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Chapter 12 - Formulating extension policy

Tito E. Contado

In many countries, the problems of establishing or maintaining an effective agricultural extension service can be traced back to the lack of a realistic policy or an unstable policy framework for charting the mission of the extension system. Lack of agreement on the functions of extension, the clientele to be served, how extension will be financed, frequent changes in organizational structure and programme priorities, rapid turnover of the extension staff, and the proliferation and lack of coordination between different organizations that undertake extension work are some of the common problems that highlight the issue of extension policy. In addition, extension must be responsive to changes in the agricultural sector, the drive toward market reforms, and shrinking government budgets.

The importance of extension policy was recognized by the FAO's Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension when it recommended that "all national governments should develop and periodically review their agricultural extension policy. This policy should include the goals of agricultural extension, the responsible agencies and personnel, the clientele to be served, the broad programmatic areas to be addressed, and other relevant guidelines." The consultation further recommended that "the FAO, in cooperation with the donor community, should engage in policy dialogue with national governments to stress the importance of agricultural extension in national agricultural development and the need to have an explicit, formally enacted, agricultural extension policy" (Swanson, 1990, p. 11).

Formulating and enacting a sound, comprehensive, and useful extension policy is a difficult undertaking. Coutts (1994) attests to this observation when he undertook a case study of the introduction of a formal extension policy in Queensland, Australia. Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to outline the key dimensions of formulating an effective extension policy.

Role of extension in SARD and its policy implications

Farmers correctly view extension as a form of assistance to help improve their know-how, efficiency, productivity, profitability, and contribution to the good of their family, community, and society. At the same time, politicians, planners, and policy makers in many developing countries view extension as a policy instrument to increase agricultural production, to achieve national food security, and, at the same time, help alleviate rural poverty. In addition, some economists view extension as a policy instrument that will contribute to human capital development and economic growth; therefore, resources allocated to extension are viewed as an economic investment which must produce competitive economic returns. To the practitioner, agricultural extension enhances and accelerates the spread of useful know-how and technologies to rural people. These activities are expected to lead to increased and sustained productivity, increased income and well-being of farm people, and to the promotion of national food security and economic growth. These objectives are to be achieved through nonformal education and training programmes and two-way technology transfer and feedback systems where extension has an important contribution to make to agricultural and rural development.

At the same time, agricultural and rural development is no longer a matter of just increasing food and agriculture production; other factors must be addressed by policy makers and support service agencies in formulating and implementing agricultural and rural development policy. These issues include population and environmental concerns, and they have very strong implications for how key support services such as research and extension should be organized and financed.

The Population Factor

An important concern is the rapid population growth in many developing countries. This factor has a direct impact on the demand for food and other agricultural products, and it results in increased pressure on the land and other natural resources. In many countries, the population has more than doubled during the last three decades. During the last decade of the twentieth century, it is projected that more than 850 million people will be added to the world's population. Furthermore, world population growth is expected to increase 57 per cent from 5.3 billion in 1990 to 8.3 billion by the year 2025 (UN-World Population Prospects: The 1994 Revision, p. 24, Table A4). Because the bulk of these major population increases are occurring in developing countries, particularly in Africa and Asia, this implies not only an increase in the demand for food, but also more pressure on fragile and marginal lands, increased land fragmentation, and larger numbers of landless people in rural areas. These problems point to the need for more education and technical support to farm households, both to increase productivity and to preserve natural resources.

Natural Resources and Environmental Factors

Population pressure and the demand for increasing food output are now commonly associated with the degradation, depletion, and pollution of soil, water, and other natural resources (Alexandratos, 1995, p. 350). Numerous actions are required for a society to conserve, protect, rehabilitate, and manage its land, water, and other natural resources; therefore, extension has a central role to play in disseminating sustainable agricultural technology.

The Economics of Extension

Since the 1980s, funding of research and extension has become an increasingly important policy issue, one that has given rise to a progressive decline in financial support for extension. This decline is occurring in a situation where funding of extension has been chronically inadequate (Swanson, 1990). Many economists and development planners believe that public funding of extension should be higher (Wilson in Rivera & Gustafson, 1991, p. 13), and an FAO study on this issue, involving 114 member countries, showed that in most developing countries government support to extension is generally low when compared to agriculture gross domestic product (about 0.5 per cent of AGDP). The Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension recommended that "in countries where more than 60 % of the economically active population are engaged in agricultural production, approximately 1 to 2 % of the AGDP (depending on the size of the country and factor costs) should be considered the minimum level of financial investment to achieve both human resource development and technology transfer goals of a public sector agricultural extension system" (Swanson, 1990, p. 26-27).

