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Master Thesis in Rural Development with Specialization in Livelihood and Natural Resource Management
master thesis in rural
Linkages between extension services and other actors within the Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS)
A Case Study in Pha Village, Yen Khe Commune, Con Cuong District of Nghe An Province
Nguyen Thi Phuong, Vinh University, Vinh city, Nghe An, Vietnam
Department of Urban and Rural Development Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Linkages between extension services and other actors within Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS)
A Case Study in Pha village, Yen Khe Commune, Con Cuong District of Nghe An Province
Nguyen Thi Phuong, Vinh University, Vinh city, Nghe An province, Vietnam
Master Thesis in Rural Development with Specialization in Livelihoods and Natural Resource Management Master Thesis No 51 | Hue City, Vietnam | April 2008 | ISSN: 1403-7998
Department of Urban and Rural Development | Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Four upland districts in Western Nghe An province including Ky Son, Tuong Duong, Con Cuong and Anh Son belong to one of six World biosphere reserve areas of Vietnam that UNESCO just recognized in July, 2007. The local people mainly depend on agriculture (crop cultivation, livestock, forestry and aquaculture) for their livelihoods. They face many difficulties and challenges related to agricultural production as well as to natural resource management such as complex topography, high poverty rate, poor infrastructure, low labor productivity, low education, annual natural calamities, and a large complicated Viet-Lao border with complex politics and security. Con Cuong district is one of these four districts, and Yen Khe commune belongs to Con Cuong and buffer zone of PuMat national park. Yen Khe has an existing Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS). An understanding of the structure of the AKIS at Pha village, and the linkages between extension institutions with other actors is the focus of this study. Participatory methods (group discussions with tools, meeting, and individual interviews) and observation were used to investigate the linkages/interaction between and among actors within AKIS in four production types (tea, rice, forestry and livestock production), and to examine the causes and effects of these linkages focusing on extension services –other actors’ linkages. This study shows that the linkages between and among actors within AKIS is generally weak because of lack of formal linkages, external linkages, and bottom-up linkages. The linkages between extension services and other actors are also weak due to limited participation, low frequency of contacts and unsatisfied farmer’s needs. These make extension services are unable to contribute effectively to the diffusion of innovation However, the findings also showed that the formal linkages between Tea enterprise and farmers in commercial tea production at a neighbor village,and between PuMat’s project extension and others in an ongoing process were rather strong and bring initial success on tea production. Especially, one interesting finding is the potential of formal linkages between Innovgreen Corporation Limited (private sector) and Vinh University and farmers in forest research, education, forest production and product consumption for paper material which began in 2007 through contracts. Maybe these formal linkages signal effectiveness, success and joy for stakeholders (farmers, marketers, researchers, educators) in their co-ordination/synergy. This study also found that the main effects related to these various linkages on production for food security and for commercialization such as increasing yield and area, some changing technology on tea, and expanding or reducing investment of production. Major factors affecting these linkages to diffusion of innovation and agricultural production were identified as funding, policy/mechanism, and quality/quantity of actors. Key words: agricultural knowledge and information system, agriculture, actors, linkages
This thesis was funded by Sida/SAREC through the RDViet project and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Master program in Rural Development. Thanks to that program, the Master level training in rural development occurred in VietNam for the first time. It is useful for the current VietNam context. Without that support, this work would not have been possible. Among our lecturers in that program, I would like to thank Dr. Britta Ogle, Dr. Adam Pain , Dr. Malin Backman Dr. Wijnand Boonstra and other lecturers from SLU; Dr. Le Duc Ngoan (HUAF), and other lecturers from Vietnamese Universities. I am grateful to my supervisors Dr. Ian Christoplos (SLU) and Dr. Le Thi Hoa Sen (HUAF) for their comments and valuable recommendations on the structure of this study, especially for Dr. Ian’s suggestion on the topic of AKIS-one useful/new topic for Vietnam. Without their interest, expertise, facilitation and consistency, this work would not have been completed. For the fieldwork activities, I acknowledge my leaderships’ help in Vinh University and Faculty of Agriculture Forestry and Aquaculture for their creating favorable conditions and their encouragement, especially Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Hoi, Dr. Tran Ngoc Lan, Dr. Nguyen Kim Duong, Dr. Hoang Van Son, Dr. Nguyen Quang Pho and Dr. Tran Ngoc Hung. I also thank for efforts of my colleagues, old students in VU and authorities of Yen Khe commune, Pha village as well as all participants who helped me carry out the field study and supported data collection. Finally, I am very grateful to my parents, my brother, my sisters, my husband and my friends who encouraged me to complete this study. Especially, thanks to my new daughter in pregnancy who brings to me happiness that motivated me to have a passion for this study
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND........................................................................................................ 8
Introduction............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 8 Background........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 1.2.1 Context background...................................................................................................................................................................................................... 8 1.2.2 Justification .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................11 1.2.3 Objectives and research questions ................................................................................................................................................................11
THEORY AND LITERATURE REVIEW .........................................................................................................13
Clarification of the terms.........................................................................................................................................................................................................13 Previous studies .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................14
3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7
Selection of study site ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................18 Conceptual framework..............................................................................................................................................................................................................19 Rationale for applying qualitative methods...............................................................................................................................................................20 Methodology framework..........................................................................................................................................................................................................21 Data collection methods ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................22 Data analysis methods ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................25 The study limitations ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................25
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ......................................................................................................................27
General characteristics of the study site....................................................................................................................................................................27 The structure of the AKIS.......................................................................................................................................................................................................29 4.2.1 General structure of the AKIS............................................................................................................................................................................29 4.2.2 The role of key actors within AKIS.................................................................................................................................................................35 4.2.3 Linkages between extension services and other actors within AKIS ................................................................................45 4.3 Effects of AKIS linkages on agricultural production.........................................................................................................................................53 4.3.1 The failure stories.........................................................................................................................................................................................................53 4.3.2 The successful stories..............................................................................................................................................................................................56 4.4 The factors affecting on the AKIS linkages.............................................................................................................................................................59
5 6 7
CONCLUSION ...................................................................................................................................................62 REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................................................63 APPENDICES .....................................................................................................................................................65
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
AKIS FAO WB NGO EU PNPMO MARD DARD DES PEC PRA VNPT PNPMU PuMat’s project Lucxambua’s project TOT PAEM PTD FFS Agricultural Knowledge and Information System Food and Agriculture Organization World Bank Non Government Organization European Union PuMat National Park Management Office Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Agriculture and Rural Development District Extension Station Provincial Extension Centre Participatory Rural Appraisal Vietnam posts and telecommunication group PuMat National Park Management Unit Social Forestry and Nature Conservation Project in Nghe An Province(1997-2004) Project on « Agrictural development for NgheAn West « (2002-2007) Transfer of Technology Participatory Agricultural Extension Methods Participatory Technology Development Farmers Field School
LIST OF TABLES, FIGURES AND DIAGRAMS
TABLES Table 2.1: Summary on traditional extension methods and participatory extension methods........... 16 Table 3.1: Summary on data collection process................................................................................. 23 Table 4.1: Some characteristics of study site ..................................................................................... 27 Table 4.2: Summary Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats for livelihoods..................... 28 Table 4.3: Linkage identification Matrix ........................................................................................... 31 Table 4.4: The ranking on extension staff/organizations ................................................................... 44 Table 4.5: The table of importance of extensionist/ extension agents within AKIS.......................... 45 Table 4.6: Information needs matrix (farmer’s needs)...................................................................... 47 Table 4.7: The types of feedback and frequency from farmers to extension/researchers .................. 47 Table 4.8: Extension methods used on four kinds of production....................................................... 49 Table 4.9: The factors affecting on the linkages between extension and others in AKIS.................. 60 FIGURES Figure 3.1: Location of study site....................................................................................................... 19 Figure 3.2: Conceptual framework..................................................................................................... 20 Figure 3.3: Methodology framework ................................................................................................. 21 Figure 4.1: The trend on quantity of livestock ................................................................................... 54 Figure 4.2: The change of hybrid rice yield and area......................................................................... 57 DIAGRAMS Diagram 4.1: Summary on the structure of AKIS at Yen Khe commune.......................................... 30 Diagram 4.2: The AKIS on four type of production (rice, forest, livestock and tea production) ...... 32
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Vietnam is a developing country located in South East Asia with a population of about 84 million people. About 73 percent of population live in rural area and 95 percent of them rely on agricultural production. However, the total workforce in the field of agriculture, forestry and fishery is decreasing over time (67,3% in 2003, 57,2% in 2005 and 55,7% in 2006). This is part of the transformation to other industries that have higher productivity (Report of Statistic Department) due to the low productivity of their labor on agriculture. Agriculture value is now only 20 percent of GDP (WB, 2007) and the complexity and difficulties of agricultural production is affected by many factors including natural conditions, climate, market, and technique. The farmers of Vietnam, especially ethnic minorities are not resilience enough and have difficulties with risks/vulnerabilities such as inflation, fluctuating market price/ cost, frequent natural calamities, climate change, epidemics, and degradation of natural resources. Their capacities are often weak (low education, lack of opportunities to access information, weak skills, low labor productivity), all of which contribute to a high poverty rate. Moreover, membership in the WTO is an important factor, e.g., creating greater competition and conforming to the rules of WTO including low cost price, safety and high quality. Concurrently, many trend changes are afoot in the State: decentralization, liberalization, privatization and democratization as well as 1 extension socialization with many new actors involved. A new approach to agricultural extension is needed to accommodate the development and trends described (Neuchatel group, 1999, p 10). Meanwhile, the extension activities are often top-down and not market- and demand-driven. Especially, many extension programs in upland areas are managed as part of subsidy policies which give priority to the poor and the ethnic minorities and follow top-down approaches. The subsidy policies in extension gain significant achievements, but the heavy subsidies limit the sustainability and replication of new techniques. This limits the long term impact on livelihood improvements and the emergence of demand driven extension services, reducing initiative, and encouraging looking forward for outsider’s support of farmers. Extension has been faced with difficulties in coordinating between top-down orientation and bottom-up demand (Hoang Xuan Thanh et al., 2006). Thus, co-ordination and dialogue between stakeholders is useful for understanding the Vietnam context. With this significance, the study was conducted to examine the linkages/co-ordination/interaction between and among actors within AKIS and to focus on the linkages between extension services and other actors. Based on the 2 theory of Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) , this study is analyzing the importance of AKIS linkages for extension services to be able to contribute in a good way. The findings in this study were gained through farmers’ perspectives in group discussions, individual interviews, meetings and from secondary data within four main production group (Rice, tea, livestock and forestry) as well as the perspectives of other actors (extensionists, researchers, educators, foresters, state managers). The results were generated by the study provide a general view on structure of AKIS with the linkages/interaction between and among actors and the role of key actors within this system. The study focuses deeply on the linkages between extension services and other actors in AKIS as well as effects of them by looking at successful and unsuccessful stories. Lastly major factors affect these linkages. This thesis includes five chapters. Chapter 1 presents an introduction and background. Chapter 2 reviews relevant theory and literature. Chapter 3 describes research methodology, while Chapter 4 presents findings and discusses these. Finally, Chapter 5 summarizes conclusions.
1.2.1 Context background
The term “Extension socialization” (xa hoi hoa khuyen nong) in the Vietnam case should be understood as the innovation process of extension activities from subsidies/ monopoly extension sector of state to private/non-governemnt sector; with participation of multi-actors in extension. This term is similar to pluralism in extension. 2 This theory will be described as part of literature review
At present three upland regions, namely the Northern Mountains, the North Central Coast and the Central Highlands, account for more than two thirds of all the food insecurity in Viet Nam (WB, 2004). The poverty rate is 43.9 percent in the North Central Coast region, in which Nghe An province accounts for 43 percent (according to the analysis of VHLSS 2002/2003 in WB, 2004). The Northern Central area includes six provinces: Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien Hue. They are considered as a rich asset of land and human resource advantages, however, some difficult conditions for development exist there including remoteness of many areas with complex geography, poor infrastructure and many ethnic groups. People especially in the hilly, mountainous and forestry areas are still very poor. Nghe An province includes 17 districts of which 10 are mountainous areas (upland area) with complex geography and many difficulties. Con Cuong district is located in the West and about 150 km from the provincial center, and has various cultures and a diverse ecology system of the largest district in the province (166,263 ha). Crop cultivation land makes up a very small part of (about one-fourth of the total area) and forest land occupies 106,405 ha (105,401 ha of tree covered land with 103,118 ha of natural forest). Above 80 percent of the population are ethnic minorities, including 5 ethnic groups (Thai, Kinh, Dan Lai, Lao and Chinese) with a total population of 82,649 people. Food production in Con Cuong district is small, but it has gradually changed over time under the poverty reduction process and economic development in general. For example, the yield of hybrid rice has been increasing, hybrid maize that has been supplied as food for the poor (Nguyen Tho Canh, 2005). Con Cuong is considered one of the poorest districts in Nghe An. Thirty –eight percent of households in the district are poor or very poor. They do not have enough food to eat (much higher compared to the average level of the province only 19.5 percent). There is one district town and 12 communes in Con Cuong district, some communes that belong to the buffer zone of Pu Mat national park. Some characteristics of remote areas structure (such as difficult geography, ethnic minority culture, etc.) lead to the limitation of access to knowledge and information from outsider, notably in agricultural production. The study site chosen among the 12 agricultural communes of Con Cuong district is located in Yen Khe commune. The site belongs to the buffer zone of PuMat National park. There are nine villages with about 98 percent of ethnic minority people. Policy background Through the reform in 1986, Vietnam has shifted into a market economy. There are many policies for agricultural and rural development both in general and in particular. Policies related to AKIS and extension includes decrees about functioning and mechanism of many different organizations, and plans for each period, per field. For example, at national level, the law on science and technology ratified on 9 June, 2000 stimulating organization and activities of science and technology; the decree 13/CP, 1993; the Decree 56/ 2005/ND-CP for extension activities, and the Resolution 80/2002/QD-TTg for contract consumption of agricultural products and the linkage among many actors (researchers-farmers-extensionists-marketers). The law of science and technology also made statements on applied research, research synergy, and interdisciplinary research in all research aspects in general, especially in agricultural/rural development. This fills the gap in theory researches but lacks in the applied researches that existed before. Recently, participatory research or interdisciplinary research has been used in many aspects of both agricultural science and social sciences. It means that the linkage between research and other stakeholders was tightening. According to Decree 13/CP (1993),the roles of the extension organization are as follows: (i) to disseminate advanced technology in cultivation, animal husbandry, forestry fishery, processing industry, storage and postharvest technology; (ii) to develop economic management skill and knowledge among farmers for effective business production; (iii) to co-ordinate with other organizations in order to provide market and price information to farmers so that they can organize their production and business in an economically efficient way. An important policy was the Decree 56/ 2005/ND-CP which replaced Decree 13/1993-CP that consisted of contents, organizations and financial policies of extension (in the fields of livestock, crops, forestry, aquaculture, etc.). It applies to all actors who are involved in extension activities. In the Decree, the main principles of extension operation are to focus on farmer’s needs, agricultural development demands; making close links among stakeholders and between farmers, and between researchers-farmers-extensionists-managers-
marketeers. This Decree also mentioned extension socialization , increasing the democratization-accountability and voluntary producers, as well as appropriated extension activities for production, and extension priority for remote areas, difficult areas and to export agricultural production areas. In addition, the contents that extension should focus on such as information propaganda (policy, market, technology innovation, etc., by mass media and others); training for producers (knowledge, skills of production and management), for extensionists (professional skills/knowledge), organization of study tours (both internal and external); building models and transferring technology; advicing services and others; and international cooperation. According to the Decree, one of the principles of extension operation is creating close linkages among actors whose are involved in extension activities, while the current debates are weak links. The Decree 56/ 2005/ND-CP replaced Decree 13/1993-CP by a new one that emphasized coordination in extension and extension socialization. The emphasis on coordination in extension of Decree 56 is very important and affects the AKIS and needs to coordinate all actors within AKIS together for a better collaboration. However, this point seems to be more about theory than practice and causes lack of ties among stakeholders in their synergy. Therefore, the Resolution 80/2002/QD-TTg on contract consumption of agricultural product between producers and marketers has encouraged synergy among actors within AKIS both of generation, diffusion and utilization agricultural knowledge/information to agricultural production for the better. Growder, 1996, describes such situation as “Structurally actors are often compartmentalized in separate institutions, or even ministries, and have a history of functional specialization which hampers the establishment of effective linkages. Institutional boundaries, which are heightened by competition for scarce resources, can undermine policies aimed at integrating actor activities”. Thus, the law on science and technology ratified on 9 June, 2000, the Decree 56/ 2005/ND-CP, and the Resolution 80/2002/QD-TTg were significantly related to a better AKIS. Besides, there are recent policies at provincial level in Nghe An province such as Nghe An Province Party’s instruction No 05-CT/TU/2002 stipulating that training courses in extension should work in collaboration with DARD, the Extension Centers and Farmer’s Associations etc. to provide training for farmers. The Decree 49 and 50 are guidelines for this instruction. However, according to Dang Ngoc Quang (2007), many disparate players in the extension have created fragmented approaches, regulations and impact on many sectors. In addition, accessing to WTO requires that Vietnam will reduce and stop subsidizing farmers and cut down import tax of agricultural products in order to create equitable competition. The Vietnamese economic consultants have forecasted that the trend of on-farm income will reduce, the gap between rural and urban areas will increase and there will be some other challenges because of the competition between imported agricultural products and the domestic agricultural products (Lai Ngoc Hai, 2007). Therefore, what is the experience in the Vietnam context, in implementing those policies in light of the primary focus on growth in higher potential areas? What priorities will there be for farmers in remote areas, with little potential of competing in distant markets? Will policies be implemented in reality? These issues are not analysed in detail in this research, but should be examined in further studies to understand the future direction of the AKIS in marginal areas. The lessons learnt from choosing such a site with difficult farming and market conditions will hopefully contribute to development of agricultural production in upland areas Scientific background To gain from analyzing the importance of AKIS linkages for extension services to able to contribute in a good way, the research is conducted based on understanding the structure of the system and the function of each component within the AKIS. Linkages between major institutional actors in agricultural knowledge and information systems are widely recognized as essential for an effective flow of technology and information between research, extension, and farmers (Peterson, et al., 2001). The AKIS are theoretical constructs based on the assumption that functioning systems actually exist. These "systems" includes of different institutional actors (farmers, private- and public-sector organizations and other stakeholders) involved in technology generation, dissemination and utilization of improved crop varieties, agrochemicals, cultural and management practices related to livestock, crops, and natural resources. The AKIS put forward an integrated concept emphasizing
The term “Extension socialization” (xa hoi hoa khuyen nong) in Vietnam case was be understand that innovation process of extension activities from subsidies/ monopoly extension sector of state to private/non-government sector; with participation of multi-actors in extension. “xa hoi hoa khuyen nong” mean that utilization all different power of actors This term is similar with pluralism in extension
important connections among three knowledge systems (the agricultural extension system, the agricultural research system, and the agricultural education system) as the same as an agricultural knowledge system "triangle". There are many studies on the AKIS approach in internationally such as Crowder & Anderson, 1996; FAO, Word Bank, 2000; Berdegue, and Escobar, 2001; Peterson, et al, 2001; and Rivera, et al., 2005. However, there is a lack of research in Vietnam about the AKIS. Thus this study will be based on existing theoretical /methodology approaches about AKIS and will make used of previous research.
