differencesaremainlytodo withexpression-thelanguage used todescribe each competency. Butfrom a comparisonofboth listsitwillbe possible toconstruct one which covers the full range of your functions and responsibilities. Nowitis possibleto use the competencylisttomake your own assessment of your strengths and weaknesses with regard to the communication asp&ts of your work.Whatyoudois construct a graph, with the numberofeach competency along the horizontal axis and a rating scale along the vertical axis. Then you give yourself aratingfor eachofthe competencies.Asinthe following example: "


TheFrontLine Extension Worker '" Inthisimaginarycase.wehave someone who isquiteconfidentabouthis knowledgeofthecommunityinwhichheworks,thetechnical side of his role,andabouthisattitudes tofarmers-but he is lesssureaboutsome oftheskills involved ingettingacross his message.Butwhataboutyou? Have a goatconstructing your own graph. Rate yourselfin termsofeachofthecommunication competenciesthathave been identified. How doesitcome out? Forthefirst components from my list, experience isperhapsthebestteacher-butyou may find some ideasinthenextchapterwhichpromptyoutoreflect8littledifferently onthesituationandattitudesof farmers. Andtherestofthemanualwill beaskingyoutoreflect more deeply on your ownattitudesandskillsasa communicator.


3FarmersIn1985,DrJudith Mbula. a social anthropologist. conducted--

Farmers relayed. Many listen to fanning programmes on the radio and manyare readers of newspapers.So,wemustconclude, the reasonforresistance to innovationin western Kenya is neither apathy nor ignorance. Therefore wehave to lookforotherexplanations whenwefindthatour recommen'liations are not taken upasreadily as wewould wish.PRESSUREPOINTSInvery general terms, letusconsider the range offactorsthatwill or might have influence on a farmer's decision to change his wayofdoing something. Wecandothis by drawing a diagram thatshows many aspects aspossiblethatimpinge on a pen;on's behaviour:rRisk Ii: Traditional (CaltUralPracllce, ......'t=arming Practices L.[National Programmes]Farmers7 "' Media Influential FiguresFamilyand Education and Economic Needs Training Whenever a farmer is faced with a deCision, some ormost of these facton; will have an influenC&-whether consciously or not.So,let us take the issue ofharvesting and storageofmaize and draw onDrMbula's research toillustratesomeofthese factorsinthe diagram-and consider some ofthe broad implications for building a productive relationship with the farmers.TraditionalPracticesPriortothe On-Farm Grain Storage Project,inwestern Kenya farmers harvested their maize whenitwas dry. The cobs were transported tothe compound by ox-cart, wheelbarrows, lorriesCh4p'or3


or, more usually. carried onthehead by womenorchildren. The mai:ze was stored on thecobuntil thefarmerfound time to shelland,occasionally,treatit. 1fit wasnotalreadydry, then cobs werespreadontheground each day to dry inthe sun. Manyfarmersstored grain in traditional wickerbasketsmade of lantana orpapyrusreeds, with thickbranch supports. Mud orcowdung was often used forsmearingthe base and sides of the basket. Traditionally, 'whenthebasket stands outside the house it hasa grass thatched roof; when inside the house,itislenopen. Some farmers storesmall amounts of grain insealed clay pots; some nowstoreinmetalcontainers,suchasoildrumsorcooking oil tins. The habitof storinggrain insidethehouse developed because of the fear ofthen;thoughanotherreason could bethereluctance to giveitawayto neighbours or relatives.Manyfarmersputtheirgrainin gunnybags whicharethenkeptinsidethe house-often lying in places where they can easily becontaminatedbyratsor domestic animals.Fanners trytoprotect their grain fromratsbyusingpoison, settingtrapsor keeping cats. Very fewinthe survey group were raisingtheirstorageunitsofTthegroundandfitting simplemetalrat guards. As fortreatingshelledgrainfor storage,theone traditional practice wastouse wood ash topreventdamageby weevils and other insects. Some farmers were,atthetimeofDrMbula's study, using rerommended MalathionorActellicchemicals-though a few intheswveywere found to be using such chemicalsasDDT (which has been declared illegalinKenya)orpyrethrumdust.Afewfarmers were using domestic aerosol insectsprayslike or which can have harmful effects onhumanhealthand certainly should not be sprayed on foodstuffs.Whatimplications can bedrawnfromtheinformationthatDrMbulahasprovided? As theextensionworkerindirectcontactwith fal"mers, youshouldstudytheir existingpractices-challenge thosethat are harmfuloruseless,butseewhethersomeoftbepracticescanbeadaptedratherthansimply discal"ded.There isnothingwrong,forinstance,withstoring mai:ze inthehouse,provideditisproperlytreatedaDdkeptclean. "


Farmers National ProgrammesTheKenya Government is concernedabouttheamountofgrainlost through many of the traditional post-harvestmanagementpractices. On a national scalethe losses aresaid to amount to about 25% ofthepotential hal"Vest.ItistheGovernment's objectivethatthecountry shouldremainself-sufficient in maize. Itisimportant,notonlythatpeople have enough to eat,butthatscarce foreign currency should not needlessly be spent onfood imports. ProgrammesliketheOn-FarmGrainStorageProjectarepromotedinorder toachieve suchnational objectives.Thisprojecthasshownthatitis possible to reducegrain108ses to satisfactory proportions ofunder 5%. So,throughextensionagentslike yourself, localadministrationofficials, media publicity,theGovernment seeks toreachfarmersandpersuadethem toadoptimproved post-harvest methods.Buthow readily will farmers appreciate national needsoridentifywith a national programme?Ifafanneris producing enough for his own family's consumption,andevenhasasurplusfor sale,thenheisnotlikelyto be much moved by a problem described in purely national terms.Hewill be inclined toactonlyifhe is convincedthattheproblem is one which directly affects himandhis family.Infact,DrMbula's research showedthatmanyfannersdonotperceivegrainlossesasa majorproblem-orthey have a different perception ofgrainloss. Somefannerssaidthatmuchofthegrainlost to humansiseatenbythechickensand goats--so itisnotreally lostatall.Otherssaythatgraininfested by weevils or mould is used formakinglocal beer or fed to the animals--so, again,itisnotlost. Somefannersmay be deceived by volumeasopposedtoweight. Only whenthe comparative weights of contaminatedanduncontaminatedgrainaredemonstratedmay they realize whattheyareforegoinginweightandprofit onthemarket--orintennsofhealthier foodstuffs fortheirfamiliesortheiranimals. A farmermayonly be convincedthatheis losing a significant proportionofhis harvestedgrainifhisamountofpoorly storedgrainis compared withthelargeramountsaved by a demonstration farmer whohasfollowedtherecommended procedures. You will makeanimpact on suchfannersonly when you can convince themthattheirperceptionsarefalse orthatthereareothermoreimportantconsiderationsthatneed to be taken into account. Sometimesitmay helptotakeoutapencilandpaperandcalculatethefanner'slosses in monetarytenns.


Merelytoquotenationalstatisticsor projeetgoals willnotbeenough.Persuasionis effective onlywhenafarmeridentifiestheproblemasonethat affects himdirectly.FamilyorEconomicNeedsIfa farmer is exclusively concerned with subsistence agriculture,thenhemaywell not easily be motivatedto improve his farmingmethods-providedhis production is meetinghis family's needs for basic foodstuffs.Itcould be only when heaspirestoearnacash income--.and sees opportunities for doing so fromsalesoffann produee-that he will be motivated to learnaboutimprovedagricultural practices.Orhemaybe motivatedtoimprove his farming methods only whenhefaces increasedcashdemands-likeschool fees, medical billsorclothing for hisgrowing family. However,theproblem becomes a complicated one whenwhatis being recommended involves acashoutlay.Suchisthecase withtheOn-FarmGrainStorageProject. To build a modern, two-section crib costs around3000shillings; to buildanimprovedbasketstructuretotherecommendedstandardcostsaround1,400shil lings. To convincethefannerthatoutlaysof this kind are worth whilemightwell involvetakingoutthepencilandpaper again anddoing some calculations with him.Youwill needtoworkoutthelikely money saved from storing inanimproved structure and comparingtbatamount wi ththemoney needed for a new structure.Thenitwillbepossible to workoutthe"payback before theoutlays generate profits.So,oneofthekeyfactorsinrespondingtothemessagesofa projeet willbethepotential economic payofftotheindiovidualfarmer. RiskConcerns Ofcourse, people have needsotherthaneconomic or ones.Amongthesewill betheneed for respectandstatusearned intheeyesofrelatives, friendsandneighbours. To be seenas success ful inwhateverwe are doing,tobe knownas can beanimportantfactorinadopting new methodsthatcan improveourstandinginthecommunity.Butwhen new methods involve risks,thentheconsiderations related toimprovingstatusmustbe bal ancedagainstsocial or economiconesrelatedtosurvival.Farmerstheworld over areamongstthemostconservativeandcautiousofpeople.Thereis a good reason for this.Theyaredependentontheelements-andtheelementsinAfrica can be particularly unreli ableandharsh.Iftherainsdonotcome,then a totalcrop can be


Farmers "wiped out.litherains come tooheavily, then thesamedevastating consequences can follow.Faced with such unpredictability, a farmer may well prefer todo the predictable-canyon with practicesthathavemeantsurvivalfor his forefathers. Sometimes thereis goodsense inhis resistancetothe new. Take, for example, the growing ofhybrid maizeinareassusceptible to flooding.Iftraditional maize is more likely to surviveina seasonofheavy rains, then he may well prefer to foregotheextra yields from hybrid varietiesinseasonsofordinary weather,ratherthanrisk a crushing loss iffloods occur. Itis a question of not gamblingagainstdisaster.Oneofthe keys toyoursuccess is toknowwhenafarmer's reasons arevalid-whenitisnotpossibleorsensibletor him toadoptyourrecommendations--orwhenitmightbefeasibleforhimtoadoptonlypartofarecommendedpackage.CulturalPracticesIfwetake initsbroadest sense of"patterns ofli ving", then clearly the more ingrained these patterns, the more they willbelike deep groovesthatact against any change ofdirection-likea bullock eart moving along a deeply furrowed track. One seemingly unimportant practiceinthe projectareawasthatthe traditional stores were onen smeared with dung. This serves a decorativepurpose--butitcould also bethatthe dung actedasadeterrent to insect infestations. A point-whengrain was left in the field to dry, there was no problem about storingitinairtight structures. Butthe projectisrecommending harvesting grain beforeitis dry-and thenputtingthe cobs in structures thatareloosely wovensothataircan blow freely through them. So,ingetting across the messagesofthe project,wehavetobeclear about the logic:ifyoudoA,then B isOK;butifyoudoC,then B isnotOK.Iffarmersharvest when the grainisdry, thenitisOK to putitin airtight stroctures; butifthey harvest when thegrainis still moist, thenitisnotOKtoputitinairtight structures. To persuade farmers toharvest early, when there is still moisture in the grain, is to increasetheriskofmouldsandcontaminationunless we also persuade them to use rapid drying practices.Itmay be, however,thatdung-smeared baskets serve another purpose: they hide the grain from prying eyes.Asmentioned earlier, althoughDrMbula foundthatfarmers were talking about Clulplu3


their fear of theft,itcould be thatmanyaremore afraid ofdemands from relatives and neighbours when, visibly, they have grain in store. Herewe are considering a vital aspectoftrnditional culture: itisnoshameto ask tobegiven; butitisamatterof great shametorefusetogive. A farmer maybe reluctant toadopt the more "open" management procedures recommended bythe project,ifthey increase the riskof requests for assistance. Infact,itseemsthatIIOme farmersaTe preferring to sell off their grain after harvesting,110it can beconverted into cash which is less conspicuous and therefore less vulnerabletosuch demands.Perhaps,insucha case, youshouldrecommendthatthemaizebe dried quicklyonthe ground, shelled,treatedandstoredinatraditionalhasket,whichhasheenraisedoffthe ground andfittedwith rat-guards-a compromisesolution.(Remember,ifyou Tecommend thatthe farmer removes the dungsmearand pokes holesinthe basket, allowingairflowtodry high moisture cobmaiz.e, then shelled maizecanno longer be stored loose inthe basket.l Another important cultural factor relates to the relationshipbetween husbands and wives and their traditional roles in "home economics. Whereas, according tocustom, the womanhasrespon sibility for harvesting and storing procedures, the man makes the financial decisions.Therefore,ittheprojectrecommendssomethingwhichinvolvesa("mandaloutlay,thenitisclearly necessary toapproachboth.Thewifemayneedtobeconvincedoftheoperational merits oftherecommendation,butthebusbandwillneedtobeconvincedofitsfinancial benefits.Influential FiguresIn Kenya, the Chief plays a key roleatthe location level.Heis a representative of the Government and a leaderofthe community. Upholding the laws andtransmittingdirectives or advice, he has a powerful influence on all thosewholiveina location under his authority. Imagine a primary school which has been selected for an afforesta tion project. The schoolisgoing to establish a tree nursery, butthe headmaster is concernedthat,until the school compound is prop erly fenced, the cattlethataregrazed acrossitwill damage the "


Farmersyoung trees. He can only trytopersuade the people who live nearby to stop the practice.Butthe Chief can order them to stop. Extension is about persuasion. not direction.rt will be rarethatyouwill want tocall in a Chief to issue orders. Unless the matter is something todowith a communal issue like establishing the tree nursery, asoilconservation programme orstrengthening the banks of a riverthatis liable toflood.Butthe supportofthe Chiefandothermembers of the local administration, like councillors, can beofgreat assistance in getting across the messagesofa project.Tohave him with youatfield demonstrations gives a credibilityandauthoritytothe occa sion; he can also helpat baraw.s in communicating the aims and purposes behind your work and relating them to national developmentpolicies.Outofrespectforauthorityandin recognition ofleadershipqualities,farmerswilllistentothosepeopleinthecommunitywhocarrytheseranksorwhobecomenaturalleadersthroughtheir esample ofendeavouraDdsuccess.Effectivefrontline estension staffenlistthesupportofsuchinfluentialfigures.EducationandTrainingThe more a farmer is exposed to new ideas, the more varied his experience and the more developed his skills-the more likely he istoaccept extension messages. Research showsthata farmer's educational background is an influencing factorinhis readiness to adopt the recommendations of a project. A closely allied factor is whether a farmer has another occupation. Here, two factors combine to affect the alXeptance of innovation. Another job meansthata personisbetter educated andofmore variedexperience-italso meansthathe has more cashathis disposal and he is more able to take risks. The research has shownthatthere is an enormous disparityinthe income levelsofsmall scale farmers in the project area. Those with the higher levelsareusually those with off-farm jobs.Inher research report, Dr Mbula tentatively presents a list of characteristics you might look for when selecting contact farmers;omore educated; Downs landintwo or more locations;owith an outside source of income;


Dincontactwithothcrgovcrnment officers, such 3S education officcr!); ofrequently liSlens to radiofarming programmesor frequently reads magazines; Omemoorof eo-operative society; Din possession of title deeds. U Dr 1'Ilbuia isright,yousbouldpay pat"ticular attentiontothe degree ofeducationandtrainingafarmerbasaccumulated, tohis financialandsocialstatus,whenyouare choosing acontactfarmer.However,remember that youareresponsible for communicating yourinformation to allfarmers in yourarea.Youcannotrely, in total, on selective contactfarmers with educationandfinancialstatus.Lookhardfor the socialandotherties that bindthelessamuent farmer!) andtheirfamilies. Look forothercommonalities.such as interestsin children's schools,churchbodies,andother groups. MediaMessagesAsurprisinglyhighnumberofthefarmersin the research sample were found tobe listener!) to the radio,readersofnewspapersand magazines, andvisitors toagriculturalshowsandexhibitions. A successful projectuses such media sources to reinforce the faceto facemeetingswith farmers. To produce such educationalandinformative material is notyourown responsibility;butyou will nC('d to be familiar with the kindsofinfonnationtransmittedthroughthesechannelssothatyou can relateandtimeyourown informationandmaterialtothese mass media messages.Intheworld of sellingagriculturalproducts. it is saidthat two factorsare vital: Advertisementsin thenationalpressandbroadcasting; Thetravellingsalesman.However good one ofthesefactors maybe. il cannotbt>really successfulwithout the other.Thesalesmangainshis credibility from thenationaladvertising.Butfarmersollen necdthe dirl.'et contact with asalesmanbefore they actun]]y buy a product. A similarpatternholds for extension projects. Youarethe "


FarmersThe front-line workerneedstheadditionalsupportthatcomesfromnationalleyeleJ:posureoftheproject'sobjec-tiyes;butthefarmersstillneedthedirect dialogue withyoutoreceive precise informationandademoostrationofprocedures-andtogetyouranswerstotheirquestions.All the wehave discussed can beseen aseitherpositive or negative forces, which will havetheirinnuenceon farmer'sattitudeto adopting your recommendations. The negativeonesarethekinds of blockage which were represented by the squiggly line in the communication model presented inthe first chapter.Some of the pressure points, like media messages,areextemalfactors; some, like the concernabout risk-taking, areinthehead.Onlywhenyou arefamiUar withtherangeandeffectsofthesepressurepointscanyoubegintoachievearapportwitbyourfarmers,whichwillenableyoutoworkwiththemtopromotechange.THEADOPTIONCURVEThisanalysis points" may helpusto understand more clearly the way in which farrners---or any group ofpeople-acceptor reject new ideasandpractices.Itseemsthereis a common and rcmning patterninvolving five stages: 1.Awarenesswhen a person is fiI"!ltexposed toanewidea-by,maybe, reading a publicity leaflet or talking with a friend.2. Interest whenherelates the idea tohisown situation and his curiosity is aroused about its potential bene3.Evaluationwhenhebeginstoask questions of himself, his neighbouI"!lor the extension worker: whenhe will bemindful of the potential risks and innuencedbyboth the positive and the negative fOfen or points". 4. Trial wbenhe shows his willingness toexperiment with the ideaona small scale.S.Adoptionwhenhe takes onthe idea into his regular farm practiC!:! and beginsto argue its meritstoother people.


The rateatwhich fanners move through these stages will vary from individual to individual; anditwill depend on the range offactors discussed earlier in this chapter. Somefannerswillbemore exposedtonew ideas through contact with media messagesorwith whatwecalled "innuential Some may be more readyto t.ry something new because oftheir better education or financial security. Some maybereluctanttotake any risks because oftheir financial insecurityortheir loyaltytotradition. However,donot be discouraged ifsome fanners simply cannotbeconvinced to accept your recommendations. This is normal. Typi cally, the adoption process is slowatfirst. Then, over time, you should see responses to your recommendations begintodevelop apatternwhich can be diagrammedasan '"'"< <.0-j} ", 0" II w 0 ""> w Ic"N--Lllpse0' nmeThis iswhatusually happens with large groups ofpeople under nonnal circumstances. Theinnovatonarethe small percentageoffarmenwhoarequick to accept somethingnew-andwhobecome ita advocates. They will tend to have those qualities identified by Dr. Mbulaasthe ideal peQple to seleet ascontactfarmen.However, thereareothergeneral factorsthat affect a person's readinesstoaccept change. Factorsthatrelate tohowweall,ashuman beings-and asadults-actuallylearnnew information, develop new skills and acquire new attitudes. This is the subject ofthenext chapter. "


Farmers Notes


4TheLearningProcess Asanextension workeryourmostimportant role is as aneducator.The function ofaneducatoristopromote learning. Learning isaboutchange in behaviour,andhelpingtochangethe behaviour of farmers is your business. Therefore,tobeaneffective extensionworker,educatorandchangeagent, it is important tounderst ....md someofthekey factors that affeclleaming. Thefirst part ofthischapterreviewscertaingeneralpointsaboutlearning;thesecondrelatestheseconsiderations to theparticularwaysinwhich adults orientatethemselvestolearning. Both sec tionswillrefer back towhathasjustbeensaidaboutfanners.THECRUCIALCONDITIONSFORLEARNINGThisisnotthe place togodeeply intothepsychology ofleaming whathappensinsideourheadswhenweexperienceachangeinthewayweunderstandordocertainthings.Whatis more important for ourimmediatepurposes is to consider what factors make for successful learning-whatconditionsareusually present whenlearning takes place. Thesearethe factors over which weaseducators have some control.Anunderstandingof them can im prove our ability to promote effective learning. Mostofwhatcan be gleaned from textbooks onthepsychology oflearning can be summarited into six conditions:Inorderto learn, wemust:bemotivated tolearn; ready toadmit cert{lin deficienciesinourcurrentbehaviour;


TheLearningProcess have acleardemonstration ofwhatweare expected tolearn; have opportunities to practisethe new behaviour; receive reinforcement thatwhat we aredoing is 00"",, have available an appropriate set ofleamingmateriab. Letustake upeach oneof thesepoints inturnandrelatethemtowhat is known about thefarmers youare woOOI\&with-and towhatyou can do tomakelure theseconditions arepresentwhen youact asinstructor,demonstrator or discussiongroup leader.MotivationMotivation can be seen alafOlceeither poaitive or negative,either encouraging or dilCOuraging lomeoneto engage inlearning.Soitrelateltomany ofthe issues we were discussing intheprevious chapter: for example,thedesire for anincreased income canbe a positive motivator; conformitytotraditional practices can sometimesbea negative motivator. Thesearethefeelinglandattitudesafannermaybring with him when heattendsoneofyour field days or when he visits your farm. But, of course,these feelingsandattitudes will be alTeeted bywhatyouyourselfdo onthese occasions. Yourappmachto afarmerwill beeithera positiveora negative influence. U youpresentrelevantinformation,if your deli very ilcoherentandemphatic,then the farmer'1interestwillbe aroused andmain tained. Butifwhatis said isnotrelevantto hisneeds and if your deliveryistoocomplicatedordull,thenhis enthusiasmcan beblunted. A politively motivatedfanner can be tome

resistances to leaming-areluctance toadmitto areasorignorance or the need to change habitual waysofdoing things. Imagine, for example, the feelings ofanexperienced extension officer whoattendsa workshop on eJ:tenaionmethods-or who is reading this manualon thesubject! Ifheis being challenged to reconsider his own delivery methods, hemay feel personally slightedand become defensiveabout the wayhe hasgTOwnaccustomedto doing things.So,thiscondition becomes extremelyimportantwhen the learner has already accumulated ell:perience and competencies related towhathe is being asked tounlearn. This.of course, isthesituation you face in your dealingswith farmers. They pos.sesI experienceandskills whiehan be drawn onina positive way.But there will alwaysbethepossibilitythat some farmers will become defensiveandresistantiftheirexisting practices seem threatenedand regarded asinapplicable. In this respect,whetheror not a fanner is prepared to accept extension messageswilldependtoa certain extentonthecredibil ityoflhe senderofthemessage. Again. this refers bnck to whnt was said inthepreviouschapterabout your own standing intheeyes ofthefarmer-andtheextentto which you can enlistthesupport of other highstatusfigures inthecommunity. Here,too,referenceto practices thatneighbouring farmersareadopting will have a powerful influencePresentationItis unlikelythatlearning willbeeffectiveifitisnot guided. ifthelearnerisnotsure aboutobjec:tives--whattheleamingisdesignedtoachieve--orifhedoesnotha ... ea clear picture of what he needsto know or be able to do.Ofprime importance isthat)'our presentationofinformation is accurate. If,for instance, when youaredealing withthetreatmentof grainbefore storing. you getthe recommendedcnemialdosage wrong,thenthe consequences could be serious. The second general point is thatwhatyou say shouldberelevant tothe occasion-lhemessage should be a timely one (concerned with apartieular fanning activitythatthe farmers will &OOn beengaged in);andthe message shouldbe -tailored" totheneedsandinterestsoftheparticularfannersyouareaddressing. There is,for example. nopointintalking in detail aboutthe treatmentofgrnin forstorageifthe fanners hn ... enote ... en harvested. Or, it wouldbeinnppropriate to concentrate. on large cribs if the fanners youarct.alking to grow "


TheLearningProcessrelativelysmallamountsofgrainfor whichanadaptedtraditionalbasketwouldbe perfectlyadequate. Third,yOUTpresentationshouldbecoherentlyorganized-inotherwords,yourmessages should be easilyunderstoodbythefarmers,whetherin term orthelanguageyou use orthelogicalwayinwhich youmakeyour points. Ifyouusea technicaltermwithwhichthefarmersarenotfamiliar,thenyou should go onto explain itineveryday language. Pcr<:enlages, forinstance,maynotmeana great deal-but -twobags outofevery tenisthekindof concretelanguagethatfannerswilleasily grasp. Also,ifyourpresentationofmfonnationisnotwell prepared, then there is ariskthatwhatyousaywillberamblingandconfusing.Finally,thepresentationshould be madeaslivelyaspossible inordertoarouseattentionandinterest.Themore confident youareofyourmaterial,themoreyouarefamiliarwiththecommunity in which you are working,thegreateryourchanceto talk fluently and enliven your delivery withhumourthatyou know will be picked upandappreciatedbyyourlisteners.Allthese points willbetakenupagainandexpandedinthe chapters thatfollow, whichareconcernedwith various methodsofcommunicatingextensionmessages--variouswaysofpromotinglearningaboutagriculturaltopics and techniques.PracticeMostofwhatyou aretryingto getacross is to dowithtechniques, so thelearningwillhavehappened, notwhenyouhavetalkedordemonstrated,butonlywhenthefarmerscanactuallycarryouttherecommendedtasksthemselves.Sotheopportunity for practice becomes oneofthemostcrucial conditions forlearning.Thisis the major themeof thenextchapter,whereweshallconsider different modelsofextension communication. We shall alsobe exploring therelativeadvantagesanddisadvantagesof two-wayasopposed to one-way methodsofcommunication. Sufficient tosay atthispointthat,ifwe rely on only one-waymethods-talkingandshowing-thenthereisariskofinformation over-load.Thereis alsothepossibilitythat,withoutguided prac tice, little ornothingwillbelearnt.Theuse of the word "guided"hereis significant; becauseitis possible for someone,withoutguidanceorsupervision, to go onpractising the samemistake!


Reinforcement Thisis a technicaltermused by educational psychologists; it refers tohowour learning is affected by theway in which people react to ourefforU toleam-orit refers to our own assessment ofhow sueceaafully we aremastering a learningtask.Reinforcement can beseen 81any kind of reward, which il knownas-positive oranykindofpunilhment,which is "negative The rangeofreinforcera can beaswideasthesatisfying experience ofa c::ElT moving forward when firstgear ia auecessfully engaged, orthe disappoinunent of thecar stalling when the wrongcearps in-tothe smile orthe frown onthefaceofthe driving instructor! lfyou oonlider theway in which very young children behave, )'OU will recognize howimportant reinforcement isas8 factor in learn ing. Whenvery young, Ourbehaviourwas bytheway in whichourparenti rewarded or gave -permission" to certainkindsof behaviour. Even when much older,westill tend to seek out thosesituations which give us pleasure andavoid those which cause us pain.Thus,positive reinCorcement isusuallya more powerful Corceforleamingthan negative reinforcement.If farmersenjoy your field days because theyfind you supportiveand encouraging oftheir efforts, thentheirmotivation to attendwill be heightened.Butifthey meet only criticism,thenthey will tend tostay away--unless theirmotivationtolearnis extremely highandthe rewards tobe gained fromlearning aresogreat theywillputup with a diac:ouraging, negative styleof presentation. Whensomeoneis practising a skill,thereisthe eeeond kindof reinforcement operating. The reinforcement is"built-into the process, in thesense that rewardoomes from the of lucceeding. Conversely, negative reinforcement occurs ifthe taskis not being carried out lueceaafully.Thisagainindicatestheimportance of practice in IlUl4tering techniques. Italsopoinuupan importantfactor in instruction. When settingta.sb forthefarmerstoperform, itisvital tomake lurethat they are nottoo complell or diffieult; otherwise they will only uperience the frostrationsoffailure and they will be diac:our-...... Thekey factorin reinforcement is feedback.. Thiseither comes from youasthe trainer, commenting onwhatafanneris doing, oritisthe result ofthefanner"knowing for himself' thatheil right-


TheLearningProcess when things fitneatlyinto placeorthe results of a procedure are goodones. Thebestreinforcer intheOn-Fann GrainStorageProjectia when afannersees how many bagsof maize he has saved by followingthereconunendations!Butmanyfannerswill need a lotof persuasion, guidance andencouragementalongtheway to thatfinal stage. MaterialsTheseare thelearning resoun:ea at your disposal.Inschool they would besuch things 8Stextbooks, maps, chalk, pens andpencils. You havetheequivalent in any pamphlets, handoutsor charts which carry the messages ofa particular project or topic. Usually, you havenocontrol overtheproduction of these; your role isto use theminyour worktomaximumeffect.But,inaneffective extension organization, your experienceofusingsuchresources will be utilized; andanyfeedback should betakenintoaccoWltin modify ingtheeontentandthedesign. Second, you willwant to useothertraining or demonstration aids to increasethe graphic qualityof your presentations.As was saidinChapterOne, visualimpact is an important factorinlearning. AndChapterEleven reviewsthecharacteristicsandapplicationsofthemain types ofaidsthatyoumighthave available-

ADULTSASLEARNERS An IllustrationA group of extension staff. were attendi1l. a workshop on extell$ion methods. The topic was 'Adult Learning.Instead of thema lecture onthe subject, the workshop leader askedtheparticipants to engage in ashort exercise. He divided them into three froups.Tlu! first grau;was going to explore the concept"student;tlu! second, Mteaclu!r ;andthethirdgroup, "adult".Heasked each individlUll to findan object--1ln:;object-whichfwd!1lUllitks, characteristics, which could be asSOCI atedwitheither student", "teacher" or"adult". They hadten minutes for tlu!search. The object ho.d to be one they could carry back to the group. When all tlu!participants were backinthe circle, they each in turn showedwhatthey hadfound;and they "explained" it to the restof the group. Leader: "Kamau, I seethatyou haueaplantof some kind--tell usaboutit."&mau: "Well, I ho.vejust up rooted this {rom theshambo outside.And in thislu!at it will soonwither-as you see, it isbeginning to droop already. I this, because I think a studentisuery muchlikea young plant. In order tolearn-togrowinknowledgeand skills-itneeds core{ul treatmenJ. It needs to beplaced inthe right kind ofenuironment.lt needs the feeding tootcomes {rom tlu!soil and watering. Itneeds the attentionof anexpert gar dener/teacher. While Kamau is talking, the leader writesuponthe board the image, "Young plant". Alongside it, he writesupthe key qualities associated with this concept of "student": "Needs careful treatment inorder to learn; needs theright enuiron mentandthe nourishmento{a knowledgeable teacher." Leader: "And now Pamela. I can't quite seewhatyou ooue there.Butyou were one oftlu! group looking for "teachers".So, w1w.t doyou havetoshow us?" Pamela: "I{ I switchhimon, perhaps youwill see him better. You see? He is atorch." Leader: "And why did you choose atorch to represent "teaclu!r"? Pamela: "It's the jobofthe teacher tothrow lightonthings.lllumination--that's w1w.tlearningis all about. Buta "


TheLearningProcess tecu:hr needstobe plugged intosome power source. That's who.t the battery standsfor.A tecu:her must get his powerorhis kMwledgefrom somewhre.lt might befrom booksorit mightbefrom his experience ina particular field. But batteries need recho.rging every sooften-l guess thatiswhywe are attending this workshoprThe image ofthe torch goes up on the board-and the qualities attributed to itandrelated to th roleofa teacher: -Giver of light; sourceofillumination; knowledgeable, experienced, skilled; sometimes in need of recharging,uader:ut's take oneofthe -adultsnow. What have you gotfor uS,Okoth?Okoth: -Actually,l found the task very easy! I didn't ho.ve to move from the roomtofind my object. In fact, it was herein my pocket. -Responsibility is what I wantto illustrate. AndI don't think I could do better than my bunchofkeys. They indicate thatI, (1$ anadult,amableand licensed to ride a motorcycle. That I am mature enough toho.vea houseand thtcare ofa family. There are, yousee,a numberofkeys on this ring-allsayiTlll that I have already openedand walked throughanumberofdifferentdoors.Respon sibility, experience, kMwledge,skill-this iswhat itmeans tobean adult. One by olle the images arecallected, until the three clusters ofthemandtheir associated qualities are arrayed across the board: For Stucknt: a slTUlll plant, needing Murishment; an empty glass, waitingtobe filled;ablackboard, which is being writtenon.For Tecu:her: a rorch,tho.t throws light on things; a portable radio, tho.t sends messages; a book, that is a sourceof knowledge. ForAdult: two bunchs ofkeys, representing responsibilities, knowledge and experience; a chequebook, representing the same things.ChtJplO.


Pause for awhile and think about the implications of these images and whatthey indicate about the respective rolesofteachers, studentsand adults: What asswnptions arebeingmadeaboutthe processes ofteaching andlearning? HowcompatiblearetherolesoC"teacher"and"student" as perceivedby thisgroup oC extensionofficers? Howcompatible are therolesoC"adult"and "student"? What is likelytohappenwhenthe"adult"becomesa"student"'?Allthe images related to students by the extension officers were of someone who is essentially passive: someone who is waiting to Ire nurturedby a teacher and filled with knowledge.Allthe imagesforteacher were active and potent ones: someone whobrings light, someone who is knowledgeable and experienced, someonein control of the learning process. Allthe imagesofadult were alsoof someone whois active and potent: mature, experienced andknowledgeable-andalso accus tomed to being in control over certain aspecUl of his life. The images and qualities arrayed across the board added uptoa verytraditional-andratherlimited-pictureofwhat learning and teaching are about. The workshop participants saw educationasessentially a processofonewhoknows,transmittinghis knowledgetoone who does not know. In termsoftraditional attitudestoschooling, there isa compatibility between the group's images ofstudentandteacher. Thestudentis a receptacle waiting patientlytobefilled, aplantwaitingforthe nourishment neededfor iUl growth.The teacher is bothanauthorityandinauthority. This modelofeducation is oneofdependency. However, thereisnot a compatibility between the imagesforstudentand thoseforadult. The participants associated adult with qualities todo with experience, maturity, knowledge and responsi bility. Not a problem when the adult becomes ateacher-buta possible sourceoftension when theadultbecomes a student.lftheeducational process isasthe workshop participants saw it, then the adultisbeing askedtoreturntoa childlike situation whenheisputinthe role of aI earner. "


TheLearningProcessIftheadultlearneris treated in a chJldlike way, then, unless he is prepared tosetaside hisexperience-hisbeing accustomedtomaking decisionsforhimself-therecould well be problems for the personwhotries to become his teacher. Especially if thatperson is younger, and in certain respects less experienced,thanthe one he is "teaching". Somuch of our thinking about education and training is basedonourexperienceofwhenwereceived mostofit-whenwewere young.So often the failuresofadult education projects canbeascribedtothewayin which the methodsofpromoting learningarethose more suitable for young childreninschool. The methodsdonot matchthe maturityandexperience and sense of responsibilityofthe learners. Therefore,itmight be usefulifwereflect for a while on the key differences between the child and theadultlearner. Whenwehave donethat,wecangoon toconsiderwhich educational methods bestsuitthe situation of the adultfannerwhen,inour extension methods,weputhim in the situationofbeing a learner. Therearethree fundamental ways in which adult learners differ from children. They differin tenns oftheir. SELF-CONCEPTEXPERIENCEORIENTATIONTO LEARNIN"G Let us lookatthese three characteristicsintum:Self-conceptWecansaythata person passes into adulthood when he becomes psychologicallyindependent-whenhe becomes self-directing. The self-concept ofachild-theway he seeshimself-isofbeing a dependent being. Heisdependent on hisparentsfirst andotheradults later, for protection,foodand for receiving the by which we liveinany particular society. Butaschildren move towards adulthood, they become increasingly aware of being ca pableofmaking decisionsforthemselves-whetherriding a motor cycle, building a home or planning what crops to plant. And adults experiencetheneed for others to see themascapable of self-direction. We resent beingputinto situationsthatviolate our self-concept ofmaturity-such as being treated witha lackofrespect,being talked down to, being treated like children.