This erosion in public support for extension may be explained, in part, by several factors, including the introduction of structural adjustment programmes in many developing countries. Also, many development economists look to the pattern found in industrially developed countries, where research and development (R&D) and technology transfer are predominantly in the hands of the private sector. In these countries, the communication and market infrastructure is well developed; therefore, the trend has been towards privatizing the extension function with a direct reduction of public funding for extension (LeGouis in Rivera & Gustafson, 1991, p. 31).

Privatization of extension in developing countries, where the circumstances of farming and farmers is quite different than in the developed countries (i.e., similar to conditions in developed countries some 50 to 100 years ago), is being promoted at the national and international level. This emerging trend is toward a more pluralistic conception of extension, as found in many developing countries today. For policy makers, the implication of this trend would imply the recognition and licensing of both public and private agencies or organizations (including NGOs) to become part of the national agricultural extension system or network. This approach implies the need for public and private sector cooperation to address the twin problems of poor extension coverage and resource limitations (Mualouf et al. in Rivera & Gustafson, 1991, p. 590). What is not fully apparent to some planners and policy makers is the relationship between the level of public funding for extension and the economic and social returns to a nation in the form of food security, affordable food for consumers, and the alleviation of widespread hunger and poverty.

Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development

The integration of the food, population, and environmental nexus has led to a new platform of development, referred to by FAO as sustainable agricultural and rural development (SARD). This new concept of SARD has been defined by FAO as "the management and conservation of the natural resource base, and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations. Such sustainable development (in agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors) conserves land, water, plant and animal genetic resources; is environmentally non-degrading; technically appropriate; economically viable; and socially acceptable" (FAO, den Bosch Declaration, 1991, p. 2).

The role of farmers is well recognized in SARD, particularly in the management and conservation of soil, water, and biological resources; maintaining an ecological balance; and applying environment friendly technologies such as integrated pest management (IPM). Farmers are the single largest group of users and managers of land, water, and other biological resources throughout the world. In 1970, about 790 million people were economically active in agriculture, and this number will increase to around 1.13 billion by the year 2000 and to 1.19 billion by 2010 (Alexandratos, 1995, p. 340). The majority of these men, women, and young farmers will need useful information, appropriate technology, and sound technical advice not only to increase their agricultural productivity and incomes, but also to make farming and rural life richer and more sustainable. Herein lies the important role of agricultural extension.

The Place of Extension Policy in SARD

The first principle to recognize is that extension is one of the most strategically important policy instruments for achieving the twin goals of food security and SARD in developing countries. In countries that already have an effective agricultural extension system, the cost of pursuing SARD with the farming population can be reduced by integrating environmental and sustainable themes into ongoing extension programmes that are relevant and useful to farm people (Stocking, 1994, p. 16).

Secondly, the new goals of pursuing SARD should be embodied into existing or new extension policies. The FAO-sponsored Expert Consultation on Integrating Environmental and Sustainable Development Themes into Agricultural Education and Extension Programmes noted that "without a persuasive, effective and unambiguous set of directives for good working practice, articulated in the form of high-level policy and agency mandate, the current ad hoc approach to environmental matters will likely continue" (Stocking, 1994, p. 18). In short, extension policy makers, with the participation of their various stakeholders, need to formulate extension policies that will address both farmers' needs and environmental concerns and that will guide extension managers during the first quarter of the twenty-first century.

Scope of extension policy

Agricultural extension policy is a part of national development policy in general and of agricultural and rural development policy in particular. Hence, agricultural extension is one of the policy instruments which governments can use to stimulate agricultural development (Van Den Van in Jones, 1986, p. 91). Extension is very much a part of what Röling refers to as the agricultural development mix. He notes that extension is a weak instrument when it stands alone, but that it becomes powerful when combined with price incentives, input supply, credit, seed multiplication, and so forth (Röling in Jones, 1986, p. 110). The Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension concluded that agricultural extension policy should be consistent with and supportive of national agricultural development policy and goals (Swanson, 1990, p. 11).

