1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Strengthen the extension and delivery systems of Afghanistan and Pakistan to better meet the needs of farmers and the rural poor.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Under the auspices of the Food and Agriculture Working Group (“Working Group”) of the United States-Afghanistan-Pakistan Trilateral Initiative (“Trilateral”), UC Davis and a consortium of other universities will develop, organize, and conduct three workshops covering varying aspects of an effective agriculture extension training system and delivery mechanisms for information to farmers in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a result, the ministries of agriculture and provincial governments in Afghanistan and Pakistan will have a system and a group of trained extension technicians to train additional technicians and develop agricultural extension programs throughout their respective countries.
3. Progress Report:
In FY 2012 the university consortium delivered two extension training courses. The first took place in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, at Nangarhar University in November 2011, and included only Afghan extension workers, as Pakistani personnel were unable to attend. The 24 Afghan participants took part in sessions designed to train in identification of problems, evaluating possible solutions, and accessing or developing credible information through applied research in a variety of agricultural disciplines (e.g. animal reproduction, and identifying bacterial vs abiotic stress in melons). Greatest interest was expressed by the participants in new technical information. The participants reviewed methods for farmer assessment of problems using surveys, group meetings, focus groups, etc. The second workshop was held at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan, and included trainees from both Pakistan and Afghanistan. This workshop was aimed at creating an opportunity for extension workers to meet with farmers and assess their needs for extension education, to bring a sense of how a demand-driven system should work. Extension workers met with farmers in small group settings at sites representing the relevant technical area (e.g. the livestock group met at the UAF dairy unit). Further discussion was facilitated when the farmers attended a group lunch with the entire group of extension trainees. The groups used information developed during these discussions to develop extension materials to provide to the farmers. A fourth and final workshop under this program is planned for UAF, Pakistan, in November 2012. The university consortium confers via email and conference call on a regular basis to plan workshops and conduct retrospective review of completed workshops. The PI provides quarterly technical progress reports to OIRP.