So,teaching adults callsforasensitivitytowardsthepersonwho, because heisanadult, has becomeaccustomedtomaking hisown decisions,accustomedto exercising acertainmeasureofcontroloverhisownlife. Experience The second major difference between adults and children is in the degree ofexperience they have 8teumulated. Adults aremore experienced simply because they have lived longer! Whereas when we 8sk a thild who he is, he will usually describe his identity in tenns ofhis parents, his school orwhere he lives,anadultwilldefine himaelfin termsofhis experience. Anadult's self-identity is derived fromwhathehasdone. Therefore, we adults become very protective ofour experience; and wheneverwefind people ignoringordevaluing it,wefeel a kindofrejection and frustration.Theconsequenceforusasteachersof adults isthatweshould take everyopportunityto waw onandutilizethe experience ofthosewe are teaching.OrientationtoLearningInmany aspects oflife, a youth thinks mainly of the present. He looks for immediate satisfactions; he findsithardtowait a long time for the rewards for his efforts.Anadult becomes much more accustomed topostponing his satisfactions and rewards. However, with regard tolearning, the time perspectiveofyoung people and adults is reversed. Children are conditioned to learning thingsthatdo not havean immediate application. A good dealofwhattheylearnatschoolisaccumulated in a reservoirofknowledge and skillsthatwill---or may---be useful inlaterlife.Anadult's orientation to learning, however, is likely to be different. He will want to beabletoapply his learningtohis immediate concerns. Like the imageofthe adultinthe illustration, he will wanttoturnthekey-he will wanttoapply his learningtohis current concerns and tasks.Therefore,itisimportantinOUf eJ:tensionwOl:'k thatwefocusontheinterestsandproblemsthatthefarmersbringwiththemtoourdiscussionsandGelddays.Thefarmerswhoattendourdemonstrations,wholistento us onour rounds of visiting, areadults as wellas OUI:' "students", Because oftheirprevious eltperience ofschooling-maybebecauseoftheirattitudestowards any kindofauthority ofthemmaynot eltpect tohavetheirown eltperience takenintoaccountintheprocessesof


TheLearningProcesslearning.ButiCthisinvolvementdoesnothappen,thentheirell:pertisewillbebelittled-andamarveUousopportu.nitywillbelostCormakingtbelearningnotonly as relevantaspossible,butalsoa meaWiwherebytheyincrease in confidenceanddevelopasenseoCindependenceandselfreliance.Ouranalysis of the characteristicsofmaturelearnershassofar been restricted to three broad aspects. However, thereare other factors thatweneed to take into account.. -

IMPUCATIONSDrawingon what has been saidinthis and the previous chapter, what are the main implicationsofthe farmers' prior experience, knowledge and attitudes for your workinfacilitating their learning of new teclmiques and procedures? Perceptions The farmers will see all the new infonnation you communicate through the oftheir existing experience and knowledge-just as weal!do.Your messages can therefore become easily distorted.Constantfeedback from them is vital if you an! tokeepaliveto what the farmers are,orare oot, learniog.ConfidenceAlltoooften-despitetheir actual expertiseasfanners-theymaytooreadily believethatthey have little to offer(apartfromques tions)thatis relevant and constructivetowhatever subjectisunder discussion. Itisimportanttohelp them seethatthis is not the case; because, unless the new learning is linked to what they already know and do,it will notbeabsorbed.Itwill not make a great impact ontheirattitudesandbehaviour. Youshould always explore with thefarmers what they alreadyknow aboutasubjectbeforeembarking00anypresentationof Dew information. Unlearning" Itmaybethatnot all itemsinthe package of knowledge and expertise thatthefanners carry with them are effective in the changing world of modem agriculturalproduction-orinkeeping with the particular recommendationsofthe projects with which youareconcerned. .Forinstance,ifa farmer is going to harvest hismaize early,toreduce the damage caused by pests when the maize isleft.inthe fieldtodry, thenitisnogoodhis puttingthatmaizeinstoragestructuresthatdonot allow the cobs to dryrapidly.Thatway, more damage will bedone. The moisture stillinthe maize will cause moulds.Tobenefit from early harvesting he needstoadapt the storage structures accordingtothe recommendationsofthe project.Toaccept onlypartofthe management package is to run the risk of solving one problem onlyto cause another.


TheLearningProcess Experienceshowl thatwhentrying tofacilitate adult leamingthere is oft.enas muth tobedone aslearrun,.Because people have110much emotional capital invested intheir existing knowledgeand experience. intheircustomary ways of doingthings.,tochallenge t.hi.1mowledge, experienceandCUltom. i,the tric:kiestjob forthe eztensiOD worker. Andlittle canu.sually be achievedthrough a.imp!epleatochange.It isimportaDt to identifyaspreciselyaspouible what are the blocks tochaor.and whatare the bases of en.tinr attitudes and practices.ThemostUkely "unfreezin'"methodswillnotbeta.lk butdemonstratioD and the consequences ofe mpl_from which Carmencandrawtheirownconclusions.Ezperieoceas a LearningResourceThepackage ofknowledgeand skills thatthe fannel"ll already possess is ilseIr 8rich resource for learning. lDplanning anddeliveringyourextension meuagea, youshouldstartfromwhere yourfarmersare.U youutilizetheir ell:perieoce, youwill ensure thatyourmessages are relevant to their Deeds and intet'ests. You mny well learnfrom themlomenewideasthatwillhelpyou to modifyyourown knowledge andyour teaching ofit. Individual fanners will pouellS packages onrnowledge andexperi ence of varyingaiu andweight. Someofthe farmers willbewhatwe call "progreuive-;some will not. Some willbeskilledin buildingstructures:others will beknowledgeable about thetreabnent of plant di .... a .... s. To draw onthisvaried storecanenrich the learning forthe whole group. Butit makes the business of starting from where the farmenare-a rathercomplicated matter. Rather thanrelyinr onyourown presentationorin/orma tion anddemonstraUon of skills, youshould, u mucb aspossible, promote participatory methodsof learninrwhieb allowforthevariedinputsand responses ofthefarmers themselves. Approacbes toLearningMost ofyour fannen will havehadlimited formal schooling andtheirapproachestolearning will not be those found in ins,titutionseMpie,"


ofeducationortraining.They willhave beeome accustomedto focusing on immediate andpractical issues. Youshouldavoid trying topromote learning that relies heavily on memorization. You should seize any chance to reinforce the learning of new ideasand procedures by giving opportunities for applicationand practice. Whetherwe consider the general principlesthat underlie effective learningorwhether we focus on theparticularorientations tolearningof adult4. weare ledtoconcludethatto maximize theactiveparticipationoffannersinthelearning process isthemost effective waytoproceed.What oftenstands in the wayof doingthisare traditionalattitudestoeducationand tTaining, that put toomuchfaithin one-way communication processes. Tohelp in thedevelopmentof progressivefarmers weDeedtobe progressiveeducators. WeDeedtodevelopforourselvesflexible, pllTticipatory extensionmethodswhichnot onlyrespect the"adultness"offarmersbutalsopromotetheirlearningmuchmoreeffectivelythan rigid, transmittalmethodsorcommunication.The difference between participatory and transmitl..al modes of extension work is the themeofthenextchapter. "


TheLearningProcess Clulptu4 Notes


5ModelsofExtensionWorkTHREEMODESOF COl\IMUNICATION AnillustrationAn extension worker wns holdingCI field day (or farmers on the subftct ofearly haroesting of maize. The locatinn Chiefhad agreed to attend, and he began theproceedings by outlining the mainobjectilJesof the On-Farm Grain Storage Project. He stressed the national importance of reducing post-harvest losses.WhentheChie! ho.d coru::ludedhis speech, the extension worker askedthefarmers about the losses they themsclus were experiencing. He encouraged themtotolk about the reasons (or sw:h losses.After a short time he was able to summarize by replaying to themthe list they 1uJd themselves produced: birds, weevils, other insects, rats and moulds.But, listening to their comments, he hadpickedupthatIhefarmers seemed unaware ofthe seriousness ofthe losses.Sohe decided toconduct a little experiment. Hehadbrought with him samplesofhealthy andcontaminated maize.Hegot a fewofthe farmersto compare the lJolumes, where the difference was not all that great.Hethen asked the farmersto weigh the same samples. Their surprise at the difference was dramatic.Fromthisbriefillustrationwecan derive certain basic pointsaboutcommunication in educational situations. Any episode of extensiontrainingwillhavethreekey elements:


ModelsofExtensionWorkSUBJECTEDUCATOR LEARNERSTheSubject iswhat is being learned; and in this case it wasinfonnationabout pMt-harvestgrain losses.Itcanrangefrom t.he ideasin a person'sheadtosomethingconcrete, like amoisturet.cstingmachine.TheEducatormay be thoroughly familiar withthematerial-anexpertor specialist in aparticular range of subjectmatter.And inthislies one recurring problem found in allkindsofeducationalcommunication: docstheexperttryto tellthelearnersall he knows. or does heletthemdiscover some ofitfor themselves?Thisquestion is crucial inmakingassessmentsoftherelative effectivenessofvarious extension methods,anditwill be cltplored inthefollowing chapterswhich review the different methods insomedetail.Another consideration will bewhether the e:w;tension worker is familiar enough with a range ofmethodstoenable him to make a choice-and to e:w;tcnd your rangeof choice is a key objective ofthismanual.Afurtherissuewillbetheattitudeof the workers towardsthefarmers-whetherhe isreadyto see themas sources ofknowledgeand skill that can bedrawnon in theeducational process. Intheillustration.the e:w;t.ension worker washappytodothisand, even though he could easily have listedthevarious reasons forgrainlosses e:w;perienced by thefanners,hepreferredtodrawthemout for discussion. The Learners may be totallyunfamiliarwiththematerial.asfarmers wouldbewhen seeing amodemcrib forthefirst time, or theymayalready have some knowledge of it-as intheillustra tion, where they know for themselveswhatwas causingtheirlosses of maize. The questionthenarisesas to whetherthesamemethod will be effective whetherthe farmers knowordonotknow somethingaboutthematerial-andwhat can be doneifsome of the group knowandsome do not? Intheirdifferent ways, eachofthethreefactors will determinethe orany episode of e:w;tension communication;andwecan characterize the main kindsofepisode by consideringhowthe


, factorscaninteractwitheach other. Fromtheillustration we canidentifythreedifferentinteractivepatternsin operation; andwecan givethemthenames;PRESENTATIONDISCUSSIONACTIONItcanbearguedthatthesearcthe only modes of communicationthatarepossible;andthatall educational.trainingor extensionmethodscanbe identifiedasbelonging to one orotherortne three. Letus identify each intum,bydrawingonthe opening iIlugulItion,andby constructing a diagram which characterizes theparticularinteractivepattern.PresentationInthefirstphaseof theillustratedfield day,theChieftakesontherole of educator.Thepresentationmodeofcommunication whichheadoptsis perhaps theone most commonly used in educationalinstitutions.Inthismode,everybit ofinfonnation received by thelearnersis throughthe mindof he educator-anddeliveredthroughhismouthorthrough his elec tronic device.Theeducatordoes some thinkingaboutthesubject (1). Hepackagesitin anappropriate format for the learners, decides onthebest order inwhich topresent it and,perhaps.makessome notes (2). "


ModelsofExtension WorkHethen delivers his mawrial to thelearners; whoaTerelatively passive, evenifatlentive, receiver;; ofhis messages (3). The absence of a line betweenthelearnersandthe subject symbolizesthattheonly contact the learners have withtheactualmaterial being !.aught isthroughthefilter oftheeducator.Theextension methods which correspond to thismodeaTetalks (either fannal lectur(l!:l or infonnal presentations), filmorvideo shows, radio programmes and poster campaigns.DiscussionTheextension worker chose nottobegin with a talk,butmoved into a dialogue with the farmers.Whathe did will help ustoidentifythecommunication modewearecallingdiscussion.Thesubject is usually introduced and guided bytheeducator{lj.However, for a discussionto be effective,itis necessarythatthelearners,aswellasthe educator, have some familiarity with the topic (2).Inthis example,theknowledge would have come from direct experience;but the educator is also likelytohave gleaned a good dealof his knowledge from lectures andbooks.Thelearnersengage withtheeducatorandwith eachotherintheprocessofissue raising, opinion-stating, debating, analyzingandconcluding (3).The learning comes fromtheinterchangeandtheresultingmodi fication of ideas.


Themethodsthat correspond tothismodeareanykindoffonnalorinfonnaldiscussion session held withfannerson such occa sions asfield days-or within women's groupsor4Kdub8. Action The final phase oftheillustration isanexampleofthecommuni cation mode in whichlearningis action-based. Here,theeducator's role is primarily one of choosinganactivity forthelearnersto engage in,andthen Mmanaging'" thatactivity(1).Thelearnersengage directly withthe subject matter-which can bea simple activity like using ahandsheller, or a complicated one like conducting a survey. Theylearnthroughtheexperience.asthey explore, practise, discover or problem solve (2). Often insuchsituationstheeducator facesaninterestingchoice, symbolized bythedotted line. Does heremsinoutsidetheactionasmanager-onlyinterveningifthelearnersneedhis guidance ordoesheengsgeintheexperimentationwiththegroup? (3). The methodsthatmakeuptheaction-based modeofcommunica tionareanykindofexperimentationorpractice engaged in di rectly bythelearners. Though eachofthesethreecommunication modes do havetheirdistinctive characteristics--and atanymomentofanextension activityitis possible todearlyidentify which one isoperative-nevertheless,anyextensioneventis likely to include morethanone mode.Intheillustration,sswe have seen,thesession begins with s presentation, moves into discussion and concludes with action.


ModelsofExtension lVork And usually a discussion is preceded by some kindof introductory presentation.Also.the signilicance ofaction-basedlearningisusuallyonlybroughtOlltin a follow-up discussion.A goodul.ension worker t'an s ..itch betweenthe model:good e .. tenslOn work employs a mill ofpresentations. diSCUSSIOnsand action. Tousea varietyofmethodsis to stimulate interest.mam tain attention andmaximize theopportunitie1i forlearnmg. CHOOSU-;G THE MODE Themost. vit.alfaet.or in deciding which mode touse will beoureducational objectives. These objectives will relateto the three main kinds of elpcricnce or sI'heresorleamingthathavebeendiscussed in Chapter Two: KNOWLEDGE SKILLS ATTITUDESIn our working relationships with farmers.we will be concernedtoincrease knowledge, develop skills or influence aUitudcs. [tisnotaneasy t.3sk to work out how thesethrcesphcres relate to each othcr-what therelationshipisbetween changes in knowledgeandchangcsin attitude-and howchangcs in both affectchangcsin behaviour. How, forinstance, can wecxplainthesmokerwho knows the waycigarettes can damage his healthandyethedoesn't stop smoking? How can weexplainthesmokerwho knowsthe risks, feelsguilty abouttheanti-social aspects ofsmoking,andstillhe doesn't stop? How can weexplainthefarmerwho knowsthe advantages ofadoptinga certain agriculturalpracticeandyethedoesn'tdo it? The wayanindividual will respondtoalearningsituationisnotpredictable;his response will dependona complexof personality, cultural andenvirorunental pressures, as exploredinChapter Thrt'e. It is this unpredictability thatmakesabusineulikeextension more a sensitivean thana systematic: science. However,thisisnottosaythatwe shouldleave everythingto intuitionorreactionsofthemoment. Goodextension workusuallydependson carefulplanning.Themore we knowaboutthe fann ersinourcommunity,themore we know howtheyarelikely to respondunder certaincircumstances-the more wepreparefor a


particulareducational activity-thebetter equippedweare tocope whenthe unexpected happens. Certainly,itwillbe importantto keep in mind the three main spheresofleamingwheneverweareplanning any kind of extcn sion activity.Itwill always becrucialtoaskourselveswhether our objectives relate toknowledgeacquisitionorskilldevelop'mentorattitudeformation.Becausethisdistinction, more thananythingelse, will determinewhatour extensionmethodswill be.So,letusimagine afewdifTerentsoonarios and consider how we would decide which of the three modesofcommunication would be dominantin each case: FirstScenario:A training session for fundisor ca!"JIcnters; Objective-thatthey willbeable to adapttraditional baskcts SO thattheyaresuitableforrapid drying of maizeandsafe from attackbyroodents.Weareinthespheres ofknowledgeandskill.Themost appropriate modes wouldbepresentationin the fonn of plans. diagramsanddemonstrationofconstruction proce dures-followedbyactioninthefonn of practice. Action-based learning wouldbethemost important, becauseitisnot possible to develop skills merelybyreading about them or watching a demonstration. Second Scenario:Afield dayforfanners;Objective-thattheyknow whenandhowtoshellandtreatmaize readyfor storage. Again,weareinthespheres ofknowledgeandskill.And, again, thereis boundtobea phase of demonstrationinthe presentation mode;butitwouldbeimportanttogive plenty of opportunity foraction-based the fann ers totryoutthe procedures ofshelling,dusting thegrain with insecticide and making surethatitis mixed properly withthe grain.


Mrxklsof ExtensionWorkAlso,wemay well have to take accountortneattitudesphere.!fsomeorthefanners,forinstance,aTCconcemedabouthowthe taste ofthemaize may be affectedorareworriedaboutpossibleskindamagefromtheinsecticide-suchconcerns may only be identifiedifthey feel freetoquestion and debate with us. There fore,discussionshould be facilitated inorderto expose such issues anddealwiththem. Otherwise, thefannersmay politely watchourdemonstration, carry outthe procedures correctlyduringthefield day,butnotadoptthemintheirown compounds. Third Scenario:a women's group;Objective-to enlist theirsupportfortherecommended post-harvestmanagement procedures. Here, wemaywell be workingmainlyinthesphereofattitudes.Whatwillbe important will betodrawoutthewomen's opinionsaboutthe project's messages,toidentify any constraintsoperat ingagainsttheir willingness to adopt therecommendationssuchasthesituationwheretheirhusbandsare the ones who tendtomake the decisionaboutany kind of financial outlay. Only throughdiscussioDcan the crocial issuesbeidentified, problems exposedandpossible solutions or proposals suggested.Inallthreeofthe examplesthere is anemphasisonthemore participatory modes of discussionandaction-based learning.Thatthisshouldbesoseems obvious whenweconsidertheobjectivesinthewaywehave done. We onlylearnhow todosomething bydoingit.Ourattitudes are influencedmuchmorepowerfullywhenwetestthemoutindebatewithotherpeople.Fanning is a practical activity; extension isaboutinfluencing practice.So,intheory,wewouldnotexpect extension worktobemainlytakenup withtalking.Yet in reality thisiswhatit often is-fielddays canlastfor three or morehourswith two-thirds ofthetime givenupto speeches. Why is this? Especially whenthereis so much well-known evidencethattheone-way communication oftalkingandlecturingis so ineffectiveinpromoting learning? When,aswehave discussed, experienced


adultlearners learnbestwhen their experience is utilized andtheir is respected by involvingthemin debate and experimentation?Perhapsoneoftheanswers is that wehave been so conditionedtoone-way communication techniques fromourearly experiencesofschooling.Webecame accusl.omed1.0sitting at the of the teacher. Also, especially in Third World countries, anyoneina teaching role seems1.0command great respect. This isfine-aslongasitdoesnotmeanthat such a figure should neverbechallenged orthat the learners should neverbeina positiontotaketheirown initiatives intheeducational process. And when the extension activitiesare integrated with administrative and political structures andinvolve local administral.ors, officinls and politicians,thereis a tendency to adoptthespcech-mnking ap proaches commonly used in bara7:as. Tomeet educational objectives most effectively and1.0 preserve the rather than the natureofextension. we need to uti!i7:ea varietyofparticipatory, discussion-based, action-based methodsaswellasthemore presenta tion methods.Wewill see that each of the three mainmodes of communication will have its particular applicationsandadvan tages. Thenextfewchapters ofthismanualwillbeexploring these applications andadvantages-andolTering suggestionsformak ingthemostofeachofthe common extension methods. "


Mocklsof Extensionlfork ClwopUT 5Notes


I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I6VisitingaFarm WorkingwithintheT&Vsystem, farm visitsare madeaccordingtoa regularsc:hedule. Visiting-talkingwitha singlefanneror ....i.lh a contactfarmerandhisimmediateneighbours-isthekeyelementinthe system. The 8Cheduling makesforthemosteffectiveandefficient use ofyour time. Effective,inthatallpartiescon cerned know whenthe visits willtakeplaceandtheycanthereforebe planned for. Efficient,inthatyourtime allocationcan bespread aeron thefarmersonyourlistaccording to total numbersand geographical spread.Since the farmeralsoknowsyourrortnightl), schedule, he will be expectingyou-andthe programmingavoids the time wasting thatoccurs when visits aremadeandnobody is then tomeetyou. PLANNING AVISITThe most importantelementinplanningforanyactivity is kno....inJ:your objective.Everyfarm visitshouldhavea purpose.This means lhalyou should know whatyou hope to achieve in \;siting a particularfarmer. Just as important:thefarmershouldalsokno ... the putpOIoll of each ofyourvisits. Workincacrording to Jourfortnight.lylChedule. you can always endone visitbyestablishingwhatwill bethe-agendaor -targetfor the next. And, if youkeep adequstenotesand records, you ... ;11 be ableto assemble any neceuary informationor equipment youneed,wellinadvanceofeachvisit.If.for instance, youaregoingto help ararmershelland trt'at his maize thsthasbeendryinginhis crib toasale 13'.will have checked. that the necessaryequipmentwill be at hand:thedusting


VisitingaFarmpowder, asheetfor spreading on the ground, a shovel, sacks for thegraingoing into the store. And you will be carrying a hand sheller to show him; and also the relevant pamphlet, intherightlanguage,that illustrates the processes. On thelastvisit, you notedthatthefannerclaimedthathe was having difficultyin obtaining insecticides in his localitY---60 youchecked up onthesituation and you will be able toinfonn him where such suppliesarenowavailable.I'tIEETINGTHEF ARl\IER When you meet the fanner, talk withhim, notathim. This is animportantdifference. To talk with someone is to engage in a two way conversation.Youdiscover his concerns.learnabout his experience, identify whathelp he needs from you.Butifyou talk athim moat ofthe time, his attention might wander, hisresentmentmay build up, or he might become defensive and withdrawn. How you frame your question is a crucial issue. The important distinction is between closedandopenquestions. Closed ques tions can seem rather interrogating and produce brief or onlyYes!Noanswers. Open questions seem more respectful and usually produce fuller answers. For example, if you ask simply,"Doyou treat your maize with a Blue Cross powder before maygetan evasive answer, becauseitcansound like a "checking-up" question.Butifyou ask, "What do you think about the waysoftreatingmaizeforstoring?"-youareinviting him,onequaltenns,todiscuss thematterwith you. Notjustthestructureofyour sentencesbutalso the tone in which theyaredelivered is vital in establishing agoodrelationshipputting someoneatease, winning confidence and encouraging an expression of views and concerns. Herewearetouchingon certain fundamental points about effective interpersonal communication, so perhapsweshould pause and explore them in more detail.RELATINGWhenever we talk with someonewehave a choice between fivelinesofcommunication.Theseare set outonthe next page. Let uslookateachinturnandconsider when and when not touse them.I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I


LINES OFCOMMUNICATIONDIRECTING"MakeaUTeyou miK thepowder thoroughly andevenly,"No,not like that!I've,hownyou already! NURnJRING"You havemade averygoodjob ofthat erib-nzuri una!" "Letmeshowyouhowit is done!" COMPlJl1NG How long havethe eobsbeen inthe erib?" "[ willeanagain intwoweekstime." REACTING "'knowyouhave had, lotof uperienee ofdoingthis, SO pleaseshowme,"I'm getting fedup withthis job.Noone want.s to listen to me!"VENTING"Great! I'm enjGying this. Let's have another go!""Al:t.ual1y, I couldn't eareleIS whetheryou lislen tomeornoLI justwant togetlJlia overquickly andf:llt home!"DirectingThedirectingline isused whenwearetellingsomeonewhattodo. We are in control andfeel freeto giveanorderormakea criticism.Thetwoexamplesshow a positiveandanegative use oftheline.Ifyouaregiving ademonstrationthensuch words comenaturally,withoutanauthoritariantone,andtheywillnot causeoffence.Nurturing Weusethenurturinglinewhenwe are showingour concern for someone.It isas ifwe are intheroleofa"nurturingparent"expressingcareorlooking after someone's interests. Comparedwiththerelativecoldnessofdirecting,thetoneofnurturingiswarm and encouraging-asinthefirstexample.Butwecansometimesoverdothe "parenting"approach andfallintoapatronizingtone-ordosomethingfor peoplewhentheyare "


VisitingaFarm "perfectly capableofdoingit themselves. The riskforanykind of teacher isthathe is tempted toshow off his own knowledgeandskills ratherthan developtheknowledgeandskills ofthepersonheis supposed tobe teaching. This isto overuse the modeofcommunication-andcreate dependenceratherthanindepend ence.ComputingThecomputing Ii ne isan interchange of messageswi thout any kind of emotional loading.Itis a straightforward exchange ofinfonna tion. When the concern is thetaskitself-ratherthanwhateither of the partiesfeelabout it-this isthelinethatis operative. The tone is thereforeneutralor "busi nesslike".The imageofa computer isapt because computers process informationwithoutanyemotion coming into the communication! However,thisline is not wholly positive.Ifyou overuse it. you risk becoming dull and boring, Imaginewhatitwouldbelike to spend a lot of time with someone who behaves onlylike a computer!ReactingWhenwe are "reacting",weareadaptingourbehaviour in some way accordingtothepeoplewearewith-orinline withthecircumstances. Ontheone hand, a Reactor is a polite person, respectful of the wishesofothers. Ontheotherhand,theReactor canbereacting in a negative way, by complaining or whining.Thedifference,ifwe take examples of reacting behaviourinchildren, is betweenthechild who sits still when hisparentssaythatheshould (usingthe directingline}-and thechild who criesorstampshis feet. In bot!'! cases,thebehaviour isinreactiontothe behaviourorthe assumed wishesofsomeone else.VentingThe venting lineisan unedited, spontaneous expressionoffeelingsofpleasureordispleasure.Itistheopposite of reacting inthattheexpression is completely without regardforwhatothers may think.Wecommonly see such venting behaviour in very young children, before they havelearntthe need to adapttotheinfluences of other people around them.Ifababyishungryit will cry-whereveritis.Itisonly later thatwebegin to control our urgestoexpress ourselves accordingtoour interpretations ofwhatother peoplewillthinkor feel aboutwhatwedo.


Like allthe other lines, venting has itspositiveand its negative aspects,Itwould be much more fun 10 spendaneveningoutwith a spontaneous Ventor thanwith anyotherofthe characters in this wewould have10be prepart'd to witness some st'lfish and irresponsible behaviourattimes! Wheneverweinteract with someone else,we have a choiceaboutwhichofthesecommunication lines to usc.All have tht'ir positive and negalive effects. Thekey factor isourdecisionaboutwhich is appropriateinanygiven situation. For example,ifafanneris clearlyupsetahoutthesickness of his cattle, then we wouldbesensible to recognize his emot.ions first. We mightonly be able toget into communication with himifweadoptthenurturinglinc-itwould not bethetime to launchstraight into thecomputer lineof giving him infonnation about insecticides forthe treatment of his maize. However,ifwehaverelevantinfonna lion aboutthetreatmentofhis cattle,thenhemight soon be ready to engageonthatline withus-about,first,theproblemofhiscattleand, second, even his maize. Thereare, then,twobasicskillsinestablishingarelationship:oanabilitytouseallfivelinesofcommunication;oa sel1Sitivity towhichisthemostappropriateonetouseonanyparticularoccasion.Youmightlinditinterestingand revealing 10 tryout your own ability 10 operate in each of these lines-bccause each one ofusfinds someeasier to usethanothers.Persuadea friend or colleaguetoengage inanexperiment with you. Hold a conversation where you both deliberately takeupall five lines intum.Youwill soon discover your ownstrengthsandweaknesses.Thenrellect on your relationships withfannersandtry to identifytheusualapproaches you take.Effectivecommunicatorshavethefacilitytopluginandchange between thefivelineslikeafastandnimbletell'phone switchboard operator!To decide which ofthelinestouse with anyparticularfanner, you need to know him fairlywell-andtosense specificconct'rIls on any one occasion.Thismeansthatyou will needto be skilfulatthereceivingend ofthecommunication modelwediscussed in Chap ter One.Youneed to be a good listener aswellasa good talker. If. for example, you discover a fanner is troubledaboutschool fees,


EW: Farmer:VisitingaFarm then, carefully.thetopic can beturnedtohow this problemmight be solved by having afew extra bags of maize forsale-ifhefollows your post-harvest recommendations.PRACTlSINGSKILLS Before you leave a fanner's compound.makesurehe understands whatyou have been discussing anddemonstrating. The bestway lo besure-ifthe opportunity is there-is lo seehow hehimself carries outa task.Ifthe fannerdoes notdoitcorrectly, then you havenot communicaU!d. Akey quality is preparedtorepeata demonstrationand keeping calmifthefarmerseemsslowatpicking things up.Butyou may well findthatifyou encourage afannerto express his own views,ifyou observewhatheisdoing and explore his reasons, you willlearnsome very usefulinfonnationyourself. Andifa farmer disagrees withwhatyouaresaying,trynottochallenge him,but take thechanceofexploring why he thinks the way he does. He may have very good reasons for doingthingshis way. For example, he may have lost his trustbecauseofaprevious pieceolbadadvice.Or,from experience, hemayhave a muchbetter understandingofwhatcan be achieved with hisparticularsoilsandconditions.Whatfollows are two contrasting scenarios. Oneofthemis much more productivethantheother.Theyillustratehowimportantitistochoose theappropriatelineof communicationifwewish commu nication loproceed harmoniouslyandpurposefully:FirstScenario 'Wo, I'm TWtinterested in growing hybrid maize. It's not suitable {or this locality. it will give youamuch greater yield. You willbemaRing abig mistake i{you don't. (Directing line) Silence.End o{ conversation on the topic.SecondScenarioFarmer: EW: CiI4plu6 "No, I'm TWtinterested in growing hybrid maize. It's not suitable {or this locality. interestedin your uiews on this. Tellme why you think this way. (Computer line)


Farmer:EW;'Well. I think that hybrid varieties are (ine (or areas where the weather is stable. Buti(there is a periodo( heavy rains andflooding. oraperiodo(drought, then the local maize will cope better. In such circumstances, I could lose the wholeo(my cropi(I plant hybrid. And, asyfJU saw last year, there was terrible flooding here. I would haue lost allmymaize. Every (ouror (iueyears we seemtohave floodS-

VisitingaFarm "UIE ADVANTAGEOF FAR.l\t VISITSThe one-toone meetingsonyour round of visiting can achieve a number of benefits:oAcquiring firsthand infonnation abouttheproblems being facedby fanners in your area: o ES18blishing good relationships; o Publicizing more formalandgroup field dlJffionstrations: o Identifying potential contact farmers: o Monitoring the impactof a particular project: o Giving closer attentiontoa particular farmer's needs; o Teaching specific skills; o Reinforcing skills learned duringanearliervisit; o Enabling a "whole family" approach. Thislastpoint should be elaborated.As discussed in the Introduc tion,the word hasbeen used ratherthan throughoutthemanual-forreasons ofstylistic conveniencerather thanfromanassumptionthatall fannersare male!Infact, many fannersare women: and, anyway, youwillwanttohave contact with both the husbands andthewivesasmuchas possible. Ifyou can talktothem both together,thenfine.RECORDINGAVISITSince you havesomany contact and follower farmers to keep trackof,you wilt not be abletodoso effectively unless you keep brief recordsofyour meetings with them. You will need to record such thingsasthe purpose ofeach visit, your own observations astowhathasbeen happening intheshamba,whatoccurred during your visit,andwhatfollow-up was agreed. Onthenext pageisanexampleofthe kind of record sheet or card you could use for each visit.


RECORDOFFARMVISITName01Farmer Number01Follower Farmers Location Date Time PurposeofVisit ObseNations Notes on help given Follow-up Such recordsareessential-youcannot possibly keep all theimportantinfonnationaboutyour farmers in your head. They enable you 10theck your tommitments andthey provide you withan efTettive basis forwriting your reports.


VisitingaFarm.CHECKLISTFORPREPARINGACONTACT FARMER VISITV" No l. Hasthe visit been scheduled, along withother contact. farmers,tomake themostefficient use ofmy time?2. Doesthe fannerknowthatIamvisiting him?3. Does thefarmer knowthepurposeofmyvisit? Hasthe farmer been encouraged to completecertaintasksbefore I arrive?5.HaveI collected any necessary suppliesor equipment? Willthe farmer be familiarwiththe topic or skillthat I will be dealing with?7.AmI confident about discussingthetopic or demonstnlting the skill? Canthe farmer easily afford thepractice Iam proposing'! How readily willthe farmer acceptthenew ideal? 10.HaveI anticipated my response and hill own replies?11.Have I preparedany necessary demonstration materials?12.Have I checked the equipmentI willbe using? 13.Willibe able tobriefthe farmer on forthcomingevents thatmaybeof interest to him---(lr ontheavailabilityofsuppliesthathemightneed?