Each country should have a comprehensive agricultural extension policy which provides for coordination with research, education, input supply, and credit and marketing systems, as well as some flexibility to reflect the dynamic nature of the agricultural sector. The policy should include the mission and goals for agricultural extension, the responsible agencies and personnel, the clientele to be served, the broad programmatic areas to be addressed, and other relevant guidelines. In developing national agricultural extension policies, representatives of all major groups of farmers should be directly involved and other relevant agricultural organizations should be consulted. "By pursuing a comprehensive policy," the Global Consultation noted, "countries can expect the extension system to contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and farm income, and to improving the quality of life of most rural farm households in pursuit of the general goal of growth with equity. In addition, such a policy should help maintain and conserve the natural resource base for sustained agricultural development and enhance food security" (Swanson, 1990, p. 11).

Forms of extension policy

More research is needed in classifying extension policies both in developed and developing countries, as well as in those countries in transition. Three forms of extension policies will be discussed here.

Provisional Extension Policies

This is the most common form of extension policy in most developing countries. In the absence of more formalized extension policies, or at the time when the formally enacted policy has been suspended, a provisional or ad hoc policy comes into play. For example, Mozambique in the early 1980s did not have a national policy for agricultural extension. When the agricultural development policy shifted from a reliance on state farms to the involvement of small family farms, a provisional extension policy was formulated to provide farmers and the cooperative sector with improved training and technology. To develop and test this provisional policy, a UNDP/FAO-supported project assisted the government in defining a national agricultural extension policy and developing a programme of implementation.

Decrees and Proclamations

Decrees and proclamations are policies issued by the head of state or by the executive officer of government. Generally, this approach does not go through the process of consultation and debate involving various stakeholders and beneficiaries. An example of this form of policy was the Brazilian government decree abolishing the national agricultural extension authority and transferring some of its functions and staff to the national agricultural research authority. Also, it empowered the state-level rural extension authorities to continue their respective programmes.

In the Philippines, by a presidential proclamation, the name of the Bureau of Agricultural Extension was changed to Agricultural Extension Commission, and the title of "agricultural extension workers" was changed to "farm management technicians." The Bureau of Agricultural Extension, which was created by legislation, was subsequently restored until another proclamation abolished the Bureau of Agricultural Extension and created, in its place, the National Agricultural Training Institute. The agricultural extension function of the Department of Agriculture was then decentralized to the regions and provinces and put under the control of local governments. The decentralization aspect of the proclamation was later superseded by an enactment, in 1991, known as the Local Government Code (Serrano in APO, 1994, p.319).

Legislated Extension Policies

Extension policies embodied by the country's highest law-making authority (e.g., congress or parliament) are common in many developing countries. Countries that have enacted extension policy through legislative action tend to have well-organized, financially stable extension systems that have sustained effectiveness and a cumulative impact. Examples of legislated extension policies which have worked well include the following:

1. The legislation that established the Cooperative Extension Service in the United States is known as the Smith-Lever Act of May 8, 1914. Important to policy makers from developing countries is that this policy stimulated the growth and efficiency of American agriculture from the 1920s to the present. Rogers (1995) summarized the worth of the Cooperative Extension System: "The U.S. agricultural extension model is one of the most widely recognized systems for the diffusion of innovations in the world today. Probably no other government or private agency can claim to be more successful in transferring technology."

2. The Japanese Agricultural Promotion Law of 1948 created and provided funding for Japan's Cooperative Agricultural Extension Service. The same extension policy has guided the Japanese extension system from 1948 to the present (Shinji Imai in APO 1994, p. 122). Under this law, the national government is responsible for two-thirds of the salary of extension workers, two-thirds of all operational expenditures for extension programmes and one-half of all expenditures for training extension workers and for rural youth work. The rest of the extension budget is the responsibility of the prefectural government (Agricultural Extension Service in Japan, 1978, p. 83).

3. Agricultural Extension policy in South Korea today is embodied in the 1957 Agricultural Extension Law and in the Rural Development Law of 1962. It is important to note that, because of "unhelpful interference from the administrative system," the 1962 Rural Development Law put together the Research Bureau, the Extension Bureau, and the Community Development Bureau under the new Rural Development Administration, freeing these two functions from the Ministry of Agriculture's administrative bureaucracy (Yong-Bok Chung & Youl-Mo Dong, 1984 p. 4, 5).

4. Thailand's agricultural extension policy was codified in the 1956 law that created the Department of Agricultural Extension as one of nine departments of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. It outlines the functions, scope, organization, and mode of financial support for extension in Thailand.

