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This Guide Training is a new edition of a text which was originally written by D.J. Bradfield in 1966 and later revised in 1969. In this new edition we have largely kept to the basic structure and broad content outline of Bradfield's 1969 revision, except for a completely new first chapter. We have, however, considerably reorganized the material and rewritten it entirely.
Bradfield's text was based almost wholly on extension experience in Malawi and drew its examples and approaches from that country. In this new edition we have drawn upon our joint experiences with extension in the three principal continental regions of the developing world - Asia, Africa and Latin America - and have used material from these regions in the text. Since the mid-1960s there have been a number of changes in the conception and practice of extension, and we have included such changes in the text, and generally brought it up to date.
The purposes of this guide are several. First, it is intended to be a text for those involved in the pre-service and in-service training of extension personnel. Second, we hope it can be used directly by extension agents in the field as a resource text in support of their extension activities. The text is a guide, and we have tried to lay out the material in an appropriate way. We hope that the style of the text will be useful for an extension agent who needs to understand the basic aspects of a particular extension issue.
The guide is directed toward extension agents in general. Of these, and given the importance of agriculture in rural areas, agricultural extension agents will be the greater number. The principles and methods of extension examined in this text are also relevant to those who work in extension in fields other than agriculture, such as home economists, community development workers or health workers.
This guide is written within the context of rural development and agricultural systems to be found in what we refer to as the developing world. We have drawn our material from extension practice in countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Although the principles of extension are applicable in any context, the analysis and discussion in this guide are in the context of the above three continental regions.
In writing this guide we have had to make decisions about the use of certain terms and in order to avoid misunderstanding we feel we ought to point these out.
When referring to the extension agent in the text we refer to he or his. This use of the masculine is not a lack of respect for female extension agents. However, it is our view that there are more male extension agents in different parts of the world and to use he/she or his/her jointly throughout the text would have been cumbersome. When we use he or his, therefore, we are referring to extension agents in general.
We use the term farmer throughout the text to refer to the rural people with whom extension agents work. We realize that this is a very general term, and that we cannot talk of the farmers as a whole when we refer to the different groups of rural people with whom extension works. We discuss this issue in detail in Chapter 3. Our use of the general term, farmer, is to indicate the extension client and is not intended to suggest that all rural people can be placed in the same category.
We would like to acknowledge the usefulness of the original text of D.J. Bradfield, which has served as a basic structure for this new edition of the guide. A word of thanks also to Christopher White for preparing the illustrations for the text so competently and under pressure of time.
Our thanks also to Diana McDowell, Lois Pegg and Jane Thompson for efficiently and cheerfully preparing and typing the text, and to Bridget Dillon for proof-reading. Finally, our appreciation to FAO for the opportunity to bring our different experiences together in the preparation of this guide. We certainly hope that it will prove useful to the many thousands of extension agents who work with millions of farmers throughout the world to increase food production, promote rural development and improve their standard of living.
Peter Oakley and Christopher Garforth
Reading, United Kingdom
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