CHECKLISTFOREVALUATING A FARM VISIT y.,NoLWas I confidentof myknowledge and skill?,. Was the visit wen planned?3.Did the fanne'know the purposeofmy visit? D,d I lIave specific knowledge 0'a ,",w p'actice..commun'cate? ,.Were all the nec""SIIt)' and supplieslIand? 6. Was my manne,friendly and respectful?,. DidI.'n tile main, use 'open" 6.Did I use linesofcommunication wllicll fanner ease and encouraged him toexpress h,s own views? 9.Did I.howa to the farmer's problemsand concerns?"Was Ia goodlistener?H.Was I dear in tonveying info,mation? ". If [ was a skill, was my demonstrationwell organized and easy to follow'".Wu thefarme' given a cllancetopract,se the .kill himself? ". At the end of the vis,t, did thefanner seem to have a goodundeNltandingofthe purpose of the vi.it?". Did I give a ehaneeto thefa.merto ra,se any questions or issues?". Did I leave fannerwith any handoutmaterials? ". Was thefanne' le/\any.pedfic tasks toaccomplish before the ".Was the visit p,epared fo,?".Did I make a note ofanysupplies or infonnation 1 would need to have withmeatthe meeting? Did I make a reco,d of the visit?


VisitingaFarm You can use such a che<:klistto renectonyourown fann visiting;butitis usefulto tryoutsuchanevaluativetoolwith a colleague--by occasionally accompanying eachotheron visits andthen giving feedback through using a checklistoftmskind .


7GivingaTalkYourrole 85 a front-line extension worker demandsthat you arcoften performing beforeanaudience:during field days.allrainingsessions,4KClubs and women's groups. inseminarsand stafTmeetings--onmany occasions when youarecalled ontoinform,instructandadvise.Perfonninginpublic isanartthatis developed only through oonstant practice;butinthischapteryou should find some general guidelinesand hints thatshould help you getthemostoutof your practice in the field. However, youareyou.Therefore, you should workouta stylethatsuitsyOUfown personality. Don'ttrytobesomebody else byimitatingateacherfrom yourpastoroneofyour colleagues. For instance, some peoplearegoodattelling jokes and somearenOloSome people findtheycan touchanaudience with their quiet sincerity; some can excitetheir listeners withtheirown dynamic enthusiasm.Butfind your own style. Whatever your own person ality, you can developanapproachthatboth suits youandworks for your audience. ltis,though,importanttotake into account how your audience will be receiving you. Rememberthatthefanners in yourareawill not be accustomed tointerpretingdiagramsor learning from sophisti cated teaching aids. But theyarevery familiar withthespoken word! Especiallytheolder membersofyour community will have been well exposed to messages being conveyed by word ofmouthinbarazas,storiesandsongs.Youwill often need a picture to describe more easily astructureor aprocess-butmany of your audience will expecttobe stirnd bywhatyousay.


GivingaTalk THEMEETING PLACEPreparation Whatevertheoccasion-inside or outside, formal orinformalmake surethatyou arrive at theplace in good time.Thisenables youtocheck onthelayout and make appropriate alterations.Youhave timetoglance throughany notes you have made,setupanydisplays or aids, without being hurried. Also, you have time to talk with whoever is goingto introduce you-ifitisthatkindof occasion-and find out something about those whoare expected to attend themeeting. When people begintoarrive you canchatwith them,andperhaps learn more abouttheirimmediate concernsand expectations. All this will help you relax, be better informedandmoreatease with your audience.SeatingArrangementsThemost obviousthingisthatyou yourselfshouldbeobvious-andclearly heard. But your positioninrelationtothe group willvary accordingtothepurposeofthe occasion. 'fyourpurpose istomake apresentation, then thereisnoreason whythegroup shouldnotbe sitting orstandingin rowsinfront of you.


,ryour purpose is toteach a skill.thcn often thc groupwHlneed tobe clustered around or behind you ... ,osIfyourpurpose ill todiscuss somethingwith thegrouP. thenthebest arrangement may be a circle.


GivingaTalk Goodcommunicatorsinteract withtheiraudience. They invite contributions and questions; they canreactspontaneouslytothe feelingsand comments of the group they are working with. PLANNING ATALKIn any kind ofcommunication-whetherashortinformal talk withfarmersora long writtcn reporttoyour supervisory officers-thereare three fundamentalprinciplesof good organizationof yourmaterial:RELEVANCECOHERENCEEMPHASISRelevanceofMaterialThe first principle isthatyou select material for your talkthat is relevanttothe occasion. Andthiswill depend on a combinationofyour own objectivesandyourassessmentOfyOUTaudience's interesl.8 andneeds. For example,ifyour subjectisa general introduc tion to theOn-FannGrainStorage Project, andyou will betalkingfor only ten or fifteenminutesataChiefsbaraza,thenyouwillneed to select themostrelevantpoints forthe fanners whowillbethem-rememberingyour time constraint.One effective waytoprepare such a talk is. first,toscribble down on a pieceofpaperideasatrandom-justasthey come into your head. Theresultof this "brainstorming" could look something like this: "M4iIIMW"aau--'1"-"..,-.--J-,._..,C,""pUr 1 S"ppom


Ourbrains have difficulty in coping with two functionsat the same time, Afarmer decideswhat kinds of crop hewants to plantbefore actually pI tinting them out. Hi s daughter collects her flowers before arrangingthem in a vascoThe same should betrueforplanning atalk-eollect yourideas before trying to decide how you will organ izethem. When you havemadea rough set ofnotesofmain ide;)s you havc onthe topic, youthengothroughthemanddecide which ones )'ou wouldwant to develop in your talk.Thetask now istodiscardthose youthinkarenotrelevantforyourparticularaudience.For anintroductorytalk ofthekindwehave imagined,till' farmers would have the followingquestionsin mlOd: what arethemain rceommcndations of the project? how dotheyrelatetotheirownsituationandproblems? what do the newstoragestructureslook like? how dotheycompare with theirexisting storage systems? whatare the advantagesof adopting the recommendations? whatarethe costs? howcantheygetmore information? They would notbesointerestedin thehistory of the project, the intricaciesofthe relationship betweentheMinistry of Agricultureand the sponsoring orimplementingagencies.Soyou could crossoutin younotespointslike ofthe project", -funding" and -training ofstaff'.Youarenowabletothink about how youaregoingtoorder yourmaterial-arrangethe points youhaveselected in a logical se quence that will give your talkacoherent strocture. CoherenceintheOrganizationGiventheideasalreadyscribbled down onthesubject oftheOn'FarmGrainStorage Project,and given yourassessmentofwhatwouldberelevantforthespecific occasion.youroutline forthe talk could looksomethinglike this:"


GivingaTalkI. f-""f/ooI r-4""'" ......"'=utilyt!I'."""6'........,..... ...S.'P<>Wf.1(IUriu_-tryto sketchanoutline planofyour talk beforefirstnotingwhatideas you have onthe subject-then youarelikelytogetstuck.Youmayconstructdraft afterdraft., fillawastepaperbasket with crumpledbitsofpaper -and stillnothave thebasisfor your shorttalk!EmphasisinPresentationA talk can include onlyrelevantpoints;it can be lXIherently structured-anditcanbe very dull. This bringsustothethirdprincipleof emphasis. How can wemakea talk come alive?Howcanweensurethatithasimpactonouraudience? A lot will depend on how you use your voiceandyour body in delivery. Thesepoints willbe takenup laterinthe chapter. Butinthe planning stageyou will needto consider whetheritwould be a good ideatoincludeanypicturesormodels in your presentation. Because emphasisis often achievedthroughillustrationsand concrete examples. Imagine tryingto describe a bicycle to a child whohasnever seen one. Howmanywords wouldittaketodothejob? And wouldthechild have a clear pictureinhis head when you finished? How much more effectivetoshowhim one-to have a bicycle you could jumponandride beforehis eyes! Andifnotanactualbicycle,thena pictureofone.Thekey factor isthatthemoreconcreteyourpresentation, thegreater theclarityandimpact.So if you aretalking about the difference between newandtraditional storagestructures,thenshowit.Ifyou aretrying toestablishtheadvantagesof preservingCiI4pkr 7


sound maize,thenshow the difference in Quality between properly stored maize (harvested, dried and treated) andimproperly slared maize. Show the relative weightsofeach .Pr: SID'"'"M.Iz. NOTESJusta wordaboutnotes.Ifyouarevery familiar with the topic and a practiced speaker, youmightneedno notes atall. Even so. it is usuallya goodideato haveanoutline ofthemain points withyou eventhemost el

GivingaTalkPERSUASIONVeryonenyou will be involvedintryingtopersuadefannerswtakea certain lineofaction. Persuasion isthemostinteresting-mostexciting-kindof communication. A Jot of research has gone intohow tostruclure a presentationto achievethedesired effect Itallboils downto the following seven-stage strategy:1.Identifytheproblem.2.Arouseinterestin the problem.3.Propose a solution.4.Demonstratetheeffectivenessorthesolution.5.Consideralternativestotheproposed solution.6.Demonstratethatany likely criticismsoftheproposed solutionareeitherinvalid orareoutweighed bytheadvantages.7. Restate theproposed solution.Toillustratethestrategy,letusstaywiththeexampleofthetalkwehave been discussing: "Identifytheproblem"Inthiscase the problem is how toreduce losses of maizeduringthe proccsscs ofharvestingandstoring. Your introduction might stressthe losses on a national scaleandpoint to theserious consequencesifthecountry weretoruninto a grain deficit. You would emphashethc Government's concernanditsbackingof the project."Arouseinterestintheproblem"Butthe interest ofyour audience willnotbemuch aroused unless the problem canbe shown to be onethataffectsthemdirectly.Soyou will needtohave plentyofexamples of how they themselves areincurring significant losses throughtheprocedures theyare cur rentlyusing.Youcan ask them aboutthemajor difficultiestheyare experiencing with theharvestingandstoringoftheirmaize:whatarethelosses,andwhatarethecauses. CIu>plcr7


"Proposeasolution"Hereyou present, in summary, yourownsolution-in this case, the range of post-harvestmanagementprocedures and storage structuresbeing recommendedby the project: harvesting early; usingan adapted traditionalbasketor raised crib; cleaningandstoring procedures; shellingandtreating the stored grain."Demonstratetheeffectivenessortheproposedsolution"Takingeachmain topic intum,you give examples of the savings tobemade by the new systems andprocesses: decreases in field lossesand increases in grain harvested; higher quality ofthegrain in store; improved health; increased income. You have now gone some way in the processof persuasion-youhave given somereasons. l\1any advertisementsor political spee<:hes stopat thisstage-with assertionsoftheadvantages ofwhatis being proposed: "Buythisdawaanditwill quickly cure all your aches and pains!" "Vote formeand I willensuredevelopment in this arcamore roads, more water, more schools.....Buttobereallyconvincing you need togotwo stages further and explore the questionsandreservationsthatmightbestill intheminds of your listeners."Consideralternativestotheproposedsolution"Onesetofquestions will relatetopractices otherthanthoseinthe recommendations. Questions like:


GivingaTalk the store Iandmy ancestors have been using for is wrong with usingash to preserve the stored The experiencedandsuccessful persuaders think about whatalternativesolutions could be raisedandbuildtheiranswers into their presentation."Demonstratethatanylikelycriticismsoftheproposedsolution are eitherinvalidor are outweighedbytheadvantages"This is the most difficultbutalsothemost essential stageinthepersuasion process.Itis where you exploreanydoubts there mightbeaboutthesolution youareputtingforward. Forifyourmembers of your audiencegoaway with doubts intheirminds, you certainlyhaven'tpersuaded them. Yourtaskistoshowthatcertain possible criticisms havenoweight. For example, someone mightbe con cernedthatthemore open-weavestructuresyouarerecommend ing wouldletintherainandcause moulds. You could counter thisbytalking aboutthescreening effectofthe overhangingroof-andpointoutthatany maize in the lower part ofthestore would quickly dryoutagain because ofthe ease with whichthewind blows through. Sometimes a criticismhastobeadmittedasa valid one and therefore a disadvantageofyour solution. Here, yourtaskis to showthatthisdisadvantage is outweighed bytheadvantages. For example, the expense of constructing a crib oradaptinga trodi basketis a disadvantagethatneedstobetakenup.Youcan pointtothevery small costofraisingandrat-proofing a basket, whenthenecessary materials can befound around a typical compound.AJso,you could pointoutthefinancial savings tobemade, witheitherconstruction,thatwill over a period well outstripanyinitial outlay. "Restate theproposedsolution"The finalstage-themost emphaticmoment-iswhen you restate yourmainpointsanddrive home the key advantages. Also, given the occasion for ouriltustration-anintroductory talk ata baraza-you couldgoontoexplain how the farmers would be welcome toattendthe forthcoming field sothatthey could see in more detailthestructuresthatarebeing recom mended. C,",pUr 7


lftheytakethis action-ifyou see thematthedemonstrations, orifthey contact you for furtherinfonnation, then you know you have already encouraged them alongtothe stage on theroute to In fact the persuasionstrategyoutlined here does mirrorwhat it takestomove people throughthe stages of the Adoption Curve" described in ChapterThree. This is astrategyforplanning presentations thatyouwillfind you can use on manyoccasions-in talks,staff groups, semi nars or even in written reports. Itshould prove useful whenever youwant toargue a case,atthestage where you have assessed for yourself the evidenceandwantto present your views inthemost persuasive manner.Nowwehave considered aspects relatedtoplanning a talk, letustum tofactors which will affect its delivery. SETIING THECLIMATE !fthegroup youareaddressing is coming togetherforthefirsttime,anditisnota large gathering,thenitis advisable to begin withaninformal introductory session. Such a session is sometimes called The purpose is to putpeopleattheirease,andallow you to establishaninitial rapport with the group.Startby introducingyourself-alittle bit of your background and yourmainreason for talking to themonthisoccasion. Make thisas light andrelaxedaspossible.Ifyou can makeajokeabout yourself.thenfine. Thenask membersto introduce themselves.But remember thatsome people aTeshy of speaking in public. This informal round of brief introductions will help the shyer ones tofeelmore free to contribute later. This isa topicwewill exploreinmore detailinChapterNine, which is concerned with facilitating group discus sions.Onoccasions when youarethemain speaker,itwill be enoughthatpeople give theirnamesandperhaps where theyarefrom. Addi tionally, sometimesitmight be productive to askinthis beginning phase ifpeople have some specific topics relatedtoyour themethatthey would like you to takeupinyOUTtalk. All this encourages aninterestinwhatyou have to say, gets your audience involved and makesit easier for themto askquestions when you have finished your talk. "


GivingaTalk Ifyoucan establish a goodrapportwithyour gToup atthisstage,thenthegreaterthechancethattheywil1listcnattentivelytowhatyouhave to sayandwill be ready tobringoutanypointswhich,ifnotdeclared,mayotherwise stay intheirmindsandpreventthemfrom acceptingoractingontheideas youputacross.orcourse,therewillbemanytimeswhen youarcnot"in charge"oftheproceedings,andyouwillwantto fit in withthe group'sestablished waysofdoingthings.!fyouarcspeakingto a women's group, for example,thatnormallyoperateswith fannal committeeprocedures,itwouldbeinsensitiveandcounter-productivetotrytobreakdowntheformalitiesandimposeyourown different proce dures. However, whenit comes toyourtumtoaddressthegroup,itwill stillbeimportanttointroduce yourtopicina way which reduces any tensionthere may be andencouragestheir p:Jrtici pntion,APPEARANCE Thefirst impression youmakeon your audienceis oftenthemost importantone! Ifyouare fi(!W to a group, you willbejudgedfirstonhow youlook.Therefore,itis as wellto appearneat..--not necessarilysmnrt,butneat!How formally youdresswill depend,ofcourse, ontheoccasion.Butwhateverthe occasion, to be wearingcrumpledor slaincd clothesindicatesa laCk ofseriousnessinyourapproach, a lackof respect foryouraudience. AJso, it issurprising how thewayyoudresscan effect yourown confidence. Evenifyou feel very nervousaboutthe task you face,ifyou lookthepart,you have wonhalfofthebattlewithyourown nerves!Theway you hold yourselfwilJbeimportanttoo. Notstiffiy,butnotslouchingeither.!fyoucantakeanuprightandyetrelaxed stance, then fine. Ideally, everymovementyoumakeshouldheintunewithwhatyouaresaying.Ifyou walk forwnrd,iOsto emphasize a point. If yousitdown,itisto invite contributionsfromthe group. Trytoavoidunnecessary movements-pacing upanddownorreading with headbentovernotes-forsuchthingstendtodistracttheaudienceandserveonlytoblock off yourmessagesfromgettingthrough. Clu>.pUr 1


GESTURES Theway you use geslureswiU depend onthesituation.Onlyifthe groupislargewillthe .weeping,"dramatic gestures beatallappropriate.Inamaller, moreintimate groups, morenaturalandlubtle gesture.arecalled for.And the lameasfor whole-bodymovementa.eacbrestureshould be purposeful and used deliber atelytoemphasize yoW' points: raising.fingertoindicate caution; raisin&'.clenched fiat for determination; claspinghandstogethertosymboliuco-operation ... ...andeoon.BUla raisedfingerto indi cate caution here! UnlessIUch gesturelcometoyounaturally-oryouarewellpracticed-theycanappear () woodenor "stagy". Remember ,\,0 the advice atthebeginningofthis i:TiMIN"chapter: makelureto lind your ownstyle,anddowhatseemsrightfor you.However, we can trytoavoidtheundesirablegelture.thatare uncontrolled and oftenunconscious-thejingling of coins ina pocket.,theacrat.ehing ofan ear-thelION ofmovement thatdistrad anddonothelpUItoget across toouraudience.THE EYES The way you use yoW' eyes willhavea greatbearing onhow effective you are.. a speaker. Just thinkwhat a hypoowtcanaehi.eve mAinly through thewayhe useshiseyulThe key factoritcoatact.Makesure you lookat your audiencewhile you talk..No-onewillappearoonvincingwho looks downat hisnotes moatofthetimeoroutofthewindoworevenabove hisaudience'sheads. You can't lookat each memberofthe group allthetime,but youcanfix a midwaypoint., and occasionallythegroupmembera fromthere.


GivingaTalkMorethananythingelse,ifyou canmakethiskindof contact youwillcommandattention to whatyouaresaying.THEVQICEWhenwespeaktoalarge group weadoptamannerofspeakingthatis different fromoureverydayconversations. We need tospeaklouder(withoutshouting), slower (though not too slowly)andwechooseourwords with greater care.Oneofthebiggest errors aspeakercanmakeistospeakso softlythathis audiencecannothearhimproperly.Thinkofthelossinyoureffectiveness ifmore than balf ofwbatyousay cannot bebeard.Ifyou do not apeak loudlyandclearly enough, youarewastingbothyourownandyouraudience'stime.Furthennore,your audience will lasepatiencewithyou,losetheirinterestinyour subje<:t-and will notbekeentoattendyournext meeting!WordsSpobn Sonly DoNOlRuthH'MM,{IjSpeak"Ju,d;.n'"WordsSpobnLoudlyand.CleadlR.ach IheAudlmce A simplebuteffective device is to make sure you askatthebeginning of a presentation, "Can youhearmeatthe bstk?Butvarietyindelivery isthekeynoteofa good public speaker. Toarouseandkeepattentionyou need tovarythevolume, toneandthepaceofyourdelivery. Again,thesevariationsshouldbepur poseful-they shouldarisefromthe meaning ofwhatyou are saying. You strike onlythekey words; you heightenthetone whenthereisan urgency in your message; you slowthepace when youwantevery wordtoworkintheearsofyowlisteners. Clt(,pI.r 7


THE BASIC QUALITIESOF EFFECTIVESPEAKINGAs awayof concluding this section ondelivery,letusconliderthree qualitiesthat are found in successful speakingperformanoes:CONFIDENCECONTACT IMPACT ConlldenceinPerformance All goodspeaken appear confident.--

GivingaTalk ImpactThis is relatedto what was said about emphasis as a principleof organization. Justasyou can useillustrationsand concrete examples toarouse interest,soyoucanachieveimpactby youruse orvoiee and gesture. Emphasize keywords; Wlderline crucial points with yourhands---J.et yourbodyexpress your feelings.CHECKLISTFORGIVING A TALK0RelevancyIsthematerialadapted to theneedsofmyaudience?0CoherenceIsthematerialarrangedinsucha way that: -theobjectives will be madeclearatthebeginning?-themain points willbe highlighted? theconnections between ideas will be made? oEmphasisHave I madesurethatthematerialwill be vividenough: by includingrelevantexamples? by using visualpresentations?oSettingIstheseating8rTsnged in asuitableway? IsitmovableifIwanttorearrangethelayout? Is theventilation,temperature,lightingattherightlevel?o Aids AmImakingthebestuseofavailable resources? Have I checked: blackboardor flipchart inposition? chalkorfelt pens are athand?controls ofany audio-visual equipment? -aspareprojector bulb in my pocket? o HandoutsWill itbe useful togiveouta swnmmyofthe talk?Are thereanyrelevantleafletstogive out?0 Timing Willmypresentationfitthetime available? oFeedbackHaveIbuiltin opportunities for briefperiodllofdiscussion or questions? 7


8ConductingaDemonstrationInthepreviousehaptcrwewere considering a mode ofcommunication-givingatalk-whichrelies onthemainlyone-way communicationthatwe characterized inChapterFiveaspreseo ta tion.You are bound to befrequently involved in occasions wherethis mode istheonly choice opento you. When youareaskedto speakat hara-zas Orother formal meetings,you relyonyour words-and theemphasisyoucaninjectthroughyourmannerofdeliveryoranyvisual aids youhavewithyou.But,8Swehavediscussedearlier,thepresentationmodehas its drawbacks when you really want topromotelearning.Youcan effectively convey a limitedamountofinformationinatalk,oryou canarouse youraudience'sinterestinandawarenessoraproblem.But, W'llesa you canusemorc participatory, active methods ofcommunication, you cannotbecertain thatanyinformation you give willberetained,andyou will certainly notbeabletodevelop skills.Agricultural Extensionhaspromoted amethodof communication known as the fteld demonstration which, ifusedeffectively, in corporates allthreemodesofcommunication.Withintheoverallpresentationframeworkthere are elementsofdiscussionandaction-basedmodeswhichencouragetheparticipationofthefarmersthroughinvitingdebateonissuesand through engagingtheminpracticeof skills. Unfortunately,toomanydemonstrationdaysstill rely toomuchontheone-waycommunicationoftalkingandshowing-ratherthanontheparticipatorymodesofdiscussinganddoing. Too oftenthedemonstratorremainsthemain,oreven only, performer.Thefarmersremainpassivelistenersandwatchers. "


ConductingaDemonstrationThischaptergives suggestion formakingyourdemonstrationsfittheprinciplesofgood extension work whichareoutlinedatthebeginning ofthismanual: establishing a three-way communication between re search agents, front-line workersandfarmers; starting from wherethe fanners areandbuilding ontheirestablished knowledgeandskills; utilizingtheknowledgeandskillsofthe fanners; addressingyourdemonstrationtothepractice offanningby employing active, problem-centredanddiscussion-based methodsofconunWlication.INVOLVINGmEFARMERSMost fielddaysbeginwiththealmostritualized speeehes ofwelcomeandtheinvitationtoanydignitary who ispresenttomakeintroductoryremarks.Such contributionsareimportantfor maintainingthecustomary poliwnessand forestablishingasenseof importance forthe occasion. But, irthis introductoryphasegoes ontoolong,itcandefeatthe very purpose oftheactivity.Theprime purpose of a fielddayis education,notexhortation-orsimply urging the farmers tochange. Education will onlyhappeniftheconcentration is on demonstrationandpractice.Oneway to arousetheinterestofthefarmers,and to establishtheircommitmenttothetopic oftheday, is to beginyourdemonstrationwith a discussion session. You invitethefarmersto express their views onthe day's theme. To identifyanyparticularproblemstheyarefacingandto suggest issuesthattheywish to havediscussed. Imagine youaredealing withthe raising andimproving of a traditional storagebasket.Youmightbegin byaskingthefarmersabouttheirusual methods ofgrainstorage, identifyingthetypicalrangeof problemsthatareexperienced, inviting those who havealreadymade improvements to say why they have done soandhow successfultheyhave been. Also, youmakesureyouaskthe farmers whatrelatedtopicstheywish you tocomment on. Such a sessionmightgosomething like this: .. EW: CkaptorS "Today we are going to look at one methodofimprouing storage structures for maize. First, let us think about the traditional methods of storage. This is tM kindofbasket thaI has been in use inthis area


for geMrations---why shouldwe ooflSider changing itat amAnyideas?Farmer OM: "Well, if we are going to harvest our grain earlier than we used to-whenit stillhasmoisture ill itthen we Med a structure that allows the grailltodry quickly.Witha /xJ.$ketlikethi$, closely woven,theaircroeSll'tget to tMcobs well erwugh. EW: "True. Ifwe change our practiceofharvesting,and remove the cobs from the field, as we were suggestingat the last field day, wMn the grain is mature but still with something like 30% moisture cOllttnt.-......toprevent attacks by pests andmouldsill theshamba then we Med also tomakechanges to the old methods of storage.Asyou say, we need tomake suretMgrain willdryrapidly in the structure. But are there allY other problems withabasket like thi$rFarmer Two:"Itis verycwseto thegroulld-alldratscalleasilyget intoit." Farmer Three: "OtMr pests too---other rodents. EW: "Mzee, you havemade alterations tothisbasket here in your compound. Telluswhat youhavedolle-and what are theresultsr Farmer Four; "Yes, as you can see, [ havehadthe basket raised above the ground andputthese ratguardsall the legs. Also, you will see thatthe weave ismore open.And I have moved itso thatit catches as much breeze as possible. Lastharoest, Iamsure I saved mu.ch more grain by getting themaizeoutofthe shamboasSOO/l.as possibleand drying it ill here. But Iamnot sure howmuchI have saved." Farmer Two: "And howmuchdid it cost you toadaptit likethisr Farmer Four: "Actually, itcost me nothing, because the work was daM by Iheprojectasademonstration. ButIam sure the cost would be very little.[IIfact, it is a simple operation,andmany of u.s could findtMmaterinls anddo the job ourselves."

PAGE 100

EW;"EW:ConductingaDemonstration is something / must deal with.Anyother questionsyouwouldlike me to takeup? Farmer One:-Ifwerul we are not able to make thealterations, where can WI! get help?FarmerThree:-/wouldlike you to go overthe whole business of early harvesting. Iam used to stooking my maize in 1Mshamba-what is wrong with thaW Farmer 1Wo: Couldyoualso tellusabout wayso{spraying.tocutdown thedamage done b] weevils? AndI have seellthese larger cribs onsomefarms.Could you say something aboutthose-andhow they comparewiththiskindofimproved basket? -Fine.SoIwill begin withasummaryalihe reasons for early Mroesting. Then I will go into some detailabout how atraditioMibasket call be improved to allow quick drying ofthe maizealldprotect your grain {rom pests. lwillalsotalkabout the -mr.xkrn" cribandwhatfactorsyou/teed totake into account when choosing between.it andtheimproved basket like thisonehere. [havesome leafletswithmewhich [willleave with you----and theseshowthecribs, for who are IIQtfamiliar withtlu!m. [willtalkabout costsofmaterialsandconstrue tion----and tell you aboutthelocal fundiswhohave been traim!dbyus to dothiskindofimprovementfor those farmerswho would likesuch help.[willtake up Owquestion of cleaning and spraying yourbaskets or cribs, sothat you cutdowntherisksof anyinfestations when drying or storing. And finally, for thoseofyouwho haven't seenthe demonstration already, [ will showyouthediffer ence in the amountof grointhatcan be saved ifyou improueyourstorage structuresandfollowthe simple recommendations on harvestingandtreatment. Ifyou proceed inthisway you reapanumber of advantages.Youareconformingtotheidealsofadulteducation.as discussed in Chapter Four. Youaretreatingthe fanners with respectandactually making use oftheirexperienceinpromotingthelearningofthewhole group. Youaremakingsurethatthecontentofyour demon

PAGE 101

lltration will be focused alldosely as pollllible on theneedll and interellta of thepartitularfanners you areworking with. Youwill be ensuringtheir attentionand interest inallthatfollows.Suchanapproach is not only respeetful of the-adultnessof thefarmers--it is alsothemollt effective waytoestablisha dimate for productive learning. Of course, thi, method of working doea call for a confidence anda Duibility on your part.Butifyou practisethis participatory method, youyourselfare likely to enjoy theoccasions so mummore. Youwillavoid the ,taleneu thatcan come from repeatincthelameperformance over and over again; you will appreciatetheslighttension that comes fromhaving tothinkon YOUl"feeL--and you will develop aprideinyOUl"own professionalismasa communicator when you havemasteredtheskillsof generatinll discussion and tailoringyOUl"presentation. However,thisdoesnotmeanthatyou donothave to preparefor a demonstration. Infact yourpreparation hasto be even more thorough. Beeauae you havetobe familiar enough with your subjecttoreact to the points made bythefarmers,tofind apattemof presentation that fits thequestionsandissuesraised,torelatewhatyou l18y to the specific concernsthatare raised. FOCUSINGOnthethemeofpreparation,one vital element-the topio-is already decided for you when you are working withintheT&V Sylltem..Theround offortnightly training&essions llhould elltablish for you thekey points tobecommunicated in your farm visits andfield days. Neverthe1eas,thereseemsto be a strong temptation totryto covertoo much ground inone field day. A temptationyou should avoidfor anumber of1'eBJODll.First, it makessensetoconcentrate only on thosemessages thatlll1l timely. To deal with somethinglike the shelling of grain, whenthe farmers will not be perfonningthat task for some month. aheadi,likely to beawasteofeffort. Farmers will learn bestwhatthey needto learnandwhatcan be inunediately applied... Second, iftoo mum infonnationisgivenoutthenlittleofitmaybe retained. Thisis apointtobearinmind,notonly when you are preparing for a demonstration,butwhen youareconducting the kindofintroductory discussion described above.Ifthe fanners"

PAGE 102

ConductingaDemonstration raise points thatyou think should bestbe treated fully on another occasion, then tell them so and explain your reasoning.DEMONSTRATINGUyou yourseifhave ever gone to an office and been shown how tofillin a form, gone home with a blank one and then found you couldn't remember what you had beentold-thenyoucanhave some sympathy for farmers whoseem to forget so quicklywhatyou tellorshow them. Sometimes a very quickorslick demonstration by a skilled performer canbeself-defeating. The action occurs soquicklythatthe processesare not absorbed by the watcher's. And there is a dangerthatthe very slicknessofthe demonstration canbeoff-putting, can dentthe confidence of the farmersthatthey themselves could ever do likewise. A demonstrationis an actof teaching.Sowhatyou do should conform to the principles outlinedinChapterFour concerning efficiencyoflearning. Perhapsitwould be particularly usefulatthis point to remind ourselves of the sixcrucial conditions for learning outlinedinthatchapter: thatthe farmers should be motivated to learn: they shouldbeopen to admitting certain deficienciesintheircurrent practices; they shouldbegiven a clear demonstrationofwhat theyareexpected to learn: they should have opportunities to practise the new knowledge and skills; they should receive reinforcementthatwhattheyaredoing is they should have availabletheappropriate learning materials. This listia particularly relevant to those occasions when your main educational objectiveistodevelop skills. So, without repeating the general points made earlier with regardtothese conditions,letus review them specificallyinrelationtodemonstrations. The first two conditions have been fully discussed earlier. They are concerned with the positive and negative feelings the farmer'S will bring with them into any learning situation.Butyour own ap proachinconducting a demonstration will haveitseffect on them:ifyour performance is confident, yourmannerenthusiastic and ClKlpk,S

PAGE 103

respectful,themotivationandreceptiveness ofthefarmerswill be enhanced.Butitisthelastfouroftheseconditionsthatmay necd more elaborationinrelationto field daysanddemonstrations.Certai nly, beforeanyonecan be expected tomasteranewskill hewillneed ademonstrationofthatskill.But,asapresentationmode ofcommu nieation, ademonstrationsharesthesamedisadvantagesasa talk or a lecture,inasmuchasitis one-way communication.Ifyou race throughademonstration,thenitmaywellbeimpossible for the farmers toabsorbanyofthe information thatyouaregiving ouL Andwhatis demonstrated mustbeimmediatelyconsolidatedthrough practice ifitis tobeofanyuse.Themore mature a person is, the more hemayhave difficultyin memorizing information.The farmers maybeunableto recall the different processes orstagesof ademonstrationunless somewrittennotesorillustrationsarelenwiththem.Thefollowing points mayhelptoensurethatyourowndemonstrationsareeffectiveaspossible.AnalyzetheskillNeverembarkon ademonstrationwithoutfirstthinkingthroughthedetailed processesofthe skill you wish todemonstrate,thematerialsnecessaryfor performing thetaskandanyparticulardifficulties aleamermightexperienceincarryingoutthetask.Trytoputyourself in theshoesofthelearner.Keepitshort. After aninitialdemonstrationof the wholetask-togivethelearnerstheideaofwhattheyareaimingfor-repeatit, breaking downthetaskintomanageableunits.Teach onesmallprocessata time. And, after eachdemonstrationof a process, encourage questions andletthefanners try outtheskill themselves.Keepitsimple. Concentrate onthekeypointsyou have noted in advance. Whenyouareactuallyengagedinademonstrationandgiving instruc tions, avoidanykindofdistractinganecdotes or For ell:8IIlple:"Whenyou halle shelled your maize, before puttingit into thestore. treat it with arecommended Blue Cross chemical. The Blue Cross dusts are used at the rate0(50 gms to90 Kgs o(shelledmaize.Now

PAGE 104

ConductingaDemonstration 50gmsis theequivalent0(2 Treetop--6quosh---bottle tops.Butyou can use a matchbox ifyou like---1)r(1tecu;poon. Funnyisn'tit, howsome people know/!roetly how much a measureis? l remembermy motherwfu!n she wascooking, could justpickupahandfulof salt orsugar. 8M neveruseda measure ofanykind.Butsheneverseemedto make a mistake-we certainlyall enjoyed he,. cooking! Ohyes, wlu!T'f! were we? Treetoptops. And makesureyou don'/use them for anything else after using them(or dusting ....Theobvious risk here isthatthe fanners willbedistracted fromrememberingtheall-importantrecommended dosage. Keep itsilent.Sometimes watchingandlisteningatthe same time is not easy.Better to firstsaywhatyouaregoing to do,andthenstaysilentwhile youaregivingtheactual demonstration.Therewill be times.of course, when you needtoexplain while doing; butkeep the two separated as much as possible.Keepitslow.In explaining whatyouaregoing to do, tellingthefannerswhatto watch outforandthendemonstrating the skill, moveata slow enough pacetoallow for a more complete understandingthanifyouhurry through theprocesses.Makesureeveryonecansee.Sometimestheprocesses youaredemonstratingarevery small acale-like operating a moisturemetreor identi fying theblack spot on amaturemaizecob.Thenyou havetobecarefulthatthe whole group has a chancetoreally observewhatyouaredoing. And make sure thatyour body or yourhandsarenot maskingimportant parts oftheequipmentorexhibit. Demonstrate fromtheoperator'spointofview.When youaredemonstrating, thefannerssothattheyarebehind youifyouareshowing a complicated process. Then they will see everything fromthepoint of viewtheywill have when performC!o
PAGE 105

ingtheskill themselves. Otherwise. they will mentally have to reverse everything youareshowing them.Make itrealistic.Ifyou can use the realthingratherthana model oranillustration. then do so.Ifyou have touse pictures. make them asclose in scaletothe real thingaspossible. Whenthedemonstration isover-madeasclearaspossible-thenitis crucial tomeetthenextcondition forlearning which ispractice. ConsoUdateimmediately withpractice.Itis rare thata skill can belearntjustby watching someone else perform it.Oneof the most common mistakes ofteachersisthatthey do not give enough opportunity forlearneractivity. But not onlyispracticefundamentalto effective learning,itis also condu civeto interest and enjoyment. We allmusthave experiencedthe buzz of excitement andanimationthat occurs as soon as groups areinvitedto try out things for themselves, However,thepracticephaseisnotanopportunity for youtorelax! Tomeetthe next oftheconditions you will needtobe alivetowhatishappening,readyto correct mistakes,butalways quickto note andencourage success.Providefeedbackandreinforcement.Make surethatthe fannersknow exactly whatarethetestsfor a successful perfonnance ofthetask. Havethecobs been shelled withoutdamagetothegrains?Hasthedustbeen applied evenly overthewholeheapof grain? People tendtolearn quicker, betterfromencouragementratherthancriticism. Pointout errors butalso be sureto praise success. The lastoftheconditionsrelatestomaterials-theexhibits, equipmentorillustrations you will need inordertogiveanefficient demonstration. PrepaJ:'eill advance.Assemble everything youandthefannerswill need before youstartthedemonstration.Perhapsitisanimportantelementinwhatyou

PAGE 106

ConductingaDemonstration ..are teachingthata goodcraftsmanalwayshasthe ne<:essary toolssetoutrcady-andin the orderthathewillneed them. SUMMARlZING The final phase of a demonstration should contain a review ofthe purpose andthestepsthathave beentakentoachieveit.This gives a chance forthe farmers tosee againthewhole sequenceandithelpsthemtorememberit.FOLLOWINGUPHowdoyou knowthatthe farmers havelearnt from your demon stration? Howdoyou knowthatthey willgoontopractise ontheirown shambawhattheyhave learnt? Only by visitingtheirfarmsandbyholding follow-up meetings, where you can moniwr their progress anddeal with problems theyaTeexperiencingortakeupfurtherissues they wishtoraise.Ufield demonstrations arewellpreparedand organized, aDd if they incorporate plentyofopportunitiesfordiscussionaDdpractice,thentheyarethemosteffectivemeansof conveyingextension messagesandencouragingtheadoptionofnewideasandskills.Allmodesof extension communicationareoperative.Youhavethe chance ofmakingaclearpresentationofknowledgeandskills;thefarmershaveachanceto engage indiscussionofissuesandtobeactive inexperimenting withnewmethods.