5. Zimbabwe's Department of Agricultural Technical and Extension Services was established by law in 1981 and, although a relatively young institution, it is gradually building up its extension staff and its government funding.

Observations such as these, which demonstrate the relationship between formal extension policy and successful extension systems, led the Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension to recommend that "where possible, agricultural extension policy should be formally enacted through legislative action to provide a stable policy foundation, an explicit mandate, and clear direction for developing and executing programmes" (Swanson, 1990, p. 11).

Issues that extension policy should address

Extension Mission and Goals

Although extension has a generic and universal meaning, its mission and goals may need to be adjusted according to national objectives and the context and stage of agricultural and rural development in a given country. Should the mission of extension be to promote agricultural development through technology transfer? Should it give higher priority to human resource development in rural areas, or should it promote sustainable agricultural and rural development? The extension mission should be reflected in the name of the organization, and the preamble for extension policy should be included in the law governing the country's extension system. This mission then should be reflected in a statement of goals and objectives that are agreed upon and assigned to extension in a supporting policy document. This document should be periodically reviewed by policy makers and representatives from stakeholder groups.

Extension Approach and Functions

National extension systems can pursue one of several different extension approaches in implementing extension policy. Most extension systems in developing countries give primary attention to technology transfer, given national agricultural policies that emphasize increasing food production and achieving national food security. An example of a technology transfer approach would be the Training and Visit (T&V) Extension System that has been promoted by the World Bank through its lending programme. Although the U.S. extension system has been particularly effective in technology transfer, its main focus has been on increasing the skills and knowledge of rural farm families, who have become very effective consumers of agricultural technology. Therefore, the extension approach pursued by a country should reflect the mission of extension, and it will define the functions, programmes, and tasks that will be carried out by the extension staff.

Subject-Matter Coverage of Extension

Broadly speaking, the subject matter of extension is implied in the mission statement and even in the title of the extension service. What differentiates between agricultural and rural extension is the subject matter that the extension service will include in its programmes and the target groups to be served among the rural population. Very narrow subject-matter coverage such as promotion of food and cash crops and animal production may invite a costly proliferation of several specialized and uncoordinated extension initiatives. Broader subject-matter coverage such as promoting the entire farming system, sustain-able agricultural, and rural development leads to a more unified agricultural extension system. Another issue is whether the extension system should include socioeconomic and sustainable development messages.

Geographical Coverage

Geographical coverage can be an important policy issue because of both political and cost implications. Most political leaders want their jurisdiction to be covered by an effective extension service; therefore, they must find a way to provide funds for extension programmes. If extension funding is to be provided by different levels of government (cost sharing), then the structure of extension must reflect these different sources of funding. Extension personnel will tend to be more responsible to those levels of government that provide extension funding. For example, if local governmental units provide some extension funding, then extension personnel will tend to be more responsive to the needs of farmers and political leaders within these local government units than they are if all funding comes from the national government. In short, having multiple sources of funding, especially from different levels of government, will increase the number of shareholders and result in an extension system that has a broader base of support and that is more responsive to stakeholders at the local level.

On purely economic grounds, some economists believe that agricultural extension should be concentrated in those agricultural areas that are well endowed in terms of both human and natural resources and where the rural infrastructure is already developed. However, to concentrate extension resources on larger, better educated, commercial farmers who frequently control the best land resources in a country will not lead to broad-based agricultural development. Furthermore, the use of only economic criteria in allocating extension resources may result in further degradation of soil and water resources as resource poor farmers continue to exploit marginal land without using appropriate farming practices. Finally, investing in resource poor farm families may increase their technical, management, and leadership skills, thereby enabling them or their children to move into higher paying, nonfarm jobs.

Clientele or Target Beneficiaries

A common criticism of extension services in developing countries is their neglect of the vast number of small-scale farmers in favour of fewer numbers of large farmers, or the very limited attention given to women farmers. This is a policy issue because of its implications for the mission and goals of extension, the priorities for technology generation by research, the cost-effectiveness of extension, and the sociopolitical goals of growth with equity and poverty alleviation.

