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To remain relevant and to support addressing the rapidly evolving challenges in agriculture, extension professionals need to upgrade their competencies. Sreeram Vishnu and Rasheed Sulaiman V have chosen what they think are the 50 best publications every extension professional should read to enhance their knowledge and skills to remain relevant to the changing times.

CONTEXT

The need for performing wider roles by Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) and the need to enhance their capacities to do these well, are well recognized globally (Box 1). Yet there hasn’t been much serious efforts in revising the existing extension curricula (both education and training) followed in most countries. Though several new learning resources from the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) such as the New Extensionist Learning Kit (NELK) and Global Good Practice (GGP) Notes are currently available (as free downloadable resources), new concepts, approaches and tools presented in these publications are yet to find a place in the teachings and trainings of EAS providers. The curricula in most cases remain static and there has been a tendency to continue with the old text books and publications. These to a large extent, constrain the uptake of new and more relevant ideas that could help transforming the extension discipline and develop EAS professionals with skills and knowledge relevant to the current era. The main purpose of this blog therefore is to introduce and promote some relatively newer publications, which we believe every extension professional should read to enhance his/her capacities.

Box 1: New challenges before EAS and new capacities to address these

Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) currently supports farmers in dealing with several new challenges beyond enhancing access to new technologies. Farmers do need support to deal with uncertain markets, changing consumer demands, declining and deteriorating common property resources such as land and water, and adapt better to climate change. International agencies and national governments currently look forward to EAS to support the large number of women engaged in agricultural activities; address nutrition related issues and encourage, support and train rural youth to effectively engage in agriculture. Addressing many of these challenges would mean, supporting farmers to be organized into collectives (farmer groups, producer organizations etc.) at different levels. 

http://aesa-gfras.net/admin/kcfinder/upload/files/AESA%20BLOG%2083%20APRIL%202018.pdf