The extension triad approach in disseminating agricultural information to extension workers: some experiences from the Southern Highlands Dairy Development Project, Tanzania

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The agricultural extension services in developing countries have been widely criticised for their ineffectiveness. The extension triad is considered to be an alternative and promising approach in an attempt to improve the extension services in such countries. This study investigates the information- seeking pattern of extension workers and the ways in which the Southern Highlands Dairy Development Project disseminates information to such workers, as well as the extent to which it addresses some of the common problems reported to hinder the extension services in developing countries. Out of 66 copies of a semi-structured questionnaire distributed to dairy extension supervisors and field extension workers within the Project area, 49 responses (69.7% response rate) were received. The use of personal sources, attendance at professional meetings, seminars, short courses and conferences and the reading of newspapers were found to be the three main information sources consulted by the respondents, while contact with researchers and the use of agricultural libraries were very unpopular. The Project extension services proved superior in comparison to the traditional extension services. For sustainability purposes, it is recommended that the Project, in collaboration with the Government and farmer groups, launches an alternative organisation to pursue activities run by the Project before it comes to an end.


Journal of Information Science, 2000; 26 (2) :121-128


Southern Highlands, Agricultural extension services, Agricultural information, Agricultural information dissemination, Tanzania, Smallholder dairy farmers