The inclusion of women and rural youth in agricultural extension programmes is generally recognized in terms of their numbers and contribution to farming. Worldwide, an estimated 51 per cent of the active population in agriculture are women. In Africa, women's participation in food production is as high as 76 per cent (FAO, 1990, p. 5) in some areas. In 1995, there were an estimated 1.5 billion rural young people between 15 and 29 years of age, 1.3 billion of them in less developed countries. Given that rural youth may account for up to 60 per cent of the population in developing countries, should they be specially recognized for their crucial role in achieving sustainable agricultural and rural development across the coming generation of farmers?

Organizational Issues

The extension organization embodies different aspects of an extension system, and it provides the management framework for the extension service. This is a policy issue because it affects the scope, magnitude, and structure of the extension system, including factors such as control, cost-effectiveness, and the impact of the extension service. For purposes of illustration, four different forms of extension organization are discussed:

1. Centralized organization. Examples include the Department of Agricultural Extension in Thailand and Bangladesh, the Agricultural Extension Bureau of South Korea, and AGRITEX in Zimbabwe. In this form of organization, the national extension office manages and controls extension programme activities and resources at the regional, district, subdistrict, and village level. Clientele participation and feedback in programme planning are generally limited.

2. Decentralized organization. Examples of this form of extension organization are the agricultural extension systems in Brazil, Canada, India, Nigeria, and the Philippines. These systems have almost an invisible national or federal extension office, in that extension programming, management, and the control of activities and resources are vested with state or provincial governments.

3. Cooperative type of extension organization and funding. The distinguishing feature of this form of extension organization is the cooperation or partnership between the national, state or provincial, and local governments in funding, programming, and managing the activities and resources of extension. In the United States, extension is a joint undertaking of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Federal Extension Service), the state land-grant universities, and the county governments. In Japan, extension is a joint undertaking of the national government and the prefectural government. In China, agricultural extension is a cooperative undertaking of the central, provincial, prefecture, and county governments. Cooperative programming, management, and support are demonstrated at the County Agro-Technical Extension Centre (CATEC), where normally 20 per cent of funding comes from the central government, 30 per cent from the provincial government, and 50 per cent from the county government.

4. Pluralistic forms of a national extension system. This is an emerging form of extension organization in many countries, but it is not yet reflected in national extension policy. This structure appears to occur in those countries where the need for extension services is widespread and/or where the public agricultural extension organization can no longer satisfy its clientele because of resource and management problems. As a consequence, many publicly and/or privately funded organizations, including nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), are beginning to conduct agricultural extension programmes. Publicly funded extension organizations may include the crop, livestock, and horticulture departments of the ministry of agriculture, state-funded agricultural colleges and universities, and commodity boards. Privately funded organizations may include rural development-oriented NGOs, agrobusiness firms (contract extension), and farmer organizations, including cooperatives and commodity associations. Generally, the geographical, subject-matter, and clientele coverage and the standard of work for each of these different organizations are not known. Also, these separate efforts are generally not well coordinated. For contemporary policy making in extension, it would be advisable that a roster or "map" of all the publicly and privately funded extension programmes be established and a national extension policy formulated that would recognize this multiplicity of extension funding and programmes, and then to study the feasibility of a policy that would promote integration of the agricultural extension system.

Extension Staffing Issues

By the nature of the mission and work that an extension system carries out, its worth to society is largely reflected by the quality and number of the technical and professional staff in the organization. For a national programme of extension, the human resource question that policy makers and extension managers are confronted with is: Given the mission, scope of the work, and available resources, what type of qualifications and how many extension staff should be employed by the extension system? Part of this staffingmatrix includes other questions: What should be the proportion of subject-matter specialists to field extension workers? What should be the proportion of field extension personnel to the number of farmers, farm households, or other target groups? How should extension staff be deployed, how often should they be transferred, and what incentives should be provided in order to ensure that they work closely with all groups of farmers?

Extension Funding

The most difficult and challenging policy issue facing extension today is to secure a stable source of funding. With the widespread trend to cut government budgets, including structural adjustment programmes, many policy makers have the impression that public extension is both expensive and a drain on the government's limited resources. At the same time, studies carried out in both developed and developing countries indicate that the returns to extension expenditures are high. Therefore, policy makers should examine this issue carefully in deciding what level of public funding is necessary to support extension in relation to the needs of farmers in the country.