PAGE 107

CHECKLISTFOREVALUATING A DEMONSTRATION ,,""'FairpTHEDEMONSTRATOR1.Was I suitably dressed for the occasion?2.Was I confident ofmymaterial?3.Did I adopt a friendly, relaxedmanner\n relationtomy audience?Did I speak clearly and did I maintain good contact with the audience? TIlE CONTENTL WaiJthe subject matter timely and appropriate for the audience?2.Wasthematerialselectedtomeettheimmediate needsofthe particular fanners?3.Waslfamiliarenough with the subject matter?PREPARATION1.Was the demonstration well planned, with each stage leading logicallyto the next?2.Was the audience suitably positioned, sothat they were comfortable and everyone could see andhearwell?Were all equipment, visual aids, exhibits, pamphlets etc,onhand when needed?Were equipmentandsuppliesofa kind easily availabletothe fanners?5.Did I feelatease in the demonstration; had I thought throughandpractised what I was doing? "

PAGE 108

Conductinga DeTTWnstration CHECKLISTFOREVALUATING A DEMONSTRATION ,,.,,,-, PRESENTATION1.Was ere a clear introduction, which. explained the purpose and the procedures oftheoccasion? 2.Did I give 8ufficientopportunity at the beginning for the farmers to reveal theirown knowledge of the topic, and identify issues ofconcerntothem?3.Was I able to build effectivelyonthe information gained from this preliminarydiscussion?Didrperform operations slowly and emphatically enoughforthemtobe understoodandapplied by the farmers?5. Was it a fulldemonstration-allkey points stressed and any misunderstandings cleared up?6.Didr take caretouse language which was non-technical enoughtobe understood by the farmers?7.Was the demonstration focused on one main farm activity? 8. Were key points emphasized, and an explanation given 8S towhy they were important? 9. Were the visual aids clear and appropriate?10. Was sufficient time givenforthe raisingofquestionsanddiscussion?11.Was the demonstration well summarized?

PAGE 109

pgyback his commentstoyou.CHECKLISTFOREVALUATING ADEMONSTRATION, F.;, PARTICIPATIONI.DidIsuccessfullyencouragegroupparticipation?2.Didthefarmers feel free to ask questions and enterinto discussions?3.Werethefannersgiven enough opportunilytopractise th,ski1lsthatwerebeingdemonstrated?4.Did I effectivelysupervise th, practice sessions? 5.Whatevidence was there toindicate thatthe fannerswould applytheknowledge or the skills they hadgained---()n theirown farms?SCORINGFor each question indicate your rating. If you think your perfonn ance was enter3: 2:and enterI. When you have finished this self-evaluation, addupyour scores. Your overallratingwillbeasfollows: 80 or above is a very good score 50 is fair Below 50 ispoor-astrong caseforfurther training! NB.Asfor other "evaluation checklists" inthismanual, it canbeusedintwo ways: for self-evaluation, when preparingfora demonstration or reflectingonone you havejustcompleted: for observing the approach of a colleague: a good deal can belearntfrom "peer-group" evaluation of this kind. Again, you might find it extremely helpfultoask a colleague to usethe checklistinobservinourown erformanceandthenfeeding

PAGE 110

ConductingaNotes Derrwnstration

PAGE 111

9LeadingaDiscussionRunninganeffective discussion session isperhapsthe most diffi cult communication task you face. Many so-called discussions are notdiscussionsataiL Theyarcoccasions where someone gives a talkand then answersquestions. Butifwe reserve the !.erm for those occasions where every memberofthe group feels freeto air his viewsorprovide infonnation, wherethediscussion leader behavesasnotthe only authority,thensuch discussions occur farless frequentlythanthey should. Because a discussion group is 11 potentforum for learning.Ina group where anyone mayaskoranswerquestions, where anyone can clarify amisunderstanding,the membersarelearningfrom each other. They can formandadjustopinions without toss ofrespect orstatus.Theycan worktogethertowards salvi ng problems in amannerwhich gives full considerationtotheexperience and knowledgeofall. Inevitably you will be involved in a numberof workgroups-fromofficial staff meetings to informal gatherings of colleagues; fromattendanceat4K clubs to women's groups.Butthischapter is mainly concerned withthekindsoffarmers' group you mightestablishyourselfforthemutualexplorationofproblems and ideas.Butwhatissaidaboutthenatureofgroups andtheproblems of groupmanagementwill apply toaJlthoseothergroups too. How ever,the focus ofthischapteris onthefactors to betakeninto account when youyourselfarethefacilitatororadiscussion group.Whatis said will have relevance for those occasions when.aspartofa field day for instance, youwanttomove into a discussions phase--or for groups youmight set upforregularand on-going discussions. '"

PAGE 112

LeadingaDiscussion There isan important distinctiontobe made between fonnal andinfonnal group meetings. The fonnerare meetingsandarebound byset procedures for the conductandrecording ofwhathappens.Thelatterareless rigid intheway discussiontakesplace; nevertheless,thereisnoreason whytheyshould beatall casual intheirapproach. When groups areoperatingaccording to standardizedcommittee procedures,manyoftheproblems encounteredin groupwork areavoided. The rulestend to overrideothercustomaryfactorsandconsiderations.Buttherigid committee approach israrelyeffectivein achieving community developmentor educa tional purposes. Whenthebusiness isdear-cutandtheemphasisis onmakingmajority decisions,thentheconventional, formal committee approach is appropriate.Butwhentheconcern is moretoexplore ideas,reachunderstandingofissuesorto solve complex problems,thenmore flexible groupwork methods needtobe used. However,theless rigidtherules of conduct themorethegroup will tendtobehave according to traditional orhabitualpatterns.The more important itbecomes for a group fadlitatorto beawareofandsensitive to these customaryinfluences. So,letus review some ofthecharacteristicsof groups intraditionalsocieties.EXPECTEDBEllAV10URINGROUPSGroupmembershipis a vital factor in African culture. Throughthewholespanofhislifeanindividual is identifiedasamemberofanage groupaswellasamemberof aparticularfamilyordan.Wheneveranimportantevent occurs-an initiation, wedding, or funeral.....--an individualparticipatesintheeventasamemberof his age group.Anindividual can always identify himself with groups determinedby age, family or location. Membership implies power ful obligations to worktogetherintimesofboth celebrationandcnSIS.The traditional grouping of individuals still persists for a wide range of purposes: likethesettlingofinterpersonalorfamily disputes,theplanningandorganizingofcommunity projects,theinitiationoftheyoung intermsoffamily responsibilities and thesupportingofdependentcommunity members. Therefore, peopleinruralsocieties still have powerful incentives for joining andparticipatingin groups. Thehabitof group member-

PAGE 113

ship is there. But to beeffectiveinworking with such groupsweneedtobe aware of certain habitual ways of communication. Age isoften a determiningfactor as towho speaks when,howoften and towhom.Youngpeople areexpected tobe respectful oftheir elden, deferentialtotheiropinions, CllJ:'eful nottocontradictor answer back.. Leaders orauthority figures areparticularly respected evenbytheir age mates.Theyarelistenedtomorethanmost.Women,especiallyyoungwomen, areexpected tospeakin wxedgroups onlywheninvitedtodoso.rtisconsideredrudetointerruptor"cotacross"someonewhoisspeaking.Itisconsideredbadmannerstobecomeemotionalor"overheated".Peopleshouldbegiventimetohavetheirsay,anddecisionsarenotmadehurriedly.From your own experienceofrural communitiessndyourobserva tions, perhaps you wouldwanttoaddtothis list.Butnodoubt youwill agree thattobeblinkeredtothese expectations or to insensitvely challenge them, would reduce your effectiveness in building a hannoniousandproductive relationship with your fannergroups. However, some of these facwrs dopose problems for an extension workerwhoseekstomaximize participationinproblem solving and decision making.How,for instance, does the traditional attitude w women's participationingroup discussions affectour attempts w involve them man'! inadopting progressive agricultural practices?Inthe following sections of this and the next chapter, these traditionalfactonshouldbeborne in mindinallthat is said about generating discussionandusing problem solving techniques. Sometimes there willbea degree of incompatibility between -modem" recommended strategies and the "traditional" patterns of communication. The skill of the extension worker isinseeing adaptationstomore customarypatternsofinteractionoringentlypenuadinggroupstouse discussion methods to which they are not accustomed. This is, of course, easier saidthandone! ""

PAGE 114

LeadingaDiscussionSOME REASONS FORWORKING WITHGROUPSGroupwork has long been recommended inextensionwork because itisseenasmore economicalaftimethanthe one-tIrone approach.Butitwouldbe wrong totakeupan position.ThecoreactivityoflheT&V system isthe farm visit;yetthereaTeplentyofopportunitiestoengageingroupwork alongsidethe (ann visiting schedules. Fielddemonstrations,individualattention,presentationstolarge audiences andsmallgroup diS(;ussions blendtomakea variedbutintegrated extension strategy.What i9 atissuehere, is whenare group discussionsthemostappropriateactivity?An answer can bederived from a consideration of the particular strengths of group asopposedtoindividualinteraction.Anumberoffactorscanbe identified:groups often provide easy contact,whentheyarealready fonnally organized, have fixed meeting placesandtimes; even whennotmembers of regular groups, people will readily assembleinorderto discuss orlearnabout something of common interest; attitudes areoften more easily modified in group interactions, whenanindividual recognizesheis"outnumberedinhisopinion; groupenthusiasmcan influencethe"slow-adopters"; when people are involvedasa group indecision making, thenthecommitmenttowhathasbeen decided is likelytobegreater; a group can become a "pressure group", working for changeinits larger community; extension messages can be more easily clarifiedandmodifiedifsubjectedto group criticismandconfirmation; disseminationofideas can bequickened as group members talkwithneighbours, friendsandrelatives; participationin groups enhances democratic processes, builds personal confidenceandencourages co-operative activities.

PAGE 115

Sometimesyoumightwantto make a deliberate effortto estal)lish fanners' discussion groups, which you hope will continue to meet onaregular basis. These aresome basic factors which make for success: the meetings effectively; make surethat the meetings have a definite purpose, relevanttothe fanners' interests and needs; trytoidentify, beforehand, individualswhowill make good group discussion leaders and who areprepared totake on the roleofchairman or secretary; "establish a scheduleofmeetings which is convenient for the majority of potential paricipants; offer leadershipinthe initial phase, but explain that the goal isthatthe group should be abletooperate effectivelyonitsown; continuetoshowaninterest in what the groups are doing, by making fairly regular visits; remember thatgroups of this kindaresuccessful onlyifthe members feelthattheyaregetting something worthwhile from the meetings! TIlE DISCUSSION PROCESSDiscussion can mean a variety ofthings--from afewquestions thrownoutatthe endofatalk or a demonstration,to a free-for-all conversationwithoutaguideor guidelines. The essential processesofpurposeful discussionareindicatedinthe diagram already introduced in Chapter Five, whenwewere reviewing the basic modelsofextension communication. The assumption isthatboth the extension worker and the farmers have some knowledge relatingtothe "materialortopic of disC'Ull-""

PAGE 116

LeadingaDiscussionsian-whetherfrom the talk they havejustheard, the demonstra tion they have seen,orfrom their own fanning experience. The discussion leader's task is to select the subject fordiscussion, direct the fanners' attention to it---and then guide the group through a discussionofit. The processes of discussionwillvary accordingtowhohas control and the degree offonnality:A CLeadeO 0 00rma1J BC Four kinds of discussion group are indicated here.Inthe toplen segment. (A)wecould place those occasions where the leaderl chairman remains in authority with respect to both the subjectmatterand themannerof discussing it..Itfits those kinds of where the extension worker asks all the questions, takes up all the responses and gives most. oftheanswers. Such a discussion becomes more likewhatwewere used towhen childrenatschool and the teacherputusontest.DlustrationA discussionthatwould fit this kind of controlled, fonnal approach might gosomething like this: EW: "You haueMWseen the new typeofcrib and theimpTOued basket. Whyshould maizebedried in a storerather than in the rteldr FarmerOne: thebirdsdo a lotofdamagetothe maize when itisleft in the rteld."EW:"Yes. that is oneoflhe things I mentioned in my talk. What Farmer Two: "But I am concerned about the costofthese new structures. Could you tell ushowmuch it would taketo raise a basket like thatrChap..,s

PAGE 117

EW: "That is not what I tlSked, You are offthe point. What other reasollS are there for dryillg your maize in the store?" In the bottom left segment (B), where the control has passedtothe group members butstill there is a high degree of fonnality,wewould place those occasions where, for instance, a group offanners are meeting with their own elected committee officers andfollow ing the rules of fonnal business meetings.Inthe bottom right segment (C)wehave symbolized the kind of groupdiscumon wherenoone isexerdsingacontrolling role and the members are freely di8l:ussing a topic ofmutual interest. Suth situations occur when the group is strongly motivated to discuss a tertainissue and the membersareable to keep to the point without anyone designated88 chainnanand without the need for procedural rules. However, most discussion groups need some kind of guidancefroma chaiTman figure.Itis, though, possible to take this role without beingsa authoritarianasthe extension worker in the above illustration. A group concerned withthesame topic,insimilar circumstances, could operate something like this: EW: "Fine. You hove listened tomy explaMtion ofthe new cribandthe improved btlSket. Can we have some reactions to what I have said. But first, let's review the reasons fordryillg your lmIizein a store rather thaninthe field. Whatdo you think are the important points?" Farmer OM: "The birdsdo a lotofdamage to the lmIize when itis left in the field." EW: "Yes, that certainly seems tobetrue in this area. Any other reasollS you would particularly mention?" FarmerTwo: "But Iam concerned about the cost ofthese new structures. Can you tell us how much it would take to raise a basket like that?EW: "Certainly, that is avery important point. But I am goillg /0 dial with thatin some detail later. Doyou mind ifwepostponemy answer tothat tillhave consit.kred someofthe reasons for cha1l8ing the practicesof haroesting only when the maize isstookillg inthe{ield? But I do want togive you some fllluT"son the costs a little later.OK? '"

PAGE 118

EW:LeadingaDiscussion Farmer Two: Toot is fine. Well, / reckon termitesarejustas big aproblem as the birds in myshambo.Alldthe rats of course. Especially ifyou stook.Farmer Three: -And'tMre isamuchgreater chalICe ofmoulds forming ifthemaizeis stooked. rother tOOIl dried quicklyill a raised andopell stnuture.EW: -And' whatwouldyousay we OOve to do tomakesure tMcobs do dry quicklyin tM store?Farmer Three: -As ill tMseaamples here, the slats are widely placed-more sothanilltheusualwoven haskelsandtM structures are placed in the opensotoot they call catch asmuchwindas possible. But/ amlooking at the roof overhang. /would be worried about the raingettingin.-"WOOtdo other peoplethinkabout toot point?This segment D style is a very different style from the first example a different atmosphere iscreated. Inthis example,the extension worker remainsinauthority as far as the proceedingsareconcerned buthedoes not poseastheonlyauthority within the group. Unfortunately, people who are not used to democratic discussion methods are often reluctanttoallow the leaderfigureto come down from somekindof pedestal. A point whichishighlighted in thefollowing story of a priest.A priest established a Bible study groupinhis parish. He wa.nted ittobealloccasion where people could come together, /0learn together and /0 learn from each otMr. He wantedto beanordinal)' memberofthe group.Butthose whoatlend'ed would not lethimbe toot. Always they looked tohimfor -tManswer" onanycontroversial issue.Sohe leftthegroup to itsOwndevices for six monthsandonly rtjoilU!dwMntheyOOd developed their own style and' confidences. This iswhat sometimes happens to extension workers when theyareseenasthe -experot inall famtingmatters. And when the other factors discu.ssedearlier---illrelation to traditionalattitudestowarda behaviourin groups-are also operative,thenthe job of stimulating free-flowing discussion becomes a tricky one. However, Iamnotadvocatingthat you should walk away from yourjob form. months! Hopefully. there are ideasin the rest of this chapterthat can beappliedinfonning and facilitating genuine discussion groups, where all participants feelabletocontribute.

PAGE 119

LEADING AN INFOR.l\olAL DISCUSSIONGROUP Those occasions where individualfannerscontributeandtheextension worker orothergroup leader still dominatesbyjudging every contributionandhaving everylastword, do not really deservethelabel discussion. They confonn more tothecharacter isticsof "presentationmodes of communication.Truediscussion happens when participants areable to talk freely, are abletoinitiate ideasaswellasrespond to questions. Whetherthishappens depends mainlyon the skills and sensitivi tiesofthediscussion group leader. Those who have studied whnt makesforeffectivenessin groups have identifiedthefollowing kl!y functionsoftheleader:InitiatingItis importantthatthemembers are made aware ofthe main objectivesofthemeetingandhave a clear idea ofthetopictobe explored, theproblemsthatneed to be solvedorthe decisionsthatneed to be made. "Are weallagreed on what is the main businessof themeeting; to hear what the Post-Haruest Officer hastotell us about the new project in thisarea,andthen to discuss our own storage problems with him?OpinionSeekingSome members willbereluctantto speak without being asked,soitis ataskof the leader to stimulatecontributions.Asstated earlier,there may well be dillicultiesforwomen membersofa mixed grouptocontribute freely. So oneofyourtasksmaybetoencouragethem-bringthem intotheconversation when you sensethatthey will certainly have something to contribute. "Mama.s--we haue beenasktd whyweshouldbecoreful not to let the chicke/'lS stay under the storage structures. What would you say about that?" ClarifyingSome members will experience difficultyingettingtheirpoints across. A good leader helps them byrestatingwhattheyaretryingtosayorbydevelopinganidea they have touched on. However, this should be donecarefully-toavoid appearing patroni'l:ing or dominating. '"

PAGE 120

LeadingaDiscussion '"-BwarwStt!pht!r1,can I just chf!Ckthat I haVf!heardyouright?Youareooyingthatyoua/"/!concernedabout whetherthechemioolsused to treatthemaiu in thesto/"/! will a/ffiCtitstaste?"Encouraging Theleaderadoptsa friendlyapproach1.0allmembersofthe group. Buthe isparticularlyconcerned1.0"draw thesilentorshyones. One ofthetasksis1.0 "hold thering"-t.omake sure thata few confident, knowledgeable individuals donotdominatethe talk. Onewaytoencouragetheless forthcoming is t.odrawtheminwhen youare sure thattheywillhavesomething1.0sayana particular point.Ifthey are directlyinvited1.0saysomethingwhentheyarenotsureoftheir ground, theymaywill feelputonthespotanddiscouraged even more fromparticipating. "MalTUl last yearyou impfOlJed the traditional basketyouhaueinyourcampou.ru1.Canyou tell us what changeswe/"/!madi! to it?" ControllingOutofa concern for progressandaction,theleaderhelps to focus the discussion bypointingoutwhenmembersseem to bestrayingfromthepointorwhenrepetitionis occurring. "BwarwEdward. whatyouQ/"/!ooyingisan important point; but do you mind if wdealJf! Q discussion o(that till our nextmeeting,siJlce, if wetakt!it upnow it will toke usaway (romour main business for tcday?"Summarizing Anotherwayofachieving a focused discussion is fortheleaderto occasionally pulltogethertheideasthathavebeen expressedand to putto the group theconclusionsthatseem tohavebeen reachedorthedisagreementsthatneed to be resolved. Suchsummariesgivetheparticipantsa recognitionthattheyhavebeenheardand create asenseof progress."WakuJima,WM/"/!havewe gottoin our discussiont0d4y?ItS4!ems tome we halJe agreed on three mainissues... 000Ifyouareactually in theleadingor "chairing" position for a discussion session,yourmainproblemmaybe to control yourselffromtalking1.00much. Youmaywell bebettereducatedthanthe Clur.ptu9

PAGE 121

majority of the members. more confidentof speaking in public.and)'ou will most likely have more technical knowledge compared withthefarmers. However.if you seeyour purposeas stimulating a rangeof views on aparticularissue.thenitis moreimportantthatyouaskthe rightquestionsratherthangive all theanswers.Ifmembersdirectquestionsatyou.then often you will need toredirect themto the group. And. by occasionallysummarizingthecontributions. you will be building ontheideasandopinionsof theparticipants. ORGANIZmG GROUP DISCUSSIONSHowever informalandlively the int.eraction, effective disCUSSlOlJ usuallydependson careful planning.Theleaderneeds to befamiliarwith the topicsunderdiscussion; informed ahout the backgroundsandinterestsoftheparticipants;andpreparedwiththeissues hethinksshould he explored orthequestions hewantsto raise.Groupsize is alsoanimportantfactor. Between sixand twelve memberscanengage in a purposeful,yetrelaxed,discussion-agroup smallenoughfor allmembersto feel they can contribut.e; largeenough foranyshymembernot tofeelexposed.Ifthe group istoolargeitcanbedividedinto subgroups whichcanbreakoff to discuss a specific topicandthen ontheir to thelarge group. One way to conform to traditional pntterns of discussionmightbe tobasethedivision intosubgroupsofagesets.The sealingarrangements will also affect performance. Fluidity of interaction will dependnotonly onwhethereveryonecanbeheardbutalso onwhethertheirbodylanguagecan be read. In everyday encounters weare used to picking up the signs thatsomeone to saysomething (thelin oftheheador the openingofthemouth1,thatsomeonehasfinishedspeaking(theslightturningaway of the eyes). A look in someone's direction can signalan indt:ltion to contribute; a smilecanrelieve atensemoment.Allthesebodyandeye movementsareimportantin facilitatingandadjustingtheflowoftalk.Ifa gToup is seatedsuch thot peoplecannoteasily see each other,thenthesevital visual cues will be missedandthe flow oftalkimpeded. Where you,as "visiting sitwill have astronginfluence too.Ifyousitinacentralordominantchair,thenthiswill often betakenassignalthatyou willbetightly controllinlt the proceedings in atraditional manner.Sometimesthesimpleactoftakingupa lessprominentposition can promptmore initiatives fromthe participants.'"

PAGE 122

LeadingaDiscussion '" In theneXlchapter wewill eJ(plore afewtechniquesforhelping groups to adopt purposeful methodsofproblem solvingand decision making.Butto summarize whathas been said about the general factors influencing discussion, here isa checklist of key points:THECONDITIONSFOREFFECTIVEDISCUSSION0Purpose The objectivesshouldbecleartoallparticipants. oPreparationThegroupmembersshould have some experience related to the topic beingdiscussed. o Control The leader shouldbeinauthoritybutnottheauthority-responsibleforthe conduct of the meeting,butnot performingastheonly expert in the group. o Size Thegroup shouldbesmall enough foreveryone tofeelable to make a contribution. oSettingTheseatingshould bearrangedsothateveryonehaseye contact with everyone else. o Atmosphere Theatmosphere shouldbeone in which participants feel free to offertheir ideas, tochallengeandbechallenged. oSummaryThe discussion should end with astatementonwhathasbeen achieved. C4pUr9

PAGE 123

10Using Problem Solving TechniquesWhenleadingdiscussiongroupsitis a advantageto have a good grasp of certainprocesses thatensurefocusedandactionoriented meetings. Oftenthemembers will be grappling with somekindofproblem;tryingto reachagreementaboutthemostappro priate andfeasible solutions.This chapterpresents some well-triedtechniquesforgeneratinga group discussionthatdrawontheexperience ofllie participantsandfacilitate rational decision mak ing.Thetechniquesareinthemselves vcrysimple-butwhen theyarefollowedthey can greatlyimprovethe processes andtheconsequences of discussion. FORCE FIELD ANALYSISThisis a technique for identifying andthentryingtomodify boththepositiveor"driving"andthenegativeorMreslraining" forces that are influencingtheachievementofanobjective.Thegroupleaderneedsa large sheetofpaper-newsprintor flipchart-to buildupthe foree fieldchart as thediscussion pro gresses.Whena groupis discussinga problemsituationandhasa good ideawhatitwould like to do toovercome thatproblem,thentheleadercanhelp inguidingthediscussion by"mapping thekey forces on paper. First, he draws a line acrossthemiddleofthesheet,andonone side writes upallthepositiveandontheothersidethenegative forees (seetheillustrationonthenextpage).Theprocess will become clearer ifwetakeanexample.An extension worker is attendinga meeting ofawomen's grouptogive them information about the OnForm Grain Storage Project.'"

PAGE 124

-----.... ----UsingProblemSolvingTechniques Positive'JI/!:gative-----.... ------_.. ----They are convinced that the Project recommendations make good senseandthey would like to put them into practice on their own sham bas. However, they are not confident that they willbesuccess ful in convincing their husbands. So, they haveaclear goal-and alsoaproblem tobe overcome. The leader then draws theforce(ield chart on the paper and asks the participants to offer up their ideas concerning both the things that will help them achieve their goaland those that stand in the way. As the contributions come, they are writtenup-withoutdiscussion at this stage-
PAGE 125

Mercy: Mo.",:Martho.: EW:Julio.: Martha: Mary: Ann:Mercy:"These new structures are sa open. Many o( us store our maize inside the house because we are afraidofthieves. That is certainly something my husband will thinkof" i(we are honest,wewill admit Ihat we don't like todisplay thatwehave much grain instore because ofthe demands made by relatiues!If itis storedinthe Muse, it is much more hidden away. "Perhaps the most dimclI.lt thing will bepersuading our husbands that losses arein(actoccurring especially when the damaged groin is used(or mak ing beer,orfed to the chickens.""OK. Let's now look at the other positiue things. Those things that will encourage your hus bands to adopt the recommendationso(the projfft. What do you want me toPlI.tonthe chart?" "Less maize lost-so more andhealthierfoodforthe family "And more cash,i(what is saued can be sold."TM fact that the projfft islWWestablished in the area. Oll.rhusbands will seethe publicity-and yoll. can support II.S by also talking to them. "Didn't you say that (undisintM area are being trained to help with the construction ofthe cribsand tM improvement o(basket stores?Sowhat has been said about the problemsof construction islWt$0important .,"And whenwe were thinking o( expense, we Wf!rethinl1.ingofthe new large crib. Mostofusdonot need a store ofthat size-andyou haue said Ihat the improued basket isjustas efficient for quick d",ing ofthe cobs{orstoring." "There's $Omething else. I'm not sure I can put it very well .... but I Ihinl1. manyofour husbands would like to think that theywere being progressiue andgood (armers.

PAGE 126

UsingProblemSolvingTechniques '"Aft.ersuch a rangeofviews.theforce fieldchartwould look like this: 9ofcmamf!iwftlr.Urjooa---..+-IgttDTanualiOlJturieTlirslofWSSlS Youwillimmediately seethatthe technique isonethatmakesthecontributions of memberseasy-anditensuresthattheleader doesnotplayadominant role.Italso makes surethatthediscussion is focused. Butthespecial benefitorthetechnique isthatitprovidesthematerialforadetailed, progressive analysisoraproblem. Oncethepositiveandnegative have beenmappedintheway illustrated, thenthegrouphasa framework for discussing solutions.Essentially,thisis amatterofseeing howthenegative forces mightbe eradicated or minimized and the positive ones maximized. Inthisexample, a review of theitemson thechartwould showthatsomearedirectlyrelatedandsomeofthepositive could canceloutthenegative.Forinstance, onthequestionofexpense,theideaofgoing for the improvedbasketreduces considerably the force oftheexpenseargument.Orthe existence of speciallytrainedfundis overcomestheproblemsanticipatedby those who would not be abletotackle the constroction themselves.

PAGE 127

Onthetwo points related tothe risksof exposing the grain to public view, imaginingthatyouare theextension worker leading the discussion, you eQuid make some direct suggestions.Youcould explain that,if theft isaserious problem in a particulararea,there is nothing wrong with storingthe mai"le in sacks insidethe houseprovidedithasbeen driedand treated propertyand the storage conditionsaresatisfactory. Three difficulties remain: the conservative innuence of tradition; thedoubtsabouttheamountofgrainactually being lost; theexpense ofanyimprovements. Onthefirst of these, there is a counterbalancing point already written up-the desireoffarmersto be respected withinthecommunityas being progressiveandsuccessful. This counterbal ancing point may. however. not be obvioustothegroup until you pointitoutandexplain it.Torelatethetwo views you might say something like, Sometimesitisthe farmers who break away fromtheirtraditional practices,andadoptanew method, who are lookedup to bytheirneighboursandbecome respectedasleading farmersinthe Thefinal two "restraining" forces would need more exploration and debate. Here anothertechnique-braiostormiog--couldbe in troduced which facilitatesthepooling of ideas within a group. BRAINSTORl\UNG Again,thisis a very simple technique.butone which can be most effective ingeneratinggroup ideas about solutions toanygiven problem.Vouaskthemembers of the grouptosuggest ideas which you immediately writeupona largesheetofpaperorblackboard. The key factor isthatanyidea is welcomed, however wilditmay seem. Inthiscollectingphasetheemphasis shouldbeonquantityratherthanquality. Also,itisimportantthateach idea is "logged" withoutanycomment. And the listshould be completed before any discussiontakesplace. Let usimaginethatyou adopt this technique v,ith thewomen's groupatthestage reached inthediscussionofhow to convince husbands aboutthebenefits oftheOnFannGrainStorage Project messages.Ofthefinal twoareasof difficulty--doubts about lossandtheexpenseofimprovements-youtakethequestion ofloss: '"

PAGE 128

UsingProblemSolvingTechniques We seemfa haue identified two mainprobleffl.$-how to persuade your husbands that they art in fact losing a lotoftheir maizea(t.erharvesting; Gndhowtotackle the issueof expenses related tomakingany improvements. Let's dealwith thequestion of loss first.AndleI'ssee how many ideaswe can come up with that would help us in convincing them. shcUllluim out,andI will write themup0/1the paper.II dnesn'l matterhow impractical the ideamayseem-let's try to(illthe popr! Then whenwehaue collected them, we callhaue agood look atthemtosee which ones we might be able/0use.The process mightbe slowatfirst,butwhenoneortwo participant.!! have made sugglJslions. the pace quickensasthemembers builq on eachother'sideas-andbegintoenjoy themselves in comingupwith and bizarre suggestions.The result of such a pooling could look like c_".........W"1S<>/a-f
PAGE 129

show weevil-contamimned grain that has been stored for some time in ajar; compare the volume of contaminated and um.:ontaminated grain; compare theweight of contnminated and uncontaminated grain; workoutthe financial savings thatcouJdbemadebyhaving, say.20bags of good maize ratherthanonly16bags of weevil-infested maize; encourage them to attend an on-faml demonstration on post harvestmanagementrunbyExtension staff. Tobeabletorespond in thismannerto such a brainstorming session, youmustdo some preparation. Anticipatethediscussion points. Anticipate likely workable suggestions. Have in your "bag such items asjarsof contaminatedanduncontaminated maize. Usethe nipchart again to summarizeanyconclusions. Onthequestionofexpense, perhaps, you would needtotake more ofa lead: because ofthe technical aspects ofthesubject.You could explainthedifference betweenthe costs ofthenew cribandthe improved basket; show how costs could be reduced by a farmer using his own materialsandlabour; demonstratethe expected financial savings which wouJd themselves offset the costs even inthefirst yearsofmaking any improvements; discuss the possibili tiesofloansforstructuralwork-andemphasizethatsome of the key recommendations oftheprojectareabout management prac tices which involve little orno costs. These two problem solvinganddecision maki ng techniques provide a numberofadvantagesfora group leader: they help himtostructurea discussion session; they ensurethatthediscussion is focusedandprogressIve; they ensuretheparticipationofthe group members; numerous aspects of a particular problem canbeexplored withouttheparticipants losing trackofthe discussion; the emphasis is on problem solvingratherthansimply problem airing: '"

PAGE 130

UsingProblemSolvingTechniques '" key blockages to achievinganobjectivecanbe identifiedandarangeofsolutionscanbe considered; theemphasisisonactionsthat can betaken to achieve a goal;participantsusuallyfindthe process is funaswellaspurposeful. Finally,theuseofdiscussiontechniquesofthiskindcan greatly enhanceyourown sense of professionalism asanextensionworkerandcommunicator.Thecontrastisbetweenaworkerwho knowshistechnical fieldbutemploysmainlyone-way, top-down modestodeliver hismessages-anda worker whonotonly knows his subject butalsoknowsandcanuseavarietyofflexibleparticipatorymodesofcommunication.Thefirstmaywell become bored withrepeatinghimself.The second is much morc likelytomaintainan interest in bothhissubjectandthemeansofgettingitacross.There is apleasureandaprideto be derived frombeingskilled inthemoreinteractivemethodsofcommunication. Yourfanners will getmore from youtoo!

