By Sarah Parkinson
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension Volume 15 Issue 4
Abstract: The purpose of this article is to analyze the demand-driven extension approach based on empirical evidence of a case study of the National Agricultural Advisory Service in Uganda. This research found several problems rooted in differences between the assumptions of demand-driven extension and the perspectives of farmers. Many farmers did not place high value on advisory services and were ambivalent towards the programme concepts of farmer ownership and empowerment. Although long-term capacity building was a core part of the programme strategy, farmers were reluctant to invest their time in attending these trainings, whilst political pressure and budgetary constraints made it difficult for programme managers to commit the necessary resources to this activity. The programme adapted to popular and political pressure by putting more emphasis on technological support to farmers. The demand-driven extension model has gained favour amongst donor agencies in their discussions of extension reform. This paper presents evidence and argumentation that suggest demand-driven extension is problematic in rural Uganda and other similar settings. This paper presents original, independent, critical and empirically grounded research in an area that has been dominated in the literature by donor-sponsored work and self-evaluations.