While extension managers should look for ways to improve the efficiency and to reduce the cost of public extension (Wilson in Rivera & Gustafson, 1991, p. 13, and Gustafson in Rivera & Gustafson, 1991, p. 89), at the same time policy makers should look for ways to increase extension funding to adequate levels of support. In most developing countries, particularly the low-income, food-deficit countries, absolute levels of extension funding are very low. The Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension noted that "the current level of funding for extension in most developing countries is insufficient to provide adequate coverage for all groups of farmers, especially those who are resource poor and at the subsistence level. With a few notable exceptions, the needs of women and young farmers are largely neglected" (Swanson, 1990, p. 25). In countries where funding support to extension is low, the funding for extension should be increased to levels that reflect the anticipated economic rates of return and the social benefits when public funds are properly invested and managed (Alexandratos, 1995, p. 344; Evenson in Jones, 1987, p. 76-86; Pavelia in FES, 1974, p. 2).

The issue of funding extension continues to be the most difficult policy issue faced by extension. This issue is complicated by the increased demand for more extension services on the part of increasing numbers of farm households who have fewer land and water resources. Furthermore, extension is being called to integrate sustain-able development messages into its extension programmes. This results in "working with less to do more."


A good extension policy promotes extension system stability, yet allows sufficient flexibility to reflect the dynamic nature of the agricultural sector. Extension should not be rigid; rather, "It should be responsive to all major groups of farm people and sufficiently inclusive to allow public, private, and non-governmental organizations to contribute fully to the agricultural development goals of the country" (Swanson, 1990, p. 11). Frequent organizational changes within extension, such as being transferred from one government agency to another, directly impact the organization's effectiveness. Such instability is costly in that trained staff are poorly utilized and opportunities for improved productivity are forgone. Extension policies in some countries have been successful in preventing disruptive and destabilizing change. For more than 80 years, the U.S. has followed, with some flexibility, the 1914 Cooperative Extension Service law. For almost 50 years, Japan has followed its extension policy, and Thailand has successfully followed its extension policy for the past 40 years. In these countries, agricultural extension is recognized as having contributed significantly to increased agricultural productivity and development.

Extension policy formulation

There is no standard formula to be used in formulating agricultural extension policies. It should be noted, however, that most existing laws and policies on extension have been formulated by planners and policy makers in the ministry of agriculture and agriculture committees in the legislative branch of government. Normally, agricultural extension professionals from agricultural universities or from abroad are called on to provide advice and to assist in drafting extension legislation. A congressional hearing is normally conducted before extension legislation is finally enacted into law.

To be more relevant to the needs of farmers and other clientele, extension policy should be reviewed and formulated through a participatory approach. This process could be initiated by dedicated professionals from the public and private sectors, with the active participation of farmers themselves, the private sector, and local government representatives. A proposed draft extension policy that results from this participatory approach would have to be legitimized by the ministry of agriculture and then enacted into law by the congress or parliament. The advantage of this approach would be greater relevance to local conditions and acceptance by stakeholders at the field level.

As the Global Consultation on Agricultural Extension noted: "There are sometimes contradictions between national development policy and the interests of the vast majority of the rural poor who are engaged in agricultural production. Representatives of all major farm groups should be involved, both through formal mechanisms and informal consultations, in the formulation and execution of agricultural extension policy. Farmer involvement in policy formulation and periodic review is the most effective means of creating a 'demand driven' national extension system" (Swanson, 1990, p. 11).


Lessons from the past can serve as a guide to the future in formulating relevant and useful extension policy in developing countries. Extension policy should include the following: (1) name of the extension system, (2) mission and goals, (3) intended clientele, (4) geographic coverage, (5) the dominant extension approach to be followed, (6) general subject-matter coverage, (7) institutional and organizational framework, (8) how extension will be financed, and (9) provisions for review and accountability within the extension system.

Finally, the ultimate test of extension policy is the impact that extension is having on the productivity of all major groups of farmers, including their incomes and quality of life. In addition, extension should be evaluated by its contribution to sustainable agricultural development. To extension policy makers, managers, specialists, and professional staff, the following checklist might prove useful: (1) Is extension policy developmental with a long-term vision? (2) Does it foster innovativeness and creativity on the part of the extension staff, and does it have more provisions for facilitating, rather than controlling, their work? (3) Does it foster stakeholder participation and confidence in the extension system? (4) Does it attract sustained financial support from government through the support of stakeholders and beneficiaries? (5) Does it follow appropriate procedures and methods to perform its responsibilities efficiently and effectively? and (6) Does it have reasonable provisions for accountability through periodic reviews?


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