The reasons for choosing the study site in the buffer zone of Pu Mat national park is the significance in interdependency of up-stream (upland area) to down- stream (low-land area) of a World Biosphere Reserve area as well as the relevance of the AKIS in generation, dissemination and utilization of knowledge and information for agriculture production, marketing, and post-harvest handling of agricultural products and management of natural resources. Furthermore, there is a significant relation between natural resources and people’s livelihoods. If standards of living raise, interest in conservation will be enhanced but it is unrealistic to expect a conservation interest from impoverished communities. Besides, characteristics of this study site such as high population, low education levels of farmers, ethnic minorities people, high poverty, low access to market/ to information/ extension, and others, are big challenges for sustainable agricultural production. The extension is very necessary in this site. Meanwhile, poverty, increasing population and other issues need to be emphasized in environment protection and natural resource management parallel with economic growth. Additionally, Vietnam faces implications of WTO membership with many high requirements and global competition. Synergy/ linkages among stakeholders in generation, diffusion and utilization of knowledge needs to be improved. That’s necessary to study based on AKIS approaches. On the other hand, agricultural development requires much more of technology, capital and education. Enhancing agricultural productivity based on new technology is needed for continued reduction of poverty and food security. A new technology of agriculture must develop much more than itself that applied beginning for suitable with the fact. This requires improvements in the participation of producers, extensionists, researchers and agricultural educators as well as all other stakeholders.. Weitz (1971), indicated that without an effective system of marketing, input supply, credit, transportation, extension, research, education and other services, the small-scale farmers are unable to make the transition from subsistence to market-oriented farming. 4 That seems to be similar in the current context of Vietnam in general and this site in particular . Also, in this transition, the role of the support system is critical. Research, extension and agricultural education are crucial elements of the support system. Thus, the AKIS approach needs to set these actors (research, extension, education, farmer and other) in interaction of system for generation, diffusion and utilization agricultural knowledge/information in agricultural production. It is hoped that the result of this study will contribute to a more effective agricultural extension services as well as a better AKIS.
1.2.3 Objectives and research questions
The overall objective is to analyze the importance of AKIS linkages for extension services to able to contribute in a good way. The specific objectives are to - look at where the extension services make a clear contribution to the flow of information within the AKIS and where it does not: a. to understand the structure of the AKIS (the linkage between extension and other actors in the AKIS ) at the commune level b. to identify the role of extension service in making a clear contribution to the flow of information within the AKIS and where it does not
Transition from self-supplied economy to market-oriented economy
- analyse the factors affecting on the ability and incentives for the extension service to make a contribution.
Key question Are weak linkages in the AKIS constraining the extension services possibilities to make an effective contribution? Subsidiary questions 1) How do the linkages between the extension services and other actors in the AKIS function What are the actors involved in the AKIS? Which are the key actors important for diffusion in the AKIS? How does the connection between the extension services with other actors in the AKIS function?
2) Which are the effects of those linkages?
3) What are the factors affecting those linkages? And how do they affect these linkages?
THEORY AND LITERATURE REVIEW
Clarification of the terms
When we use the AKIS perspective, a number of concepts play a pivotal role in the analysis. In this section, some main terms related to AKIS and used in the study are mentioned (FAO and Word Bank, 2000;; Pain, 2004; Revira, 2005; Yadav, non date; Salomon, 1997; and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural ). Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) “An AKIS consists of linkages among people and institutions to promote mutual learning and generate, share and utilize agriculture-related technology, knowledge and information. This system integrates farmers, agricultural educators, researchers and extensionists to harness knowledge and information from various sources for better farming and improved livelihoods” (FAO and World Bank, 2000). The AKIS model describes the two-way flow of information and knowledge among the research, extension organizations and farmers. The new concept is emerging for participation in leaning and problem solving. This is very important for farmers whose ability to cope with the unpredictable is often the key to survival (FAO and World Bank, 2000). It is useful in Vietnam current context (and in the upland area also) when there is a lack of research following the AKIS approach. To study the extension services is relevant for improvement s in the AKIS. The actors in the AKIS include extension services, research organizations, producers (farmer), agricultural education units and other actors such as supporters (credit sources, marketers, input suppliers). Agriculture Broadly agriculture includes science, art, and business of crop and livestock production. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agricultural). Agricultural in this study involves all type of activities in the fields of crop, livestock, and forestry. Knowledge and information The term of innovation involves elements like knowledge and information. Knowledge and information are keys to economic, social and political development. Rural areas do not only require knowledge and information for agricultural production but also need to know about markets, prices, standards, alternative sources of income, organization, and political reforms. Knowledge is a property of the mind; knowledge processes take place at the individual level and may be enhanced by group learning. Information is an organized set of data this may show trends or patterns and is amenable to interpretation. Extension (in this case the term “extension” means agricultural extension) The use of the word ”extension” derives from an educational development in England during the second half of the nineteenth century. Historically, the definitions of extension have change constantly, reflecting the trends in thinking and practice. Rivera and Qamar (no date) defined extension by distinguishing between agricultural extension and rural extension. They said that agricultural extension agents have already been commandeered to take on tasks involving construction of post-harvest on-farm infrastructure, marketing and processing, farm management and the organization of farmers into special agricultural interest groups; and tasks associated with "rural extension" include micro-enterprise development, non-formal literacy education, family planning, nutrition, health and other rural, non-agricultural areas needing attention. In the study site, extension activities focus mainly on agriculture, so this study mentions primarily agricultural extension and uses the term “extension” for short. There are academic definitions (Axinn, 1988, Boone, 1989, Pain, 2004), but this statement is supported by the definition of Pain (2004) which looked at extension as a professional communication intervention deployed by an institution to bring about or induce voluntary change in behavior by individuals which has a presumed public or collective utility. Actor- a person, group (formal and informal), organizations, or institution involved in demanding, supplying or exchanging information Key actors- are important actors who are the main actors in the AKIS.
The triangle knowledge means that knowledge in process of generation, diffusion and utilization will develop more objectively by many different actors. Commonly, triangle knowledge was understood as three legs to harness or to generate together. Linkage among actors, and the related linkage mechanisms are a quite significant part of AKIS, they should indicate how actors communicate and work together. Formal linkage is a link when it is given official sanction Informal linkages: refer to the exchange of resources and information without official sanction or through personal contact Internal linkages are links among actors/institutions (ex. Linkage among farmers) External linkages are links between and among actors within AKIS (ex. Linkage between farmers and extension and research) Top-down linkages are links following top to down Bottom-up linkages are links stated from grass root level Linkage mechanisms are arrangements that facilitate communication coordination. Participation: The involvement of actors in the process of making decisions that will affect them, including what is to be done and how successful use of participative approaches requires respect for other’s knowledge experience and willingness to involve them in implementing contribution, sharing and evaluating proposed solution Synergy: An effect arising from the cooperative activity of two 2-3 agents when working together, producing a combined result greater than either one could have achieved alone.
This section review on some previous studies in the Word such as Rivera et al, 2005; Ramirez, R., non date; Berdegue and Escoba, 2001; Crowder and Anderson, 1996; FAO and WB, 2000; Salomon, 1997. In Vietnam recently, the mass media, workshops and policies have mentioned the importance of synergy/collaboration/ linkages in production in the new context of globalization. However, research on the linkages of extension-research-farmers seems to be limited. The theory of Agricultural Knowledge and Information System (AKIS) is new for most people and for researchers in particular. According to specialists, consultants, and researchers in agriculture, there is lack of studies on AKIS and the AKIS theory in Vietnam. This gap on AKIS research will be contribute by this study on the AKIS linkages. In the world, however, according to Rivera, 2005 the AKIS approach by the linkage between public sector agricultural research and extension has been an important concern since the 1970s, and then some scholars argue for the importance of “the integration of research and education with governance, with supply, with production, and with marketing”. A systems approach is an understanding of system structure. It involves understanding of the elements in the system and the interaction of them, as well as the environment around the system (Gharajedaghi, 2003). From this general systems approach, the AKIS also searches an understanding of the actors, the interaction between and among actors within AKIS and how the environment affects the interactions. This study will focus on the structure of AKIS (actors, the AKIS linkages, factors). According to Ramirez, R., non date, a number of research approaches (Garforth,1993; Rolling 1990; Brunold and Scheuermeier, 1996) have been suggested for investigating the elements, strengths, and weaknesses of an AKIS at a local, regional or national level. They tend to remain researcher-controlled and allow limited participation by the different stakeholders and they do not promote the operationalisation of the model. Many reports such as those by Crowder & Anderson, 1996; Salomon & Engel, 1997; FAO and WB, 2000; Berdegue & Escobar, 2001; Rivera et al, 2005; and others focus on AKIS research. Bagnall-Oakeley and Ocilaje (2002) review Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Knowledge System (RAAKS) as a management tool used to understand AKIS and other any systems where knowledge transfer is common
denominator among individual and institutions. This methodology was developed in the 1990s by a group of researchers, led by Paul Engel, at the Agricultural University in Wageningen. Salomon and Engel (1997) had used RAAKS for their project to improve AKIS for agricultural production in particular and rural development in general. Many methods and tools used in this project were mainly qualitative methods. RAAKS is best described as a management tool for understanding an AKIS in a participatory manner. This study borrowed some qualitative methods used in RAAKS for collection of data and for analysis such as networking mapping, and matrix of linkage identification. But the tools were made more visual and, therefore more accessible to farmers by using PRA techniques. This study did not make use of quantitative methods because of a lack of time and funding and also because of the research objectives and large context of this study (four main production types for two purposes: food security and market). This study is a first initial research to understand the AKIS linkages and it focused on the linkages between extension and other actors within AKIS of these four types of production with two purposes above. Thus, further research perhaps could combine qualitative and quantitative methods in one type of production to get a deeper understanding of AKIS in practice in a Vietnam context. FAO and World Bank (2000) and Berdegue and Escobar (2001) illustrate an understanding of the importance of AKIS in rural development, especially in poverty reduction, food security, and market demand. Concurrently, they indicated the important role of an effective AKIS for better development of agricultural aspects in the generation, diffusion and utilization of knowledge and information. Thus significance of the study on AKIS is needs in Vietnam context. The Rivera et al (2005) mentioned that the studies of Roeling, 1990, Merill, 1990, Spurling et al 1992, Antholt, 1994 concluded that the linkages between research and extension remained a critical weakness in many countries and their affected research/extension of agriculture critical weakness in many countries and it’s affect on research/extension of agriculture. The Neuchatel Initiative Group (1999), based on a series of case studies and joint reflections is helping to bring a measure of convergence to the thinking on objectives, methods and means of support for extension policies. They have given new approaches for extension with six principles including sound agricultural policy, extension as facilitation rather than “technology transfer”, producers as clients, stakeholders and sponsors rather than beneficieries of agricultural extension, new relationship between farmers and private suppliers of goods and services, new perspectives regarding public funding and private actors, and coordination and dialogue between actors due to pluralism and decentralization. They focus on relationships between farmers and private suppliers of goods/services for market demands and for coordination/ dialogue between actors for the pluralism in extension services that is needed for better service. The actors involved in Agricultural Knowledge and Information Systems (AKIS) include the institutions and organizations or individuals that generate and disseminate knowledge and information to support agriculture production and marketing. There are four main actors within AKIS including farmers, extensionists, researchers and educators (FAO and WB, 2000). However, Rivera (2005) reviewed other ideal models of AKIS such as the Pakistan case study, that illustrates five major actors consisting of farmers, extensionists, researchers, educators and supporters (credit, input and marketers). This new model of AKIS in the Pakistan case with five main actors seems to be appropriate to agricultural production for commerce.because the supporters (credit, input suppliers and marketers) are also important actors who need to be in close synergy with other actors for better production process and services. Thus, in this study although it is based on the AKIS theory of FAO and WB, does not only focus on four main actors (farmers, extension, research, education) but includes the fifth group of main actors as Rivera reviewed above. These main actors have different backgrounds and their functions belong to different ministries. For example, in Vietnam, extension units (agencies) belong to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, research units belong to the Ministry of Science and Technology, education units belong to the Ministry of Education and Training, and most of the input suppliers and marketers belong to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Therefore, linkages between and among them in their activities requires following of the general policies or mechanisms. Some main policies related to AKIS linkages have been reviewed in the section of policy background such as the law on science and technology ratified on 9 June, 2000 stimulating organization and activities of science and technology; the decree 13/CP, 1993; the Decree 56/ 2005/ND-CP for extension activities, and the Resolution 80/2002/QD-TTg for contract consumption of agricultural products and the linkage among many actors (researchers-farmers-extensionists-marketers, etc.).
Most of the previous studies were mainly for development planning (Bachmann, 2000; Berdegue and Escobar, 2001; Bagnal-Oakeley and Ocilaje, 2002) and lack of real research. They seem to lack of emphasis on indicators to assess the AKIS linkages. However, Ramizer, in his review of the case of Philippines used six criteria (actors’ awareness, relevance of actors’ services, timeliness of actors’ services, accessibility to other actors’ services, communication media and linkage control) as qualitative indicators for a first attempt to systematically assess linkage performance. Besides, this author also did not consider any quantitative indicators of linkage performance. Thus, in this study has not used six indicators above for access AKIS linkage instead of borrowing them. This study based on creation of AKIS’ actors who are participants in data collection process. Because of the extension methods used in extension activities to indicate the linkage between extension and farmers is strong or weak. Thus, in table 2.1 (Nguyen Duy Hoan, 2007) summaries on traditional extension methods and participatory extension methods on theory aim related with extension methods to use in the practice of the fact to assess how on the linkage. Table 2.1: Summary on traditional extension methods and participatory extension methods
Some kinds of method Traditional Extension methods TOT: Transfer of technology Training by top-down communication Participatory Extension methods PAEM: Participatory Agricultural Extension Methods: group discussion, training & visit with discussion; discussion in the field; etc. PTD: Participatory Technology Development FFS: farmer field school Bottom up, interdisciplinary, systematic, two-way flow of information Co-operative action Stakeholders/facilitators Collaboration in facilitation, guidance, sharing, incentive The extension worker as a facilitator/seeker to give alternatives -The farmer in centre in participation process, with the role main actor, dicisiveness, own initiative in all of activities of production. - The farmer be appreciated as powerful capital for innovation/renovation The linkages and interaction among farmer, researchers, extension staff and others to enhancing learning exchange process together, sharing knowledge and information, integrated knowledge, triangle knowledge. High benefits of all of stakeholders.
Approaches Aim Key players The role of extension staff
The role of producers/farmers
Top down, one way flow of information Technology adoption Scientists/ extension agents The extension staff as a trainer/supporter follow top down. Setting the extensionist in centre/ less interaction among stakeholder The farmers be defined as backward, stupid
Less of learning process together, one-way knowledge.. The loss of indigenous knowledge and integrated knowledge of stakeholders.
-Quick, simple, low cost - Could be applied to solving big issue/problems of region/national such as poverty, hunger, disease pandemic, post-calamity, etc.
-Flexible, democratic, and having participation - Improving farmer ability and community capacity - Utilization all capitals/potential of producers and local site -High cost, long time - Narrow applied scale,
-Less of participation - Imposition, inflexible - Low effect in utilization of integrated capitals Applied conditions Apply for most of equal conditions areas, high investment areas, fairly economic Sources: Nguyen Duy Hoan, et al., 2007
Appropriate application for remote area, complex areas, weak economic areas, low investment, multivulnerability
Selection of study site
The site for this study is located in a remote area, mountainous district/commune/village where livelihoods of rural people are mostly based on agriculture. The study site belongs to world biosphere reserve area of Nghean 5 West . Thus, it is different from other sites, both in terms of agricultural production and management of valuable natural resources. Meanwhile, according to the chairman of Con Cuong district, the local farmers have faced many difficulties and challenges such as low labor’s productivity, low education, ethnic minority culture, complex topography, forest based living habits in past, poor infrastructure, high poverty rate, natural calamities, global competition, inflation, big gap between lowland and upland areas, and especially low access to information and knowledge for their life and production. Therefore, the site is relevant to be selected for a study on extension services and AKIS for understanding a special situation with some criteria such as an agricultural commune, having extension activities, and belonging to a mountainous district. The process of selecting the study sites went through several steps. First, it was based on experience and 6 opinions of the VU research group on upland areas and they suggested Con Cuong district. Second, personal contacts with local staff working in the District People Committee, and the District Extension Station were made. Their advice was requested as to which locations in their area met the above criteria. Using this information, the team members discussed and decided on YenKhe commune. A plan for preliminary visits to the pre-selected sites was then designed. Arrangements were made, including contacts with local staff to confirm the date and the length of visits. Lastly, after discussion with staff of YenKhe commune, Pha village was chosen for this study. The selected study site is Yen Khe commune (case of Pha village), Con Cuong district, Nghe An province, Viet Nam (Figure 1). Con Cuong is a high mountainous district located in the West of Nghe An province (Figure 1) with the altitude of about 850m. Yen Khe commune belongs to the buffer zone of Pu Mat National park with native forest and high bio-diversity. The natural area of the commune is 5,162 ha with 593 ha of cultivated land. Most people are agriculture-dependent with different fields on crops, livestock and forest. Pha village is one of nine villages of Yen Khe commune. It meets the selected criteria such as an agriculture- based livelihood, existing extension services, ethnic minority people, and is in the buffer zone of PuMat’s national park.
