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“Strengthening Agricultural Extension Training in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka and Nepal)

Based on the findings of the study, Agricultural Universities in South Asia may revise or upgrade their curricula to prepare the next generation of graduates needed for Agricultural development. We also developed three Agricultural Extension UG courses and recommended them to Agricultural Curriculum Revision bodies in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

The study undertaken in India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal assessed eight process skills and core competencies-program planning, program implementation, communication and public relations, information and communication technologies (ICTs), program evaluation, personal and professional development, diversity and gender, and technical subject matter expertise. These were assessed on “How important are these competencies?” and “How well does the UG extension curriculum address these process skills and competencies?” on a 1 to 5 scale. The perceptions of agricultural extension professionals on appropriate ways to acquire core competencies and major barriers to effective implementation of extension curriculum  were also obtained. A total of 628 respondents completed the online survey. In addition, 12 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted in India and Sri Lanka, and the participants included 153 research scholars and 95 extension faculty members / field functionaries. The key FGD questions were related to perceptions of local agricultural extension contexts, critical job skills and core competencies required of extension workers, their coverage in the current UG curriculum, and the barriers to effectively training extension workers.

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