PAGE 131

11UsingVisualAidsIn theprevious chapterwewere oonsideringdiscussion techniques for which you would needtoemploythesimple aidofeithera blackboard,8 flipchartor sheetsofncwsprintpinneduponawallara tree.Butwhetheryou arc using presentation, discussion oraction-based modesofcommunication,appropriateequipmentandvisual aids cangreatlyenhanceyour perfonnance.Thischapterreviewsthekindsofaid you may wishtouse in your extension activities. Not all these aidsaTCavailabletoall extension workers, butitis important to knowwhatcan be accomplished bytheaidsthatare becoming increasingly common. Also,itis importantto knowaboutalternativemethodsofpreparingchartsandothervisual materials.WHYUSEVISUALS? Visual aidsaremedia designedtohelp usgetourmessages across more clearlyand more emphatically. Some visuals can communicatea message ontheirown,butusuallylheyarethere to supplementspoken orwrittenwords. They canrangefrom simpletocomplex-fromanoutline drawing on a singleshcetof paperto a televisiondocwnentary programme. However, whatever theshapeorformoflhevisual aid,itenhancesthecommunication process inthreemainways: itarouses intereslin thesubject or message-b) makingitmoreemphatic;ithelps peopleunderstandthemessage moreclearly-bymakingitmorecoherent: m

PAGE 132

UsingVisualAidsithelps people to remember the message some time after it has beendelivered-becauseithasbeen more coherentlyandemphatically presented. However,8visual aid is notinitselfaguaranteethatthesequalities will be present. In factaninappropriateor too complex visual aid can be counterproductive---serving only to confuseratherthanenlighten an audience.WHATMAKESAGOODVISUALAID? Beforemakingorusing a visual aid itis as well toaskyourselfa few key questions: Is it as simple as Icanmakeit?To show, for instance, the increase in national maize yield comparedwiththepopulation increase, a simple two line graph may bebetterthana complicated setoffigures.Isit as bold as Icanmakeit?lthasto be seen by all the membersofanaudience. The more detailthatisincluded,thesmallerthatdetailislikely to be-and theless readable.Isit as clear as Icanmakeit?A very commonmistakeis to include too much information on one visualatone time. Sometimesitisbettertopresentandbuilduptheinformation step-by-stepin a seriesofdisplays.Isit as interesting as Icanmakeit?Thelayoutandcolour ofthedisplay should beattractiveandstimulating.Ingeneral,theappearanceof a visual is boundtoaffect people's reactiontoit. A visualthatis shoddy, carelessly madeorbadly laidoutwillputoff people from lookingatitortakingitseriously.Ontheotherhand, a well designed, cleanandwell presented visual will catch the eye and hold attention. Clut.plU II

PAGE 133

HOWTOPRESENTVISUALS If a visual is of good qualitythenitis a pity to spoil it through bad presentation. The following points shouldensurethatvisuals are shown totheir best advantage:o Make sure the lJisual is well placed.o Work oui the sight-lines foryour audience-how well the lJisual will be seen from all seatingpositimls-and make sure the visual is higheTlOughfOrelJeryone tosee it. Experiment with the seatingarrangementtogetitright.o Be careful Ttot to obstruct the audience'slJiew. o Take up a position suchthat you are not between the lJisualand members ofyouraudience.o PrelJenl the glare of light on the screen if using anykindof projected pictures.Strongnaturalorartificial light across a screen can be anirritatingdistraction foranaudience.oRegularly check any equipment being used (or projecting lJisuals.Tryoutpower supplies and switches onthe equipment. Clean lenses and screens. oAvoid talking to the visual. This is oneofthecommon faults of group leaders. Whenitis necessary to indicate somethingon the visual,getintothehabitofturningtofaceyouraudience as quicklyaspossible.oAlJoid reading a lJisual-handoutorlea/let-word by wordtoan audif!nce. Doingthiscan make for a dullandboringpresentstion-anditisinsulting to anaudience's intelligence.WHICHAIDTOUSE?Itis difficult to offer sensible advice on this,withoutgoing intogreatdetail for each type available.Buttherearesome general consid erations which will have abearingon your choice: whatis available for your use? whatdoyou feel comfortable with? which aid willpresentyourparticularinfonnationmosteffectively? The following survey liststheadvantagesanddisadvantagesofthe visual aids youarelikely to come across.

PAGE 134

UsingVisualAids '" CHECKLISTOFVlSUAL AIDS AdvatlUl,e.Disadvatll.l.lUBlackboard.n.. m...t tnIditional","-t h.. t-nWTitunboIt.unthemoltunnoC.b.di.play..tfluibl.ofapin-inUIOItI'Qttl)edllUticnal .id&.the...,.nipchrtpapertLa.,e","acetowrite canbekept.on. Fordi.pl.y orkeypointl.ndkainc:of........--F1ipchartWhat i. writ.ten... On each.tlNtthere;"Mpar.Ie......1.IcanbeletaIIJ*' for WTitinediqllayecl.roundthethan on bllCkboard. room UHd for F1ipcll.rt paper i. diKlWlion IIId it can costlybut end roll. ofbe..tlined. new.print.re mw:hmeanl for cheaper. croupo to record .nd onmain pointlfor dilJ<1lnion.Poaters The... re prepared inOnly. limitedranpof d informBtion be Ch ......v.iI.ble in printedfonn. [fleftdilpl.yed for tooEllilydilplll)'ed in longc.n10Mimpact. prominent po.ition.U.u.lIy the dilpl.y,for either public111'1.11,10th,ylhouldI>Otvi.wine or.. materi.1beUHd for preMntltiOJUto prompt crouPlDI'reeJ"OUpa.di_li... ,SUdeFor iIlultnting.OependJ on power supply.....;...0.-ttlkwithrelenntNeedJdJrltmedroom.pieWrn of Ken... nd Therefore difrlC\lltlDIYI1\tI.H;,hquality hold. dilaWion until reproduction, if oIid"full presentttion i..... orpodquality.--.FilmDr.m.ticpresentation. Limited....pofre\eantofstudym.terial..films.c.ptJ,I,,"KtioT>,aoundLellfluibility in playand-VOic.over" back compal'fll with video. commentlry.Need.roomandpower,

PAGE 135

,,, paypaCHECKLISTOFVISUAL AIDS AdvBntall'cS Disadvantal;:'cs videoSame llS"as filmfor is expensiveillllitrative material! andneeds careflll butmuchmare flexible.handlinl;:'(though the Tapes can be quicklyoperationof video cuedfa. showingre<:ording equipmentis extracU. The "free.e I"""complicated than frame" facilityallows oftena!lSumed) for clou study ofFor showingt
PAGE 136

UsingVisualAids '" strategywill applywhethertheprogramme is being usedasanintroductiontoa discussion,as anillustrationorasanevaluation. MAKn'JG YOUROWNVlSUALAIDSWith limited resources, you will often be in a positionof having tomakeyour own visuals-whetherposters orcharts.Fortunately, you donothavetobea skilled artist to produce effective aids ofthiskind.Theprime isgettingthemessageright accurate,direct andeye-catching.Theamountofdetailthatis carried by aparticularvisual will depend,of couese, onwhetheritis designed to stand on its own or as asupportfor a talk. Andthecontentofa visual can vary: a single sloganthatsumsupthekey messageofa project, a listofstepsto betakenin completing aparticularfunction, adrawingordiagramofaconstruction.Evena notice advertisingameeting-theneaterand more eye-catchingitis,themore likely peoplewilltake it seriously.Whatfollows is basic advice on how to make visuals with picturesandsimple lettenng.Pictures Unlessyouhavesomeartistictalentit may pay tousesome copying techniquesratherthanattemptdrawingyourown pictures. To reproduce a picture onpaperyou could useanyofthefollowing devices: cuttingouta picture from a magazine or catalogueandthenpastingit; tracinganoriginalthroughcarbonpapertoanothersheetof paper; tracingby placing athinsheetofpaperon topofthe original; usinganappropriateslideanddrawingtheoutline oftherequired image fromthepicture projected on to asheetofpaper; makingatemplateoutofstiffcardforillustrationsthatwill be used anumberoftimes.LetteringTo achieve regularityandneatnessmost people need to use constructionlines. As intheillustration,ruleoutthespace in which aletteristoappear.Firstthehorizontal topandbottom linesare C!I4"ur II

PAGE 137

drawninlight pencil totherequired height.Thevertical linesarethendrawntotherequired widths of eachletter-andthe space between the letters. The ratio oftheheighttothewidth of all lettersisusually 4:3--except for 'M'and'W'whichareabout square, and for'I'which is only a single line wide. As a guide for the letters like'B', 'E', 'H'and'5' which have cross members,drawanotherhorizontal line midway between the top andbottom. The space betweenlettersisnotalways equal. The difficult onesareletters like'N,'J','p'and'T'which should be spacedagainstother letterstocreate a balanced visual appearance.This is a matter of eye judgment,buttheillustration belowmayassist in solving the epacing. Work firstinlight pencilandthengoover with felt penorinktothedesired degree of boldness. Whenthecompleted letters are dry,erasethepencilled construction lines. Afewotherpointsaboutletteringareworth bearing in mind: for easeofdrawing and legibility, use only simple block letters; thewidthandboldness ofthelettersareasimportantasthe overall size oftheletters for legibility. colour makesforimpactandinterest; testtheletteringatthe distance your audience will havetoreadit./2;

PAGE 138

UsingVisualAids If you can acquire a stencilsetor stencilrulerthenneatnessofletteringisassured.Unfortunately,theeasily available stencil TUlers 8Tenotproducedinlargersizes. '" FLIPCHAR'ISOnewayofovercomingthe problem ofhowtodisplayyouriIlustrationaistouse a flipchart.Thisconsists of anumberof sheets ofpaperofthesamesize which 8reclippedtogether.Thenamecomes from thetechniqueof -flipping over" onesheetonceithasbeendiscussedinorderto reveal the next one.Thelargesize of flipchartpaperallows youtoproduce visuals which can bedearlyseen by relativelylargegroups-upto a distanceof7to8 metres.Thisis certainly more effective thanholdingupanillustrationfrom asmallpamphlelorposterintendedfor individual reading!You can prepare your charts before a sessionstarts, arrange theminthe proper sequence and show the different steps as you proceed with your subject. Also, flipcharts canbeused for recording the main points arising from a discussion. The blank sheets to beused forrecortl.i.ng-i)r the prepared sheetsneed to bemountedso that they canbeproperly handled and protected. Thereare two main ways todothis:eitherby suspending themorby fixing themonan easel.

PAGE 139

A clip for holdingthe pages can be made ofeithercardboard or wood, with two holestoattachthecharts and a holeateach end oftheclip 50 thatitcan behungon a string.I CAROSO.oJlD CUPI -=.,Y-----..J WOODENCUP 1 ..-_ .... Themost common device for mounti ng f1ipcharts isthetripod easel.TRIPODEASEL' '"

PAGE 140

UsingVisualAids Chartscan also be keptin aneasel kitmade oflight plywood whidl iseasier tocarry aroundthana talltripodanditcanbe placed for display on toporatable. Also,thetwo boardsprotecting thecharts canbemade into chalkboards. 1__ ooo 0"".ChO:ptf:f 11

PAGE 141

PostscriptIhavetriedin this manualtopresentvarious waysof communicating withfannerswhichconformtothe agreed values that underpin agriculturalextension. Also,whathasbeen recommended followswell established principles thathold true in My fieldofadulteducation.Thekeymessageshavebeen: Make sure you are wellprepared,butalways he agoodlistener;Be graphic inyour presentations ofinfonnation,butusediscussionandaction-basedmodesofcommunicationwheneverpossible; Become askilledperformer,butinvolvethefarmersinthepracticeofskills whenevertheopportunity anl;eB. HereisanotherversionoftheChineseproverb:Ilearna little from whatI hear,More fromwhatIsee, Mostfrom whatI do.Andthis touches onthelimitationsoramanualof this kind. Youmayleama littJe about communicationbyreading thisixlok. Butyouwilllearnmuch moreifyou make a deliberateattemptto practice the recommended modesandmethods. VThink aboutwhatyou are doing. ..... Whenthingsgo well,askyourselfwhy. ..... Whenthingsgonotso well,askyourselfwhy. Andgetasmuch feedback aboutyour perfonnances as you can-&om your colleagues and from your fanners.

PAGE 142

132 Notes

PAGE 143

AnnexTheOn-FarmGrainStorageProjectPURPOSES TheOn-FannGrain StorageProject is concerned withthe needs of the smallfannenin Kenya It introducesthem to improved post.-har"t'Sttechniqueswrudlcandnunaticallyreducetheirmaizecroplosses.Theproject. issponsored bythe Government ofKenyathrough the Ministry ofAgric::ulture, and is funded bytheUS Agency for Int.erru:J tional Development.It is implementedbyDPRA, Inc. of theUSA.DPRA has a team of two extensionspecialists and a grain storagespecialist basedinKenya. Thisteamworks with l\linistry of AgriculturecounterparU who aretrained for post.-hwvl'St specialisms---and withthe Ministry's extension serviceoperating inthe areasrovered by theproject.. In1983the project was establishedinthetwo westemprovinces of NytlJU8andWestern,both major maizegrowingareas.where thebulkof production isfrom small-scalearms. On such farms. therelln'!serious lossesnnergrain has reached physiological maturity. Theselossesoccurwhenthegrain is stillinthefields,whenitis being driedandwhenitis sU)red intraditionalcribsor baskets.11lelouescan be asmuch3.!i3O'lo of the potential harvest. They are the resultofattacks by insecU. birds and rodentsor contaminatioo bymould.When fanners lose fourorlivebags ofmaize out of eac::b. twentyit is theequivalent oflosingbetween 20to 25'lL of theirgrouincome. Eithertheylose a potential prolitor they lose the money theyhave to spend tobuy additionalgrain fortheir OWTlfamilies to eat.

PAGE 144

AnnexOn a national scale the problem is indeed a serious one. Maize is one of the staple foodstuffs of Kenya. But, withanexpanding popula tion-and without a matching increase inproduction-Kenyawould run the risk of havingtoimport maizetomeet its needs. This would be an unfortunate drainofprecious foreign currency. The Government has faced uptothe problem and for a number of yean has promoteds<:hemes forincreasing production. Similarly,it sees the importance ofschemes which reduce post-harvest losses. A number of research studies have shownthatlosses canbecuttoaround5%by adopting a fewsimple grain storage management practices. Some of these practices cost no morethanafew hours of a fanner's time.METHODSThe main improvements recommended bythe On-Fann Grain Storage Project are: constructing1.5 meter-wide, raised cribs or baskets.orraising existing storage structures; installingratguards on the legsofthe structures; harvesting the maizeatphysiological maturity; making sure the stores areclean and freeofinfestation before storing new grain; rapid dryingonthe cob; shelling andtreating the grain with a recommended insecticide: periodic inspectionofthe stored maize. Farmersareencouragedtoadopt the whole packageofrecom mended procedures. The costofconstruction-for materials andlabour-sometimes inhibits the acceptance of all these practices. However,iffannersadopt only some of these seven recommendations-suchasharvesting on time, dryingandtreating shelled gTain withinsecticides-theyareabletomakegreatsavingsatlittle cost. Very small-scalefannersproducing only, say, about 5 bags, may prefertoharvestatphysiological maturity, dryonthe ground or in small containers, shell,treatand storeinbagsintheir homes.

PAGE 145

COMPONENTSTheproject involves four majorthrusts:1. Research Theproject builtandequipped a grain laboratoryat Maseno. This laboratory has the capacity to analyze samples of maizeandother grain for insect infestation, mould damage including aflatoxin,andotherquality deterioration.It isoperated bytheMinistryofAgricultureanditshould provideanincreasingly important moni toringandresearch service tofarmersandtraining institutions. This component both produced an appropriate post-harvest tech nology for western Kenyaandserved to refine this technologyasfeedback was received fromthefarmers.2.DemonstrationStructuresImproved grain storagestructureshave been introduced throughoutwestern Kenyatoraise awareness. In five years of major activitytheproject erected about 2,500 new cribsand baskets. Tostimulateinnovationandacceptance, small clustersoffourorfive leading farmers areselected by Ministry of Agriculture District Post-Harvest Officerstoreceivethenew structures. Under this progranune, these farmers are provided with a cribor basket. depending on the size oftheirfarmsandstorage needs--andtrained inthefundamentalsof maize S\.(lrage managemenLPeriodically, the extension officers conduct field days anddemonstra tionsonthefarmsoftheseselected farmerstoshowtheresults of goodgrainstoragemanagementto neighbouring farmers.Uptofour field daysareheldforeach cluster of participating farmers. The topics discussed on these days include: when to harvest, howtopractise pre storage hygiene. howtodry, shellandtreatmaize forstorage-andfollowupinspectionofstoredmaize.Inthe proje<:t's first five years, over 40,000 farmers attended such field days. /"

PAGE 146

Annex3.ExtensionThe project h:ls been integr:lted inw theTr:liningandVisit system of extension. Agricultural Assistants, the front-line extension workers, pay fortnightly visits w participatingfanners :lnd also carry the proje<::t'smessngesUl all forty-eight or more far.ncrs oneach AA's scheduled Ulur of duty. WithintheNyanzaand Western Provinoos morethan1,000front-line workers have received orien tation training inthepractices recommendedbythe project. The projecthaspromotedtheuseoffield days whereby groups offarmersareinvitedtoattenddiscussions of timely topics. These field days have proved a most effective use oftheAA's timeandtalents. 4. TrainingTheprojecthasprovidedtrainingingrain sUlrage management, pri marily for Agricultu ral Officers, Assistant AgriculturaIOfficers,andAgricultural Assistants. Some ofthehighly specialized training for senior officershasbeeninfonna! coursesoverseas-intheUKand the USA. However, mostofthetraininghasbeen done in specially designed, in-countryshortcourses.Aswellasthis training for extension staff,therehave been awareness-raising coursesforlocation chiefs and members oftheprovincialanddistrict administrations.Tosupport this training,theprojecthasproducedanddistributed a wide variety ofprinwd andaudio-visual materials related w themessagestheproject wishestospreadaswidely as possible amongthefannersofKenya-andamong those whoarehelping farmers w increase their productivity. This manualisanexample of suchtrainingmaterial. IMPLEI'tIENTATION [n 1990, after sucoossfully introducing the project's grain storage management recommendationstofarmers in Western Kenya. a national crop post-harvestmanagementprogramme was imple mented by Kenya's Ministry of Agriculture,

Extension communication manual for front-line agricultural extension staff
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089331/00001
 Material Information
Title: Extension communication manual for front-line agricultural extension staff
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Fox, John
DPRA, Incorporated
Publisher: United States Agency for International Development / Kenya
Kenya Ministry of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Nairobi
Publication Date: 1990
Genre: serial   ( sobekcm )
General Note: Prepared for the On-Farm Grain Storage Project
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00089331:00001


This item has the following downloads:

( PDF )


Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page 1
    Agricultural extension: A statement of principles
        Page 2
    What is communication?
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    The front line extension worker
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    The learning process
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Models of extension communication
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Visiting a farm
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    Giving a talk
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    Conducting a demonstration
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Leading a discussion
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
    Using problem solving techniques
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Using visual aids
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
    Annex: The on-farm grain storage project
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
Full Text

Extension Communication
Manual for Front-Line
Agricultural Extension

Extension Communication
Manual for Front-Line

Agricultural Extension

By John Fox o

1990 GC 0gof


Prepared for the On-Farm Grain Storage Project

USAID Project No 615-0190

DPRA Incorporated
Manhattan, Kansas, USA
(Contractor firm)

Project funded by USAID/Kenya
and sponsored by the Kenya Ministry of Agriculture

No parts of this manual may be reproduced, except
by the Kenya Agricultural Extension Services Staff
in the direct performance of its duties, without
written permission.


To achieve the government's objective of food self-sufficiency,
Kenya's farmers must increase food production and ensure its
proper preservation in order to satisfy the rapidly increasing
population. The On-Farm Grain Storage Project, sponsored by the
Ministry of Agriculture, is introducing improved grain storage
management technology to the small-scale farmers. One of the
efforts of achieving this aim is through the reduction of losses to
rodents, birds, moulds and insects. These losses, which could reach
25% or more, occur in farms from the time grain reaches maturity
in the field until it is consumed.
The project was initiated in 1983 using the regular agricultural
extension services to disseminate the technologies to the farmers.
The field extension workers are expected to accomplish this by
working with individuals, and sometimes by organizing field days
attended by large groups of farmers.
Having only a minimum of training in extension communication
skills, few reference materials, and practically no visual aids, some
of the Agricultural Assistants have not been able to communicate
the project's and other messages as effectively as the Ministry
would like. The Ministry hopes, therefore, that through this
extension communication manual, the effectiveness of the front-
line extensions workers will be significantly increased.
This manual will also be useful at the Institutes of Agriculture,
which are responsible for training the future frontline agricultural
extension workers.

E. K. Kandie
Director of Agriculture


The On-Farm Grain Storage Project is pleased to make this exten-
sion communication manual available to Kenya's Ministry of Agri-
culture. It is hoped that this practical guide will serve Kenya's
front-line agricultural extension staff for many years.
The front-line workers are general agriculturalists and they must
deliver information to farmers on a wide range of subjects. Their
effectiveness in this task depends both on their knowledge of their
subjects and on their ability to communicate with farmers.
The author speaks directly to the front-line workers. And the
suggested methods and techniques should have application in the
communication of subjects across the full range of agricultural
extension-not just post-harvest management. Likewise, the infor-
mation contained in the manual should be of use to those educa-
tional institutions which train Kenya's agricultural extension
staff. Also, the manual will have relevance for extension staff in
other countries.
The author, John Fox, has nearly thirty years experience in adult
education and extension communication. He has taught communi-
cation skills, conducted research programmes, produced simula-
tions and games, video training tapes and previous handbooks on
communication. He has over ten years of work experience with
various professional groups in Kenya and other African countries.
He spent two years teaching communication and adult education
skills at the University of Nairobi's Adult Studies Centre, Kikuyu.
In preparation for this manual, John Fox accompanied front-line
extension workers on their daily farm visits to gain close, first hand
experience of their work routines and interactions with farmers-
and he has attended numerous project field days in western Kenya.
The chapters follow a logical pattern. The first five explore the case
for employing a discussion and action-based methodology in exten-
sion work; the following chapters show how this methodology can
be applied in a variety of situations and formats.
The agricultural extension workers who read this manual will find
guidelines and checklists for individual application. But the man-
ual also contains material that can be adapted for role playing and
discussions in training groups.
Dr. Walter G. Heid, Jr
Team Leader, DPRA
On-Farm Grain Storage Project




An Illustration
The Main Considerations
A Communication Model
The Characteristics of Good

Working Within the Training
and Visit System
A Competency Analysis
A Competency List for the
Communication Aspects of
Extension Work

Pressure Points
The Adoption Curve

The Crucial Conditions for Learning
Adults as Learners

Three Modes of Communication
Choosing the Mode


Planning a Visit
Meeting the Farmer
Lines of Communication
Practising Skills
Following Up
The Advantages of Farm Visits
Recording a Visit
Checklist for Preparing a Visit
Checklist for Evaluating a Visit

The Meeting Place
Planning a Talk
Setting the Climate
The Eyes
The Voice
The Basic Qualities of
Effective Speaking
Checklist for Giving a Talk

Involving the Farmers
Following Up
Checklist for Evaluating a Demonstration


Expected Behaviour in Groups
Some Reasons for Working with Groups
The Discussion Process
Leading an Informal Discussion Group
Organizing Group Discussions
The Conditions for Effective Discussion

Force Field Analysis

Why Use Visuals?
What Makes a Good Visual Aid?
How to Present Visuals
Which Aid to Use?
Checklist of Visual Aids
A Note on Using Film and
Video Recordings-or Radio
Making Your Own Visual Aids


ANNEX-The On-Farm Grain Storage Project 133


This manual is addressed to front-line agricultural extension work-
ers-agricultural assistants primarily, but also to other divisional
or district level staff who are engaged in face-to-face communica-
tion with farmers.
It is about communication skills-those skills which make all the
difference between success or failure in the extension worker's
efforts to encourage farmers to increase their production and
improve their quality of life.
It has been written in support of the Kenya Ministry of Agricul-
ture's campaign to reduce serious grain losses by advocating and
demonstrating efficient post-harvest pest-control and storage tech-
niques. So the examples of technical topics are drawn mainly from
these fields. But the information and advice on communication
processes contained in this manual will be relevant for the full
range of agricultural extension messages-and it should also be
applicable in countries other than Kenya.
The manual begins with a discussion of some fundamental factors
influencing communication. It reviews the functions and responsi-
bilities of the front-line workers and identifies the key communica-
tion competencies they need for effective job performance. It consid-
ers the position of the farmers themselves, explores the conditions
under which they will be prepared to consider and accept changes
in their habitual ways of doing things. It returns to the extension
workers and analyzes the means by which they can influence the
motivation and receptiveness of the farmers.
The manual then takes up in turn the main kinds of communication
activity-visiting a farm, speaking in public, giving a demonstra-
tion, leading a group discussion-and identifies the factors which

Introduction can lead to a successful performance on each of these different
The intention has been to make the writing as relevant and
practical as possible, by giving illustrations based on actual field
experience and by including checklists which relate directly to the
various tasks of the extension worker's everyday work routine.
Although the word "he" is used throughout this manual for the sake
of stylistic simplicity, the author and the project are well aware
that in many cases, in Kenya and in other countries, the front-line
extension worker may well be a woman and working with women
farmers as well as with men. So, whenever the words like "he"
appear, please assume "he/she" or "his/hers".

In writing this guide for front-line workers, a number of basic
assumptions have influenced what has been said about extension

1. Extension becomes most effective when there is a
three-way interactive communication between
research agencies, the front-line field workers and
the farmers.

2. Effective extension starts where the farmers are
and seeks to build on their established knowledge
and skills.

3. Effective extension utilizes the knowledge and
skills of farmers.

4. Effective extension is addressed to the practice of
farming and, therefore, it employs active, problem-
centred and discussion-based methods of


A1 What Is Communication?

Kilonzo was quite new to the extension service. It was mid July, and
he was visiting one of his contact farmers in a location some twenty
kilometres from Kisumu by the shore of Lake Victoria.
A few weeks previously he had attended an orientation course for
agricultural assistants (AA's) on post-harvest and grain manage-
ment techniques-part of a programme in Western Kenya to get
across extension messages related to reducing the losses being
experienced by small-scale farmers in the handling of their maize
It was harvest time; and one of the objectives of the campaign was
to encourage farmers to harvest early, when the maize was mature
enough-rather than leave it in the shamba to dry-where it would
be susceptible to damage by insects, birds and rodents.
Armed with his leaflets explaining when and how to harvest, where
and how to store the grain, Kilonzo felt confident that he had
something to tell and teach his farmer. When they met, he came
straight to the point. He produced his leaflets, explained the purpose
of the new campaign and showed the farmer the illustration in the
leaflet on how to test for when the maize is ready for harvesting. He
looked around the compound and saw four traditional basket
stores---all low to the ground and smeared with dung.
He showed the farmer a drawing of such a basket raised a metre
above the ground, fitted with simple rat guards made from Kimbo
tins and clean of mud or dung-so that the wind could blow through
the woven structure and dry the grain more quickly.
The farmer looked and listened and nodded. He seemed to agree
with all Kilonzo had said-and all that was printed in the leaflet.
But then he asked a question:
"In the neighboring locations a few farmers have been given a new
kind of crib-bigger than these stores of mine and square and made
of wood. Such a crib looks very fine in the compound. Why can't I be
given one like that?"

Kilonzo explained that the cribs the farmer was talking about were
What Is for demonstration only, that he didn't need such a big store because
Communication? his shamba was a small one; and that the traditional baskets he had
COmmuncati in his compound could be adapted with very little expense. The
farmer nodded and said no more.
Kilonzo left behind the leaflets with their drawings and their
explanations, wished the farmer well for his harvest and his stores,
and said he would return after two weeks.
Over the next few weeks he returned a number of times. Some of the
maize had indeed been harvested early and put in the stores to dry.
But the baskets were still close to the ground.
"What about raising them?" he asked.
"Yes, I will do that," said the farmer. "But I can't afford to do it yet.
And what about that new crib-when can I have one too?"
Again, Kilonzo explained that the free cribs were only for demon-
stration purposes and enough had been already erected in the area.
"And why are your baskets still smeared with dung?" he asked.
"Well, you see, in this neighbourhood there has been a lot of stealing;
and I'm afraid if people see I have grain in the stores then it will be
Kilonzo sympathized, scratched his head and walked off to see one
of his favourite demonstration farmers, who had been given one of
the new cribs and who seemed to be doing all that was asked of
him-a very good example, if only the other farmers would learn
from it!
Before you continue reading, just stop and think a while about this
How effective was Kilonzo in communicating his messages?
If you were his supervisor, what suggestions would you
make to him?
Could there be reasons other than the fear of theft for the farmer
continuing to smear his baskets?

There is no easy way to learn to communicate effectively. There is
no set formula that is going to work every time; no bag of tricks that
can be bought like a set of spanners that will remove any nut. To
communicate effectively is not easy because to communicate effec-
tively we have to think clearly-and thinking clearly is never easy!

Chapter 1

And what do we have to think clearly about? The problem is-there
are so many things. When we communicate we are rather like a
juggler who is trying to keep several balls in the air. If one is
dropped, the whole act is spoiled.
What are the balls? What are the considerations that we have to
keep, simultaneously, in mind?
This manual is an attempt to answer that question.
First, let us try to answer it in very general terms. In any act of
communication there will be three main considerations:
The Message
The Medium
The Occasion
Since we will be using these terms quite frequently, they ought to
be explained.

The Message
A communicator communicates something-he has a subject or a
message. In the illustration, Kilonzo's messages were about the
harvesting and storing of maize. But he had other messages too.
Perhaps he wanted to express his concern for the welfare of the
farmer. When he scratched his head, he was sending a non-verbal
message about his frustration that he seemed to be making so little
The nature of the message will, to a certain extent, dictate the way
it is sent-particularly the order in which the material is given. For
instance, if you are explaining the way a storage crib is made, you
will most likely structure what you say-and your demonstra-
tion-according to the chronological order of the process. You will
begin at the beginning: explain what materials are needed and then
go on to describe how the site is selected, how the post holes are
dug-and so on. On the other hand, if you are trying to persuade a
farmer of the advantages of harvesting early, you will want to put
most stress on those items you think will have most effect. If, for
instance, you know that he loses a lot of grain in the shamba
because it is eaten by birds, you might begin by talking about the
problem of the birds-and the savings he will make if he gets his
maize quickly into store for drying.

What7Is If your message lends itself to visual illustration, then you will
support what you are saying with a picture or a drawing-but this
Communication? takes us to the next point.
The Medium
A communicator communicates in a language. But which lan-
guage? Local or national language? I am communicating with you
in English; I am making the assumption that you will be familiar
enough with the vocabulary and grammar of English for you to pick
up my meanings. But if I were to write in my own native dialect of
English, only certain people from the county of Lincolnshire on the
east coast of England would understand me.
If you can, then communicate in the language your farmers
will most easily understand.
And which words? You and I might understand what a hectare is-
but does the farmer you are talking with? If you want to describe
a plot of two hectares, it might be better to talk of 100 by 200 paces.
But what is a "pace"? A normal walking step or a deliberate stride?
Better to show it. Even better to ask him to pace it out with you.
You may have heard the old Chinese proverb on learning-but in
case you haven't, here it is again:
"I hear and I forget
I see and I remember
I do and I understand."
Another way of making a similar point is to quote some research
findings on learning: that we learn about 10% from what we hear,
50% from what we see and 90% from a combination of seeing and
Returning to the story ofKilonzo-he had his leaflets on harvesting
and storing maize; but perhaps he relied on them too much. Maybe
he should have sat down to talk with his farmer, asked him ifhe had
any problems-rather than pitching straight in with his glossy
leaflets, as if they alone would convince.
If Kilonzo had been talking with a group of farmers, he would have
needed a different medium: large posters or prepared drawings on
a flipchart. If his extension officers at headquarters wanted to
reach a mass of farmers with a particular message, then they would
have the choice of using the mass media-the newspapers or the

Chapter 1

However, we are only touching on a topic that will be explored in
some detail throughout the manual: what factors affect our choice
of a medium to get across a message? At this stage it will be enough
to make the point that one of our main considerations in communi-
cating a message is the decision about what medium-or combina-
tion of media-we choose.