UNESCO’s recognition on world biosphere reserve area of Nghean West at July, 2007. VU research group: research group of Vinh University
Figure 3.1: Location of study site
Education, Research, Extension, Farmers , Supporters A d th
The AKIS linkages: Frequency, Participation, Farmer needs
Key determinants affecting on AKIS linkages
Agricultural Production: Rice, Forestry Tea, Livestock
Figure 3.2: Conceptual framework
The study is based on AKIS theory to examine how the linkages/interaction between and among actors in the AKIS through some indicators as frequency, participation and farmer’s needs; then to understand what the effects of these AKIS linkages are on agricultural production; and to identify what determinants affect these AKIS linkages. Four groups of production including rice, forestry, tea and livestock in study site were divided into two types of production as food security production and commercial production. From these two types of production, some cases outside of this study site will be analyzed to compare and to highlight research problems. To examine these linkages/synergy on how, what and why, the study is based on the AKIS approach because the linkages between major institutional actors in such systems are widely recognized as essential for an effective flow of technology and information between research, extension, and farmers (Peterson et al., 2001). The analysis of all relevant actors in an AKIS greatly helps one to understand the complex situation in agricultural development. The emphasis on networking is refreshing and very much needed in these times when the traditional role of extension services of transferring technologies from research to farmers seems to be outdated and inappropriate. The AKIS theory (FAO and WB, 2000; Rivera et al., 2005) covers all actors related to education, research, extension, supporters, and farmers involved in AKIS and their interaction within AKIS. However, this study has a focus on the role of main actors and their linkages within AKIS. As indicated in the literature review, this study builds on the six indicators of Philippines case reviewed by Ramizer (no date) as this is the first attempt to assess AKIS linkages. The indicators that were used to assess the linkages between actors in this study have been created by the local people who are actors of the AKIS themselves. Those indicators are based on participants’ (farmers, extensionists, educators, researchers) group discussions and interviews where they give criteria to assess the linkage/ interaction between/among actors . Their opinions are summarized as follows: - Indicators to determine the linkage are frequencies (visits, meetings, contacts by many way such as face to face, by phone, by mail, etc.), farmer needs and participation of actors (methods to use, the way to do in their work). Most of the actors in group discussions and interviews had approved three indicators (frequencies, farmer needs and participation) to assess AKIS linkage at Pha village. Included in there are frequencies between producers and actors in their linkages through annual crops of each production type or each stage of production process by the work such as meetings, guideline, contact or visit. The farmer needs were satisfied or not, actors’ contribution in farmers’ needs and the feedback from producers to research. The participation of stakeholders in their linkages through methods they used such as participatory method or traditional method, top-down method or bottom-up method . - Three types of linkages: top-down and bottom-up linkages; formal and informal linkages; external and internal linkages. - Weak linkages were divided into two types based on the types above such as weak one way linkage, weak two- way linkages and whereas strong linkage is also including the strong one-way linkage and the strong twoway linkage.
Rationale for applying qualitative methods
Qualitative methods allow gaining an empathic understanding of a complex social phenomenon and complexities of human experiences (Holliday, 2002). Qualitative research is a broad approach to the study of social phenomena; its various genres are naturalistic and interpretive, and they draw on multiple methods of inquiry (Marshall, & Rossman, 1999). Thus, based on secondary data and results from RRA in the pre7 fieldtrip , this study only used qualitative methods to deeply understand the current situation of AKIS
lack of strong linkages between extension –farmer-research-education in other sites for comparisons with weak linkages on consequences of these linkages),
linkages and to look at how the AKIS linkage and what factors affect on this. Moreover, this study conducted meetings with the participants during data collection process including various elements within AKIS at four main levels (farmer, extension, research, and education) and studied several complex linkage types (external linkages/internal linkages, top-down linkages/ bottom up linkages, pair-linkages/tri-linkages/tetra-linkages) as well as different types of production for different purposes. Thus, qualitative approach on AKIS research and to expand on the original AKIS approach for this case is rational and appropriate.
Secondary data: Theory on AKIS, Literature review
Group discussion: Mapping, matrix, SWOT Interview: 30hhs, 34 people Observation: field Meeting: farmers, local staff
Figure 3.3: Methodology framework
The study was comprehensively viewed through the participation of most of actors who are involved in the AKIS at the study site. The study combined primary data and secondary data from various sources through qualitative methods such as group discussions (tools used: mapping, SWOT, ranking matrix, timeline), individual interviews, meetings, and observation. In the field trip process, the data was cross-checked by observation, by different participants (belonging to the main four actors including farmers, extension, research, and education and through the involvement of state management officers). Lastly, based on the meeting of all of stakeholders to validate findings and seeking farmer’s comments as a feedback which aimed at achieving a triangulation of information. Firstly, a meeting was held with local authorities to examine general information for conducting/ designing details of the study plan and get characteristics of the study site for later analysis. Group discussions were used to understand the structure of AKIS (linkage and interaction among and between actors within AKIS) in the four types of agricultural production; they especially focused on the linkage between extension and other actors in the AKIS situation and reasons, as well as some suggestions, for better linkages within AKIS to achieve better agricultural production. At the beginning of field trip, three couple groups were organized for group discussion including poor/non-poor group, female/male group and minority/ majority group to
examine differences on AKIS between groups and to test difference in couples of groupmembers on the effectiveness of extension to them as well as their opinions on this issue. This indicated that virtually, there was no difference between the groups in their opinions. Thus in the main field trip, there was no focus on these three couple groups. After that, the study focused on the four production groups including rice production, forest production/protection, tea production and livestock production. The groups were randomly selected through the list of local farmers by the head of village. The four groups participated in group discussions and interviews. In addition, there were also participants selected for individual interviews and phone/fax interviews such as extension workers, researchers, educators, management officers, and mass media staff.
Data collection methods
Group discussions, PRA tools (information mapping, linkage identification matrix, individual interviews, meetings, phone/fax interviews) were combined with secondary data and observation and other tools/ methods were used in field work for data gathering (see summary in Table 3.1). Specially, participatory methods and tools played an important role in making a vivid picture with multi-participants for triangulating data to avoid researcher’s bias.
Table 3.1: Summary on data collection process
Methods/Tool used Group discussion: -General group: 9 participants (mapping, pair matrix, time line, SWOT) Collected data/purpose 1. General Information: 2. Identify main types of production 3. Events in agricultural production related to extension effectiveness 4. SWOT of village related to extension/production Strengths -To get qualified information from experience of some farmer in group discussion skill from PuMat project before (97-04). -Easy to raise the farmer voice (for good facilitator), to imagine and joy, save time, quickly. Two facilitators assist one another. Weakness -Based on the role of facilitators as skills, experiences, capacity -Less of deep information for some private or sensitive issue/problems
Group discussion: Rice/Tea/Forestry/Li vestock gr.(mapping, pair matrix, Venn diagram) 9 participants/group Interviews 30 hhs farmers in 4 types of production: 9 hhs on rice, 5 hhs on tea, 8 hhs on forestry, 8 hhs on livestock Interviews 34 people in 5 levels (village, commune, district, province, national)
1. Differences on AKIS between groups (linkage mapping) 2. Identify major actors in diffusion and contribution of extension ser. in information flow (pair matrix and Venn diagram) 3. Understand influence of AKIS linkages on diffusion of A.K.I.S (adoption, problems, effectiveness in production, farmer needs) 4. Identify the factors affecting on the ability and incentives for extension to make a contribution (pair matrix) -Supplement data from group discussion as effect of AKIS linkage in diffusion of innovation -Understand deeper why the AKIS linkages is weak, the weak extension, contribution of extension -Find some problem/solution for…
After understanding secondary data and discussing with commune officers, we decided to focus on 1 village cause of quite similar agricultural production of two villages.
-Understand deeper some issues -Easy to talk with interviewer, not to be affected by others
- cost of time and fund -only one interviewer ask (not assistant) -If the interviewer is lack of skill or not responsible in interviewing…(34 pe. In 5 level only I int.)
- Examine clearly the linkage between extension and others for agricultural production. - Identify the reason effecting these linkages and suggestion
Meeting Farmers/extension staff at village, commune, district
-Present some findings, seek farmer’s comment and validate of the findings -Suggestions/ for Extension to contribute better…(factors affecting on…)
-Through other village meeting to introduce purpose of this meeting/interest and duty as well as the role of facilitators. Those lead to high efficiency of meeting (member enjoy and relax to give their opinion, receive abundant information -Save time -Quickly data selection. -Plentiful data to analyse
-Some individual or group is difficult to give their voice (92 persons) -Management and facilitation in meeting process are more difficult than small group dis.
Phone/Fax interviews combine with secondary data review 2 farmers and 3 officers in the field of industry, agriculture and state management at provincial level Observations combined with other methods/tools
Some analyses on success or failure stories of extension and farmer related in the AKIS linkage
-Lack of participation of other stakeholders and observation by researcher in each case for cross-checking and multi-dimension picture -The exactness and objectiveness in secondary data
Observation used in field trip combined with other methods/tools used to cross-check and reinforce information, data
When combining observation with other method/tools, it was useful to obtain triangulation of data and avoid bias or loss some information. Example, observation in group discussion process to see interaction of participants together help facilitator to encourage or see constraints or find suitable solutions for each of event
Sometimes, the researchers ignore some detail that he (she) thinks it is unimportant. Sometimes, the researchers are absorbed or interesting on something so he (she) forgets the observation.
Sources: Nguyen Thi Phuong, 2007
Firstly, the study was based on group discussions (farmers) to get general information on this study site and , examining differences in the AKIS of various groups. Then, it focused on the four selected production groups (Tea, rice, livestock, and forestry) to understand the AKIS linkages: how, what and why. Secondly, the study used individual interviews (farmers, extension workers, researchers, educators, and other actors) to understand deeper the AKIS linkages (how, what and why), especially focusing on the linkages between extension services and other actors within AKIS. Thirdly, the study held meetings to validate previous findings (secondary data, group discussion and interview), seek participants’ comments and supplement some data/information. Lastly, phone/fax interviews were used in combination with secondary data review to supplement evidence on the linkages between extension services and other actors (how, what and why) from outside (other site). Data collection and observation were combined closely to cross-check and reinforce information. The tools used to identify the linkages/interaction between and among actors within AKIS are both information mapping and matrix for linkage identification. The purpose of these tools was to gain insight into information networks associated with each production group. In addition to tools of linkage matrix were used to identify how the linkages aimed, affirmed/cross checking of evidence in network mapping was used as well as reducing complexly when using mapping. These tools supplemented each other. Information mapping tool referred to a complex diagram and linkage identification matrix tool gave a straightforward overview. Information mapping tool allowed participants to have clear insight and avoided omitting any linkage or actors within complex AKIS, and the matrix tool made linkages/interaction between actors clearer. The process of using these tools came from bottom to top levels with the participation of farmers (grass root level), extension workers, researchers, educators, and other stakeholders involved in AKIS through group discussions and individual interviews. Participation of all actors in AKIS gave a multi-view with cross-checked information on their linkages and other linkages within the system. This made evidence convincing and unbiased. In addition, the conversations in individual interviews allowed a deeper understanding about the linkages/interaction within AKIS, effects and reasons for these.
Data analysis methods
The study used qualitative methods to analyze both secondary data and primary data to look at where extension services make a clear contribution to the flow of information within the AKIS and where it does not ,and to analyse factors affecting on the ability and incentives for the extension service to make a contribution. Secondary data were used in the literature review and combined with primary data for analysis of findings and discussion. Data are presented in the form of descriptive statistics, cited words, tables, figures, diagrams, interview boxes and charts. All helped making comparisons to discover differences among the four groups and among key actors. First, the study identifies AKIS linkages, describes them with the emphasis on key actors at grass-root level (farmer level), especially focusing on linkages between extension and other actors and analyzes the strong linkages and the weak linkages.Then, based on cause and effect analysis, the study aims at presenting consequences of these linkages and key factors affecting these linkages.
The study limitations
The limitations of the study are as follows: - The concept/theory on AKIS is new in Vietnam, so in pre-fieldtrip, the author must communicate the concepts to interviewers and assistants in the research team. In the field work process, the research must be repeatedly explained to be easily understood by participants. This took a lot of time, but this was useful for
author in understanding clearly this theory and the participants also understood the importance of better AKIS and AKIS linkages. - The study presents a description of the AKIS current situation (linkages, interaction between and among actors) with the focus on linkages between extension services and others and the key factors affecting on these AKIS linkages at the study site. The study design covered only one village belonging to one commune in the remote area of Con Cuong district where there is a lack of extension’s role as bridge between farmer and 8 research . Thus, this study used only qualitative methods. If the study design had used two sites with one of strong linkage and one of weak linkage (between extension and other actors in AKIS) for comparison, the study should be combined both qualitative and quantitative methods in data collection and analysis for a vivid picture and a clearly view. This could be realized in further research. The study found many useful and enlightening illustrations of the different kinds of AKIS in just a small area but the sample was too small to be able to generalize about how common these phenomena are, or to verifiably attribute many of the suspected causal factors for the weak functioning of the AKIS. That should be verified by further research in the future.
VandenBan and Hawkins, 1999 (reference section)
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
This chapter describes the general characteristics of the study site, structures of the AKIS, linkages among actors in AKIS, effects of those linkages on agriculture production and lastly identifies factors that influence those linkages. Four production types are described. Those are rice production, tea, forest and livestock production.
General characteristics of the study site
Yen Khe commune includes nine villages with about 98 percent of ethnic minority people. Their main livelihood is based on farm and very few non-farm activities. On farm activities include crop, livestock and forest production. Forest occupies more or less 70 percent of the total natural area of the commune. Major crops cultivated in this area are rice, cassava, bean, maize, tea and some kinds of vegetables. The Pha village is one of the well-off villages of Yen Khe commune. Major characteristics of the commune are presented in Table 4.1. It shows that a mixed ethnic minority and majority people could be influencing agricultural production. The majority people in this village migrated from lowland districts of Nghe An province after the 9 starvation in 1945. According the old , main causes of this famine were repression and exploitation of French colonialism, the feudal system and Japan fascism aggressor of Japan as well as a great epidemic on food crops in 1944. Thousands had died of hunger and survivors migrated to forest areas (to find natural foods from the forest) and to other areas. Thus, this site has both majority and minority people. The head of the cultural commune section said that a mixed cultural complement gave specific characteristics to this village. The traditional cultivation, customs and habits of minority and majority people have been mixed and influenced each other. Table 4.1 also shows some factors affecting access to information/knowledge about agriculture and extension activities/agricultural production. For the whole Yen Khe commune, as well as Pha village, more or less half of the households have television or radio and there is one loud speaker in each village and one cultural post office where people can come to read or borrow newspapers. However, most people in group discussions reflected that the communication means here are poor (newspaper, telephone, TV, radio, internet,) and that it lead to limited information as well as difficulties for farmers in accessing information and coordination with specialists for production. The ratio extension staff/ farmer indicated a very low number extensionists to cover their extension activities. This impedes on the contact with various farmers (poor/non poor, male/female, old/young, different household size, various demands), on participation as well as on the frequency of extension activities. It means that the ratio between extensionist and farmer is a factor to affect the linkage between extension and farmers. Table 4.1: Some characteristics of study site
Characteristics Radio, TV, newspaper, books, internet, telephone, etc. Yen Khe Commune - About 50-60% hhs having TV,radio. - One commune cultural post office (telephone, newspaper, books): few farmer used books and newspaper in this office (2-5 times/week) - About 5-10% having telephone - One agricultural unit (crop cultivation, livestock, forestry) - One commune extensionist Pha village -About 40-50% having TV, radio -Limited newspaper, internet, book - One loudspeaker - 3% hhs having telephone
Extensionist and agricultural office
- One village extensionist hold village head and farmer’s Union leader - two extenionists of Pumat’s project
The old who is a Kinh migrator come from lowland areas
Ratio extensionist/ farmer Natural land Area (ha) -On-farm land area (ha) - Home land (ha) - Non farm land (ha) - Tea area (ha) Forest Area: (ha) -Natural Forest area (ha) -production forest area (ha) Number of hhs Number of people Minority/ majority Types of production: Farm/non farm
- 1 commune and 1 village extensionist/ 4874 people. - 1 district extensionist/ two-three communes 5243,53 4950.34 44.59 293.19 186 3884.41 3479.69 796.5
(past, non activities) - 1 village extensionist/ 688 people
954 124 6.5 (300-500m2/hhs) 10 822 797 25
Farming for food security Farming for Livestock, tea, forestry, and others commercial sell Sources: Interviews and secondary data, 2007
1118 4874 -850 hhs in minority -On farm: 95% population based on agric. production as rice, tea, forestry, fruit, livestock, etc. -Some non farm: preliminary processing shop on tea and paper materials, rice husking, officer, etc. Rice, cassava
153 hhs 688 people - 72 hhs - Farm: 151 hhs on Rice , Livestock, Tea, Forest, Maize, Bean, gardening and others - Non farm: 2 hhs (car driver, rice husking) Rice (hybrid rice) Livestock, forestry, tea
According to results from the group discussions and first meetings combined with observation, there are some advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and threats on livelihoods in this village which are summarized in Table 4.2. Based on these characteristics, the farmers as well as extensionists, researchers and others could be analysed and used in activities aiming to promote advantages, remove disadvantages, use opportunities and prevent threats. In this study, some of this information could be combined with other data to understand or explain or discuss various issues and problems. Table 4.2: Summary Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats for agricultural production
Strengths: - 100% households having electricity - quite good irrigation for wet rice -40-50% households having TV and radio - close to national road number 7, far away from district center about 9-15km and commune center about 3-5km. - One cultural post office at commune (telephone, book, newspapers, ) -The enthusiasm of village officers (head of village - 7-9 progressive farmers who have good experience in agricultural production - Near to tea preliminary processing shop, and pulp processing shop (consumption sources of tea and paper material crops). - Hunger Escape of village farmers (one of the first village of this district). - the local farmer want to escape poverty and improving Weaknesses: - One village loudspeaker to communication information from head of village and other organizations - No internet connection - Right of forestry land used is non fit and not clear / low direct benefits from forest protection and too far from home land to management/ - Low education of farmers. Low labor capacity/skill/. - Large small farmers scale with diversity and complexity (demands, cultural, and others) contrary very few extensionists with many things to do - extreme geography / topography - few investment for production/agriculture
Opportunities: - Belong to Biosphere reservation area of the World, belong to PuMat’s national park (tourism, investment projects) - Investment for agriculture, farmers and rural in the near future of state when Vietnam join to WTO (hearing from radio, TV) - Labor exportation
Threats: - Calamity - Climate change - Soil erosion - environmental pollution - epidemic diseases - Inflation
Sources: Group discussion from general group and first meeting, 2007
In addition, through interviews, group discussions and observations, the data showed that there is diversification in agriculture production such as rice, maize, bean, tea, forest tree, cattle, poultry, cassava, and gardening. These were categorized into the four main production groups including hybrid rice, tea, forestry, and livestock (Appendix 3)and used in the study to understand their AKIS and especially linkages between extension and other actors within the AKIS.
