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Barriers to participatory extension in Egypt: agricultural workers' perspectives

Agricultural Communications Documentation Center (ACDC)
McDonough, Chris (main author), Nuberg, Ian K. (author), Pitchford, Wayne S. (author)
Journal article abstract
Publication Date:
Egypt: Taylor & Francis
Agricultural Communications Documentation Center, Funk Library, University of Illinois
Subject Term:
agricultural development, attitudes, audience participation, communication barriers, development, development communication, development issues, extension, extension agents, extension methods, government services, information issues, information needs, participation, rural development, technology transfer, role, Egypt (Africa, Northern), participatory extension
2 pages., Via UI online subscription., Purpose: This paper examines extension practises of agricultural workers within the Egyptian government and the perceived barriers they face in implementing participatory approaches, identifying improvements required in research and extension processes to meet the real needs of Egyptian farming communities. Design/Methodology/Approach: Key barriers for engaging in participatory extension were identified using content analysis of semi-structured interviews, surveys and focus group discussion of 37 government agricultural workers along with participant observation and review of existing literature. Findings: The majority of workers surveyed understood basic participatory extension principles and desired to use these approaches. Changing from traditional ‘top down’ extension to systems that engage with farmers' needs at the community level is made difficult due to the aging and poorly functioning Village Extension Worker (VEW) network. Thus, it is far easier for the research driven extension programmes to use technology transfer models. Practical Implications: Participatory extension relies on strong relationship building and open communication between farmers, extension workers, researchers, interest groups and policy-makers. The Egyptian government must properly establish and resource the pivotal role of VEWs within the extension system to meet its strategic aims of modernising agriculture, developing food security and improving the livelihoods of rural inhabitants. Originality/Value: This paper captures the unique perspectives of government research, extension and education workers involved in agricultural development at a time directly after the 2010 revolution, when they were able to more openly reflect on the past and present situations.