The Occasion
Every act of communication takes place in a special situation-the
occasion. The occasion will involve three basic elements:
the sender of the message;
the receiver of the message;
the relationship between the sender and receiver.
One ofKilonzo's messages was that if a storage basket is raised one
metre above the ground and air can blow freely through it, the
maize can be harvested early and left to dry effectively and safely
in the crib.
How well Kilonzo could deliver that message would depend on a
number of factors:
Is he familiar enough with the subject to be
Can he, for instance, work out how much grain and
money the farmer would be losing by using his
traditional methods of harvesting and drying?
Can he give a realistic estimate of how much it
would cost to raise the crib?
When would the farmer reap the benefit of the
In addition to the matter there is the manner:
Can Kilonzo put his message across without
criticizing or "putting down" the farmer?
Does he have the confidence or the skill to start with
a friendly chat and then let the conversation turn to
the matters he wants to be raised?
Can he let the farmer's problems and ideas be
exposed before he offers his own solutions?

What Is Much depends on Kilonzo's knowledge of the farmer: his ways of
doing things, his reasons for doing these things. For instance, it
Communication? may be that the farmer was concerned to hide what was inside the
basket, more because he feared demands from relatives than
attacks from thieves. But this is not something that the farmer
would easily admit. Only if Kilonzo is familiar with local customs
can he interpret why things are the way they are.
If Kilonzo wants to influence a farmer's way of doing things,
he must work in terms of the needs and interests of that
farmer. If what Kilonzo says does not appeal to those needs
and interests, he will faiL
A lot depends, too, on attitudes:
Only if Kilonzo is enthusiastic about his job and believes in
his extension messages, will he be convincing. Only if he can
identify with his farmer's needs and aspirations, will he be
able to build a successful relationship.
Take, for example, the issue of free cribs that comes up in the
illustration. What the farmer says is natural and sensible. If other
farmers have been given them, then he would be naive not to ask
for one too. As well as stating the facts, perhaps Kilonzo should also
have expressed his understanding of the farmer's position; and
then gone on to talk through with him how he could have improved
his own stores as cheaply as possible.

Combining the Elements
There must be a harmony between the message and the medium,
between the sender and receiver. All the considerations and ele-
ments are intertwined. But, to explore the complexities of commu-
nication, we need to separate out certain aspects.
Since this manual grew out of a particular programme, and most of
the illustrative material is taken from the messages of that pro-
gramme, it might be helpful to have an outline of Kenya's On-Farm
Grain Storage Project-if you are not already familiar with it. You
will find a brief description in the Annex, page 133.
In the next chapter we consider the sender of messages-you. We
will look at the roles and functions of front-line workers within the
Training and Visit extension system that has been established in
Kenya and a number of other countries. This will enable us to
identify the occasions on which you are engaged in communication
and to discuss the skills and competencies that are needed for a
successful performance of your functions.

Chapter 1

Then we turn to the receiver of your messages-the farmer. We will
try to establish some key characteristics of farmers and their
families, in order to analyze those factors which might affect their
willingness to accept new ideas and different practices. We will
then be in a position to explore the problems and potentials for
building a productive relationship and opening up effective lines of
But, before we take up and develop these themes in later chapters,
let us look at communication in a visual way-by building up a
diagram that will help you to understand something more about
the structure and logic of this manual.



When communication occurs, there is a Sender (S), a Receiver
(R) and a Message (M):

M .hh

But how do we know that our message is being understood in the
way that we want it to be understood? How do we know that our
message is actually being received? Sometimes we only know-like
Kilonzo -when we go back and discover that nothing has happened.
But why wait and waste our time? We can learn something on every

What Is communication occasion by becoming receivers ourselves and
watching and listening to reactions to what we have just said or
Communication? done. We have Feedback (F).
Feedback is what comes back to us as a response to the messages
we send. It may be in the form of a question, a comment or a shrug
of the shoulders. Communication is most effective when it is a two-
way process. And a number of sections in this manual will be
discussing ways in which we can encourage and use feedback,
whether in one-to-one or group occasions.
Yet, so often our communication is really miscommunication.
Something, some Blockage (B), gets in the way of our messages:

M pB

The squiggly line represents whatever it is that gets in the way of
harmony and understanding. Sometimes it is right that the line is
there in the middle-because the blockage will be some external
factor like the noise of a tractor that literally blocks out the sound
of our voice. Or the heat of the sun that distracts and saps energy
and attention. But often it should be drawn as ifin the head of either
the sender or receiver or both. Then it might represent a blockage
related to attitudes. Like the thought in the head of an elderly male
farmer who is being addressed by a young female extension worker:
"What does she know about farming? She's the age mate of my
grand-daughters. And all she knows is books!"
Or it might represent a simple misunderstanding of a word. You
say "little" and you mean only a teaspoonful. I hear you say "little"
but imagine a cupful. This could be an important difference if you
are talking about a harmful chemical!

Chapter 1

So as well as looking at techniques and procedures for such
occasions as farm visiting, demonstrating and leading discussions,
we shall need to look inside our own and other heads and explore
a little psychology-a teaspoonful rather than a cupful-in order to
understand more clearly those thoughts and feelings that can
easily become blockages to communication.


To summarize the ideas presented in this opening chapter-and to
establish some basic principles which underlie all that is said
throughout this manual-here is a list of characteristics:
1. Good communication is the result of clear thinking.
2. Good communication has a specific purpose and
carries specific messages.
3. Good communication is adapted to the occasion-to
the needs and interests of those receiving it.
4. Good communication utilizes an appropriate
5. Good communication is graphic-through words or
pictures it creates clear, accurate images in the
minds of those who are receiving it.
6. Good communication is based on good listening.

What Is


Chapter I

The Front Line Extension Worker

The Training and Visit system of
extension (T&V) is now operating in
more than forty developing coun-
tries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Central
and South America. It is a system
which emphasizes simplicity in both
objectives and operation. It provides
continuous feedback from farmers to extension agents and to
research staff; it allows for continuous adjustment to the farmers'
needs. It has spread rapidly around the world, because it is seen as
an effective means of increasing farm production and because it is
such a flexible tool at all levels of an agricultural ministry's
Prior to 1983, when T&V was introduced in Kenya, the agricultural
extension service provoked many complaints. It was seen as unco-
ordinated and haphazard. Front-line workers were accused of
giving out too many, irrelevant and untimely messages. The con-
nection between research and extension was tenuous and weak.

Two-Way Communication
With T&V, you-the front-line worker-become the vital link in a
chain which ensures two-way communication between research
institutions and farmers:

The Front Line
Worker Research

An important aspect of your professionalism is that, through
Subject Matter



An important aspect of your professionalism is that, through
regular training sessions, you are in close touch with relevant
scientific developments and research. It is only in this way that
specific recommendations can be formulated which will be useful to
farmers in their specific situations. You must have the ability to
identify production constraints in the field and, in association with
your colleagues, develop appropriate measures to counter them.
When this begins to happen, then you and your service build
credibility for yourselves in the eyes of the farmers.
There may be occasions when nearby farmers can be invited to view
research results at a laboratory or other experimental establishment.
Also, there may be times when it is appropriate and convenient to
invite a researcher to a Farmers' Training Centre or some other
place to meet with a group of farmers. Most generally, however, the
feedback or flow of information between farmers and researchers
must pass through the front-line extension staff and Subject
Matter Specialists (SMS's).

Concentration of Effort
Effective T&V ensures a concentration of effort. All extension staff
carry out specific duties that complement and support the activities
of staff at other levels. You yourself will be working only on
agricultural-related concerns, only on those crops and practices
that are relevant to a particular season in your locality. You will be
working primarily-though not exclusively-through a small
number of contact farmers who are experienced, skilled and re-
spected enough to be taken as a model by other farmers.

Chapter 2

Concentration should, also, be the key factor in your fortnightly
training sessions. Attention should be focused on those constraints
that have been identified in the field and on the major points
generated through research which are of immediate concern to

Time-Bound Activities
Messages and skills should be taught to farmers in a regular,
timely fashion, so that the farmers will be able to make immediate
and best use of them. You are expected to visit your farmers
regularly, on a fixed day each fortnight. Similarly, all other super-
visory extension staff should be making timely and regular visits to
the field. The SMS should be attending monthly workshops where
they discuss particular farming conditions for specific areas. The
recommendations that are formulated at these meetings are then
passed on to you at your next two fortnightly training sessions. In
this way, there is a continuous exchange of relevant information
related to the farming activities of your locality.

Field Orientation
Farmers can only be served effectively if an extension service is in
close contact with them. This contact needs to be regular, frequent,
and on a schedule known to them.
As a front-line worker, you will have groups of farmers that you
visit on a fixed day every two weeks. But all other extension staff,
including the SMS's, should be spending a large part of their time
in the field, also on regular scheduled visits. District-level Exten-
sion Officers, researchers and trainers, must also go to the field
regularly if they are to understand the problems faced by farmers-
and by you in your daily work routine.
It is to allow as much time as possible in the field that the
administrative and report-writing tasks are kept to a minimum
within the true T&V system. Nevertheless, the habit of keeping a
daily diary of your contacts, and problems encountered in the field,
will enable you to contribute more effectively in your training
sessions and to provide material for any reports that you do have
to write.
By spending most of your time in the field, you are putting yourself
in a position to understand the farmers' production problems and
to act as that important link between the farmers and research.
You will, of course, only be an effective link if you listen as much as
you talk!

The Front Line Let us now go on to discuss what it takes for you to be as effective
as possible as both a sender and receiver of messages within T&V-
Extension or within any structure for delivering extension messages to farm-
Worker ers.

As a front-line agricultural extension worker, whatever system of
extension you are operating in, your experience can be categorized
in three broad areas:
things you know;
things you can do;
things you think and feel about what you know
and do.
These broad categories of experience are often referred to simply

For a successful work performance, you will need to have competen-
cies in all three categories.
Each of the categories can be divided, on the one hand, into
technical or subject competencies; and, on the other hand, into
communication or social competencies.
From your initial training, your in-service training, and from your
field experience, you acquire a good deal of knowledge and skill
related to the practice of agriculture, the conditions and problems
of agricultural production in particular localities. You acquire
knowledge about the agency which employs you, about the sched-
ules of your extension system and about the organizational net-
works in the community through which you work. You think and
feel certain things about Agriculture and about Extension-you
have an attitude towards your chosen area of activity. If, in the
main, it is a positive one, then it is likely that you are motivated to
continually up-date and improve your professional skills.
If, in any respect, your attitude is a negative one, then it will be
important for you to reflect on how you might change those

Chapter 2

circumstances or factors that produce the negative thoughts and
feelings about what you are doing.
This manual is not concerned with the technical or "content" side
of your work; it is concerned with you as a communicator. It is about
ways in which you can get your technical knowledge across to
farmers as effectively as possible. It is about the crucial communi-
cation or social skills of extension: your relationships with farmers,
your ability to achieve a rapport with them and to help them with
their care of crops and livestock.
So let us consider the actual competencies that are involved in the
communication of your technical information.
But, first, it might be helpful to give an example from another field
of activity. If I make a list of the competencies involved in being a
writer, it comes out like this-and you might find some parallels
with your own situation:
1. Knowledge of a particular language: its
grammatical structures and vocabulary.
2. Knowledge of certain subjects, upon which the
writing is based.
3. Knowledge of publication channels: what particular
newspapers, journals or other agencies expect, in
terms of subject matter and presentation.
4. Skill in researching for relevant information: from
observing, interviewing or reading.
5. Skill in selecting the most relevant material for a
particular occasion.
6. Skill in organizing that material to form a logical
sequence of ideas.
7. Skill in choosing an appropriate vocabulary for
particular readers.
8. Skill in using stylistic devices, like paragraphing or
punctuation, to make the writing both clear and
9. Skill in using illustrations or examples, to make
the writing concrete and lively.
10. Ability to review what has been written in a self-
critical way, in order to revise and modify it.

The Front Line 11. Enthusiasm for the topic.
Extension 12. Empathy with the people and events that are
tWorker treated in the writing.
As you will see, this is a rather crude analysis, since some of these
twelve competencies could be broken down into other or sub-
competencies. However, I think it will serve as an illustration of
what is involved in constructing a competency list.
Now, I suggest you pause for a while, before you continue
reading, and reflect on your own functions as an extension worker.
Note down the communication competencies you identify as crucial
in carrying out your functions effectively. Afterwards, you can
compare your list with my attempt to do it for you.
This is an important exercise, because you can then use your
competency list to assess your own training needs.
So, have a go at reviewing the kinds of things you do in relation to
farmers and your position in the extension service. Perhaps it will
help if you first make an actual list of your main functions: such as
farm visiting, holding field day demonstrations, attending training
sessions. Then go on to identify and list the necessary competen-
cies, as in my example, in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes.


1. Knowledge of the organization in which the
extension agent works: the network of colleagues,
superiors and contacts.
2. Knowledge of the community in which he works: its
social and economic characteristics.
3. Knowledge of individual farmers: their
personalities, aspirations and problems.
4. Knowledge of resources: eg. credit facilities,
fertilizers, equipment, both within and outside the
community, that can be utilized in the promotion of
efficient farming.
5. Skill in relating to people: the ability to express
himself clearly and the ability to listen.
6. Skill in motivating and mobilizing people: the
ability to encourage farmers to adopt and
experiment with new methods.

Chapter 2

7. Skill in working with people: establishing and
facilitating meetings with farmers and
participating in farmers' activities.
8. Skill in demonstrating farming methods and
procedures: using techniques that are graphic and
have impact.
9. Skill in making and using educational aids: making
charts, handouts, using projection equipment etc.
10. Respect for the existing knowledge and skill of
11. Empathy with people living on low incomes in
rural areas.
12. Patience and tolerance when recommendations are
not readily taken up.
13. Readiness to listen to and learn from those he is
14. Readiness to review and revise methods and
How does my list compare with your own? Perhaps the differences
are mainly to do with expression-the language used to describe
each competency. But from a comparison of both lists it will be
possible to construct one which covers the full range of your
functions and responsibilities.

Now it is possible to use the competency list to make your own
assessment of your strengths and weaknesses with regard to the
communication aspects of your work. What you do is construct a
graph, with the number of each competency along the horizontal
axis and a rating scale along the vertical axis. Then you give
yourself a rating for each of the competencies. As in the following


Pw ------------------------___--------
1 2 3 4 7 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Communlcallon Aspects Competency Ust Number

The Front Line

In this imaginary case, we have someone who is quite confident
about his knowledge of the community in which he works, the
technical side of his role, and about his attitudes to farmers-but
he is less sure about some of the skills involved in getting across his
But what about you? Have a go at constructing your own graph.
Rate yourself in terms of each of the communication competencies
that have been identified.
How does it come out?
For the first four "knowledge" components from my list, experience
is perhaps the best teacher-but you may find some ideas in the
next chapter which prompt you to reflect a little differently on the
situation and attitudes of farmers. And the rest of the manual will
be asking you to reflect more deeply on your own attitudes and
skills as a communicator.

Chapter 2

0 Farmers

In 1985, Dr Judith Mbula, a social anthropologist, conducted-on
behalf of the On-Farm Grain Storage Project-a survey of small-
scale farming in western Kenya. This chapter draws on her re-
search report to describe some characteristics of farmers in that
area: their patterns of family life, their current farming practices
and their views which have a bearing on their readiness to accept
change. Though the 655 farmers contacted in her survey may not
be representative ofsmall-scale farmers across the whole of Kenya-
and certainly not representative of farmers in other countries-
nevertheless, some key points from Dr Mbula's research findings
may help us to understand some of the factors that have to be taken
into account when recommending new procedures. It should help
us to identify some of the blockages that sometimes occur when we
are trying to get our messages across.
One of the most interesting aspects of Dr Mbula's study is that one
of her main conclusion is markedly different from what is found in
similar studies conducted in Asia and South America. Whereas
most other studies point to a very pessimistic and resigned attitude
among farmers, Dr Mbula found that the farmers in western Kenya
do not have a "shauri ya Mungu"-in the hands of God-attitude,
which means an acceptance of poverty and an inability to see any
hope for improvement. Quite the contrary. Most of the farmers
contacted by Dr Mbula's research team have a positive attitude
towards life; they want to see it enhanced. They look to the future,
put great store by the welfare of their children and have faith in the
advantages that will come from their children's better educational
opportunities. They are well informed about modern agricultural
practices. Most attend barazas where development messages are

Farmers relayed. Many listen to farming programmes on the radio and
many are readers of newspapers.
So, we must conclude, the reason for resistance to innovation in
western Kenya is neither apathy nor ignorance. Therefore we have
to look for other explanations when we find that our recommenda-
tions are not taken up as readily as we would wish.

In very general terms, let us consider the range of factors that will
or might have influence on a farmer's decision to change his way of
doing something. We can do this by drawing a diagram that shows
"pressure points"-as many aspects as possible that impinge on a
person's behaviour:

Risk Concerns Traditional
"Farming Practices

Cultural Practices National Programmes


Media Messages influential Figures

Family and Education and
Economic Needs Training

Whenever a farmer is faced with a decision, some or most of these
factors will have an influence-whether consciously or not.
So, let us take the issue of harvesting and storage of maize and draw
on Dr Mbula's research to illustrate some of these factors in the
diagram-and consider some of the broad implications for building
a productive relationship with the farmers.

Traditional Practices
Prior to the On-Farm Grain Storage Project, in western Kenya
farmers harvested their maize when it was dry. The cobs were
transported to the compound by ox-cart, wheelbarrows, lorries-

22 Chapter 3

or, more usually, carried on the head by women or children. The
maize was stored on the cob until the farmer found time to shell
and, occasionally, treat it. If it was not already dry, then cobs were
spread on the ground each day to dry in the sun.
Many farmers stored grain in traditional wicker baskets made of
lantana or papyrus reeds, with thick branch supports. Mud or cow
dung was often used for smearing the base and sides of the basket.
Traditionally,'when the basket stands outside the house it has a
grass thatched roof; when inside the house, it is left open. Some
farmers store small amounts of grain in sealed clay pots; some now
store in metal containers, such as oil drums or cooking oil tins.
The habit of storing grain inside the house developed because of the
fear of theft; though another reason could be the reluctance to give
it away to neighbours or relatives. Many farmers put their grain in
gunny bags which are then kept inside the house-often lying in
places where they can easily be contaminated by rats or domestic
Farmers try to protect their grain from rats by using poison, setting
traps or keeping cats. Very few in the survey group were raising
their storage units off the ground and fitting simple metal rat-
As for treating shelled grain for storage, the one traditional practice
was to use wood ash to prevent damage by weevils and other
insects. Some farmers were, at the time of Dr Mbula's study, using
recommended Malathion or Actellic chemicals-though a few in
the survey were found to be using such chemicals as DDT (which
has been declared illegal in Kenya) or pyrethrum dust. A few
farmers were using domestic aerosol insect sprays like "It" or
"Doom", which can have harmful effects on human health and
certainly should not be sprayed on foodstuffs.
What implications can be drawn from the information that Dr
Mbula has provided?
As the extension worker in direct contact with farmers, you
should study their existing practices-challenge those that
are harmful or useless, but see whether some of the practices
can be adapted rather than simply discarded. There is
nothing wrong, for instance, with storing maize in the
house, provided it is properly treated and kept clean.


National Programmes
The Kenya Government is concerned about the amount of grain lost
through many of the traditional post-harvest management practices.
On a national scale the losses are said to amount to about 25% of
the potential harvest. It is the Government's objective that the
country should remain self-sufficient in maize. It is important, not
only that people have enough to eat, but that scarce foreign
currency should not needlessly be spent on food imports. Program-
mes like the On-Farm Grain Storage Project are promoted in order
to achieve such national objectives. This project has shown that it
is possible to reduce grain losses to satisfactory proportions of
under 5%.
So, through extension agents like yourself, local administration
officials, media publicity, the Government seeks to reach farmers
and persuade them to adopt improved post-harvest methods. But
how readily will farmers appreciate national needs or identify with
a national programme? If a farmer is producing enough for his own
family's consumption, and even has a surplus for sale, then he is not
likely to be much moved by a problem described in purely national
terms. He will be inclined to act only if he is convinced that the
problem is one which directly affects him and his family.
In fact, Dr Mbula's research showed that many farmers do not
perceive grain losses as a major problem-or they have a different
perception of grain loss. Some farmers said that much of the grain
lost to humans is eaten by the chickens and goats-so it is not really
lost at all. Others say that grain infested by weevils or mould is used
for making local beer or fed to the animals-so, again, it is not lost.
Some farmers may be deceived by volume as opposed to weight.
Only when the comparative weights of contaminated and uncon-
taminated grain are demonstrated may they realize what they are
foregoing in weight and profit on the market-or in terms of
healthier foodstuffs for their families or their animals. A farmer
may only be convinced that he is losing a significant proportion of
his harvested grain if his amount of poorly stored grain is compared
with the larger amount saved by a demonstration farmer who has
followed the recommended procedures.
You will make an impact on such farmers only when you can
convince them that their perceptions are false or that there are
other more important considerations that need to be taken into
account. Sometimes it may help to take out a pencil and paper and
calculate the farmer's losses in monetary terms.

Chapter 3

Merely to quote national statistics or project goals will not
be enough. Persuasion is effective only when a farmer
identifies the problem as one that affects him directly.

Family or Economic Needs
If a farmer is exclusively concerned with subsistence agriculture,
then he may well not easily be motivated to improve his farming
methods-provided his production is meeting his family's needs for
basic foodstuffs. It could be only when he aspires to earn a cash
income-and sees opportunities for doing so from sales of farm
produce-that he will be motivated to learn about improved agri-
cultural practices. Or he may be motivated to improve his farming
methods only when he faces increased cash demands-like school
fees, medical bills or clothing for his growing family.
However, the problem becomes a complicated one when what is
being recommended involves a cash outlay. Such is the case with
the On-Farm Grain Storage Project. To build a modern, two-section
crib costs around 3000 shillings; to build an improved basket
structure to the recommended standard costs around 1,400 shil-
lings. To convince the farmer that outlays of this kind are worth-
while might well involve taking out the pencil and paper again and
doing some calculations with him. You will need to work out the
likely money saved from storing in an improved structure and
comparing that amount with the money needed for a new structure.
Then it will be possible to work out the "payback period" before the
outlays generate profits.
So, one of the key factors in responding to the messages of
a project will be the potential economic payoff to the indi-
vidual farmer.

Risk Concerns
Of course, people have needs other than economic or "survival"
ones. Among these will be the need for respect and status earned in
the eyes of relatives, friends and neighbours. To be seen as success-
ful in whatever we are doing, to be known as "progressive", can be
an important factor in adopting new methods that can improve our
standing in the community. But when new methods involve risks,
then the considerations related to improving status must be bal-
anced against social or economic ones related to survival. Farmers
the world over are amongst the most conservative and cautious of
people. There is a good reason for this. They are dependent on the
elements-and the elements in Africa can be particularly unreli-
able and harsh. If the rains do not come, then a total crop can be

Farmers wiped out. If the rains come too heavily, then the same devastating
consequences can follow. Faced with such unpredictability, a farmer
may well prefer to do the predictable-carry on with practices that
have meant survival for his forefathers.
Sometimes there is good sense in his resistance to the new. Take,
for example, the growing of hybrid maize in areas susceptible to
flooding. If traditional maize is more likely to survive in a season
of heavy rains, then he may well prefer to forego the extra yields
from hybrid varieties in seasons of ordinary weather, rather than
risk a crushing loss if floods occur. It is a question of not gambling
against disaster.
One of the keys to your success is to know when a farmer's
reasons are valid-when it is not possible or sensible for
him to adopt your recommendations-or when it might be
feasible for him to adopt only part of a recommended

Cultural Practices
If we take "culture" in its broadest sense of"patterns of living", then
clearly the more ingrained these patterns, the more they will be like
deep grooves that act against any change of direction-like a
bullock cart moving along a deeply furrowed track.
One seemingly unimportant practice in the project area was that
the traditional stores were often smeared with dung. This serves a
decorative purpose-but it could also be that the dung acted as a
deterrent to insect infestations. A related point-when grain was
left in the field to dry, there was no problem about storing it in
airtight structures. But the project is recommending harvesting
grain before it is dry-and then putting the cobs in structures that
are loosely woven so that air can blow freely through them.
So, in getting across the messages of the project, we have to be clear
about the logic: if you do A, then B is OK; but if you do C, then B is
not OK. If farmers harvest when the grain is dry, then it is OK to
put it in airtight structures; but if they harvest when the grain is
still moist, then it is not OK to put it in airtight structures. To
persuade farmers to harvest early, when there is still moisture in
the grain, is to increase the risk of moulds and contamination-
unless we also persuade them to use rapid drying practices.
It may be, however, that dung-smeared baskets serve another
purpose: they hide the grain from prying eyes. As mentioned
earlier, although Dr Mbula found that farmers were talking about

Chapter 3

their fear of theft, it could be that many are more afraid of demands
from relatives and neighbours when, visibly, they have grain in
Here we are considering a vital aspect of traditional culture: it is no
shame to ask to be given; but it is a matter of great shame to refuse
to give. A farmer may be reluctant to adopt the more "open"
management procedures recommended by the project, if they
increase the risk of requests for assistance. In fact, it seems that
some farmers are preferring to sell off their grain after harvesting,
so it can be converted into cash which is less conspicuous and
therefore less vulnerable to such demands.
Perhaps, in such a case, you should recommend that the
maize be dried quickly on the ground, shelled, treated and
stored in a traditional basket, which has been raised off the
ground and fitted with rat-guards-a compromise solution.
(Remember, if you recommend that the farmer removes the dung
smear and pokes holes in the basket, allowing air flow to dry high
moisture cob maize, then shelled maize can no longer be stored
loose in the basket.)
Another important cultural factor relates to the relationship be-
tween husbands and wives and their traditional roles in "home
economics". Whereas, according to custom, the woman has respon-
sibility for harvesting and storing procedures, the man makes the
financial decisions.
Therefore, if the project recommends something which
involves a financial outlay, then it is clearly necessary to
approach both. The wife may need to be convinced of the
operational merits of the recommendation, but the hus-
band will need to be convinced of its financial benefits.

Influential Figures
In Kenya, the Chief plays a key role at the location level. He is a
representative of the Government and a leader of the community.
Upholding the laws and transmitting directives or advice, he has a
powerful influence on all those who live in a location under his
Imagine a primary school which has been selected for an afforesta-
tion project. The school is going to establish a tree nursery, but the
headmaster is concerned that, until the school compound is prop-
erly fenced, the cattle that are grazed across it will damage the

Farmers young trees. He can only try to persuade the people who live nearby
to stop the practice. But the Chief can order them to stop.

Extension is about persuasion, not direction. It will be rare that you
will want to call in a Chief to issue orders. Unless the matter is
something to do with a communal issue like establishing the tree
nursery, a soil conservation programme or strengthening the
banks of a river that is liable to flood.
But the support of the Chief and other members of the local
administration, like councillors, can be of great assistance in
getting across the messages of a project. To have him with you at
field demonstrations gives a credibility and authority to the occa-
sion; he can also help at barazas in communicating the aims and
purposes behind your work and relating them to national develop-
ment policies.
Out of respect for authority and in recognition of leader-
ship qualities, farmers will listen to those people in the
community who carry these ranks or who become natural
leaders through their example of endeavour and success.
Effective front-line extension staff enlist the support of
such influential figures.

Education and Training
The more a farmer is exposed to new ideas, the more varied his
experience and the more developed his skills-the more likely he is
to accept extension messages. Research shows that a farmer's
educational background is an influencing factor in his readiness to
adopt the recommendations of a project.
A closely allied factor is whether a farmer has another occupation.
Here, two factors combine to affect the acceptance of innovation.
Another job means that a person is better educated and of more
varied experience-it also means that he has more cash at his
disposal and he is more able to take risks. The research has shown
that there is an enormous disparity in the income levels of small-
scale farmers in the project area. Those with the higher levels are
usually those with off-farm jobs.
In her research report, Dr Mbula tentatively presents a list of
characteristics you might look for when selecting contact farmers:
o more educated;
a owns land in two or more locations;
[ with an outside source of income;

Chapter 3

oin contact with other government officers, such as
education officers;
w frequently listens to radio farming programmes or
frequently reads magazines;
o member of co-operative society;
oin possession of title deeds.
If Dr Mbula is right, you should pay particular attention to
the degree of education and training a farmer has accumu-
lated, to his financial and social status, when you are
choosing a contact farmer.
However, remember that you are responsible for communicating
your information to all farmers in your area. You cannot rely, in
total, on selective contact farmers with education and financial
status. Look hard for the social and other ties that bind the less
affluent farmers and their families. Look for other commonalities,
such as interests in children's schools, church bodies, and other

Media Messages
A surprisingly high number of the farmers in the research sample
were found to be listeners to the radio, readers of newspapers and
magazines, and visitors to agricultural shows and exhibitions. A
successful project uses such media sources to reinforce the face-to-
face meetings with farmers.
To produce such educational and informative material is not your
own responsibility; but you will need to be familiar with the kinds
of information transmitted through these channels so that you can
relate and time your own information and material to these mass
media messages.
In the world of selling agricultural products, it is said that two
factors are vital:
Advertisements in the national press and
The travelling salesman.
However good one of these factors may be, it cannot be really
successful without the other. The salesman gains his credibility
from the national advertising. But farmers often need the direct
contact with a salesman before they actually buy a product. A
similar pattern holds for extension projects. You are the salesman.


The front-line worker needs the additional support that
comes from national level exposure of the project's objec-
tives; but the farmers still need the direct dialogue with you
to receive precise information and a demonstration of
procedures-and to get your answers to their questions.
All the "pressure points" we have discussed can be seen as either
positive or negative forces, which will have their influence on a
farmer's attitude to adopting your recommendations. The negative
ones are the kinds of blockage which were represented by the
squiggly line in the communication model presented in the first
chapter. Some of the pressure points, like media messages, are
external factors; some, like the concern about risk-taking, are in
the head.

Only when you are familiar with the range and effects of
these pressure points can you begin to achieve a rapport
with your farmers, which will enable you to work with them
to promote change.


This analysis of "pressure points" may help us to understand more
clearly the way in which farmers-or any group of people-accept
or reject new ideas and practices. It seems there is a common and
recurring pattern involving five stages:

1. Awareness when a person is first exposed to a new idea-by,
maybe, reading a publicity leaflet or talking with
a friend.

2. Interest when he relates the idea to his own situation and
his curiosity is aroused about its potential bene-

3. Evaluation when he begins to ask questions of himself, his
neighbours or the extension worker; when he will
be mindful of the potential risks and influenced
by both the positive and the negative forces or
"pressure points".

4. Trial when he shows his willingness to experiment
with the idea on a small scale.

5. Adoption when he takes on the idea into his regular farm
practice and begins to argue its merits to other

Chapter 3

The rate at which farmers move through these stages will vary from
individual to individual; and it will depend on the range of factors
discussed earlier in this chapter. Some farmers will be more
exposed to new ideas through contact with media messages or with
what we called "influential figures". Some may be more ready to try
something new because of their better education or financial
security. Some may be reluctant to take any risks because of their
financial insecurity or their loyalty to tradition.
However, do not be discouraged if some farmers simply cannot be
convinced to accept your recommendations. This is normal. Typi-
cally, the adoption process is slow at first. Then, over time, you
should see responses to your recommendations begin to develop a
pattern which can be diagrammed as an "adoption curve":

Lapse of Time

This is what usually happens with large groups of people under
normal circumstances. The innovators are the small percentage of
farmers who are quick to accept something new-and who become
its advocates. They will tend to have those qualities identified by Dr.
Mbula as the ideal people to select as contact farmers.
However, there are other general factors that affect a person's
readiness to accept change. Factors that relate to how we all, as
human beings-and as adults-actually learn new information,
develop new skills and acquire new attitudes. This is the subject of
the next chapter.



Chapter 3

The Learning Process

As an extension worker your most important role is as an educator.
The function of an educator is to promote learning. Learning is
about change in behaviour, and helping to change the behaviour of
farmers is your business. Therefore, to be an effective extension
worker, educator and change agent, it is important to understand
some of the key factors that affect learning.
The first part of this chapter reviews certain general points about
learning; the second relates these considerations to the particular
ways in which adults orientate themselves to learning. Both sec-
tions will refer back to what has just been said about farmers.

This is not the place to go deeply into the psychology of learning-
what happens inside our heads when we experience a change in the
way we understand or do certain things. What is more important
for our immediate purposes is to consider what factors make for
successful learning-what conditions are usually present when
learning takes place. These are the factors over which we as
educators have some control. An understanding of them can im-
prove our ability to promote effective learning.
Most of what can be gleaned from textbooks on the psychology of
learning can be summarized into six conditions:
In order to learn, we must:
be motivated to learn;
ready to admit certain deficiencies in our current

The Learning have a clear demonstration of what we are expected
The Learning to learn;
Process have opportunities to practise the new behaviour;

receive reinforcement that what we are doing is
have available an appropriate set of learning
Let us take up each one of these points in turn and relate them to
what is known about the farmers you are working with-and to
what you can do to make sure these conditions are present when
you act as instructor, demonstrator or discussion group leader.

Motivation can be seen as a force-either positive or negative,
either encouraging or discouraging someone to engage in learning.
So it relates to many of the issues we were discussing in the
previous chapter: for example, the desire for an increased income
can be a positive motivator; conformity to traditional practices can
sometimes be a negative motivator.
These are the feelings and attitudes a farmer may bring with him
when he attends one of your field days or when he visits your farm.
But, of course, these feelings and attitudes will be affected by what
you yourself do on these occasions. Your approach to a farmer will
be either a positive or a negative influence.
If you present relevant information, if your delivery is coherent and
emphatic, then the farmer's interest will be aroused and main-
tained. But if what is said is not relevant to his needs and if your
delivery is too complicated or dull, then his enthusiasm can be
blunted. A positively motivated farmer can be turned into a nega-
tively motivated one by unimaginative or insensitive extension
agents-and vice versa.