The structure of the AKIS
As mentioned above, the study focuses on four main production types consists of the rice production, forestry production/protection, tea production, and livestock production. Four groups of households were randomly selected through the list of local farmers, which is provided by heads of villages. These four groups participated in group discussions and interviews of the field work. In addition, there were individual interviews, phone/fax interviews with extensionists, researchers, educators, management officers, and mass media staffs. The examining of the commune AKIS consisted of several steps. A first overall perspective describes the general structure of the AKIS focusing on the linkages/interaction between and among actors within AKIS. Then, all key actors were reviewed one by one including head of village, media, formal extension services, forestry office, Tea enterprise, and Pumat's project extension. At last the analysis gives a general view of linkage between key extension actors and others in AKIS with the interplay of all actors, their linkages and information flows examined.
4.2.1 General structure of the AKIS
Findings from group discussions and interviews on structure of AKIS in four types of production are summarized in Diagram 4.1 and Table 4.3. The complexity of AKIS diagrams (Diagrams 4.2) and simplicity of linkage matrix in Table 4.3 complement each other for clarity. The advantage and disadvantage of these two tools was mentioned earlier in the methodology chapter. Depending on each of production the structure of AKIS on these are specific with different actors involved and differences in the interaction/linkages among the actors. For instance, in the four production types, rice production has much more actors at the farmer level of AKIS than others, and few actors are involved at farmer level of AKIS in tea and livestock production. Meanwhile, the actors participating at top level of AKIS in forest protection were more than others at the same level.
This showed that the absence of education, the limitation of research, and the few participation of others 10 (input suppliers, marketers) in this site make the AKIS linkages partial . Meanwhile, based on AKIS theory, the FAO and WB (2000) considered the relationship and interaction of all of AKIS actors important to harness and to share knowledge and information from various sources to a “knowledge triangle” for a better farming and improve livelihood. Gharajedaghi (1999) argued that the ability of learning and sharing knowledge will make a cultural-society system continuously increase and be able to reach higher organization levels. This collective learning and knowledge sharing encourages re-designing themselves (actors involving) through continuous creativeness of new ways/methods on higher organization of order and complexity. Each of the actors with different background/view such as the farmers usually focus on practice, the researchers and educators normally focus on theories and a little bit of practice in a narrow context. All of them interact as well as influence an interplay of agricultural knowledge/information on research, education, extension and utilization for a better system. Therefore, absent or limited agricultural education, research and other actors in AKIS linkages hinders development, generation, diffusion and utilization of agricultural knowledge and information.
Diagram 4.1: Summary on the structure of AKIS at Yen Khe commune Sources: Summary result from field trip, 2007
The fully developed AKIS linkage consist of at least four main actors (farmers, extension, research, agricultural education) and other actors (input suppliers, marketers). The vacancy of any actors within a AKIS,is considered a partial AKIS.
Table 4.3: Linkage identification Matrix
Actors Ag. Education Unit
Ex. Staff at province
Ex. staff at district
Ext. staff at commune
Ex. staff at village
TV, Radi o
Progressiv e farmers
Ag. Educators. Researchers Extension staff at province Extension staff at district Extension staff at commune Ex. staff at village (village head) Agr. staff Te enterprise TV, Radio PuMat’s project Progressive farmers Farmers
+ + + ++ +++ + + + + +++
++ ++ + ++ ++ ++++ ++ +++
+ + +++ + + + + ++ ++ +++ +++ +++ ++ ++
++ + +
+ + (++++) ++ ++ +
+++ + +++ ++ ++++ + +++
Sources: Group discussion and Interview, 2007
Note: the symbol +++: strong linkage (one-way); ++ normal linkage; + weak linkage; and non linkage; ++++ strong linkages (two-way)
Fertilizer supplier China hybrid rice supplier
ARI Extension Centre HAU National Veterinary Re. Institute Ag. Colleges Ag. Universities
Extension station Internet, TV, Newspaper, Meeting Commune Agr. staff Village Head
Extension station Agr. Unit at district
TV, Radio Village Head
Plan Protection Station Farmer Union Rice Farmers Neighbors Family Village Veterinary
Diagram 4.2.1. The AKIS of Rice production
Central North Re. Institutes Other Institutes National Tea Re Institute
Diagram 4.2.2.The AKIS of livestock production
National Forestry Re. Institute Other A.colleges /Universities BaiPhu Tea PhuTho Food Tech. College Farmer in Pha village TV, Radio Nghe An Tea company National Tea Association Ag.Universiti Agr. Colleges Schools Village Head
Other Re. Institutes
Ecology Natural resource Re. Institutes Foreign Organizations
Pu Mat Na.Park
District Forestry TV, Radio
Forestry protection Farmers
Neighbor Extension station Tea processing shop Extension station Pu Mat project Forestry Production Farmers Village Head
Vi., Com., Dist., Pro. Institutions/Org
Farmer in neighbor village
Diagram 4.2.3. The AKIS of Tea production at two villages
Diagram 4.2.4. The AKIS of Forest protection and forest production
Legend: one-way arrow show mainly one way linkage, two-way arrow show mainly two way linkage From light color to bold color show levels from weak linkages to strong linkages
Diagram 4.2: The AKIS on four type of production (rice, forest, livestock and tea production) Sources: Group discussions and interviews from field trip, 2007
In order to determine how the linkages work between and among actors within AKIS, this study combined findings from group discussions (table of matrix, notes taken, and diagrams), individual interviews, and observation through indicators (participation, frequency, farmer needs) aimed to gain objective data. The tools used in group discussions and individual interviews were information mapping (diagram) and linkage identification matrix. Findings from interviews show that the AKIS linkages are mainly informal linkages such as the linkages between public extension services and farmers/researcher, the linkages between forest office and farmers. There are very few formal linkages by contract or commitments like the formal linkages between the tea enterprise and farmers/bank/tea research institute, the formal linkages among internal actors by research/education councils. At farmer level, the formal linkages through contracts between farmers and research/extension/buyers, contracts between private sectors and farmers, research councils, program committees, inter-disciplinary working group, working teams and the other are limited. Farmers said that they almost have never observed any contract between farmers and extension or research or education in this commune and also the same in this district. Although there are some commercial products such as a paper 11 material plant, tea, hybrid maize, and others in this commune, especially it is an existing pulp processing shop . But there is only one formal linkage by contract between tea farmers and the tea enterprise at a neighbor village and no contracts in this village (Table 4.3 and interviews). In the example of a contractual relationship, the tea enterprise will support tea farmers with inputs (fertilizer, variety and technology) and purchase of tea products, and farmers observe some principles such as adoption all of these input. Based on this contract, the coordination among them is rather close. Through formal linkages, the benefits and the roles/duties of all of stakeholders as well as participation of these actors is clearly in focus under the economy laws and their contribution for better/more effective one. Thus formal linkage through contract is a signal of effective and sustainable linkage. It is often with clear content and effective implementation of contract. Meanwhile, at AKIS top level, the formal linkages occasionally occur in internal linkages such as scientific council or education council. For example, before application of research results for farmers, they were usually passed and approved by scientific councils to take the opponents and comments. For another instance, when the education/training field wants to build a new curriculum in extension training, they prepared before through workshops with the education/training council. In these cases, integration among members make a strong power to “triangulate knowledge” for better working. In some exception cases, formal linkages appeared in external linkages such as the co-ordination between tea farmers and tea enterprise by their contract, working team of PuMat' project in their extension activities, interdisciplinary research group of Vinh University for poverty reduction programs and their rural development research, scientific council of HaNoi Agricultural University with participation of many researchers from both institutes and university (data from interview of researchers and educators). However, extension activities related to these formal linkages (of two universities) that do only in some their programs in the short time. It means that frequency of extension activities related these linkages are occasional. Besides, the evidence from secondary data (Extension plan, 2005, 2006, 2007) and interviews with researchers and educators indicated that in extension's annual plan, research's plan and education' plan, there is a lack of emphasis on linkages among actors in their activities in general and also at farm level. Each institution/office has an independent plan, with little interdisciplinary planning. This is a result of limited or absent formal linkage at farmer level and lack of diversity in linkages as well as limited sanction/discussion of multi-dimensions in planning/implementation of extension activities/ important events/problems. It means that there is a lack of participation of multi-stakeholders. Table 4.3 showed that the internal linkage is stronger than external linkages because the same level actors in one unit or those with the same function can collaborate more easily than with external actors. The interviewees indicated that the thinking of actors about the linkages was narrow (Appendix 9 and 11), this leads
The pulp processing shop as a mini preliminary processing factory
to weak practice in their work. The attitude of other actors is different, such as low education at grass root level and this can affect their coordination. There were some few strong linkages (one way) externally between and among: extensionists at province level and TV broadcasts, extension staff (district, commune and village) and PuMat’s project, Tea enterprise and farmers, and village head and farmers. There were also very few strong linkages (two way) including those between tea enterprise and village head, tea enterprise and progressive farmers, and PuMat’s project and farmers. For example, that educators, researchers, extensionists, agricultural staff and farmers have relationship among colleagues is rather common (+++). The farmers said that they usually exchange among farmers in the field, in meetings or any where, while exchanges between them and the extensionist (except village leader), or between them and researchers and educators occur rarely. The contribution of other farmers to production is negligible because they said that they also lack knowledge especially on finance/market/integrated information. However, following progressive farmers, some few farmers seek the extensionists or researchers to discuss their issues and problems related to production, so two-way information flows occurred. The reasons why internal linkages occurred more commonly than external linkages, was because internal actors have easier relation among themselves, they are face to face everyday while external actors are usually difficult to meet, or relationship among them still not yet set up, especially as the ratio between extensionists and farmers is too low (Table 4.1). In addition, the farmers also said that there are no information units or advice services in extension where farmers could receive, process and manage information, and that, together with the poor communication means, complicated geography and behaviors of actors is a factor. The findings also indicated that the methods in the linkages between actors within AKIS are usually topdown. The actors at the bottom level are under controls/ guidance/governance of actors in the top level. For example, the extension system from national, province, district, commune and village levels is governed top to down as well as the governance of the three levels of people’s committees (province, district, and commune). The information and feedback from grass root level to top level is through texts or documents, are one-way and lacks of cross-check/ valuation of upper actors. The relationship among them in this system is also mainly through informal linkages due to lack of contracts, working group, working councils and others. This linkage leads to limited satisfaction to farmer’s needs (Table 4.6), especially in commercial production. There seems to be a lack of change in administration reform, mechanism and accessing new approaches. Old behavior is maintained with conservatism and slackness(Mr.T said). Thus,the top-down linkages were constraining empowerment, integrated powers and multi-view of all of actors for better objective planning/implementation/evaluation. The above findings mean that the linkages between actors in the AKIS are weak. Additionally, this statement was asserted by some evidence from interviews, observations, and secondary data such as unsuitable agricultural education to labor market demands, few applied research studies and less participation of farmers in agricultural research. Suitable in education for field research but non-appropriate for agricultural production/state management: too many engineers on agricultural technique and few of integrated, interdisciplinary, less capacity working with team/group/communities of the graduates in agriculture. In curricula on training agricultural techniques, most universities/colleges focus deeper on speciality than on integrated knowledge or interdisciplinary approaches. Teaching methods for students are changing slowly, mainly one way impartation making graduates miss creative dynamics to do/work better in the field. (Curricula of universities/colleges on agriculture, 2007). The interviewees said that activities in extension, research and education still do not satisfy farmer’s needs and factual demands in upland areas In summary, YenKhe commune has an existing AKIS with the mainly function were diffusion, utilization of agricultural knowledge and information and very limited generation of knowledge for agricultural production. It means that the changing in agricultural technology as well as agricultural knowledge/information is slow. Absence of education and feeble research on agriculture at farmer level (grass root level), only partial linkages are made. The general linkages in four AKISs are maintaining weak linkages/interaction with mainly top-down-linkages, internal linkages, informal linkages and very few bottom-up/external/formal linkages.
These problems make sharing and learning in agricultural knowledge/information of all actors in AKIS trivial and contributes to the fact that many problems and farmer's demands in the production process are changing slowly and some to non-satisfaction (Table 4.6). Further effects are that research and education/training is inappropriate with the fact/the farmers’ needs and market oriented production is changing slowly in this context when Vietnam joined WTO and globalization. The results of this study show that the linkages among institutions are often weak, while the farmers’ linkages are even weaker which is similar with the statement of Rivera (2005). This makes production /extension/ research and education in agriculture ineffective.
4.2.2 The role of key actors within AKIS
Table 4.4 shows that there are six key actors in AKIS in the four production types and that they are divided into three groups including public sectors (village head, media, formal extension and forestry management offices), private sectors (Tea enterprise) and aid projects (PuMat’s project). There is a summary of their role in Appendix 6. Among them, the tea enterprise and forestry offices only focus on one type of production, others influencing extension activities of most production types. The data in Table 4.4 indicates that key actors involved in this AKIS lack of formal actors if research, education and supporters. The actors within AKIS have different abilities as well as advantages, disadvantages and different roles. According to farmers' remarks, the first important actor is the head of village in most of the production types, and the second important role is by media. Media’s roles is diffusion however, depends on the communication infrastructure and farmer’s attitude. With deep thinking, opposite opinions, ebullient debates, and interaction together under a facilitators’ role in group discussions and key interviews from fieldwork, each of the key actors play roles in the information flow within AKIS and agricultural production as follows: Head of village The head of village in this district usually is a local person who is elected by villagers for a five year term. The role of the village head in this study is based on the perspective of farmers, village head and key informants through group discussions, interviews and meetings in this commune, both in this village and the neighbor tea village. Various sources of data from these were cross-checked, supplemented, and validated (meeting). Thus, combining three these forms to collect data was rather relevant and useful for better data. In the interview and group discussion process, some opinions conflicted. For example, whether the village head had a role in providing and making indigenous knowledge for outsiders and insiders or not, this was not agreed by majority of participants. Only some participants discovered this role of village head through exchange of information/knowledge with him. After a critical discussion, the farmers agreed that the role of village head on providing and making indigenous knowledge for outsiders and insiders as a potential role in the future. The head of village played an intermediate role in extension activities from public extension services to farmers and conversely. Through village meetings/gatherings, field visits, his practice and contact with other farmers, he guided directly the production process based on extension services (commune and district levels), especially in hybrid rice/maize production and he also disseminated information on agricultural policies and others. However, there is lack of this role of village head in tea production in this village contrary to neighbor village. The tea farmers said that no advice for tea production had been given in along time. The difference in the role of village heads in the two villages on tea production could be explained by non contract and contract between tea farmers and the tea enterprise in production and consumption. In other words, tea farmers in the neighbor village imitated production changes by the tea farmers in this village, to improve their own tea production; they did not have a contract with the tea company. The effects of this difference was that tea farmers in the neighbor village felt secure to invest in tea production with stable return, and tea farmers in the study village met many difficulties in production (technology, fertilizer, variety) due to their lack of support from outside (Diagram 4.2). It means this is a most important formal linkage with clear benefits and duties of all stakeholders as a dynamic promotion on tea production. Besides, the head of the study village thought that there was no potential in organized large tea production in this village, so he did not advice or diffuse information to farmers or negotiate with the tea enterprise for a contract between them and farmers. The tea farmers in this study site on the other hand, believed that they could produce tea on small scale as long as they
did so in synergy with the neighbor village and if the tea enterprise aimed at making contracts for the company. They wanted the head of village to play the role of a leader and representative person in these contracts and provide synergy but the head of village still disagreed with them. The conflict between them remains. A question therefore is how to solve this problem and who can be facilitator or arbitrator to help them? From the farmer’s perspective, based on a group discussion, the head of village contributed to the information flow within AKIS (at present and at the future) by providing characteristics and conditions in the local area for extensionists such as information on the farmers’ needs, production problems, what need from research and extension, etc. determining what technology is useful and relevant with others for their production case sharing knowledge/information, and problems, and meet with local farmers providing indigenous knowledge and information to outsiders (potential) and making this for insiders in the necessary cases signing and managing contracts between farmers and outsiders (extension, research, consumers, input suppliers, etc.) with the role of being farmers’ representative (in the future)
In the above, providing characteristics of local area and indigenous knowledge from village head to outsiders seems to be unclear. It is rarely used in extension activities except some cases in PuMat's project extension. It means that sharing information is mainly one-way from top to down and there is a lack of making/using of indigenous knowledge for production. This argument was supplemented by other evidence through observation, combined with interviews when local farmers harvested rice in the rainy season in this field trip: they lack information/knowledge both of traditional and new ways to dry rice after harvesting and heaping up made rice decay (see picture 1). This issue illustrates constraining technology development as well as utilization 12 the "triangle knowledge" , and waste of integrated power from local people and outsiders for effective postharvest rice handling . Among the contributions, the most important roles of the head of village in the formal linkage between tea farmers and tea enterprise was through contracts as the representative of tea farmers in signing and managing contracts for better ones. This role was expressed rather clearly in the neighbor tea village making close coordination between farmers and the tea enterprise in the process of tea production/consumption. It may be a potential role in the future for this village not only in tea production, but also in other commercial production lines. Besides, a clear contribution of a village head in hybrid rice/maize production and unclear contribution of him in livestock and forestry protection/production were remarked on by local farmers and he also recognized this. According to interviewees including farmers and the village head, these contributions of the village head are due to close guidelines from upper offices (from province level to village level and from DARD to extension station). This means that there is a very strong political commitment for food security and hunger alleviation. These issues will be discussed in detail in the section of consequences of the linkages by successful stories and failure stories. Most of the village farmers in upland areas or remote areas trust the head of village because of his enthusiasm, responsibility in working and because local people elected him to lead their village (based on observation and interviews from this study and previous studies in remote areas). He is ready to help and to share with local farmers (most of farmer said so in group discussion and interview). Based on these advantages of the village head 13 and ineffective working of old village extensionist's , the extension station combined with local government and farmer union had agreed and decided that the village head hold on village extension staff and also Farmer Union’s leader began 2005 (interview, 2007). However, low capacities in the three functions and low
The knowledge triangle is integrated knowledge consisting multi-sides. This refer interaction, relationship involving three (or more) people/sides
Old village extensionist in the years of before 2005 did not work effectively due to difficulties including a lot of extension activities and low salary.
