Agriculture and Human Values 11 (2-3):96-108 (1994)

Investment in agricultural extension, as well as its design and practice, are usually based on the assumption that agricultural science generates technology (“applied science“), which extension experts transfer to “users“. This model negates local knowledge and creativity, ignores farmers' self-confidence and social energy as important sources of change, and, in its most linear expression, does not pay attention to information from and about farmers as a condition for anticipating utilization.In practice, farmers rely on knowledge developed by farmers, reinvent ideas brought from outside and actively integrate them into complex farming decisions. Effective extension seems based on checks and balances that match intervention power with farmers' countervailing power, and mobilize farmers' creativity and participation in technology development and exchange.Alternative models for informing extension investment, design, and practice stress adult learning and its facilitation. The farmer is seen as an expert and farm development as driven by farmers' energy and communication. The article is a case study of a rare large scale attempt to use such an alternative model. It suggests that a shift to knowledgeintensive sustainable practices requires a learning process based on participation and empowerment
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DOI 10.1007/BF01530451
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