This factor relates to whether a person is ready to admit that he
needs to learn-whether he is prepared to admit that there are
certain gaps in his knowledge or deficiencies in his skills.
Usually, it is not a problem when someone is encountering com-
pletely new material. There is no loss of face involved. However,
when someone is placed in the position of a learner in a field about
which he already knows something, then there may well be internal

Chapter 4

resistances to learning-a reluctance to admit to areas of ignorance
or the need to change habitual ways of doing things.
Imagine, for example, the feelings of an experienced extension
officer who attends a workshop on extension methods-or who is
reading this manual on the subject! If he is being challenged to
reconsider his own delivery methods, he may feel personally slighted
and become defensive about the way he has grown accustomed to
doing things.
So, this condition becomes extremely important when the learner
has already accumulated experience and competencies related to
what he is being asked to learn--or unlearn. This, of course, is the
situation you face in your dealings with farmers. They possess
experience and skills which can be drawn on in a positive way. But
there will always be the possibility that some farmers will become
defensive and resistant if their existing practices seem threatened
and regarded as inapplicable.
In this respect, whether or not a farmer is prepared to accept
extension messages will depend to a certain extent on the credibil-
ity of the sender of the message. Again, this refers back to what was
said in the previous chapter about your own standing in the eyes of
the farmer-and the extent to which you can enlist the support of
other high status figures in the community. Here, too, reference to
practices that neighboring farmers are adopting will have a
powerful influence

It is unlikely that learning will be effective if it is not guided, if the
learner is not sure about objectives-what the learning is designed
to achieve-or if he does not have a clear picture of what he needs
to know or be able to do.
Of prime importance is that your presentation of information is
accurate. If, for instance, when you are dealing with the treatment
of grain before storing, you get the recommended chemical dosage
wrong, then the consequences could be serious.
The second general point is that what you say should be relevant to
the occasion-the message should be a timely one (concerned with
a particular farming activity that the farmers will soon be engaged
in); and the message should be "tailored" to the needs and interests
of the particular farmers you are addressing. There is, for example,
no point in talking in detail about the treatment of grain for storage
if the farmers have not even harvested. Or, it would be inappropriate
to concentrate on large cribs if the farmers you are talking to grow

The Learning

relatively small amounts of grain for which an adapted traditional
basket would be perfectly adequate.
Third, your presentation should be coherently organized-in other
words, your messages should be easily understood by the farmers,
whether in term of the language you use or the logical way in which
you make your points. If you use a technical term with which the
farmers are not familiar, then you should go on to explain it in
everyday language. Percentages, for instance, may not mean a
great deal-but "two bags out of every ten" is the kind of concrete
language that farmers will easily grasp. Also, if your presentation
of information is not well prepared, then there is a risk that what
you say will be rambling and confusing.
Finally, the presentation should be made as lively as possible in
order to arouse attention and interest. The more confident you are
of your material, the more you are familiar with the community in
which you are working, the greater your chance to talk fluently and
enliven your delivery with humour that you know will be picked up
and appreciated by your listeners.
All these points will be taken up again and expanded in the
chapters that follow, which are concerned with various methods of
communicating extension messages-various ways of promoting
learning about agricultural topics and techniques.

Most of what you are trying to get across is to do with techniques,
so the learning will have happened, not when you have talked or
demonstrated, but only when the farmers can actually carry out the
recommended tasks themselves. So the opportunity for practice
becomes one of the most crucial conditions for learning. This is the
major theme of the next chapter, where we shall consider different
models of extension communication. We shall also be exploring the
relative advantages and disadvantages of two-way as opposed to
one-way methods of communication.
Sufficient to say at this point that, if we rely on only one-way
methods-talking and showing-then there is a risk ofinformation
over-load. There is also the possibility that, without guided prac-
tice, little or nothing will be learnt. The use of the word "guided"
here is significant; because it is possible for someone, without
guidance or supervision, to go on practising the same mistake!

Chapter 4


This is a technical term used by educational psychologists; it refers
to how our learning is affected by the way in which people react to
our efforts to learn--or it refers to our own assessment of how
successfully we are mastering a learning task.
Reinforcement can be seen as any kind of reward, which is known
as "positive reinforcement"; or any kind of punishment, which is
"negative reinforcement". The range of reinforcers can be as wide
as the satisfying experience of a car moving forward when first gear
is successfully engaged, or the disappointment of the car stalling
when the wrong gear goes in-to the smile or the frown on the face
of the driving instructor!
If you consider the way in which very young children behave, you
will recognize how important reinforcement is as a factor in learn-
ing. When very young, our behaviour was "shaped" by the way in
which our parents rewarded or gave "permission" to certain kinds
ofbehaviour. Even when much older, we still tend to seek out those
situations which give us pleasure and avoid those which cause us
pain. Thus, positive reinforcement is usually a more powerful force
for learning than negative reinforcement.
If farmers enjoy your field days because they find you supportive
and encouraging of their efforts, then their motivation to attend
will be heightened. But if they meet only criticism, then they will
tend to stay away-unless their motivation to learn is extremely
high and the rewards to be gained from learning are so great they
will put up with a discouraging, negative style of presentation.
When someone is practising a skill, there is the second kind of
reinforcement operating. The reinforcement is "built-in" to the
process, in the sense that reward comes from the experience of
succeeding. Conversely, negative reinforcement occurs if the task
is not being carried out successfully.
This again indicates the importance of practice in mastering
techniques. It also points up an important factor in instruction.
When setting tasks for the farmers to perform, it is vital to make
sure that they are not too complex or difficult; otherwise they will
only experience the frustrations of failure and they will be discour-
The key factor in reinforcement is feedback. This either comes
from you as the trainer, commenting on what a farmer is doing, or
it is the result of the farmer "knowing for himself that he is right--

The Learning when things fit neatly into place or the results of a procedure are
good ones. The best reinforcer in the On-Farm Grain Storage
Process Project is when a farmer sees how many bags of maize he has saved
by following the recommendations! But many farmers will need a
lot of persuasion, guidance and encouragement along the way to
that final stage.

These are the learning resources at your disposal. In school they
would be such things as textbooks, maps, chalk, pens and pencils.
You have the equivalent in any pamphlets, handouts or charts
which carry the messages of a particular project or topic. Usually,
you have no control over the production of these; your role is to use
them in your work to maximum effect. But, in an effective extension
organization, your experience of using such resources will be
utilized; and any feedback should be taken into account in modify-
ing the content and the design.
Second, you will want to use other training or demonstration aids
to increase the graphic quality of your presentations. As was said
in Chapter One, visual impact is an important factor in learning.
And Chapter Eleven reviews the characteristics and applications
of the main types of aids that you might have available-or even
make yourself.
But you have at your disposal the most powerful of learning
materials-the actual products and structures of farming. Better
to show the farmers a contaminated maize cob than a picture of one.
Better to show them an improved grain store than a model of one.
Finally, there are the farmers themselves-they are your most
important resource for learning. One of the most crucial aspects of
your job, the most vital of your skills, is the ability to tap the
experience of the farmers so that their learning is integrated into
what they already know and can do. Furthermore, part of your role
as an educator is to make it possible for the progressive, successful
farmers in your area to become the teachers of their neighbours-
without arousing feelings of jealousy or even resentment.
But this takes us into the next topic: the way in which the very
maturity of farmers affects their ability to learn.

Chapter 4


An Illustration
A group of extension staff were attending a workshop on extension
methods. The topic was "Adult Learning". Instead of giving them a
lecture on the subject, the workshop leader asked the participants to
engage in a short exercise.
He divided them into three groups. The first group was going to
explore the concept "student the second, "teacher"; and the third
group, "adult". He asked each individual to find an object-any
object-which had qualities, characteristics, which could be associ-
ated with either "student", "teacher" or "adult". They had ten
minutes for the search. The object had to be one they could carry back
to the group.
When all the participants were back in the circle, they each in turn
showed what they had found; and they "explained" it to the rest of
the group.
Leader: "Kamau, I see that you have a plant of some kind--tell us
about it."
Kamau: "Well, I have just up-rooted this from the shamba outside.
And in this heat it will soon wither-as you see, it is
beginning to droop already. I chose this, because I think
a student is very much like a young plant. In order to
learn--to grow in knowledge and skills-it needs careful
treatment. It needs to be placed in the right kind of
environment. It needs the feeding that comes from the soil
and watering. It needs the attention of an expert gar-
While Kamau is talking, the leader writes up on the board the image,
"Young plant". Alongside it, he writes up the key qualities associated
with this concept of "student":
"Needs careful treatment in order to learn; needs the right environ-
ment and the nourishment of a knowledgeable teacher."
Leader: "And now Pamela. I can't quite see what you have there.
But you were one of the group looking for "teachers". So,
what do you have to show us?"
Pamela: 'If I switch him on, perhaps you will see him better. You
see? He is a torch."
Leader: "And why did you choose a torch to represent "teacher"?
Pamela: "It's the job of the teacher to throw light on things.
Illumination-that's what learning is all about. But a

The Learning teacher needs to be plugged in to some power source.
That's what the battery stands for. A teacher must get his
Process power or his knowledge from somewhere. It might be from
books or it might be from his experience in a particular
field. But batteries need recharging every so often-I
guess that is why we are attending this workshop!"
The image of the torch goes up on the board-and the qualities
attributed to it and related to the role of a teacher:
"Giver of light; source of illumination; knowledgeable, experienced,
skilled; sometimes in need of recharging."
Leader: "Let's take one of the "adults" now. What have you got for
us, Okoth?"
Okoth: "Actually, Ifound the task very easy! I didn't have to move
from the room to find my object. In fact, it was here in my
pocket. "Responsibility" is what I want to illustrate. And
I don't think I could do better than my bunch of keys. They
indicate that I, as an adult, am able and licensed to ride
a motorcycle. That I am mature enough to have a house-
and the care of a family. There are, you see, a number of
keys on this ring-all saying that I have already opened
and walked through a number of different doors. Respon-
sibility, experience, knowledge, skill-this is what it means
to be an adult."
One by one the images are collected, until the three clusters of them
and their associated qualities are arrayed across the board:
For Student:
a small plant, needing nourishment;
an empty glass, waiting to be filled;
a blackboard, which is being written on.
For Teacher:
a torch, that throws light on things;
a portable radio, that sends messages;
a book, that is a source of knowledge.
For Adult:
two bunches of keys, representing responsibilities,
knowledge and experience;
a cheque book, representing the same things.
40 Chapter 4

Pause for awhile and think about the implications of these images
and what they indicate about the respective roles of teachers,
students and adults:
What assumptions are being made about the processes of
teaching and learning?
How compatible are the roles of "teacher" and "student"-
as perceived by this group of extension officers?
How compatible are the roles of "adult" and "student"?
What is likely to happen when the "adult" becomes a "stu-

All the images related to students by the extension officers were of
someone who is essentially passive: someone who is waiting to be
nurtured by a teacher and filled with knowledge.
All the images for teacher were active and potent ones: someone
who brings light, someone who is knowledgeable and experienced,
someone in control of the learning process.
All the images of adult were also of someone who is active and
potent: mature, experienced and knowledgeable-and also accus-
tomed to being in control over certain aspects of his life.
The images and qualities arrayed across the board added up to a
very traditional-and rather limited-picture of what learning and
teaching are about. The workshop participants saw education as
essentially a process of one who knows, transmitting his knowledge
to one who does not know. In terms of traditional attitudes to
schooling, there is a compatibility between the group's images of
student and teacher. The student is a receptacle waiting patiently
to be filled, a plant waiting for the nourishment needed for its
growth. The teacher is both an authority and in authority. This
model of education is one of dependency.
However, there is not a compatibility between the images for
student and those for adult. The participants associated adult with
qualities to do with experience, maturity, knowledge and responsi-
bility. Not a problem when the adult becomes a teacher-but a
possible source of tension when the adult becomes a student. If the
educational process is as the workshop participants saw it, then the
adult is being asked to return to a childlike situation when he is put
in the role of a learner.

The Learning If the adult learner is treated in a childlike way, then, unless he is
prepared to set aside his experience-his being accustomed to
Process making decisions for himself-there could well be problems for the
person who tries to become his teacher. Especially if that person is
younger, and in certain respects less experienced, than the one he
is "teaching".
So much of our thinking about education and training is based on
our experience of when we received most of it-when we were
young. So often the failures of adult education projects can be
ascribed to the way in which the methods of promoting learning are
those more suitable for young children in school. The methods do
not match the maturity and experience and sense of responsibility
of the learners.
Therefore, it might be useful if we reflect for a while on the key
differences between the child and the adult learner. When we have
done that, we can go on to consider which educational methods best
suit the situation of the adult farmer when, in our extension
methods, we put him in the situation of being a learner.
There are three fundamental ways in which adult learners differ
from children. They differ in terms of their:
Let us look at these three characteristics in turn:

We can say that a person passes into adulthood when he becomes
psychologically independent-when he becomes self-directing. The
self-concept of a child-the way he sees himself-is of being a
dependent being. He is dependent on his parents first and other
adults later, for protection, food and for receiving the "rules" by
which we live in any particular society. But as children move
towards adulthood, they become increasingly aware of being ca-
pable of making decisions for themselves-whether riding a motor-
cycle, building a home or planning what crops to plant.
And adults experience the need for others to see them as capable of
self-direction. We resent being put into situations that violate our
self-concept of maturity-such as being treated with a lack of
respect, being talked down to, being treated like children.

Chapter 4

So, teaching adults calls for a sensitivity towards the person
who, because he is an adult, has become accustomed to
making his own decisions, accustomed to exercising a certain
measure of control over his own life.

The second major difference between adults and children is in the
degree of experience they have accumulated. Adults are more
experienced simply because they have lived longer! Whereas when
we ask a child who he is, he will usually describe his identity in
terms of his parents, his school or where he lives, an adult will
define himself in terms of his experience. An adult's self-identity is
derived from what he has done. Therefore, we adults become very
protective of our experience; and whenever we find people ignoring
or devaluing it, we feel a kind of rejection and frustration.
The consequence for us as teachers of adults is that we
should take every opportunity to draw on and utilize the
experience of those we are teaching.

Orientation to Learning
In many aspects of life, a youth thinks mainly of the present. He
looks for immediate satisfactions; he finds it hard to wait a long
time for the rewards for his efforts. An adult becomes much more
accustomed to postponing his satisfactions and rewards. However,
with regard to learning, the time perspective of young people and
adults is reversed. Children are conditioned to learning things that
do not have an immediate application. A good deal of what they
learn at school is accumulated in a reservoir of knowledge and skills
that will--or may-be useful in later life. An adult's orientation to
learning, however, is likely to be different. He will want to be able
to apply his learning to his immediate concerns. Like the image of
the adult in the illustration, he will want to turn the key-he will
want to apply his learning to his current concerns and tasks.
Therefore, it is important in our extension work that we
focus on the interests and problems that the farmers bring
with them to our discussions and field days.
The farmers who attend our demonstrations, who listen to
us on our rounds of visiting, are adults as well as our
"students". Because of their previous experience of school-
ing-maybe because of their attitudes towards any kind of
authority figure-some of them may not expect to have
their own experience taken into account in the processes of

The Learning learning. But if this involvement does not happen, then
their expertise will be belittled-and a marvellous opportu.
Process nity will be lost for making the learning not only as relevant
as possible, but also a means whereby they increase in
confidence and develop a sense of independence and self-

Our analysis of the characteristics of mature learners has so far
been restricted to three broad aspects. However, there are other
factors that we need to take into account--ones of particular
importance with respect to the typical farmers we encounter in our
Most of the farmers will not have a substantial background of
formal education; and the days of their schooling will be well in the
past. They will not be practiced in the skills of getting information
from the formal devices of education like lectures, books and
Though they may not have been in touch with formal education,
they will have certainly learned a great deal in the course of their
lives since leaving school. But this learning will not have been
theoretical or academic. The methods of learning that they are
likely to have used, often unconsciously, will have been more like
the case study-solving practical problems through observing the
experience of others, or engaging in trial and error procedures.
Most probably their memories, especially their short-term memo-
ries, will have deteriorated. Compared to when they were young,
they will find it difficult to remember a string of facts or to learn
from mainly verbal instruction.


Chapter 4


Drawing on what has been said in this and the previous chapter,
what are the main implications of the farmers' prior experience,
knowledge and attitudes for your work in facilitating their learning
of new techniques and procedures?

The farmers will see all the new information you communicate
through the "spectacles" of their existing experience and knowl-
edge-just as we all do. Your messages can therefore become easily
Constant feedback from them is vital if you are to keep alive
to what the farmers are, or are not, learning.

All too often--despite their actual expertise as farmers-they may
too readily believe that they have little to offer (apart from ques-
tions) that is relevant and constructive to whatever subject is under
discussion. It is important to help them see that this is not the case;
because, unless the new learning is linked to what they already
know and do, it will not be absorbed. It will not make a great impact
on their attitudes and behaviour.
You should always explore with the farmers what they
already know about a subject before embarking on any
presentation of new information.
It may be that not all items in the package of knowledge and
expertise that the farmers carry with them are effective in the
changing world of modern agricultural production--or in keeping
with the particular recommendations of the projects with which
you are concerned.
For instance, if a farmer is going to harvest his maize early, to
reduce the damage caused by pests when the maize is left in the
field to dry, then it is no good his putting that maize in storage
structures that do not allow the cobs to dry rapidly. That way, more
damage will be done. The moisture still in the maize will cause
moulds. To benefit from early harvesting he needs to adapt the
storage structures according to the recommendations of the project.
To accept only part of the management package is to run the risk
of solving one problem only to cause another.

The Learning Experience shows that when trying to facilitate adult learning
The Learning there is often as much "unlearning" to be done as learning. Because
Process people have so much emotional capital invested in their existing
knowledge and experience, in their customary ways of doing
things, to challenge this knowledge, experience and customs is the
trickiest job for the extension worker. And little can usually be
achieved through a simple plea to change.
It is important to identify as precisely as possible what are
the blocks to change and what are the bases of existing
attitudes and practices. The most likely unfreezingg"
methods will not be talk but demonstration and the conse-
quences of examples-from which farmers can draw their
own conclusions.

Experience as a Learning Resource
The package of knowledge and skills that the farmers already
possess is itself a rich resource for learning.
In planning and delivering your extension messages, you
should start from where your farmers are. If you utilize
their experience, you will ensure that your messages are
relevant to their needs and interests. You may well learn
from them some new ideas that will help you to modify your
own knowledge and your teaching of it.

Varieties of Experience
Individual farmers will possess packages of knowledge and experi-
ence of varying size and weight. Some of the farmers will be what
we call "progressive"; some will not. Some will be skilled in building
structures; others will be knowledgeable about the treatment of
plant diseases. To draw on this varied store can enrich the learning
for the whole group. But it makes the business of "starting from
where the farmers are" a rather complicated matter.
Rather than relying on your own presentation of informa-
tion and demonstration of skills, you should, as much as
possible, promote participatory methods of learning which
allow for the varied inputs and responses of the farmers

Approaches to Learning
Most of your farmers will have had limited formal schooling and
their approaches to learning will not be those found in institutions

Chapter 4

of education or training. They will have become accustomed to
focusing on immediate and practical issues.
You should avoid trying to promote learning that relies
heavily on memorization. You should seize any chance to
reinforce the learning of new ideas and procedures by
giving opportunities for application and practice.

Whether we consider the general principles that underlie effective
learning or whether we focus on the particular orientations to
learning of adults, we are led to conclude that to maximize the
active participation of farmers in the learning process is the most
effective way to proceed. What often stands in the way of doing this
are traditional attitudes to education and training, that put too
much faith in one-way communication processes.
To help in the development of progressive farmers we need
to be progressive educators. We need to develop for our-
selves flexible, participatory extension methods which not
only respect the adultnesss" of farmers but also promote
their learning much more effectively than rigid, transmit-
tal methods of communication.

The difference between participatory and transmittal modes of
extension work is the theme of the next chapter.

The Learning


Chapter 4

0 Models of Extension Work


An Illustration
An extension worker was holding a field day for farmers on the
subject of early harvesting of maize. The location Chief had agreed
to attend, and he began the proceedings by outlining the main
objectives of the On-Farm Grain Storage Project. He stressed the
national importance of reducing post-harvest losses.
When the Chief had concluded his speech, the extension worker
asked the farmers about the losses they themselves were experienc-
ing. He encouraged them to talk about the reasons for such losses.
After a short time he was able to summarize by replaying to them
the list they had themselves produced: birds, weevils, other insects,
rats and moulds.
But, listening to their comments, he had picked up that the farmers
seemed unaware of the seriousness of the losses. So he decided to
conduct a little experiment. He had brought with him samples of
healthy and contaminated maize. He got a few of the farmers to
compare the volumes, where the difference was not all that great.
He then asked the farmers to weigh the same samples. Their
surprise at the difference was dramatic.
From this brief illustration we can derive certain basic points
about communication in educational situations.
Any episode of extension training will have three key elements:

Models of SUBJECT
Extension Work EDUCATOR
The Subject is what is being learned; and in this case it was
information about post-harvest grain losses. It can range from the
ideas in a person's head to something concrete, like a moisture
testing machine.
The Educator may be thoroughly familiar with the material-an
expert or specialist in a particular range of subject matter. And in
this lies one recurring problem found in all kinds of educational
communication: does the expert try to tell the learners all he
knows, or does he let them discover some of it for themselves?
This question is crucial in making assessments of the relative
effectiveness of various extension methods, and it will be explored
in the following chapters which review the different methods in
some detail.
Another consideration will be whether the extension worker is
familiar enough with a range of methods to enable him to make
a choice-and to extend your range of choice is a key objective of
this manual.
A further issue will be the attitude of the workers towards the
farmers-whether he is ready to see them as sources of knowledge
and skill that can be drawn on in the educational process. In the
illustration, the extension worker was happy to do this and, even
though he could easily have listed the various reasons for grain
losses experienced by the farmers, he preferred to draw them out
for discussion.
The Learners may be totally unfamiliar with the material, as
farmers would be when seeing a modern crib for the first time, or
they may already have some knowledge of it-as in the illustra-
tion, where they know for themselves what was causing their
losses of maize.
The question then arises as to whether the same method will be
effective whether the farmers know or do not know something
about the material-and what can be done if some of the group
know and some do not?
In their different ways, each of the three factors will determine
the "shape" of any episode of extension communication; and we
can characterize the main kinds of episode by considering how the

Chapter 5

factors can interact with each other. From the illustration we can
identify three different interactive patterns in operation; and we
can give them the names:
It can be argued that these are the only modes of communication
that are possible; and that all educational, training or extension
methods can be identified as belonging to one or other of the three.
Let us identify each in turn, by drawing on the opening illustra-
tion, and by constructing a diagram which characterizes the
particular interactive pattern.



Subec Lere

In the first phase of the illustrated field day, the Chief takes on
the role of educator. The presentation mode of communication
which he adopts is perhaps the one most commonly used in
educational institutions. In this mode, every bit of information
received by the learners is "filtered" through the mind of he
educator-and delivered through his mouth or through his elec-
tronic device.
The educator does some thinking about the subject (1).
He packages it in an appropriate format for the learners, decides
on the best order in which to present it and, perhaps, makes some
notes (2).

Models of
Extension Work

He then delivers his material to the learners; who are relatively
passive, even if attentive, receivers of his messages (3).
The absence of a line between the learners and the subject sym-
bolizes that the only contact the learners have with the actual
material being taught is through the filter of the educator.
The extension methods which correspond to this mode are talks
(either formal lectures or informal presentations), film or video
shows, radio programmes and poster campaigns.


The extension worker chose not to begin with a talk, but moved
into a dialogue with the farmers. What he did will help us to
identify the communication mode we are calling discussion.
The subject is usually introduced and guided by the educator (1).
However, for a discussion to be effective, it is necessary that the
learners, as well as the educator, have some familiarity with the
topic (2).
In this example, the knowledge would have come from direct
experience; but the educator is also likely to have gleaned a good
deal of his knowledge from lectures and books.
The learners engage with the educator and with each other in the
process of issue-raising, opinion-stating, debating, analyzing and
concluding (3).
The learning comes from the interchange and the resulting modi-
fication of ideas.

Chapter 5

The methods that correspond to this mode are any kind of formal
or informal discussion session held with farmers on such occa-
sions as field days-or within women's groups or 4K clubs.


The final phase of the illustration is an example of the communi-
cation mode in which learning is action-based.
Here, the educator's role is primarily one of choosing an activity
for the learners to engage in, and then "managing" that activity
The learners engage directly with the subject matter-which can
be a simple activity like using a hand sheller, or a complicated one
like conducting a survey. They learn through the experience, as
they explore, practise, discover or problem solve (2).
Often in such situations the educator faces an interesting choice,
symbolized by the dotted line. Does he remain outside the action
as manager--only intervening if the learners need his guidance-
or does he engage in the experimentation with the group? (3).
The methods that make up the action-based mode of communica-
tion are any kind of experimentation or practice engaged in di-
rectly by the learners.
Though each of these three communication modes do have their
distinctive characteristics-and at any moment of an extension
activity it is possible to clearly identify which one is operative-
nevertheless, any extension event is likely to include more than
one mode.
In the illustration, as we have seen, the session begins with a
presentation, moves into discussion and concludes with action.

Models of And usually a discussion is preceded by some kind of introductory
presentation. Also, the significance of action-based learning is
Extension Work usually only brought out in a follow-up discussion.
A good extension worker can switch between the modes; good
extension work employs a mix of presentations, discussions and
action. To use a variety of methods is to stimulate interest, main-
tain attention and maximize the opportunities for learning.

The most vital factor in deciding which mode to use will be our
educational objectives. These objectives will relate to the three
main kinds of experience or "spheres" of learning that have been
discussed in Chapter Two:
In our working relationships with farmers, we will be concerned
to increase knowledge, develop skills or influence attitudes.
It is not an easy task to work out how these three spheres relate
to each other-what the relationship is between changes in
knowledge and changes in attitude-and how changes in both
affect changes in behaviour. How, for instance, can we explain the
smoker who knows the way cigarettes can damage his health and
yet he doesn't stop smoking? How can we explain the smoker who
knows the risks, feels guilty about the anti-social aspects of smok-
ing, and still he doesn't stop? How can we explain the farmer who
knows the advantages of adopting a certain agricultural practice
and yet he doesn't do it?
The way an individual will respond to a learning situation is not
predictable; his response will depend on a complex of personality,
cultural and environmental pressures, as explored in Chapter
Three. It is this unpredictability that makes a business like
extension more a sensitive art than a systematic science.
However, this is not to say that we should leave everything to
intuition or reactions of the moment. Good extension work usually
depends on careful planning. The more we know about the farm-
ers in our community, the more we know how they are likely to
respond under certain circumstances-the more we prepare for a

Chapter 5

particular educational activity-the better equipped we are to
cope when the unexpected happens.
Certainly, it will be important to keep in mind the three main
spheres of learning whenever we are planning any kind of exten-
sion activity.
It will always be crucial to ask ourselves whether our
objectives relate to knowledge acquisition or skill develop-
ment or attitude formation. Because this distinction, more
than anything else, will determine what our extension
methods will be.
So, let us imagine a few different scenarios and consider how we
would decide which of the three modes of communication would be
dominant in each case:

First Scenario: A training session for funds or carpenters;
Objective- that they will be able to adapt traditional
baskets so that they are suitable for rapid
drying of maize and safe from attack by ro-
We are in the spheres of knowledge and skill.
The most appropriate modes would be presentation in the form
of plans, diagrams and demonstration of construction proce-
dures-followed by action in the form of practice. Action-based
learning would be the most important, because it is not possible
to develop skills merely by reading about them or watching a

Second Scenario: A field day for farmers;
Objective- that they know when and how to shell and
treat maize ready for storage.
Again, we are in the spheres of knowledge and skill.
And, again, there is bound to be a phase of demonstration in the
presentation mode; but it would be important to give plenty of
opportunity for action-based learning-encouraging the farm-
ers to try out the procedures of shelling, dusting the grain with
insecticide and making sure that it is mixed properly with the

Models of
Extension Work

Also, we may well have to take account of the attitude sphere.
If some of the farmers, for instance, are concerned about how the
taste of the maize may be affected or are worried about possible
skin damage from the insecticide-such concerns may only be
identified if they feel free to question and debate with us. There-
fore, discussion should be facilitated in order to expose such
issues and deal with them. Otherwise, the farmers may politely
watch our demonstration, carry out the procedures correctly
during the field day, but not adopt them in their own compounds.
Third Scenario: a women's group;
Objective- to enlist their support for the recommended
post-harvest management procedures.
Here, we may well be working mainly in the sphere of attitudes.
What will be important will be to draw out the women's opinions
about the project's messages, to identify any constraints operat-
ing against their willingness to adopt the recommendations-
such as the situation where their husbands are the ones who
tend to make the decision about any kind of financial outlay.
Only through discussion can the crucial issues be identified,
problems exposed and possible solutions or proposals suggested.

In all three of the examples there is an emphasis on the more
participatory modes of discussion and action-based learning. That
this should be so seems obvious when we consider the objectives
in the way we have done. We only learn how to do something by
doing it.
Our attitudes are influenced much more powerfully when
we test them out in debate with other people.
Farming is a practical activity; extension is about influencing
practice. So, in theory, we would not expect extension work to be
mainly taken up with talking. Yet in reality this is what it often
is-field days can last for three or more hours with two-thirds of
the time given up to speeches.
Why is this?
Especially when there is so much well-known evidence that the
one-way communication of talking and lecturing is so ineffective
in promoting learning? When, as we have discussed, experienced

Chapter 5

adult learners learn best when their experience is utilized and
their adultnesss" is respected by involving them in debate and
Perhaps one of the answers is that we have been so conditioned
to one-way communication techniques from our early experiences
of schooling. We became accustomed to "sitting at the feet" of the
teacher. Also, especially in Third World countries, anyone in a
teaching role seems to command great respect. This is fine-as
long as it does not mean that such a figure should never be
challenged or that the learners should never be in a position to
take their own initiatives in the educational process. And when
the extension activities are integrated with administrative and
political structures and involve local administrators, officials and
politicians, there is a tendency to adopt the speech-making ap-
proaches commonly used in barazas.
To meet educational objectives most effectively and to preserve
the "persuading" rather than the "directing" nature of extension,
we need to utilize a variety of participatory, discussion-based,
action-based methods as well as the more "top-down" presenta-
tion methods. We will see that each of the three main modes of
communication will have its particular applications and advan-
The next few chapters of this manual will be exploring these
applications and advantages-and offering suggestions for mak-
ing the most of each of the common extension methods.

Models of
Extension Work


Chapter 5

6 Visiting a Farm

Working within the T&V system, farm visits are made according to
a regular schedule. Visiting-talking with a single farmer or with
a contact farmer and his immediate neighbours-is the key ele-
ment in the system. The scheduling makes for the most effective
and efficient use of your time. Effective, in that all parties con-
cerned know when the visits will take place and they can therefore
be planned for. Efficient, in that your time allocation can be spread
across the farmers on your list according to total numbers and
geographical spread. Since the farmer also knows your fortnightly
schedule, he will be expecting you-and the programming avoids
the time wasting that occurs when visits are made and nobody is
there to meet you.

The most important element in planning for any activity is knowing
your objective. Every farm visit should have a purpose. This
means that you should know what you hope to achieve in visiting
a particular farmer. Just as important: the farmer should also know
the purpose of each of your visits. Working according to your
fortnightly schedule, you can always end one visit by establishing
what will be the "agenda" or "target" for the next.
And, if you keep adequate notes and records, you will be able to
assemble any necessary information or equipment you need, well in
advance of each visit.
If, for instance, you are going to help a farmer shell and treat his
maize that has been drying in his crib to a safe 13%, you will have
checked that the necessary equipment will be at hand: the dusting


Visiting a powder, a sheet for spreading on the ground, a shovel, sacks for the
grain going into the store. And you will be carrying a hand sheller
Farm to show him; and also the relevant pamphlet, in the right language,
that illustrates the processes. i
On the last visit, you noted that the farmer claimed that he was
having difficulty in obtaining insecticides in his locality-so you
checked up on the situation and you will be able to inform him
where such supplies are now available.

When you meet the farmer, talk with him, not at him. This is an I
important difference. To talk with someone is to engage in a two-
way conversation. You discover his concerns, learn about his
experience, identify what help he needs from you. But if you talk at
him most of the time, his attention might wander, his resentment
may build up, or he might become defensive and withdrawn. I
How you frame your question is a crucial issue. The important
distinction is between closed and open questions. Closed ques-
tions can seem rather interrogating and produce brief or only Yes/
No answers. Open questions seem more respectful and usually
produce fuller answers. j
For example, if you ask simply, "Do you treat your maize with a
Blue Cross powder before storing?"-you may get an evasive I
answer, because it can sound like a "checking-up" question. But if
you ask, "What do you think about the ways of treating maize for
storing?"-you are inviting him, on equal terms, to discuss the
matter with you.
Not just the structure of your sentences but also the tone in which
they are delivered is vital in establishing a good relationship-
putting someone at ease, winning confidence and encouraging an
expression of views and concerns. |
Here we are touching on certain fundamental points about effective
interpersonal communication, so perhaps we should pause and
explore them in more detail.

Whenever we talk with someone we have a choice between five
lines of communication. These are set out on the next page. Let
us look at each in turn and consider when and when not to use them.
60 Chapter 6


"Make sure you mix the powder thoroughly and evenly."
"No, not like that! I've shown you twice already!"
"You have made a very good job of that crib-nzuri sana!"
"Let me show you how it is done!"
"How long have the cobs been in the crib?"
"I will call again in two weeks time."
"I know you have had a lot of experience of doing this, so please show me."
"I'm getting fed up with this job. No one wants to listen to me!"
"Great! I'm enjoying this. Let's have another go!"
"Actually, I couldn't care less whether you listen to me or not. I just want to
get this over quickly and get home!"


The directing line is used when we are telling someone what to do.
We are in control and feel free to give an order or make a criticism.
The two examples show a positive and a negative use of the line. If
you are giving a demonstration then such "directing" words come
naturally, without an authoritarian tone, and they will not cause


We use the nurturing line when we are showing our concern for
someone. It is as if we are in the role of a "nurturing parent" -
expressing care or looking after someone's interests. Compared
with the relative coldness of directing, the tone of nurturing is
warm and encouraging-as in the first example.