education level of the village head as well as poor working conditions are constraints for effective contribution in extension/ production and information flow within AKIS. Thus, the question remains on how to change this situation, not only in this study site but also elsewhere in upland districts. In summary, the most important role of the village head (according to village extensionist and Farmer Union’s leader) is to be representative for farmers in signing and managing contracts between tea farmers and the tea enterprise in their promising formal linkage. In addition, there seems to be a role for the village head in making, providing indigenous knowledge and feedback on farmers’ need to outsiders (extensionists, researchers, educators, input/out put sectors) and this is a potential role aiming at making better contribution of extension services. It means this is a most important formal linkage with clear benefits and duties of all stakeholders as a dynamic promotion on tea production. Besides, the head of the study village thought that there was no potential in organized large tea production in this village, so he did not advice or diffuse information to farmers or negotiate with the tea enterprise for a contract between them and farmers. The tea farmers in this study site on the other hand, believed that they could produce tea on small scale as long as they did so in synergy with the neighbor village and if the tea enterprise aimed at making contracts for the company. They wanted the head of village to play the role of a leader and representative person in these contracts and provide synergy but the head of village still disagreed with them. The conflict between them remains. A question therefore is how to solve this problem and who can be facilitator or arbitrator to help them? From the farmer’s perspective, based on a group discussion, the head of village contributed to the information flow within AKIS (at present and at the future) by providing characteristics and conditions in the local area for extensionists such as information on the farmers’ needs, production problems, what need from research and extension, etc. determining what technology is useful and relevant with others for their production case sharing knowledge/information, and problems, and meet with local farmers providing indigenous knowledge and information to outsiders (potential) and making this for insiders in the necessary cases signing and managing contracts between farmers and outsiders (extension, research, consumers, input suppliers, etc.) with the role of being farmers’ representative (in the future)
In the above, providing characteristics of local area and indigenous knowledge from village head to outsiders seems to be unclear. It is rarely used in extension activities except some cases in PuMat's project extension. It means that sharing information is mainly one-way from top to down and there is a lack of making/using of indigenous knowledge for production. This argument was supplemented by other evidence through observation, combined with interviews when local farmers harvested rice in the rainy season in this field trip: they lack information/knowledge both of traditional and new ways to dry rice after harvesting and heaping up made rice decay (see picture 1). This issue illustrates constraining technology development as well as utilization 14 the "triangle knowledge" , and waste of integrated power from local people and outsiders for effective postharvest rice handling . Among the contributions, the most important roles of the head of village in the formal linkage between tea farmers and tea enterprise was through contracts as the representative of tea farmers in signing and managing contracts for better ones. This role was expressed rather clearly in the neighbor tea village making close coordination between farmers and the tea enterprise in the process of tea production/consumption. It may be a potential role in the future for this village not only in tea production, but also in other commercial production lines. Besides, a clear contribution of a village head in hybrid rice/maize production and unclear contribution of him in livestock and forestry protection/production were remarked on by local farmers and he also recognized this. According to interviewees including farmers and the village head, these contributions of the
The knowledge triangle is integrated knowledge consisting multi-sides. This refer interaction, relationship involving three (or more) people/sides
village head are due to close guidelines from upper offices (from province level to village level and from DARD to extension station). This means that there is a very strong political commitment for food security and hunger alleviation. These issues will be discussed in detail in the section of consequences of the linkages by successful stories and failure stories. Most of the village farmers in upland areas or remote areas trust the head of village because of his enthusiasm, responsibility in working and because local people elected him to lead their village (based on observation and interviews from this study and previous studies in remote areas). He is ready to help and to share with local farmers (most of farmer said so in group discussion and interview). Based on these advantages of the village head 15 and ineffective working of old village extensionist's , the extension station combined with local government and farmer union had agreed and decided that the village head hold on village extension staff and also Farmer Union’s leader began 2005 (interview, 2007). However, low capacities in the three functions and low education level of the village head as well as poor working conditions are constraints for effective contribution in extension/ production and information flow within AKIS. Thus, the question remains on how to change this situation, not only in this study site but also elsewhere in upland districts. In summary, the most important role of the village head (according to village extensionist and Farmer Union’s leader) is to be representative for farmers in signing and managing contracts between tea farmers and the tea enterprise in their promising formal linkage. In addition, there seems to be a role for the village head in making, providing indigenous knowledge and feedback on farmers’ need to outsiders (extensionists, researchers, educators, input/out put sectors) and this is a potential role aiming at making better contribution of extension services. Media The results from observation and interviews show that communication media in this commune and this village including a loudspeaker for each village, radio and television in individual households, and a commune cultural post office (Table 4.2). They are important media for agricultural extension. The findings showed that loudspeakers as mass media in the center of village is used for meetings, training and announcements from village head and others related to production/the farmer life. This is useful for all farmers and seem to be communicated quickly and save time instead of gatherings or using telephones (there are only 3-5 telephone in this village). Farmers however complained that having only one obsolete loudspeaker with too small volume for the village size constrained accessing of information for distant farmers. The effect of this problem was that many distant farmers were absent in meetings or training, or lost information by loudspeaker. Thus poor mass media coverage, is one of the constraints in accessing information for farmers as well as in diffusing knowledge and information from others to farmers. Other main media in this site is TV and radio, with the role to communicate information on technology, policy, weather, market price, production models, and others. Most of the farmers said that mostly these communications are one way/ top-down and difficult to apply in practice. However, diversified information on agriculture and rural development from radio and TV is very important in helping farmers improving their knowledge. The forms of these communication are also diverse and includes some games, relax programs, and learning programs related to agricultural that are very exciting and attractive to farmers. They are easy to understand, remember and apply in practice. For instance, most of interviewees mentioned some attractive programs such as “the farmers’ competition”, “the farmers get rich”, “proficient extensionist”, “rural comedy”, and rural and agricultural films. The data from some farmer’s interviews indicated that information/ knowledge in agriculture is not enough and not plentiful and also that there is limited time to broadcast on both local television, national television and radio. However, contrary to this opinion, some farmers said that there was a lot of different types of information and knowledge related to agriculture/ rural and that the frequency of broadcast was suitable. This
Old village extensionist in the years of before 2005 did not work effectively due to difficulties including a lot of extension activities and low salary.
different judgments may reflect different access, for example different frequency to access information from TV and radio of farmers. Is it an effect of limited advice from experts on agriculture and rural issues to communicators as editors, broadcasters or due to limited linkages between experts in agriculture and mass media managers/staff and farmer’s needs? This seems correct according to the manager of local television and staff of provincial television. They agreed that they lack close synergy with specialists in agriculture/ rural development and limited times for broadcasting. Extension staff at province level also recognized that they sign contract with the media on some production models or transfers of technology. The reason for the lack of close synergy between media staff and specialist is ineffective mechanisms (planning, implementing, evaluating) in policy. Observations of their way to respond, indicates that they seem to be looking forward to better outsider links in their work. Conversely, national radio/television recently has changed the approach as they work more in synergy with many famous experts/specialists for their programs and they serve as a bridge between experts/specialists/researchers and farmers in some programs such as “farmers’ friend”, “the farmer get rich”, “the farmers in the world”. Through these programs, the farmers’ needs will be satisfied based on contacts between researchers in these program and farmers (telephone or mail); results from research will be diffused to farmers and the gap between research and the factual demands will be that scientists develop more based on the linkages between the researchers in program and other researchers. However, in this site farmers rarely contact them but they are interested in these programs and in some cases they apply in practice what they have heard from the programs. Therefore, weak synergy between mass media and agricultural related specialists, mass media and remote area farmers is constraining development in agricultural production and effective contribution of extension. According to the chairman of the district, each of the communes in this district have a cultural post office position with supporting information services (free and fee) through telephone, books, newspapers, journals, and internet for farmers. Establishing a cultural post office at commune level is a rural priority for remote areas in Vietnam, which was funded by VNPT (Vietnam Posts and Telecommunication group). In this, they supported free reading of books, newspapers, journals and free internet for farmers. But in this commune, the post officer said that internet was unconnected and there were very few customers who go there to search/access information from newspapers, journals, and books. This may be due to behaviors/attitudes of farmers, less attractiveness of the cultural post office or lack of impact/influence of extension on farmers’ behaviors/ attitudes. Thus, the question here is how to improve the attractiveness of the cultural post office at commune level for farmers. How to change this situation for better contribution of commune cultural post office in diffusion of information for farmers? Besides, the findings showed that an unconnected internet is a problem for local staff in their work to development in this site. The state has a policy on investing in information technology and communication means for rural regions and this gives priority to mountainous 16 areas. On this issue, the commune chairman and the web site said that VNPT invested in developing of information technology and cultural post office of commune with free books/ newspaper, free internet access (2 times/week), was training 10 trainees in the use of computers/ internet for the benefit of all rural areas. Thus, slow implementation of this policy was constraining accessing of information of local farmers not only for agricultural purposes, but for their life in general. There are also many useful websites on agriculture and 17 rural development for farmers with two –way flow of information and various information types , where the farmers and specialists could be exchanging information easily by email or online chat. The interview and observation results also show that very few books, magazine, and specialized journals were available in the commune cultural post office and seemed to be absent at household levels. Although the attitude of interviewees (by dialogues) on importance of reading (book, magazine, etc.) is high and according to the village head, there is at least one literate person in most of the households. Yet most of interviewees said
Example: http://www.nongthon.net, http://www.agroviet.gov.vn, http://www.mofa.gov.vn/quocte/NNG/12v.htm, http://www.hoinongdan.org.vn/, etc.
that they never or rarely read due to a lack of reading sources and reading habits. One researcher said that “Vietnamese Agriculture” and “Nowadays rural” are two useful recent newspapers for Vietnamese farmers with two-way flow of information between farmers and specialist, not to mention others but they were also absent in community and farmers households. Through observation of these two magazines, the columns of “farmers friend“ and “question and answer” where farmers and researchers could discuss by mail or phone, farmers’ needs would be easily satisfied and the gaps in research could be researched on more. From the above findings, poor communication infrastructure is one of the factors to limit the two-way linkages between farmers and specialists. There is constraint in accessing information for farmers and exchanging information among them. This affects development of agricultural research and agricultural production. In summary, important roles of mass media in providing facts were identified in the study with their contribution of information flow following mainly one-way from up to down (downward linkage) and potential role in information flow as a two way with upward linkages. However, poor media means and farmer’s attitude and habit relating to this was a constraint to accessing information for farmers as well as for the linkages between them and specialists or researchers. The media’s role will became very useful and better for agricultural development if they organized close synergy or linkages between researchers/specialists and farmers and others for production when participation of stakeholders improves. Especially in this site, media infrastructure needs to be invested relative to various information sources such as internet, books, magazines, TV, and loudspeaker, aiming at a more attractive farmer access. Although some programs on TV, radio, and special journals serve as a bridge between farmers and specialists in sharing/learning agricultural knowledge, most of the interviewees recognized that this role had not yet occurred in this site. They hope maybe that potential role will be improved in the near future. Formal Extension Services Formal extension services in this site were only public sector services (non private sectors). In other words, the extensionist’s activities at community level depends on extensionist upper guidance. There are three types of extension staff belonging to district, commune and village levels. The data from extensionist’s interviews and farmer’s interviews addressed some main roles of extension stations and extension staff as follows - Providing agricultural technology for producers through meetings, training courses, making models, experiments or directly givie close guidance based on the head of the village (village extensionist). - Collaboration with rural projects/programs related to extension activities of Pu Mat’s project. - Communication with input suppliers (seeds, fertilizer, pesticides) if extension activities concern subsidies (from State or other programs). - Co-ordination with researchers and other information sources to improve their knowledge and support to farmers. - Dissemination information on agricultural policy and directions on agricultural production following annual crop/harvest. - Recommendation on what crops or animal production to persue and how to follow: “take farmer’s hand, 18 show them how to ” In this, the role of the extension station (at district) is as a leader for commune and village extension level, where planning of extension of each crop, each year for each commune and where village extension levels report their plan. The extension staff as the leaders, trainers, supporter, communicators and advisors, depend on the context and extension activity. They rarely play the role of facilitators in extension activities or intermediaries aiming to encourage creative dynamic farmers or as a bridge between farmers and researchers, between farmers and marketeers/ input suppliers/ financial sources. However, most farmers and some of the extensionists through interviews understood extension staffs as supporters or donors or doctors in extension
The Vietnamese as « cam tay chi viec » mean that passive adoption of farmer from advice of extension staff.
activities and farmers who related to these extension activities as receivers or beneficiaries or patients. Additionally, some of extensionists thought of ethnic minority farmers as backward persons or stupids and they needed to “take farmers’ hand and show them what to do”. These their attitudes may lead to their extension activities being top down and lacking the participation of farmers. This restricts effective contribution of extension services in their activities due to “non triangle knowledge” as well as “non empowerment” or initiative for farmers in production. The extensionist’s interviewees recognized that this ineffective linkage of extension and research in providing feedback from farmers to research and in taking new/improved technology from research to farmers constrained effective/extension activities/ production. In these roles of formal extension services, there seems to be a lack of the co-ordination between formal extension organization and informal extension organizations in this site. In other words, there is lack of horizontal communication with the same level of extension. As an example, the co-ordination between the extension station and some of the mass organizations such as woman union, veteran union, and youth union (information from leaders of these organizations) seems limited. Meanwhile, as mentioned above in the literature review section, a pluralist extension system (various extension providers both of formal and informal extension) is existing in Vietnam with the trend of decentralization. Pluralism and decentralization itself require coordination and dialogue between actors. It makes a better consultation essential (Neuchatel group, 1999) as well as avoids overlap and waste of integrated power. The existing information/knowledge support for farmers by formal extension services is narrow, only focuses on technology of agricultural cultivation, not on market, finance, processing industry, storage, postharvest technology or non farm activities. It seems to be a success in production for food security rather than production for the market. They lack coordination with others such as marketers, financial sources, companies etc. in these fields. These constrains the effective contribution of extension services in agricultural production for the market (see details in 4.3. Effects of the AKIS linkages on agricultural production). Meanwhile, according to decree 13/CP(1993) and decree 56 (2005), extension activities should not only concentrate on agricultural technology on cultivation, but include information on market, storage post-harvest, processing industry and other non-farm, and it emphasizes the close linkages between extension and state managers, researchers, businessman and others. Thus, extension roles and functions in this study are not sufficient for production with non including broader to obey the decrees 13 and 56. Especially, the linkages between extension and others as well as the current situation in this will be the focus of section 4.2.3. The linkages between extension services and other actors in the AKIS of this thesis. Forest management offices Compared to formal extension services which focus on Agricultural production, forest management offices focus on forest protection. In interviews most of the farmers said that the actors related to forest production/protection included PuMat national park management Unit, Forest management office (kiem lam), the pulp processing shop and Pumat’s project. Among these however, Forest management offices consisting of PuMat National Park Management Unit and Forest management office seem to be influencing and most important in long term forest protection activities and PuMat’s project is very important and influencing on both orestry protection and production in the short-term (Table 4.4 and 4.5). In group discussions on key actors related to forest production, the farmers argued extremely regarding the pulp processing shop (buyers). They said this shop is very important in consumption of forest products but their influence on it is very limited due to low cost price when they compare the price with others. So, many farmers still do not sell pulp material and maintain forest trees in their fields (forest production for market). Finally, in the discussion, they decided that the pulp processing shop is not a determinant actor. They had a similar opinion on the role of forest management offices in this site as the forester/management officers had. It included: - Propagandizing the rule/law on forest protection as well as warning of forest fire and solutions on antiforest fire. Especially, PuMat National Park Management Unit (PNPMU) has important roles with important diffusion, education functions in forest protection for all (farmers by meetings, radio, loudspeaker and posters; for pupils by games, competition exams, posters; for tourists by tour guides; etc.)
