Communication for development
Research and technology
Agricultural extension and training needs of farmers in the small island countries
A case study from Samoa
The geographical location of farmers is one of the factors under consideration when strategies for client-oriented agricultural extension approaches are being outlined. A large number of men and women are engaged in farming in thousands of small, medium and large islands, and they need extension advice according to their unique situation. FAO has conducted several studies to identify extension and training needs of farmers living in different geographical locations such as mountains, desert and small islands. This publication is based on a study that was conducted in the island country of Samoa, located in the Pacific Ocean. We hope this will help in understanding the general agricultural situation in small islands, and how extension services are trying to meet the extension needs of farmers. The questionnaire used in collecting the information necessary for the study constitutes the third annex to the publication; it may be useful in conducting similar studies in other island countries (with necessary modifications to take into account the context of specific situations).
The objective of this study, conducted in July 2003, was to identify the special agricultural extension and training needs of farmers living in small island countries, using Samoa as a specific case. A participatory rural appraisal approach (PRA) is used to identify farmers' needs in different geographic locations of Samoa. The methodology is based on a questionnaire and formal interviews and uses ranking and scoring to identify priorities. On the basis of the PRA, recommendations are formulated with respect to training of extension advisors, the need for resources and adequate supplies as well as gender.
Click here to view the document (downloadable PDF file, 508KB).