But we can sometimes overdo the "parenting" approach and fall
into a patronizing tone-or do something for people when they are

Visiting a perfectly capable of doing it themselves. The risk for any kind of
teacher is that he is tempted to show off his own knowledge and
Farm skills rather than develop the knowledge and skills of the person he
is supposed to be teaching. This is to overuse the transmittal mode
of communication-and create dependence rather than independ-

The computing line is an interchange of messages without any kind
of emotional loading. It is a straightforward exchange of informa-
tion. When the concern is the task itself-rather than what either
of the parties feel about it-this is the line that is operative. The
tone is therefore neutral or "businesslike". The image of a computer
is apt because computers process information without any emotion
coming into the communication!
However, this line is not wholly positive. If you overuse it, you risk
becoming dull and boring. Imagine what it would be like to spend
a lot of time with someone who behaves only like a computer!

When we are "reacting", we are adapting our behaviour in some
way according to the people we are with-or in line with the
circumstances. On the one hand, a Reactor is a polite person,
respectful of the wishes of others. On the other hand, the Reactor
can be reacting in a negative way, by complaining or whining.
The difference, if we take examples of reacting behaviour in
children, is between the child who sits still when his parents say
that he should (using the directing line)-and the child who cries
or stamps his feet. In both cases, the behaviour is in reaction to the
behaviour or the assumed wishes of someone else.

The venting line is an unedited, spontaneous expression of feelings
of pleasure or displeasure. It is the opposite of reacting in that the
expression is completely without regard for what others may think.
We commonly see such venting behaviour in very young children,
before they have learnt the need to adapt to the influences of other
people around them. If a baby is hungry it will cry-wherever it is.
It is only later that we begin to control our urges to express
ourselves according to our interpretations of what other people will
think or feel about what we do.

Chapter 6

Like all the other lines, venting has its positive and its negative
aspects. It would be much more fun to spend an evening out with
a spontaneous Ventor than with any other of the characters in this
list-but we would have to be prepared to witness some selfish and
irresponsible behaviour at times!
Whenever we interact with someone else, we have a choice about
which of these communication lines to use. All have their positive
and negative effects. The key factor is our decision about which is
appropriate in any given situation.
For example, if a farmer is clearly upset about the sickness of his
cattle, then we would be sensible to recognize his emotions first. We
might only be able to get into communication with him if we adopt
the nurturing line-it would not be the time to launch straight into
the computer line of giving him information about insecticides for
the treatment of his maize. However, if we have relevant informa-
tion about the treatment of his cattle, then he might soon be ready
to engage on that line with us-about, first, the problem of his cattle
and, second, even his maize.
There are, then, two basic skills in establishing a relation-
an ability to use all five lines of
O a sensitivity to which is the most appropriate
one to use on any particular occasion.
You might find it interesting and revealing to try out your own
ability to operate in each of these lines-because each one of us
finds some easier to use than others. Persuade a friend or colleague
to engage in an experiment with you. Hold a conversation where
you both deliberately take up all five lines in turn. You will soon
discover your own strengths and weaknesses. Then reflect on your
relationships with farmers and try to identify the usual approaches
you take.
Effective communicators have the facility to plug in and
change between the five lines like a fast and nimble tele-
phone switchboard operator!
To decide which of the lines to use with any particular farmer, you
need to know him fairly well-and to sense specific concerns on any
one occasion. This means that you will need to be skilful at the
receiving end of the communication model we discussed in Chap-
ter One. You need to be a good listener as well as a good talker. If,
for example, you discover a farmer is troubled about school fees,

Visiting a then, carefully, the topic can be turned to how this problem might
be solved by having a few extra bags of maize for sale-if he follows
F arm your post-harvest recommendations.

Before you leave a farmer's compound, make sure he understands
what you have been discussing and demonstrating. The best way
to be sure-if the opportunity is there-is to see how he himself
carries out a task. If the farmer does not do it correctly, then you
have not communicated.
A key quality is patience-being prepared to repeat a demon-
stration and keeping calm if the farmer seems slow at picking
things up. But you may well find that if you encourage a farmer to
express his own views, if you observe what he is doing and explore
his reasons, you will learn some very useful information yourself.
And if a farmer disagrees with what you are saying, try not to
challenge him, but take the chance of exploring why he thinks the
way he does. He may have very good reasons for doing things his
way. For example, he may have lost his trust because of a previous
piece ofbad advice. Or, from experience, he may have a much better
understanding of what can be achieved with his particular soils and
What follows are two contrasting scenarios. One of them is much
more productive than the other. They illustrate how important it is
to choose the appropriate line of communication if we wish commu-
nication to proceed harmoniously and purposefully:
First Scenario
Farmer: "No, I'm not interested in growing hybrid maize.
It's not suitable for this locality."
EW: "But it will give you a much greater yield. You will
be making a big mistake if you don't." (Directing
Silence. End of conversation on the topic.
Second Scenario
Farmer: "No, I'm not interested in growing hybrid maize.
It's not suitable for this locality."
EW: "I'm interested in your views on this. Tell me why
you think this way." (Computer line)

Chapter 6

Farmer: "Well, I think that hybrid varieties are fine for
areas where the weather is stable. But if there is a
period of heavy rains and flooding, or a period of
drought, then the local maize will cope better. In
such circumstances, I could lose the whole of my
crop if I plant hybrid. And, as you saw last year,
there was terrible flooding here. I would have lost
all my maize.
Every four or five years we seem to have floods--or
the rains hardly come at all. I'm not prepared to
take the risk. I would rather know that I will get
something every year, than gamble and then get
EW: "I see your point. But how about hedging your bets
by growing some of each. That way you would
benefit from the higher yields of the hybrids in most
years-but you would never be risking your whole
crop, because you would have the traditional vari-
ety that would stand up better to the floods if they
What do you think?"
By getting into a conversation rather than provoking an argument,
the second extension worker is able to discover the farmer's rea-
sons. He is then able to increase the chance of coming up with a
mutually determined plan of action.

Whenever possible, discuss with the farmer the "agenda" for your
next meeting. Reach an understanding about the tasks the farmer
will have carried out before you see him again. For instance, if you
have been discussing the way in which he can improve his tradi-
tional storage structure by raising it on legs and fitting rat guards,
then you can determine whether it is feasible to have the job done
before the next visit-ready for you both to focus on storage hygiene
On your part, it is important to make notes of any materials you will
need to collect before you see him again. If you have promised to find
out some information or to bring along some insecticide, then it will
be disappointing to him and damaging to your own credibility if you

Visiting a


Farm The one-to-one meetings on your round of visiting can achieve a
number of benefits:
D Acquiring first-hand information about the
problems being faced by farmers in your area;
L1 Establishing good relationships;
] Publicizing more formal and group field
D Identifying potential contact farmers;
El Monitoring the impact of a particular project;
ED Giving closer attention to a particular farmer's
L] Teaching specific skills;
a Reinforcing skills learned during an earlier visit;
ED Enabling a "whole family" approach.
This last point should be elaborated. As discussed in the Introduc-
tion, the word "he" has been used rather than "she" throughout the
manual-for reasons of stylistic convenience rather than from an
assumption that all farmers are male! In fact, many farmers are
women; and, anyway, you will want to have contact with both the
husbands and the wives as much as possible. If you can talk to them
both together, then fine.

Since you have so many contact and follower farmers to keep track
of, you will not be able to do so effectively unless you keep brief
records of your meetings with them. You will need to record such
things as the purpose of each visit, your own observations as to
what has been happening in the shamba, what occurred during
your visit, and what follow-up was agreed.
On the next page is an example of the kind of record sheet or card
you could use for each visit.

Chapter 6


Name of Farmer
Number of Follower Farmers
Date Time
Purpose of Visit


Notes on help given


Such records are essential-you cannot possibly keep all the
important information about your farmers in your head. They
enable you to check your commitments and they provide you with
an effective basis for writing your reports.

Visiting a

Yes No
1. Has the visit been scheduled, along with other
contact farmers, to make the most efficient use
of my time?

2. Does the farmer know that I am visiting him?

3. Does the farmer know the purpose of my visit?

4. Has the farmer been encouraged to complete
certain tasks before I arrive?

5. Have I collected any necessary

6. Will the farmer be familiar with
skill that I will be dealing with?

7. Am I confident about discussing
demonstrating the skill?

supplies or

the topic or

the topic or

8. Can the farmer easily afford the practice I am

9. How readily will the farmer accept the new

10. Have I anticipated my response and his own

11. Have I prepared any necessary demonstration

12. Have I checked the equipment I will be using?

13. Will I be able to brief the farmer on forthcoming
events that may be of interest to him--or on the
availability of supplies that he might need?

Chapter 6


Yes No

1. Was I confident of my knowledge and skill?

2. Was the visit well planned?

3. Did the farmer know the purpose of my visit?

4. Did I have specific knowledge or a New practice to
5. Were all the necessary equipment and supplies at hand?
6. Was my manner friendly and respectful?

7. Did I, in the main, use "open" questions?

8. Did I use lines of communication which put the farmer at
ease and encouraged him to express his own views?
9. Did I show a sensitivity to the farmer's problems and
10. Was I a good listener?

11. Was I clear in conveying information?

12. If I was demonstrating a skill, was my demonstration
well organized and easy to follow?

13. Was the farmer given a chance to practise the skill

14. At the end of the visit, did the farmer seem to have a good
understanding of the purpose of the visit?

15. Did I give a chance to the farmer to raise any questions or

16. Did I leave the farmer with any handout materials?

17. Was the farmer left with any specific tasks to accomplish
before the next visit?

18. Was the next visit prepared for?

19. Did I make a note of any supplies or information I would
need to have with me at the next meeting?

20. Did I make a record of the visit?

Visiting a

You can use such a checklist to reflect on your own farm visiting;
but it is also extremely useful to try out such an evaluative tool with
a colleague-by occasionally accompanying each other on visits
and then giving feedback through using a checklist of this kind.

Chapter 6

/ Giving a Talk

Your role as a front-line extension worker demands that you are
often performing before an audience: during field days, at training
sessions, 4K Clubs and women's groups, in seminars and staff
meetings-on many occasions when you are called on to inform,
instruct and advise. Performing in public is an art that is developed
only through constant practice; but in this chapter you should find
some general guidelines and hints that should help you get the
most out of your practice in the field.
However, you are you. Therefore, you should work out a style that
suits your own personality. Don't try to be somebody else by
imitating a teacher from your past or one of your colleagues. For
instance, some people are good at telling jokes and some are not.
Some people find they can touch an audience with their quiet
sincerity; some can excite their listeners with their own dynamic
enthusiasm. But find your own style. Whatever your own person-
ality, you can develop an approach that both suits you and works
for your audience.

It is, though, important to take into account how your audience will
be receiving you. Remember that the farmers in your area will not
be accustomed to interpreting diagrams or learning from sophisti-
cated teaching aids. But they are very familiar with the spoken
word! Especially the older members of your community will have
been well exposed to messages being conveyed by word of mouth-
in barazas, stories and songs. You will often need a picture to
describe more easily a structure or a process-but many of your
audience will expect to be stirred by what you say.

Whatever the occasion-inside or outside, formal or informal-
make sure that you arrive at the place in good time. This enables
you to check on the layout and make appropriate alterations. You
have time to glance through any notes you have made, set up any
displays or aids, without being hurried. Also, you have time to talk
with whoever is going to introduce you-if it is that kind of
occasion-and find out something about those who are expected to
attend the meeting. When people begin to arrive you can chat with
them, and perhaps learn more about their immediate concerns and
All this will help you relax, be better informed and more at ease
with your audience.

Seating Arrangements
The most obvious thing is that you yourself should be obvious-and
clearly heard. But your position in relation to the group will vary
according to the purpose of the occasion.
If your purpose is to make a presentation, then there is no reason
why the group should not be sitting or standing in rows in front of

Chapter 7

If your purpose is to teach a skill, then often the group will need to
be clustered around or behind you.


If your purpose is to discuss something with the group, then the
best arrangement may be a circle.

Giving a Talk

Good communicators interact with their audience. They invite
contributions and questions; they can react spontaneously to the
feelings and comments of the group they are working with.


In any kind of communication-whether a short informal talk with
farmers or a long written report to your supervisory officers-there
are three fundamental principles of good organization of your




Relevance of Material

The first principle is that you select material for your talk that is
relevant to the occasion. And this will depend on a combination of
your own objectives and your assessment of your audience's inter-
ests and needs. For example, if your subject is a general introduc-
tion to the On-Farm Grain Storage Project, and you will be talking
for only ten or fifteen minutes at a Chiefs baraza, then you will need
to select the most relevant points for the farmers who will be
there-remembering your time constraint.

One effective way to prepare such a talk is, first, to scribble down
on a piece of paper ideas at random-just as they come into your
head. The result of this "brainstorming" could look something like

Main Messages
- eadry harvesting
- stores
- cdeaani
-stting a ind

traditional practices

-- Support

Project structure

Staffing of te project

training of staff

- literature

L-4 Sr


Chapter 7

Our brains have difficulty in coping with two functions at the same
time. A farmer decides what kinds of crop he wants to plant before
actually planting them out. His daughter collects her flowers before
arranging them in a vase. The same should be true for planning a
talk---collect your ideas before trying to decide how you will organ-
ize them.

When you have made a rough set of notes of main ideas you have
on the topic, you then go through them and decide which ones you
would want to develop in your talk. The task now is to discard those
you think are not relevant for your particular audience.
For an introductory talk of the kind we have imagined, the farmers
would have the following questions in mind:
what are the main recommendations of the project?
how do they relate to their own situation and
what do the new storage structures look like?
how do they compare with their existing storage
what are the advantages of adopting the
what are the costs?
how can they get more information?
They would not be so interested in the history of the project, the
intricacies of the relationship between the Ministry of Agriculture
and the sponsoring or implementing agencies. So you could cross
out in you notes points like "history", "staffing of the project",
"funding" and "training of staff".
You are now able to think about how you are going to order your
material-arrange the points you have selected in a logical se-
quence that will give your talk a coherent structure.

Coherence in the Organization
Given the ideas already scribbled down on the subject of the On-
Farm Grain Storage Project, and given your assessment of what
would be relevant for the specific occasion, your outline for the talk
could look something like this:

Giving a Talk

Chapter 7

1. Tost-harvest losses 4. Effects
nationalscale early harvesting/leaving
individual farmers maize in shamba
2. Consequences efficient storage/traditions
(oss filustre (ned epmps)
(o o} c a sh f
5. Possible queries
3. Pwject objectives queies
r commend s: costs, labour, theft, etc.
harvesting d& storage management 6. Review of benefits

By adopting this method of planning, you will overcome one of the
main problems in preparation: how to select both what you want
to say and how you will say it. If you do as many people do-try to
sketch an outline plan of your talk before first noting what ideas
you have on the subject-then you are likely to get stuck. You may
construct draft after draft, fill a wastepaper basket with crumpled
bits of paper-and still not have the basis for your short talk!

Emphasis in Presentation
A talk can include only relevant points; it can be coherently
structured-and it can be very dull. This brings us to the third
principle of emphasis. How can we make a talk come alive? How
can we ensure that it has impact on our audience?

A lot will depend on how you use your voice and your body in
delivery. These points will be taken up later in the chapter. But in
the planning stage you will need to consider whether it would be a
good idea to include any pictures or models in your presentation.
Because emphasis is often achieved through illustrations and
concrete examples. Imagine trying to describe a bicycle to a child
who has never seen one. How many words would it take to do the
job? And would the child have a clear picture in his head when you
finished? How much more effective to show him one-to have a
bicycle you could jump on and ride before his eyes! And if not an
actual bicycle, then a picture of one.
The key factor is that the more concrete your presentation, the
greater the clarity and impact. So if you are talking about the
difference between new and traditional storage structures, then
show it. If you are trying to establish the advantages of preserving

sound maize, then show the difference in quality between properly
stored maize (harvested, dried and treated) and improperly stored
maize. Show the relative weights of each.

Properly Stored Maize I Improperly Stored Maize

Just a word about notes. If you are very familiar with the topic and
a practiced speaker, you might need no notes at all. Even so, it is
usually a good idea to have an outline of the main points with you-
even the most experienced speakers are distracted sometimes! The
outline constructed above would serve as such a set of notes. Better
to have them written out on a card rather than a flimsy piece of
paper. It makes them easier to hold and less distracting for your

If, on the other hand, you are giving a talk on a particular topic for
the first time, you might require a fuller set of notes. The problem
is that if you have every word written down you are likely to read
them to your audience, and this means that your talk lacks any
spontaneity. You will score in terms of accuracy, but you will
seriously lose out on emphasis.
One way round this problem-if you are really nervous about not
having a full record of what you want to say-is to have your speech
written out in full, but with the key points highlighted in the
margin. This way, you have the best of both worlds. If you "dry
up"-that awful feeling when your mouth goes dry and the words
refuse to come-you have the full text for reference. But it is more
likely that you will be able to proceed in a more natural presenta-
tion, with only occasional glances at your notes.

Giving a Talk PERSUASION
Very often you will be involved in trying to persuade farmers to take
a certain line of action. Persuasion is the most interesting-most
exciting-kind of communication. A lot of research has gone into
how to structure a presentation to achieve the desired effect. It all
boils down to the following seven-stage strategy:
1. Identify the problem.
2. Arouse interest in the problem.
3. Propose a solution.
4. Demonstrate the effectiveness of the solution.
5. Consider alternatives to the proposed solution.
6. Demonstrate that any likely criticisms of the
proposed solution are either invalid or are
outweighed by the advantages.
7. Restate the proposed solution.
To illustrate the strategy, let us stay with the example of the talk
we have been discussing:

"Identify the problem"
In this case the problem is how to reduce losses of maize during the
processes of harvesting and storing. Your introduction might stress
the losses on a national scale and point to the serious consequences
if the country were to run into a grain deficit. You would emphasize
the Government's concern and its backing of the project.

"Arouse interest in the problem"
But the interest of your audience will not be much aroused unless
the problem can be shown to be one that affects them directly. So
you will need to have plenty of examples of how they themselves are
incurring significant losses through the procedures they are cur-
rently using. You can ask them about the major difficulties they are
experiencing with the harvesting and storing of their maize: what
are the losses, and what are the causes.

Chapter 7

"Propose a solution"

Here you present, in summary, your own solution-in this case, the
range of post-harvest management procedures and storage struc-
tures being recommended by the project:
harvesting early;
using an adapted traditional basket or raised crib;
cleaning and storing procedures;
shelling and treating the stored grain.

"Demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed solution"
Taking each main topic in turn, you give examples of the savings to
be made by the new systems and processes:
decreases in field losses and increases in grain
higher quality of the grain in store;
improved health;
increased income.

You have now gone some way in the process of persuasion-you
have given some reasons. Many advertisements or political
speeches stop at this stage-with assertions of the advantages of
what is being proposed:
"Buy this dawa and it will quickly cure all your aches and
"Vote for me and I will ensure development in this area-
more roads, more water, more schools...."
But to be really convincing you need to go two stages further and
explore the questions and reservations that might be still in the
minds of your listeners.

"Consider alternatives to the proposed solution"
One set of questions will relate to practices other than those in the
recommendations. Questions like:

"But what is wrong with the store I and my ancestors have
Giving a Talk been using for centuries?"

"What is wrong with using ash to preserve the stored
The experienced and successful persuaders think about what
alternative solutions could be raised and build their answers into
their presentation.

"Demonstrate that any likely criticisms of the proposed
solution are either invalid or are outweighed by the
This is the most difficult but also the most essential stage in the
persuasion process. It is where you explore any doubts there might
be about the solution you are putting forward. For if your members
of your audience go away with doubts in their minds, you certainly
haven't persuaded them. Your task is to show that certain possible
criticisms have no weight. For example, someone might be con-
cerned that the more open-weave structures you are recommend-
ing would let in the rain and cause moulds. You could counter this
by talking about the screening effect of the overhanging roof-and
point out that any maize in the lower part of the store would quickly
dry out again because of the ease with which the wind blows
Sometimes a criticism has to be admitted as a valid one and
therefore a disadvantage of your solution. Here, your task is to
show that this disadvantage is outweighed by the advantages. For
example, the expense of constructing a crib or adapting a tradi-
tional basket is a disadvantage that needs to be taken up. You can
point to the very small cost of raising and rat-proofing a basket,
when the necessary materials can be found around a typical
compound. Also, you could point out the financial savings to be
made, with either construction, that will over a period well outstrip
any initial outlay.

"Restate the proposed solution"
The final stage-the most emphatic moment-is when you restate
your main points and drive home the key advantages.
Also, given the occasion for our illustration-an introductory talk
at a baraza-you could go on to explain how the farmers would be
welcome to attend the forthcoming field demonstrations, so that
they could see in more detail the structures that are being recom-

Chapter 7

If they take this action-if you see them at the demonstrations, or
if they contact you for further information, then you know you have
already encouraged them along to the "evaluation" stage on the
route to "Adoption". In fact the persuasion strategy outlined here
does mirror what it takes to move people through the stages of the
"Adoption Curve" described in Chapter Three.
This is a strategy for planning presentations that you will find you
can use on many occasions-in talks, staffgroups, seminars or even
in written reports. It should prove useful whenever you want to
argue a case, at the stage where you have assessed for yourself the
evidence and want to present your views in the most persuasive
Now we have considered aspects related to planning a talk, let us
turn to factors which will affect its delivery.

If the group you are addressing is coming together for the first time,
and it is not a large gathering, then it is advisable to begin with an
informal introductory session. Such a session is sometimes called
"warming up". The purpose is to put people at their ease, and allow
you to establish an initial rapport with the group.
Start by introducing yourself-a little bit of your background and
your main reason for talking to them on this occasion. Make this as
light and relaxed as possible. If you can make a joke about yourself,
then fine.
Then ask members to introduce themselves. But remember that
some people are shy of speaking in public. This informal round of
brief introductions will help the shyer ones to feel more free to
contribute later. This is a topic we will explore in more detail in
Chapter Nine, which is concerned with facilitating group discus-
On occasions when you are the main speaker, it will be enough that
people give their names and perhaps where they are from. Addi-
tionally, sometimes it might be productive to ask in this beginning
phase if people have some specific topics related to your theme that
they would like you to take up in your talk. All this encourages an
interest in what you have to say, gets your audience involved and
makes it easier for them to ask questions when you have finished
your talk.

Giving a Talk If you can establish a good rapport with your group at this stage,
then the greater the chance that they will listen attentively to what
you have to say and will be ready to bring out any points which, if
not declared, may otherwise stay in their minds and prevent them
from accepting or acting on the ideas you put across.
Of course, there will be many times when you are not "in charge"
of the proceedings, and you will want to fit in with the group's
established ways of doing things. If you are speaking to a women's
group, for example, that normally operates with formal committee
procedures, it would be insensitive and counter-productive to try to
break down the formalities and impose your own different proce-
dures. However, when it comes to your turn to address the group,
it will still be important to introduce yourself and your topic in a
way which reduces any tension there may be and encourages their

The first impression you make on your audience is often the most
important one!

If you are new to a group, you will be judged first on how you look.
Therefore, it is as well to appear neat-not necessarily smart, but
neat! How formally you dress will depend, of course, on the
occasion. But whatever the occasion, to be wearing crumpled or
stained clothes indicates a lack of seriousness in your approach, a
lack of respect for your audience.

Also, it is surprising how the way you dress can effect your own
confidence. Even if you feel very nervous about the task you face,
if you look the part, you have won half of the battle with your own
The way you hold yourself will be important too. Not stiffly, but not
slouching either. If you can take an upright and yet relaxed stance,
then fine. Ideally, every movement you make should be in tune with
what you are saying. If you walk forward, it is to emphasize a point.
If you sit down, it is to invite contributions from the group. Try to
avoid unnecessary movements-pacing up and down or reading
with head bent over notes-for such things tend to distract the
audience and serve only to block off your messages from getting

Chapter 7


The way you use gestures will depend on the situation. Only if the
group is large will the sweeping, "dramatic" gestures be at all
appropriate. In smaller, more intimate groups, more natural and
subtle gestures are called for. And the same as for whole-body
movements, each gesture should be purposeful and used deliber-
ately to emphasize your points:
raising a finger to indicate caution;
raising a clenched fist for determination;
clasping hands P T I
together to symbolize 0 4
co-operation ...

...and so on.
But a raised finger to indi-
cate caution here! Unless
such gestures come to you
naturally-or you are well
practiced-they can appear 0 ,
wooden or "stagy". Remember
the advice at the beginning of this IW ItN
chapter: make sure to find your own style, and do
what seems right for you.
However, we can try to avoid the undesirable gestures that are
uncontrolled and often unconscious-the jingling of coins in a
pocket, the scratching of an ear-the sorts of movement that
distract and do not help us to get across to our audience.

The way you use your eyes will have a great bearing on how
effective you are as a speaker. Just think what a hypnotist can
achieve mainly through the way he uses his eyes!
The key factor is contact. Make sure you look at your audience
while you talk. No-one will appear convincing who looks down at his
notes most of the time or out of the window or even above his
audience's heads. You can't look at each member of the group all the
time, but you can fix a midway point, and occasionally "patrol" the
group members from there.

Giving a Talk

More than anything else, if you can make this kind of contact you
will command attention to what you are saying.

When we speak to a large group we adopt a manner of speaking that
is different from our everyday conversations. We need to speak
louder (without shouting), slower (though not too slowly) and we
choose our words with greater care.
One of the biggest errors a speaker can make is to speak so softly
that his audience cannot hear him properly. Think of the loss in
your effectiveness if more than half of what you say cannot
be heard. If you do not speak loudly and clearly enough, you are
wasting both your own and your audience's time. Furthermore,
your audience will lose patience with you, lose their interest in your
subject-and will not be keen to attend your next meeting!

A simple but effective device is to make sure you ask at the
beginning of a presentation, "Can you hear me at the back?"
But variety in delivery is the keynote of a good public speaker. To
arouse and keep attention you need to vary the volume, tone and
the pace of your delivery. Again, these variations should be pur-
poseful-they should arise from the meaning of what you are
saying. You strike only the key words; you heighten the tone when
there is an urgency in your message; you slow the pace when you
want every word to work in the ears of your listeners.
Chapter 7

Speaker Audience
Words Spoken Softly Do Not Reach the Audience

))))O ) Hear Me?
Speaker Audience
Words Spoken Loudly and Clearly Reach the Audience

As a way of concluding this section on delivery, let us consider three
qualities that are found in successful speaking performances:

Confidence in Performance
All good speakers appear confident-of their subject and of their
ability to perform. But we all feel nervous at times-especially
when we are not experienced in addressing groups or when we are
dealing with a new topic or meeting a new group.
There are two points to remember:
everyone experiences such nervousness;
0 you often look better to your audience than you feel!
In fact, some degree of nervousness or tension can be beneficial. The
heightened glandular activity-nervous excitement-gives you
increased energy. And this can be a good thing if you harness that
energy. The result can be more dynamism in the voice, more
purposeful action. And this comes across as enthusiasm for your
subject and interest in your audience.
The negative effects of uncontrolled nervousness are the kinds of
distracting mannerisms we have discussed above-the shuffling of
feet or the wringing of hands. Or even a withdrawal into your notes
and a loss of contact.
Of course the more you practise speaking the less nervous you will be.
Similarly, the more you know your subject, the more interest you will
have in it, the more you will "lose" yourself in your enthusiasm for it,
and the greater the animation in talking about it.

Remember to look squarely at your audience-not at your notes all
the time or at your polished shoes. Try to see the members of your
audience as individuals-establish eye contact with them.
Perhaps it is a state of mind. It happens naturally when you have
something you want to say; something you want other people to
understand and act on.

Giving a Talk

This is related to what was said about emphasis as a principle of
organization. Just as you can use illustrations and concrete examples
to arouse interest, so you can achieve impact by your use of voice and
Emphasize key words; underline crucial points with your hands-let
your body express your feelings.

0E Relevancy Is the material adapted to the needs of my
D Coherence Is the material arranged in such a way that:
the objectives will be made clear at the
the main points will be highlighted?
the connections between ideas will be made?

0 Emphasis

o Setting

o Aids

Have I made sure that the material will be vivid
- by including relevant examples?
- by using visual presentations?

Is the seating arranged in a suitable way?
Is it movable if I want to rearrange the layout?
Is the ventilation, temperature, lighting at the
right level?

Am I making the best use of available resources?
Have I checked:
- blackboard or flipchart in position?
- chalk or felt pens are at hand?
- controls of any audio-visual equipment?
- a spare projector bulb in my pocket?

l Handouts Will it be useful to give out a summary ofthe talk?
Are there any relevant leaflets to give out?
DE Timing Will my presentation fit the time available?
D[ Feedback Have I built in opportunities for brief periods of
discussion or questions?

Chapter 7

O Conducting a Demonstration

In the previous chapter we were considering a mode of communica-
tion-giving a talk-which relies on the mainly one-way communi-
cation that we characterized in Chapter Five as presentation. You
are bound to be frequently involved in occasions where this mode
is the only choice open to you. When you are asked to speak at
barazas or other formal meetings, you rely on your words-and the
emphasis you can inject through your manner of delivery or any
visual aids you have with you.
But, as we have discussed earlier, the presentation mode has its
drawbacks when you really want to promote learning. You can
effectively convey a limited amount of information in a talk, or you
can arouse your audience's interest in and awareness of a problem.
But, unless you can use more participatory, active methods of
communication, you cannot be certain that any information you
give will be retained, and you will certainly not be able to develop
Agricultural Extension has promoted a method of communication
known as the field demonstration which, if used effectively, in-
corporates all three modes of communication. Within the overall
presentation framework there are elements of discussion and
action-based modes which encourage the participation of the
farmers through inviting debate on issues and through engaging
them in practice of skills.
Unfortunately, too many demonstration days still rely too much on
the one-way communication of talking and showing-rather than
on the participatory modes of discussing and doing. Too often the
demonstrator remains the main, or even only, performer. The
farmers remain passive listeners and watchers.

Conducting a This chapter gives suggestion for making your demonstrations fit
the principles of good extension work which are outlined at the
Demonstration beginning of this manual:

establishing a three-way communication between re-
search agents, front-line workers and farmers;
starting from where the farmers are and building on
their established knowledge and skills;
utilizing the knowledge and skills of the farmers;
addressing your demonstration to the practice of
farming by employing active, problem-centred and
discussion-based methods of communication.

Most field days begin with the almost ritualized speeches of
welcome and the invitation to any dignitary who is present to make
introductory remarks. Such contributions are important for main-
taining the customary politeness and for establishing a sense of
importance for the occasion. But, if this introductory phase goes on
too long, it can defeat the very purpose of the activity. The prime
purpose of a field day is education, not exhortation-or simply
urging the farmers to change. Education will only happen if the
concentration is on demonstration and practice.
One way to arouse the interest of the farmers, and to establish their
commitment to the topic of the day, is to begin your demonstration
with a discussion session. You invite the farmers to express their
views on the day's theme. To identify any particular problems they
are facing and to suggest issues that they wish to have discussed.
Imagine you are dealing with the raising and improving of a
traditional storage basket. You might begin by asking the farmers
about their usual methods of grain storage, identifying the typical
range of problems that are experienced, inviting those who have
already made improvements to say why they have done so and how
successful they have been. Also, you make sure you ask the farmers
what related topics they wish you to comment on.
Such a session might go something like this:
EW: "Today we are going to look at one method of
improving storage structures for maize. First, let us
think about the traditional methods of storage. This
is the kind of basket that has been in use in this area

Chapter 8

Farmer One:


Farmer Two:

for generations-why should we consider changing
it at all?
Any ideas?"
"Well, if we are going to harvest our grain earlier
than we used to-when it still has moisture in it-
then we need a structure that allows the grain to dry
quickly. With a basket like this, closely woven, the air
doesn't get to the cobs well enough."
"True. If we change our practice of harvesting, and
remove the cobs from the field, as we were suggesting
at the last field day, when the grain is mature but
still with something like 30% moisture content-to
prevent attacks by pests and moulds in the shamba-
then we need also to make changes to the old methods
of storage. As you say, we need to make sure the grain
will dry rapidly in the structure.
But are there any other problems with a basket like
"It is very close to the ground-and rats can easily get
into it."

Farmer Three: "Other pests too-other rodents."
EW: "Mzee, you have made alterations to this basket here
in your compound. Tell us what you have done-and
what are the results?"

Farmer Four:

"Yes, as you can see, I have had the basket raised
above the ground and put these rat guards on the
legs. Also, you will see that the weave is more open.
And I have moved it so that it catches as much breeze
as possible.

Last harvest, I am sure I saved much more grain by
getting the maize out of the shamba as soon as
possible and drying it in here. But I am not sure how
much I have saved."
Farmer Two: "And how much did it cost you to adapt it like this?"

Farmer Four:

"Actually, it cost me nothing, because the work was
done by the project as a demonstration. But I am sure
the cost would be very little. In fact, it is a simple
operation, and many of us could find the materials
and do the job ourselves."

Conducting a EW:- "OK-cost is something I must deal with.
Demonstration Any other questions you would like me to take up?"
Farmer One: "If we feel we are not able to make the alterations,
where can we get help?"
Farmer Three: "I would like you to go over the whole business of
early harvesting. I am used to stocking my maize in
the shamba-what is wrong with that?"
Farmer Two: "Could you also tell us about ways of spraying, to cut
down the damage done by weevils?
And I have seen these larger cribs on some farms.
Could you say something about those-and how they
compare with this kind of improved basket?
EW: "Fine. So I will begin with a summary of the reasons
for early harvesting. Then I will go into some detail
about how a traditional basket can be improved to
allow quick drying of the maize and protect your
grain from pests. I will also talk about the "modern"
crib and what factors you need to take into account
when choosing between it and the improved basket
like this one here. I have some leaflets with me which
I will leave with you-and these show the cribs, for
those who are not familiar with them.
I will talk about costs of materials and construc-
tion-and tell you about the local funds who have
been trained by us to do this kind of improvement for
those farmers who would like such help.
I will take up the question of cleaning and spraying
your baskets or cribs, so that you cut down the risks
of any infestations when drying or storing.
And finally, for those of you who haven't seen the
demonstration already, I will show you the differ-
ence in the amount of grain that can be saved if you
improveyour storage structures and follow the simple
recommendations on harvesting and treatment."
If you proceed in this way you reap a number of advantages. You are
conforming to the ideals of adult education, as discussed in Chapter
Four. You are treating the farmers with respect and actually
making use of their experience in promoting the learning of the
whole group. You are making sure that the content of your demon-

Chapter 8