- Treating violators on the forest law. - Sharing and learning experiences in forest protection with outsiders who are at the same hierarchical level such as forest management units in other districts or provinces. - PNPMU co-ordinates with other outsiders for forest research, tourism as well as study, training, and education. These co-ordinations are very diverse and rather useful, they have contributed in UNDP’s recognition on the world biosphere reserve area of Nghean West. This is actually significant for forest protection in general. According to participants (both farmers and foresters) in group discussions and interviews, the propagandizing and implementation of the rules/law of forest protection is quite good. It improves peoples’ attitude/awareness as well as their behavior in forest protection effectively. This information was cross-checked with district’ officers, provincial staffs and they agree on that when they compare with other regions such as ThanhHoa province and HaTinh province through information from radio and television. This was also acknowledged based on observation generally in this district. However, individual interviews with the purpose of understanding this issue deeply, show that forest protection in this district was better than before the beginning of the PuMat’s project and is not yet effective after ending PuMat’s project. They still saw exploiter’s appear in this site and smuggling of wood and wildlife still occurred, but most of both local farmers and foresters ignore that. The interviewees think that it seems that exploiters collude with some foresters (forest rangers) as well as some local farmers in their activities. Through conversation with some staff of PuMat’s National park management Unit, they recognized diffusing in theory of forest protection is very good but in co-ordination with communities and others in implementation of forest protection they are still not close. They only focus on diffusion of theory on forest protection such as policies, purpose and significance of forest protection, but they did not emphasize on implementation by local farmers in practice. This affects the efficiency of their role/task as well as forest protection. Therefore, in summary, the most important role of forest offices was only to focus on theory of diffusion of forest protection information, and they lack in their effective role on implementation and evaluation of forest protection. Combining theory and practice in diffusion and implementation of forest protection is needed. This means that the strong linkages between forest management offices and community/farmers are very important to understand ongoing status, and to resolving that for forest management in a good way. In other words, community-based forest management is necessary and needs to be improved with the aim of enhancing the role of stakeholders in forest protection. Private sectors Tea enterprise The name of the tea enterprise is the BaiPhu Tea enterprise. This tea enterprise is located about 10km from the study commune. They were an important private sector enterprise with good influence on agricultural production in general and on tea production in particular in this commune. They play an important role in commercial tea production at the commune level, especially with two neighbor villages through contracts between them with the representation of farmers (village head). They support the production process from input to output. Below follows the main role of the tea enterprise as follows: Contracting with tea farmers through head of village with the following main terms and conditions: - Providing technology on tea production and product criteria by this enterprise’s technicians - Supporting with tea variety and fertilizer based on the form of lending to pay by instalments, - Consuming (consumption) tea products of tea farmers for material of the tea industry. - Tea farmers undertake that they will follow the guidance of the tea enterprise on the production process from input to output and supply tea products to them. With these roles of the tea enterprise, the interviewees said that tea farmers enjoyed security of tea production. They did not worry about the quality of the variety and fertilizer, credit sources or product consumption sources. The tea enterprise was a place of order with tea farmers based on local authorities and
determining tea material area for processing plan. Based on interviews with farmers in the neighbor village and with staff of the tea enterprise, the findings show that contracts between tea producers and the tea enterprise had mutual benefits/ duties making tea production for the market quite a success. It means that formal linkage among them based on the contract is very significant and important for tea production. This type of formal linkage was a unique linkage at this commune that making an effective contribution of extension on production process from input to output. Aid project PuMat project extension PuMat’s project is an aid project for buffer zone of Pumat National park with the full name “Project of Social Forestry and Nature Conservation Project in Nghe An Province”. According to commune’s chairman, there are two recent projects including PuMat’s project (Forestry society and natural conservation project in Nghe an province) from 1997-2004 and Luxambua’ project (Agricultural Development project in the West of Nghe an province) from 2002-2007. Of these, the PuMat’s project has been related to extension activities and Luxambua’s project has not to avoid overlap (Luxambua’ project has trained for local authorities and supported on building the local road in this commune). The group discussion (Table 6, 7) indicated that the PuMat’s project is considered as a key actor related to AKIS on agricultural production. The role of PuMat’s extension in the stage of the ongoing project includes dissemination of forestry management/protection information (why, what and how); improving agricultural production by extension activities based on farmer’s needs on livestock, gardening, forest cultivation through support varieties, input, meeting and technology training; close co-ordination with authorities, public extension, farmers and other village/commune organization; establishing local extension network (commune and village) and enhancing their capacity as well as collaboration with other research institutes such as Vietnamese Institute for Social development Studies. Among these, the most important role is to provide support in participatory approach/methods for farmers and extension staff in planning and implementing in the field. In addition, the Pumat’s project also coordinated with other extension services such as mass organizations, agricultural units, radio or television broadcast, local authorities, local officers and input suppliers. Some old members of this project said that these linkages between the PuMat’s project and others were by contract. It means there are formal linkages between and among them in extension activities of this project. This may lead to success in extension activities of this project. However, according to data from individual interviews, after the closing of PuMat’s project (2004), the local extension networks also stopped because there was no funding for them or for extension activities. The data also showed that the effects in the long-term on forest protection and livestock/forest production for the market was reduced due to absence of market information, credit sources, and financial management information as well as lack of co-ordination with consumers. In other words, the very important role of extension in this project as mentioned above was maintaining it effectively in the short-term. The community and local authorities not make use of the advantages of this project for their extension activities. They said that there was not any specific benefit from this work and they themselves also got much more work to do from the project. Farmers as knowledge users Although in farmer’s discussion process, the farmers were not key actors in the AKIS as shown in Table 6, the farmers are important actors within AKIS as knowledge users (Table 7). The key role of farmers within AKIS both in fact and potentially includes Sharing/exchanging knowledge and information with other farmers in production Providing characteristics of their condition as well as of their needs and their problems to outsiders (extensionists or researchers or educators), especially regarding feedback on application of new technology Decision-making or problem solving or village/community planning
Among these, providing characteristics of their conditions, their needs and their problem to outsiders is a potential role also in the future. Because some farmers said that there is no information flow from below (grass root) to the top of AKIS and information flow mainly exists as downward linkages. The reason for that is a lack of outsiders such as researchers, educators or extensionists visiting them to investigate or to evaluate such information (except PuMat’s project extension) and also a lack of farmers’ initiative to visit them to exchange such information. The limitation of upward linkages from farmers to the top within AKIS leads to low change in agricultural production as well as in agricultural technology. This constrains the contribution of farmers themselves in extension activities for agricultural production. In this study site, the role of farmers in the neighbor village in tea production is a typical example of the learning process among them. The farmers in group discussions agreed that they learn/exchange information easier than with outsiders because of their simple language and their observations of reality (while in traditional training courses, they usually learn theory with many terminologies). Maybe based on this, the extension station has built models for their extension activities such as the VAC model, the farming model of some households and then diffused to others. The role of farmers in sharing/learning knowledge and information together could be called an internal linkage among them. The internal linkage among farmers in this site is rather strong on rice production and tea production (with neighbor village farmers), but it is weak in other types of production. It may be said that if there were clear purpose and effects of agricultural production (success in rice production for food security and in tea production for the market), internal linkages among farmers will be stronger. It helps them to a better contribution in extension activities and agricultural production. 19 There are four main elements to the diffusion of innovation consisting of the innovation, decision making process, its communication, in a social system and over a period of time. In which, its communication and a social system are two elements relate closely with farmers who are users, adopters. In other words, the characteristics and the role of farmers/community is an important element in process of diffusing. Thus, if the farmers/community have strong internal linkages among them, the contribution of extension will be effective. Table 4.4: The ranking on extension staff/organizations (scores from 1-5: influencing-influencing in existing AKIS, key actors, n=9)
Actors Tea producers Rice producers 4 2 2 1 2 4 1 1 4 2 2 1 1 2 1 1 Livestock producers 2 5 1 3 1 1 3 1 1 4 Forestry Producers/ protector
Formal Extension (extension at three levels: district,commune,village) PuMat'extension Woman Union Farmer Union Young Union Veteran Union Head of village Neighbors/ other farmers Own Farmily Forester/PuMat NP/ Forestry management office Tea enterprise in neighbor village Traders Input suppliers Media: TV, Radio
2 3 4 2
1 4 2
Sources: Group discussion, 2007
Table 4.5: The table of importance of extensionist/ extension agents within AKIS (Scores from very important to less important: 5-1)
Actors Tea Producers 5 4 2 3 2 2 5 5 2 2 5 3 4 3 Rice producers 5 4 2 3 2 2 5 4 2 2 3 4 3 Livestock producers 5 4 4 4 2 4 5 5 3 4 3 3 3 Forestry Producers/ protector 3 5 2 3 2 4 5 4 2 5 3 1 4 Sum
Formal Extension (extension station) PuMat'extension Woman Union Farmers Union Young Union Veteran Union Head of village Neighbors/ other farmers Own Family Forester/PuMat NP/ Forestry management office Tea enterprise in neighbor village Traders Input suppliers TV, Radio Sources: Group discussion, 2007
17 17 10 13 8 12 20 18 9 13 5 12 13
4.2.3 Linkages between extension services and other actors within AKIS
The linkages between extension services and other actors within AKIS have been mentioned in general in previous sections. However, in this section, these linkages will be discussed in details based on findings from interview, group discussion and secondary data. From the six key actors within AKIS in the part 4.2.2., the farmers gave three types of extension services including the public sector (formal extension services), private sector (informal extension services: tea enterprise), and aid project (PuMat’s project extension). Thus, this section will focus on the linkages of these three types of extension services with other actors within AKIS. Five parts will be mentioned: firstly, the internal linkages between and among extension services together; secondly, the linkages between extension services and farmers; thirdly, the linkages between these extension services and research/researchers; fourthly, the linkages between these extension services and educators; and lastly, the linkages between these extension services and others (input actors, output actors). The co-ordination between and among extension services together According to the chief of the extension station, within the formal extension service, tea enterprise and PuMat’s project extension, the linkage only occurred between formal extension services and PuMat’s project extension when this project was ongoing by contract. Then, extension staff were trained, and they participated in their extension activities with new approach (demand-extension, participatory extension methods). However, after the closing of this project, the participatory extension methods have rarely been used due to limited number of staff, large area, and complex methods (lost time for both farmers and extensionist). The extension station at district level was rather strong in one-way linkages and did not have contract with agricultural and rural development department, extension centre, television station, agricultural unit, crop protection unit, veterinary unit, commune extension or village extension in their extension activities. Especially, in the four types of production, top-down linkages or downward linkage are stronger than others
and rather clearly from top to down (district-commune-village). The commune extension mainly cooperated with the district extension station and village head. These linkages were mainly informal, excepting formal linkages in production guidance on hybrid rice and hybrid maize from top downwards through documents of the District People Committee, and excepting formal linkages between village extension (head) and the tea enterprise. Sometimes, the District People Committee established formal linkages through one interdisciplinary team including agent/units/offices above in emergency cases such as resolving matters after natural calamities or epidemics. All stakeholders above could exchange, share, learn information/knowledge together. The form of exchange of information can be based on reports, documents between extension station and extension centre and agricultural department, or sometimes they contact by telephone, mail, or fax. However, the chief of the extension station said that information in annual reports or periodic reports sent to upper levels are rarely cross checked by outsider’s evaluation. This leads to ineffective information flow and information may be biased, not objective. It means that triangulated knowledge/information was not used for agricultural plans/planning and this may lead to ineffective implementation in agricultural production. The deputy manager of the technical department of the tea enterprise said that the tea enterprise did not coordinate with the PuMat’s project or the extension station in their extension activities. They had contacts with PhuHo Tea Institute, and through contracts between the tea enterprise and village head in coordination with commune officers and tea farmers. In summary, the formal linkages occurred in coordination between PuMat’s project and formal extension services, between PuMat’s project, input suppliers and others, between village extension (head) and the tea enterprise, with mutual benefits and duties. This is an example of close/effectively linkages for extension activities as well as for agricultural production. Informal linkages existed between formal extension service (district, commune, and village) and other extension actors with mainly downward linkages. This restricts the contribution of extension services in their diffusion of effective AKIS and agricultural production. The linkages between extension services and farmers The findings from interviews and group discussions of this site showed that comparing of the three main extension services (formal extension service, tea enterprise and PuMat’s project extension), PuMat’s project extension had most close linkages with farmers. This is illustrated in Table 4.8 by using extension methods of 20 PuMat’s project extension, mainly used PAEM , formal extension services used TOT, and the tea enterprise used mainly TOT and few PAEM. This result is related to theory as Table 3.1 indicates, as the contribution of extension service in information flow is two way if they use participatory extension methods. The lack of participation of farmers in extension activities will constrain creative dynamic of farmers’ themselves as well as discover and utilitise local/indigenous knowledge in agricultural production. In other words, limited integration of all stakeholders including extensionists (outsiders) and farmers (insiders) in applying technology/knowledge in agricultural production constrains positive contribution of extension services for production. The findings also showed that the linkages between formal extension services and farmers are top-down linkages and rather loose. Because the frequency of contact between farmer and extension is low, extension activities do not meet farmer’s needs/demands and the extension methods/approaches are traditional, simple and lack participation (Tables 4.6 and 4.8). The data from farmers and extensionists also presented that they contact/meet together in necessary contexts such as training courses, building models, meetings in each of the crops/harvest or when there are hot problems in the production process, but they rarely contact anyone else that the extensionists and the head of village mentioned above. In most cases, the farmers go to meet the extensionists much more than extensionists visit the farmers/field, because there are few extensionists at district level. The farmers usually meet the head of village to exchange their issues/problems and then, if problems are difficult or hot, the head of village will bring this to the upper level to find solutions. Table 4.7 indicated that these feedbacks from farmers to extension /research are unusual and informal. Nobody collects/ investigates or evaluates the feedbacks/farmer’s problems in the production process with the aim of improving technology in
PAEM: Participatory Agricultural Extension Methods
formal perspectives. These limitations added to the insufficient/ not diverse information/knowledge related to agriculture from extension (absent information on input, credit and market) make extension ineffective to farmer’s needs in generally (see Appendix 6). The findings also show that each production line still faces many problems but over a long time these problems get solved slowly and the change is unclear. For instance, intensive cultivation of two crops/year of hybrid rice leads to soil exhaustion or hybrid rice variety recently has been impure, fertilizers are of low quality and there have been epidemics in poultry and cattle. Table 4.6: Information needs matrix (farmer’s needs)
Information Demands/needs Planning in production Financial management Credit sources Current situation Accessing only in Pumat’s project Never Few Magazine Meetings Loudspeaker Loudspeaker Loudspeaker Loudspeaker Contracts Market information: trend, demand, criteria Ecological and environmental information related to production High technologies: new varieties, new cultivation Organization on production Very low and absent Not clear Few Deficiency Meetings Magazine Loudspeaker Contracts Meeting Trainings Meetings Guidance Trainings Working Contracts Partly How information is offered Trainings Coverage Partly Total Partly
Input sources Market consumption sources
Few, low quality Few
Only for food security Inadequacy for market production Extremely limitation Rareness
Linkage with research and education in the field Sources: Interview and group discussion, 2007
In summary, the integration between extension services and farmers is a factor that affects contribution of extension services for effective implementation/ production. Although the linkages between Pumat’s project extension and farmers, between the tea enterprise and farmers are closer than others due to the use of participatory extension methods, it seems that the linkages between extension and farmers are still weak due to low frequency and less feedback from farmers to extension/research. Thus, why does this problem still remain? How can this situation change? Table 4.7: The types of feedback and frequency from farmers to extension/researchers
Investigating from extensionist/researcher Tea producer: N=14 -Never: 14 (100%) Rice producer: -Never: 14 (100%) Evaluating from outsiders or insiders Freely feedback of farmers to extension/research -sometimes: 4 -rarely: 9 -Never: 1 -common: 10
N=18 -Rarely: 6 -Never: 12 Forestry producer N=17 -sometimes: 12 -rarely: 4 -Never: 1 -Rarely: 8 -Never: 10
-sometimes: 5 -rarely: 3 -Never: -sometimes: 10 -rarely: 6 -Never: 1 -common: 5 -sometimes: 9 -rarely: 2 -Never: 1
-rarely: 7 -Never: 10
Livestock producers N=17 -rarely: 7 -Never: 10 Sources: Group discussion, 2007 -Never: 17
Table 4.8: Extension methods used on four kinds of production
Production Fomal Extension staff (district,comm une,village)
Indirect (Imitation from beside village) -Transfer of technology
PuMat project (1997-2004)
Head of village
Forester/ PuMatNP/ Forestry management office
Tea in this village Tea in neighbour village Rice
Indirect (Imitation from beside village) -Support tea variety, fertilizer and consumption - Mainly on traditional methods and few participatory methods.
