Agriculture extension officer has a pivotal role in agriculture sector of any country. However, in case of developing countries, the role of agriculture extension office increases many folds. In fact, extension worker or extension officer is the key component of agriculture sector after a farmer. This is because of his nature of duties that keep the farming community up to date with latest and innovative knowledge and farming techniques to increase the efficiency of agricultural produce. In rural areas, village extension officer should be equipped with state of the art knowledge base, so that his/her presence in the area brings positive results in production and yield of agriculture produce.
Keeping this in view, this article will now discuss the role of an agriculture extension officer in uplifting of agriculture sector. This in turn helps in uplifting the livelihoods of the framing community with sustainable food production and income.
Following are the 3 chief roles of an agriculture extension officer in any area that highlights his/her role for boosting agriculture production along with income of the farmers. These 3 chief roles will be followed by general roles that an agriculture extension worker should fulfill during his duties.
Chief Roles Performed by an Agriculture Extension Officer
Close Contact with Farming Community
Key role of village extension officer starts by understanding local customs and traditions of farming community of the area where he is deployed. A good understanding will not only help him winning the confidence of the locals but he can easily influence their minds. This will also help in getting deep insights of the problems faced by the farmers during farming activities.
Generally farmers prefer indigenous solutions of their problems. So by creating a good working relationship with the farming community, village extension office can bring fast pace change in agricultural practices.
Craft a Cooperating Environment among Farmers
The agriculture extension officer has to establish an enabling environment for the farmers, where they can share their farming problems and seek collective solution. The extension worker may create a cooperative group where they can conduct discussion sessions.
Advantage of creating such group is that, village extension officer can influence farmers easily in time efficient manner. It is important to designate a leader in the group that should be selected from within the group.
Applying Appropriate Extension Method for Teaching
Another important role of agriculture extension worker is to choose from many, an appropriate extension teaching method. This extension method should be carefully designed because, though approach can be same as based on extension principles, but customizing it according to the demands and needs is important.
If the target farming community is large, extension worker may utilize print and electronic media. Since the introduction of social media, it is easy to disseminate latest information for a particular area or village for example, through dedicated pages or groups of that area created on Facebook etc. Similarly, local newspaper and radio medium can also be utilized.
To communicate with limited farmers, group extension methods like farm walks farmer rallies, demonstration, field visits, group meetings and motivational tours can be applied. Individual extension methods like individual farm visits should be paid when needed.
General Roles of an Agriculture Extension Worker
- Agriculture extension worker should have good leadership qualities so that he can impact and bring positive changes in attitudes, skills and knowledge of the villagers.
- Good agriculture extension officer has a comprehensive knowledge bank to convince farmers adopting new technology. For this, research base of extension workers should be strong. He should have optimum know-how of the agricultural conditions prevailing in progressive and especially in neighboring countries for convincing the farmers.
- Farmers can only be motivated if they are assured that their income will increase by following new and innovative technology in farming. Thus an extension officer should be motivational and have good communication qualities.
- Extension worker should perform the role of a bridge between farmers and scientific and research institutes. He should have good networking and working linkages with top scientific national and international institutes where he can take the problems of farming community to get scientific and logical solutions.
- Last but not the least, without feeling the problems of farmers and farming community, village extension worker cannot bring desire change in attitude as well as the farming practices of the farmers.
Cite this Article in APA Style as:
[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, October 27). Role of Agriculture Extension Officer [Blog Post]. Retrieved from http://aridagriculture.com/2017/10/28/role-agriculture-extension-officer[/box]