Hi William, Thank you once again for your analytical comments. I have skimmed the "Extension specialists and trainers are weakest links in our efforts to reduce PHL" (Kitinoja, 2015) at the PHL Institute blog as recommend, and loved what I read. It tells me that many of us recognise a big challenge related to extension services. Better we explore strategies through which PEF and AGINSBA could initiate collaborative projects.
I realize you are so much obsessed with the 'land tenure' phenomenon and tempted to think that you regard the same as being a panacea to corruption and other socio-economic challenges affecting agricultural production in SSA. Am afraid the challenge could demand additional strategies and more concerted efforts to fix. There are quite a number of partners working to cub corruption and other social vices.
AGINSBA works through Innovation Platforms (IPs). An innovation platform is a space for learning and change. It is a group of individuals (who often represent organizations) with different backgrounds and interests: farmers, traders, food processors, researchers, government officials etc. The members come together to diagnose problems, identify opportunities and find ways to achieve their goals. They may design and implement activities as a platform, or coordinate activities by individual members - http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/pdf/outputs/WaterfoodCP/Brief1.pdf.
AGINSBA believes that 'Information is knowledge, and knowledge is power'. One of our challenges has been to enhance information flow along the multi-stakeholder value chain. The assumption is - for example, a smallholder producer could not easily be exploited if knowledge of market prices are available. But the Market also needs the producers to be aware of product standards (quality). Producers want to constantly communicate with extension specialists, etc. We can only handle such contemporary challenges through ICT4D.
Hi William, many thanks for your thoughtful comment. No doubt Land tenure system is crucial not only in the North America ...... but also in SSA. While 4 types of land tenure exist in Uganda: Freehold, Mailo, Customary, and Leasehold tenure; most people are tenants with user rights on different land tenure. Given the ever increasing population, land fragmentation is one of the concomitant challenges. Amidst such circumstances, traditional methodologies of extension services can no longer be effective in serving the learning needs of farmers. There is need for innovative methods that could suit the current challenging times. "Food supply shortage answers don’t always lie in science". please read about it at: http://publish.illinois.edu/phlinstitute/2015/12/02/phl-scholar-brockamp/ . This blog seems to well understand the challenges in developing countries. The recommendation 4-H is given with an applause for having been much effective in America, etc. However, if 4-H would work in SSA, it could have to be adapted/adjusted to suit the local conditions (tenure-less agriculture). Whereas the Youth are quite an important group to target, there are also other vulnerable categories say: women, landless labourers, etc. The equivalent model applicable in developing countries/Uganda is the Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) promoted by AGINSBA and Makerere University.
The L3F model is an approach used to facilitate farmers’ learning and mobilization to engage in a specific agricultural enterprise in mass. The model focuses on mobilizing social, human and financial capitals to help develop value added farming practices that enhance household food security and increase capital, through strengthening the self-directed learning process among women and other vulnerable farming communities using information and communication technology and open and distance learning.
The L3F Model addresses critical needs for agricultural information resulting from research and development; large scale expansion of learning required by farmers; inability of conventional face-to-face institutions to address the massive learning needs that exist in the developing world; and the high extension to farmers ratio in most commonwealth countries.
It is against such a background that the idea in question favours revamping traditional extension services through ICT4D.