Training for project's extensionist
Training for project's extensionist
Guidance in production with Tea Company 's Technician
- Transfer of technology, meeting - assistance on seed and fertilizer - directly, close guidance Training (transfer of technology) Training course/meeting (traditional method)
Training for project's extensionist
Directly guidance in production process. Feedback some problems from farmer to extension. Visit the field with farmer, discuss with farmers
- PAEM: Participatory Agricultural Extension Methods and support on variety PAEM: Participatory Agricultural Extension Methods: group discussion, training & visit with discussion; discussion in the field Support variety PAEM: Participatory Agricultural Extension Methods : Meeting, Discussion, Poster…
Dissemination most of policy, law
Dissemination most of policy, law. Visit and clear understanding of the difficulties of farmers
Dissemination most of policy, law. Understanding clear farmer's problems, characteristics of farmers, socioeconomy, culture, environment in village
Meeting, village radio, and enforcement of law. Combine with local school to train or games/ exams for pupil
Sources: Summary on Interview, extension reports, and Group discussion, 2007
The linkage between extension services and research/ researchers As mentioned, the limitation of agricultural research at this site in particular and in upland/remote area generally as well as feedback from farmers to research/researcher has negative effects on agricultural development. In this part, the linkages between extension services and research/researchers will be discussed in detail regarding the three extension services of formal extension service, tea enterprise and PuMat’s project extension According to the chief of the extension station, they were coordinated with research institutes/researchers to receive technology/knowledge on agriculture but did not participate in research to generate knowledge/innovation/technologies (except that they conducted experiments before diffusion) and they lack feedback from farmers regarding needs/problems that requires research. This relationship was not uncommon. When the extension station/ extensionist wants technologies or knowledge related to agriculture they contact researchers/ research institutes such as the Vietnam Agricultural Science Institute or the Agricultural Genetic Institute. This relationship is not close and it is informal (non contract) and one-way. Most extension staff said that they never participated with researchers in the field to generate or improve any technology in agriculture and farmers only participated with researchers in studies on sociology, biology or projects of rural development, not in agriculture. This means that the contribution of extension or farmers in research planning/ knowledge generation in agriculture was almost absent. An exception was that their experiments in agriculture in some crops/harvests were done before they diffused information for broader production. In this case, the extensionist plays the role of a researcher to test appropriate technology for their context. The absence of such research collaboration restricts development of agricultural technology/knowledge. According to the deputy technical manager of the tea enterprise, their coordination with PhuHo Tea Institute is rather close by contract. This coordination not only focused on received technology in tea production, but also in exchanging and developing this technology, especially on tea varieties with high quality and the tea cultivation process. Sometimes, the researchers from this institute came to visit the tea fields for their research, and sometimes the technician of the tea enterprise brought back feedback or problems from tea farmers to tea researchers. In the interviews tea farmers said that the feedback from them to the tea enterprise/ tea researchers through the village head or technician of tea enterprise was slow for solutions. For example, disease and insects in a tea crop or anti-drought varieties are two main issues for a long time; only now are they working on solutions and these are not effective. Thus, although coordination between the technical department of the tea enterprise and the tea institute is rather close it is not yet effective. Why is that? This will be discussed in a later section. The technician of the tea enterprise had the opinion that the potential for better linkage between the tea enterprise and the tea institute will change positively as Vietnam has joined WTO. The data from interviews with old staff members of PuMat’s project showed that the linkages between PuMat’s project extension and research/researchers occurred during project time from 1997-2004, but by research institutes in the field of sociology and ethnology, not in agriculture. They exchanged issues related to extension activities of this project. This was useful for extension activities regarding social aspects that related to theory of diffusion of innovations. But they did not include technology actors and activities to develop agricultural technology more as formal extension services of Vietnam do. Thus, the results of this coordination between the Pumat’s project and the sociology/ ethnology research institute may be applied to extension activities as well as other rural development actions in the future. In general, in coordination between the three extension services and research/researchers, the information flow is mainly top down (from research to extension or farmers), and rarely from the bottom up because of their work behavior. This means that extension brings new technology/knowledge from research to farmers and stops there and this is a constraint for improving technology/knowledge. Traditionally it is believed that sender control makes for more effective persuasion, while receiver control (feedback) is a more effective learning process (Wilbur, 1973). Feedback is a cardinal element for effective organizational functioning. It plays a determinative role in how farmers perceive that technological innovation is disseminated to them to reduce risk in production. Feedback from farmers to extension/research in this study occurs informally by
communication between extension and farmers, and only rarely does it occur formally. The difference between research in agriculture and farmer’s production is that researchers base their studies on academic theory, reasoning and limited practice or practice in a narrow context in the short-time, while the farmers usually only practice in larger contexts, for a long-time and are affected by many factors. Thus, technology/innovation cannot only come from research/ experiments to farmers/practice and end there, but it must be improved through practice in the field as well as by feedback from there. Yadav(non date)argued that weak linkages between farmer, extension and researcher mean that the farmers are not included in the planning of the innovation, despite the fact they are the-end users. This argument may be similar true to this case. Based on interviews with extensionists and researchers, visits to farmers by both researchers and extension staff were uncommon, especially in the upland area because of difficult geography, limited extension staff and funding. However, grass-root extension staff usually visit the field and farmers but give limited information feedback on problems to upper extensionists or researchers. Most interviewees remarked on the need that farmers themselves should be involved in problem identification and the extension staff and researchers should selected it. All three, extensionists, researchers and farmers recognized that there was no joint investigation of problems or evaluation of activities and no joint listing of priorities. Therefore, there was a feeling of lack of co-ordination between research and extension. Meanwhile, Vanden Ban & Hawkins (1999) noted that the role of extension as a bridge between farmers and research aims at improving technology and satisfying farmer’s need/ the fact’s demands. Thus, a lack of this role of extension in their activities is a constraint on the change of technology and better production. In other words, the ineffective linkage between extension and research in bringing feedback from farmers to research and disseminating to farmers improved/appropriated technologies from research, constrains effective extension activities/production and agricultural development. The question it raises is what are the reasons for these ineffective linkages? And how can this situation be changed in the study site in particular and in the Vietnam context in general? There are many factors affecting on these linkages which will be discussed later. In summary, of the three extension services above, the tea enterprise has closest linkage and most promising collaboration with research/ researchers through the contracts and co-ordination in generation, diffusion and utilization of knowledge and information on tea. The aid project as PuMat’s project had also close linkage with research on sociology and ethnology in the short-time. But the linkages between formal extension service and research/researcher were mainly one way and rather loosely. The ineffective linkages between extension and research constrain the development of technology/knowledge as well as positive contribution of extension to agricultural production. Thus, this situation needs to be improved. The linkage between extension and educators Interviews with extensionists and educators indicated that there had been no specific education activities linking extension and research-education-farmers although this situation was beginning to change recently. There is a lack of special extensionists in fact (none of the extension staff graduated with agricultural speciality, with the profession code of extension is yet in the list of the civil servant system at Vietnam). Additionally, many new approaches in extension are just there in theory but have not been applied in practice (participatory extension methods, AKIS, market-demand extension, etc.). According to one extension staff, participatory extension methods have been applied in PuMat’s project process and the extensionist at study site was trained by this project, not by any education institution. Linkages between extension and education seem limited. Meanwhile, educators’ duties/functions both in researching and training/teaching, is to enhance knowledge/practice of facts through research, not only in labs and experiment farms, but in the field. They should combine academic/theory knowledge with practical knowledge in their teaching and their training/education in agriculture must be appropriate to reality and to labor market’s demands. Therefore one can question what the reasons for this situation are and how can it be changed? So far this study illustrates the absence of agricultural education in the synergy of research-educationextension-farmers and that ineffective linkages between extension and research are constraining generation,
diffusion and utilization of knowledge/information in agriculture for better agricultural production. This argument is similar to that of authors such as Yadav(nondate)who argued that farmers are not included in the planning of innovations, despite the fact they are the end users and this is due to these weak linkages. According to Growder & Anderson (1996), others authors including Engel, 1990; Merrill-Sands & Kaimowitz, 1989; Ortiz, 1990 and Roling, 1990 also stated that integrating research, education and extension can improve the overall performance of agricultural technology systems. The linkages between extension and others (input suppliers and marketers) The data from group discussions and interviews show the input/output actors who are related to the three main extension services (formal extension service, Pumat’s project extension, and tea enterprise,) including fertilizer suppliers, variety agents, marketers and bank/ credit sources. Among these the formal extension service and PuMat’s project extension worked as a subsidy extension services. Both of them only linked with fertilizer suppliers and seed variety agents in their extension activities; but they were not coordinated with market actors. Remaining tea enterprise coordinated with all of these input and market actors for their extension activities such as the bank, fertilizer suppliers, and the tea research institute for tea varieties. According to the commune extensionist, in 2005-2006 (after the closing of PuMat’s project), formal 21 extension service implemented a program of “Training for all farmers under 50 year olds” in this commune. They only coordinated with agricultural units to provide training technology for farmers on some objects of crops or livestock that the farmer’s need, but they did not mention input or market actors in their linkages with farmers for these objects production. Mrs. T –one exetensionist remarked that the communication of this training was one way, did not use participatory methods; as for trainees who received information from this way they got a little bit of money (about five to ten thousand per one) when they attended this course. Most of the farmers, in group discussions, assessed this program in this site as not effective. It means that the contribution of formal extension services in this program was ineffective in diffusion of innovation because most farmers lack of funding to invest in production, have limited access to finance (both source and management), difficulties in reaching a market for their products, and they forgot the information/knowledge they received in this training course (Appendix 10). The extension staff (interviews) also conceded this argument. The farmers’ need in commercial production includes input investment and a consumption market. They meet difficulties on that if factors mentioned above are not resolved and, extension activities also did not satisfy their demand. Thus, this subsidy extension activity seems to be wasteful, not effective and not a demand-driven one in this case. Hoang Xuan Thanh, et al.(2006) also concluded the same. Meanwhile, in the late 1990s, a program of hybrid rice application in this district had a lesson on minority farmers needs. The state supported varieties, fertilizer, pesticide, and technology on hybrid rice production, priority over farmers in extremely difficult communes and remote areas. The formal extension service had coordinated with input suppliers on the extension program in hybrid rice production for food security and poverty reduction to support for farmers in the subsidy program of the state. This brought noticeable achievement in hybrid rice production not only in this site, but for Nghe An province (Canh, 2005). Nevertheless, this important lesson did not lead to change or better application of training programs following direction number 5 in a good way. If the formal extension service not only was coordinated with others in diffusion technology, but they linked closely with credit sources, input suppliers as well as market actors to help the farmers in their extension activities, the effect on agricultural production will be better. Because the farmers said that they usually worry about price and quality of fertilizer, pesticides as well as varieties in the free market, and some bad effect on their production such as bad fertilizer quality, and high cost. Thus, it is necessary that management of inputs for farmers is through formal linkages based on contract. Similarly, through group discussions (farmers) and interviews with an old staff member of this project, the data showed that PuMat’s project extension also had coordinated closely with input suppliers based on contract in supplying variety and fertilizer for farmers on forest production, livestock production, and gardening. This
This program as a subsidy policy of direction 05 of Nghean province people committee on training for all farmers covered province who under 50 year old (see policy background section)
helped the farmers receive the correct and high quality of varieties and fertilizers for their production (farmers’ discussion). However, these linkages occurred only for a short-time when this project was ongoing and they did not include question of markets for farmer for livestock products or forest products. Therefore, formal extension services or others could perhaps fill this gap. It seems to be understood that these difficulties of a consumption market of agricultural products as well as seeking the potential of tea production in this commune and satisfying market demand on tea consumption, 22 the tea enterprise implemented of the decree 80 of the state . They opened the area of tea production and investment in this through contracts with local farmers. They also contracted with the bank, the fertilizer suppliers, and PhuHo tea research institute for support to tea production in this site. Especially, the linkages between the tea enterprise and Phu Ho tea research institute were close in the first stage. This looks as a promising signal for the current context of globalization when Vietnam is a member of WTO. The formal extension service and PuMat’s project extension only linked with input suppliers for their subsidy program or civil society, but they did not mention output suppliers or linkage with input suppliers in the longterm. This constrains development of agricultural production in general and diffusion of innovation in particular. The subsidy extension perhaps satisfied farmer’s need on production for food security and not satisfied farmer’s demand on production for market. As for the tea enterprise, the formal linkages by contract with input suppliers and output suppliers (themselves) and farmers brought direct effects to tea production as well as promises for a better future.
Effects of AKIS linkages on agricultural production
In this section, there are two parts including failure stories and successful stories in agricultural production related to AKIS linkages. The terms of “success” and “failure” are within confines of achievements in production recently. For example, in this site, the purpose of rice production is for food security and poverty reduction; the purposes of tea production, livestock and forest production are for the market/commerce. Through group discussions with farmers, interviews with different actors and the meeting at the commune, the findings at this site and some in other sites will be shown and analyzed in this section
4.3.1 The failure stories
Livestock production Through interviews, group discussions with livestock producers, and village annual reports, the findings indicated some recent failure cases in livestock production They said that the reasons for the failure was that extension did not meet farmers’ need in this production line. They mentioned limited access to funding (finance: financial management and credit sources), high technology and problems with consumption market (low cost, difficult to sell), especially they met difficulties in accessing funds for investment of this production. Both farmers and formal extension services lacked coordination with input suppliers and marketers in livestock production. Meanwhile, when the PuMat’s project was ongoing (1997-2004), they supported producers with technology and finance (to buy input: varieties of cattle, piggery). In Figure 4.1, the data show the quantity of main livestock such as pig, cow, buffalo and poultry which increased after 2000 and that decreased after 2005. It illustrates the impact of the PuMat’s project on local farmers in this production line in the short time. After the end of this project, the quantity of livestock decreased due to the limitation of access to finance and market of producers. These limitations could be due to the lack of linkages between producers
Decree 80 of state about contract between businessman and farmers in agricultural production/consumption and the
linkage among some of actors (researchers-businessman-farmers-extensionist-banks..etc) together.
and credit sources, between producers and buyers, as well as formal extension services not linking with input suppliers (credit sources, variety and feed suppliers) and market actors in their extension activities (Diagram 4.2.2.) Other contributing factors could be the lack of financial management in the content extension provided to farmers, as well as the lack of information to farmers on saving, financial planning and reproductive planning. The farmers said that the extension services had not satisfied their need (Table 4.6) regarding consumption markets, credit sources, and financial management. The extensionists at village, commune and district also agreed that they only coordinated with other actors in technology diffusion (training, meeting), but they lack coordination with marketers and credit sources in their extension activities, and they did not diffuse information on financial management or production planning for farmers. Therefore, recent failures in livestock production can be because of lack of linkages between producers and credit sources, producers and marketers, as well as limitations of knowledge in planning and financial management of producers.
Quantity 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Year
Cow and buffalo (heads) Poultry ( 10 heads)
Figure 4.1: The trend on quantity of livestock Sources: Village annual reports, 2007
Forest production In the field of forestry, the interviewees (farmers, foresters) indicated that they link with other actors to protect forests rather than to produce forests. The extensionists recognized that they only focus on forest technology such as technique of forest cultivation, but they did not emphasize forest protection and consumption market of forest products. The staff of the forest management unit focused on forest protection, but did not mention forest production. Neither of these units is still linked with market sources and the actors related to the market (demand, trend, cost). Although this commune has an existing pulp processing shop to use forest material for paper industry, farmers still complained of the failure of forest production manifested by low price. According to the village head, over 50 percent of the farmers were keeping forest trees for paper and did not sell to this shop due to very low prices and lack of formal linkages between producers and this shop. One staff of this pulp processing shop said that they bought materials at low cost because the paper industry related to this shop could be not successful in the market. Meanwhile, the forest producers knew only
this one consumption source currently. The farmers in the forest production group wanted the state to buy the products from them as well as better market price management, and inflation control. The government encouraged the companies to collaborate with farmers by contract to extend production and to consume products through decree 80/CP, but most staff of this processing shop did not know this policy. Thus the low output price of this product constrained development of forest production and the potential of improving income for local farmers. In other words, lack of formal linkages between farmers and marketers constrained development of forest production. Although there is an existing pulp processing shop in this commune, farmers still meet problems of paper material consumption in forest production, for example low price, due to the absence of formal linkage between farmers and this shop. However, recently, the Innovgreen Corp. Ltd has signed a contract with Vinh University (October, 2007) on education, research and diffusion related on forest production and other stakeholders such as government, and local communities in the upland of Nghe An province to seek win-win solutions that bring mutual benefits to the corporation, communities and the environment. In this, there is commitment from Vinh University to educate/train corporation staff, forest farmers, to research on forestry and to diffuse on forest technology, and commitment from Innovgreen Corp.Ltd to invest funding for these activities such as scholarship for student, funding and land area for research and extension. These recent formal linkages are promising for a potentially better near future. Commercial agricultural production in other site Some districts such as Thanh Chuong and Anh Son in Nghe An province had tea production in which a 23 breach of contract of some tea farmers occured due to low price. Nghe An Tea Company has formal linkage by contract with tea producers as a production area of tea material for them. Yet some of the tea farmers sell tea products to other private tea processing shops with higher cost and not to implement the content of their signed contract. The Tea Company bought lower price of tea material and that influenced the tea farmer’s benefit and it has led to their breach of contract. The breach of contract of some tea farmers led to a lack of material for the tea industry of Nghe An tea company and the effect that they also breached contracts with others, especially external markets in export contracts. Some of the state officers said that the tea farmers in this case could be punished by the arbitrator. However, this situation was not yet solved because there was nobody as arbitrator to judge up to now. The responsibility of these farmers on this problem was not resolved. Nghe An tea company did not yet have any solution for this status or were prepared to improve the price when buying tea material from producers. This failure of the Tea Company on tea consumption is due to the rigidity of the tea price policy in the contract implementation process between them and farmers. From the above discussion, benefits and duties/ responsibilities of stakeholders in this case are the factors affecting the quality of this formal linkage. Some similar cases of contract breach occurred with producers at Anh Son sugar-cane company in Nghe An province about five years ago, for the same reason. That time, this company changed the policy of their production strategy to broaden the consumption market of sugar by marketing campaigns and contract of sugar-cane production/ consumption with farmers as well as improved quality and decreased the cost of sugar products. The formal linkage between this company and sugar-cane producers by new contract as a standby plan was established with support on variety, fertilizer, and technology for the farmers and consumption of this product is at a right price. Thus, a new plan/strategy or standby plan of this Sugar-cane Company on this problem improved the quality of their formal linkage. Besides forest protection in upland areas, the forest production is one of the activities to improve farmers’ income. However, other communes in this district also lacked participation of marketers in forest production which led to restricted development of this production. In other words, lack of formal linkages through contract between forest producers and marketers is constraining development of forest production and forestation.
This is contract between Nghe An tea company and farmers in tea production and tea consumption.
In summary, the formal linkages by contract between producers and marketers are needed and useful for stakeholders. This encourages generation, diffusion and utilization of better knowledge/ information for agricultural production and is a driving force improving on industry of processing and commerce. However, the quality of these formal linkages is noteworthy. Some factors affecting the quality of this linkage are benefits and duties/responsibility of stakeholders as well as planning, plan implementation, and a standby plan.
4.3.2 The successful stories
In this section, findings from interviews will be showed in hybrid rice production and tea production in this commune and other commercial agricultural production in the other site are example of successful stories related to the linkage between producers and others actors in their activities (agricultural production). Hybrid rice production Figure 1 shows that the hybrid rice program began in 1995. The change over time of yield and area of the hybrid rice is illustrated in Figure 2 with increasing tendency. In addition, the result indicated that before 2000 the production was one crop/ year and after 2000 it increased to two crops/year. Thus, the increase of rice yield, rice area and number of crop/year amounts to a production increase over time. This change from 2000 illustrates the effect of extension and their important contribution annually to hybrid rice production. The findings indicated that this is from direct guidelines from up to down of formal extension service, building a “model” for each crop. It shows high adoption of farmers and investment in this production line. The investment in hybrid rice production included irrigation works in 2000 (Figure 1), some new varieties with 24 high yield were changed, appropriate fertilizer for rice cultivation was provided and subsidy on input for farmers was provided. It seems to satisfy the farmers’ needs including irrigation, fertilizer, variety (the local farmers are very poor, lack funding for production while the price of imported fertilizer and variety is high). The formal extension service coordinated with the fertilizer company to borrow fertilizers for farmers use and they also contacted rice variety suppliers to support farmers. These linkages are formal linkages based on contract. Perhaps these formal linkages are a good way to support input for rice production, because the farmers said that the hybrid rice varieties and the fertilizer they received ensured good quality. However, most farmers said that allocation of hybrid rice variety and fertilizer for farmers was unequal and wasteful, they received partly but not enough for cultivation. They mustly bought the remainder of these inputs at high cost due to import of both fertilizers and hybrid rice variety from China. A question is why they did not use domestic hybrid rice varieties? An examination of this issue with farmers, extensionists and researchers, showed that hybrid rice varieties made in Vietnam usually have higher cost price than the varieties made in China when the farmers buy small amount. The researchers make hybrid rice varieties only for the lowland area on order from producers (or extensionists) on large scale (area). For example, some agricultural engineers signed a contract with researchers of Hanoi Agricultural University to buy technique/technology to make hybrid rice varieties for intensive cultivation. Then they produced this variety and worked as extensionists to diffuse this to farmers in Thai Binh province through contracts between them and farmers. During the implementation process three of them (farmers, extensionists and researchers) developed this technology further. These formal linkages (between these engineers and researchers, between these engineers and farmers) made a good contribution and gave mutual benefits to researchers, extensionists (these engineers) and farmers in rice production. Therefore, the results of this study on the absence of research or lack of the linkages between researchers and farmers (extensionist) in upland areas maybe is a reason constraining great interest of technology/research for producers. The farmers in group discussions and interviews in this commune agreed that thanks to the hybrid rice program, most of them have enough rice to escape hunger and poverty. The findings from interviews with district officers and extensionists (in district, commune and village levels) also showed that the hybrid rice program of the formal extension service is the most successful case compared to other extension activities such
The mode of hybrid rice production with intensive cultivation requires more investing of inputs, this is different with traditional rice cultivation.
as gardening, livestock, and others. It contributes importantly to the achievement in poverty reduction in this commune, this district and in general in Nghe An province. Nguyen Tho Canh (2005), and Tong Khiem (2005)also recognized this achievement and the important role of formal extension service in that.
Quantity 8.0 7.0 6.0 5.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 0.0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Year
Hybrid rice yield (ton/ha)
Hybrid rice area (10 ha/year)
Figure 4.2: The change of hybrid rice yield and area Sources: Village annual reports, 2007
Tea production in neighbor village The results of this study in Pha village on successes among the four production lines (rice, tea, livestock and forest) showed that only rice production was rather successful, and others failed. Although tea production in this village was not yet successful due to lack of coordination between producers and extension/ input suppliers/ marketers/ research, the success in tea production in the neighbor village will be discussed in this part as a lesson learnt on the importance of formal linkages between tea producers and tea enterprises. As mentioned in section of 4.2.3. above, based on a contract (formal linkages) between the tea enterprise and farmers in neighbor village, The current success in tea production in this site (including the tea enterprise with the bank and linkages between the tea enterprise and Tea Research Institute), is a promising signal for the future. This part will show the findings and discuss details based on data from group discussion and interviews with the tea producers’ group in this village, as well as interviews from some tea farmers in the neighbor village and the deputy manager of the technique department at the tea enterprise, The purpose of tea production in this commune is production for the market, making tea material for the Bai Phu tea enterprise. Tea farmers in this village said that they observed the success in tea production in the neighbor tea village, and then they imitated/ learned from this in their own tea production. They began tea production in 2003 and after three years they could harvest the first crop in 2006, but the yield of this crop 25 was almost trivial . However, thanks to the success of tea production in the neighbor village, from a beginning of 1-2 households imitating tea production in the neighbor village with an area of about 1-2 ha, now, ten households cultivated more than 10 ha of tea. They also wanted to expand their tea area more but they met many difficulties such as pest, drought, and diseases which currently needed to be solved. It seems
The trivial yield in the first years of tea is common phenomenon (according technique on tea cultivation)
that there was a lack of close linkage between them and extension or researchers and absence of formal linkages between them and tea enterprise. The tea farmers in the neighbor village who based production on contract between them and tea enterprise, had rather stable tea production. The tea yield increased over time, from about 2 ton/ha (2000), 34ton/ha (2002), 5-6 ton/ha (2006). The income from tea (about 8-13 million/ha/year) was higher than others before. According to the village head, some farmer cultivated tea for improving income from wild land, poor forest land, and other land that in the past had very low economy value.. Thus the tea production has begun to bring products to the market and income for farmers in this site. This change was reputed as an important change in this remote area, not only in improving farmers’ income, but giving employment as well as contribution in forest protection and poverty reduction. However, one technician of tea enterprise evaluated that in fact the yield of PH1 tea variety is lower compared to potential yield (about over 20 ton/ha). The reasons for this low tea yield may be the lower drought resistance of this variety and poor irrigation for tea 26 cultivation in this village or the young tea year as well as other reasons. The technology change occurred by replacing with a new variety and this is a lesson from the past of lack of research before diffusion of tea production in a large area with about over 100ha. This means the loose linkage between a tea enterprise (tea farmers) and the tea research institute in the past made a wasteful investment and unsuccessful tea production. Based on contracts, tea farmers have got free technology and borrowed fertilizer and initial tea variety from the tea enterprise. Then the tea enterprise diffused technology in tea cultivation and deducted the debt each harvest as well as purchased tea products from the farmers. They utilized both participatory extension methods and traditional extension methods. This approach is an example of two ways of information flow leading to satisfied needs and a good example of a contract implementation process. In addition, the tea enterprise coordinated closely with the tea research institute to study and apply some appropriate technique for this site. 27 For example, after successful hybridization between Daibachtra and PH1 to form LDP1,2, and experiments (pre-extension), in 2002, the tea enterprise expanded the replanting of a drought-resistant tea variety in this village. This change is appropriate and timely for tea production in this area. Besides, the tea enterprise linked with the bank, with fertilizer suppliers by formal linkage (contract) to satisfy the farmer needs in investment input for tea production. The village head said that the formal linkage between tea enterprise and fertilizer suppliers was established after they did the experiment on appropriate fertilizer tea cultivation. Thus, the head of village observed that this makes tea farmers feel relieved on this input. Through observation and interviews (village head, staff of tea enterprise), it can be seen that Tea enterprise invested to build a tea processing shop in the village. This makes close relationship with local tea farmers and the exchange of information among them become convenient as staff of the tea enterprise often stay in the tea processing shop in this village. The effects of the tea enterprise on the formal linkages is based on opening and seeking market for tea export from the Nghe An Tea Company. It means that the market demand promoted the formal linkages between the tea enterprise and tea farmers for sustainable development in tea production and commerce. This argument is similar with the conclusion of the Neuchatel group (1999) that market demands create an impetus for a new relationship between producers and private suppliers. Accordingly, the closer relationship
they have, the more effective they are in tea production.
However, the deputy manager of the technical department of the tea enterprise recognized that the coordination among actors from field cultivation-processing- products- selling and consumers was not strong. The consumption needs for a tea product with high quality, safe, and at a low cost are still not yet satisfied. Especially, the tea product was exported to a popular market (not to a market of high quality) and mainly tea material for countries such as Taiwan, China, Russia, and India. It means they are not yet making a trade mark for Vietnamese tea products. This may require a reorganization to a better AKIS as well as a high value chain.
The young year number of tea production affects on tea yield (according technique on tea production). LDP1,2 is drought-resistant variety in hybridization between Daibachtra (low yield but high drought resistance) and PH1(high yield but less drought resistance) 28 The relationship between tea producers-tea enterprise- researchers and others
The factors affecting on the AKIS linkages
In this section, the main factors affecting the AKIS linkages as mentioned before will be summarised and the data following attitudes of farmers, extensionists, educators and some others will be interpreted. As mentioned in section 4.2, each of the linkage types (formal linkages/ informal linkages; top-down linkages/bottom-up linkages; internal linkages/external linkages) has different characteristics. The responsibility and benefits of each of the stakeholders in formal linkages through contracts is higher than informal linkages. The top-down linkages in extension are very important in emergency cases such as hunger, lean harvests and calamities, because of pressing requirements. Bottom-up linkages are very necessary in a globalization context because of market demand. Both internal and external linkages are needed for the information flow as well as in sharing information of generation, diffusion and utilization of knowledge, and using “triangle knowledge” well. Depending on the kind of linkages, the affecting factors are different. For example, the contracting between actors, content of contract and contract implementation make a formal linkage better or not. The way/methods of contact between and among actors in their working such as traditional and participatory extension methods, traditional research/education and participatory research/education methods, and independent working style and synergy working style will affect the quality of their linkages positively or negatively. In earlier sections, some factors affecting the quality of linkages between and among actors within AKIS have been mentioned, such as policy force, planning, working plan, implementation process and evaluation of plan/policy, traditional working habits, attitude, as well as benefits and duties/responsibilities of stakeholders (see Appendix 9 and 11). The lack of bottom up linkage among outsiders and farmers, as well as a lack of external linkages between research-educator-extension mentioned above, were also factors affecting on effective linkage. Table 4.9 showed that there were many factors affecting the AKIS linkages, in which the farmers, extension workers and educators were identified as the key factors following the priority ranking such as funding; policy/mechanism; quality and quantity of actors (extensionists, researchers, educators); market mechanism; 29 independent units (education, research, extension, input suppliers, output buyers) ; attitude, thinking and behavior of actors; and contracts or plans among actors. The interviewees indicated that funding (amount and financial management) and policy/mechanism are the most important factors affecting on the effect of linkages. For example, a low financial amount (1% national budget for agriculture investment), less financial management (stipulation, planning, implementation, and accountability) and loose policy/mechanism (policy making, enforcement, supervising) in agricultural development (research, extension, and education) of the State leads to both a wasteful and not enough participatory methods in practice and is less effective. Besides, the researchers in interviews said that market mechanisms affect the economy trend from 30 agricultural economy to industry economy to knowledge economy . The market mechanism encourages synergy/linkages between and among different actors to satisfy the market demand. In interviews on the factors affecting AKIS linkages, the interviewees mentioned some negative factors such as lack of contract/plan among actors, inequitable benefits and low responsibility of each stakeholder in their linkages, the loose state management on subsidy extension activities, and the weak implementation of policies related on extension, research and education of various actors which affecting the quality of AKIS linkages
Three main actors including research, extension, and education are not in an integrated unit, but they are independent units which belong to different ministries (Ministry of Technology and Science, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Education and Training) 30 Knowledge economy is an economy of generation, diffusion and use of knowledge that is the main dynamic of economic growth and creating wealth, environment protection and stimulating employment of all economic aspects (www.http://nhandan.com.vn/tinbai )
(weak linkages). Among these, the lack of contract (formal linkage) among actors is an important factor affecting effective linkage. The extensionists and educators discussed about conservative attitudes, old thinking, and traditional behaviors in their activities as well as quality/quantity of actors (ethics, responsibility, initiative/ passive, education level, number of staff) which restrict synergy among actors and use of new approaches in extension, research and education. The behaviors and thinking of Vietnamese in their working with usually imposed traditional methods, top-down, to obey and be passive (Dr.Duong from interview, 2007). Some of the farmers and extensionists said that the farmers are receivers/ beneficiaries from extension/research and they are backward, have low awareness; and the extensionist is a sender, supporter, and the best one. This approach is appropriate for some hot problems that need to be solved immediately such as famine, flood, storm or epidemics and exist in a stage of subsidy economy. But it is not suitable for the long term, especially in a market economy period. Although many new approaches from outside have entered VietNam through NGOs, investments, programs, projects and led to changes in policies/theories/ academic debates, in practice they still are not applied effectively. Thus, there was a feeling that the attitude, thinking and behavior of actors and stakeholders in AKIS and outside lead to ineffective utilization of new methods/approaches and closer linkages between them. Table 4.9: The factors affecting on the linkages between extension and others in AKIS
Reasons Remark of farmers (n=9 + 30) 28 25 Remark of extension workers (n=5) 5 5 5 Remark of educators (n=5) 4 5 5 Sum of remark
Funding (amount, management) Poor quality of actors in apply new approaches Institution: Three different units on research, education and extension Attitude, thinking, behavior of actors Policy/mechanism Characteristic of local farmers Characteristic of innovation Market mechanism (globalization, WTO, commercialization ) Lack of contract/plan among actors
37 35 10
4 27 20 23 23 4 3 3 4
5 5 3 3 5
9 36 26 29 32
Sources: Group discussion and interviews, 2007
The extensionists and educators discussed conservative attitudes, old thinking, and traditional behaviors in their activities as well as the quality/quantity of actors (ethic, responsibility, initiative/ passive, education level, number of staff) which restrict synergy among actors and use of new approaches on extension, research and education. The behaviors and thinking of Vietnamese in working often follow traditional methods, top-down, and is passive (Dr.D from interview, 2007). Some of farmers and extensionists said that the farmers are receivers/ beneficiaries from extension/research and they are backward, low awareness; and the extensionist as a sender, supporter, and the best one. This approach is appropriated for some hot problems which need to
solve immediately such as famines, floods, storms, epidemics, and exist in the stage of subsidy economy. But it is not suitable for long term, especially in market economy period. Although many new approaches from outside (foreigners, the West) through NGO, investment, programs, projects have been introduced in VietNam and changing in policies/theories/ academic debates, but in the fact/practice still not yet applied effectively. Thus, these was a feeling that the attitude, thinking and behaviors of actors and stakeholders in AKIS and outside lead to ineffective utilization of new methods/approaches for close linkages between them. They also said that there were independent units of extension, research, and education with different mechanisms (belonging to three ministries: agriculture, technology science and education and training), while there was a lack of synergy at national level in planning or policy making or state management. This affected 31 external linkages at province, district, or commune among these actors. They think that “three in one” would be convenient for their synergy. In fact, some units such as Hanoi agricultural university, Vinh university and Hue Agricultural and Forestry University, have established extension departments or rural development centres (the main function of the university including educating/training/ and researching). When they integrate research, education and extension, each of their work will be complementary and the working outcome will be better. In summary, there are many factors affecting the AKIS linkages depend on each of specific context. According participants in group discussions and interviews (field work) seem to be funding, policies/mechanism and quality of AKIS’s actors are main factors affect on quality of AKIS linkages.
This is mergence from three actors (extension, research, education) into one unit.
This section is summary of interesting conclusions from the research results. Following are major conclusions derived from the previous analysis: 1. Actors involved in AKIS depend on the type of production. For general AKIS of the study area, main actors included public sectors (head of village, media officers, formal extension service, forestry management offices), private sectors (tea enterprise) and aid project (Pumat project). Those actors play different roles within AKIS. Among those actors, heads of villages, media officers and formal extentionists play crucial roles and were considered as major actors in most of AKISs in the study area. 2. The weak linkages between extension and research, between production and research are still existing and are major factors affecting low technology change. This maybe leads to ineffective agricultural production as farmer’s need in the study area. 3. The most important role of the village head is as a representative for farmers in signing and managing contracts between tea farmers and the tea enterprise in their promising formal linkage. In addition, the role of village head in making, providing indigenous knowledge and feedback or farmers’ need to outsiders (extensionists, researchers, educators, supporters: credit sources, input suppliers, and marketers) perhaps as a potential role aiming at making the contribution of extension services better. 4. The formal linkage among actors based on contracts is very significant and important in tea production. This effect shows the important role of the tea enterprise. This type of formal linkage was a unique linkage in this commune that made an effective contribution of extension to the production process from input to output. 5. The interaction of extension services and farmers is a factor that affects the contribution of extension services to effective extension implementation/ production. Although the linkages between Pumat’s project extension and farmers, and between the tea enterprise and farmers were closer than others due to the use of participatory extension methods, it looks like the linkages between extension and farmers are still weak due to low frequency and less feedback from farmers to extension /research. 6. Of the three extension services (public extension, private extension and aid project), the tea enterprise has closest and most promising linkages with researcher/ researchers through the contract and co-ordination in generation, diffusion and utilization of knowledge and information on tea. The PuMat’s project had also close linkage with research in sociology and ethnology in the short-time. However, the linkages between formal extension service and research/researcher were mainly one way and rather loose. The ineffective linkages between extension and research constrained the development of technology/knowledge as well as good contribution of extension in agricultural production. Thus, this situation needs to be improved. 7. There are many factors which influence the linkages among actors such as funding, mechanism, quality of actors, market’s mechanism and institutions. They each depend on specific contexts with different actors involved in AKIS. According to participants in group discussions and interviews funding, policies/mechanism and quality of AKIS’s actors are the main factors that affect quality of AKIS linkages In other words, the role of all actors, especially key actors, as well as contributions from them on information flow within AKIS are factors affecting the AKIS linkages. The ability to play the role and to contribute on information flow within AKIS and AKIS linkages depends on quantity and quality of these actors such as attitude, knowledge, ethics, ideology, skill and methods used. In addition, the environment around AKIS actors also affects the linkages such as funding, physical, mechanism (policy, economic context, and plan). These actors are main factors affecting AKIS linkages in this case study. This will be further research in a different site and using other methods.
Axinn, G.H., 1988, Guide on alternative Extension Approaches, FAO, Rome, Italy Bachmann, L.B.R., 2000, Review of AKIS in Fiju-Opportunities and Limitations of Participatory Methods and platforms to promote Innovation Development, un-published Bagnal-Oakeley, H., and Ocilaje, m., 2002, Client Oriented agricultural research and dissemination project Berdegue, J.A., and Escobar, G., 2001, AKIS and poverty reduction, un-published Boone, E.T., 1989, Philosophical Foundation of Extension, In Foundations and changing Practices in extension, D.J. Blackburn University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N I G 2 WI ConCuong district Extension Station, 2005, Extension plan ConCuong district Extension Station, 2006, Extension plan ConCuong district Extension Station, 2007, Extension plan CPC, 2005, The report of Yen Khe commune people committee about implement social economic plan in 2005, un-published Crowder, L.V., and Anderson, J., 1996, Intergrating Agricultural research, education and extension in developing countries, unpublished Curriculums of Agricultural Universities/colleges at Vietnam, 2007 Dang Ngoc Quang, 2007, seminar report on extension, un-published DES, 2005b, The report of Extension station about result 4 years implement 05 direction of Nghe An province standing committee , un-published Diffusion of innovation (verified 27 January, 2007, FAO, Word Bank, 2000, AKIS/RD Strategic vision and guiding principles Gharajedaghi, J., 2005, System Thinking, Managing chaos and complexity, A platform for designing Business architecture, Social Publishing House, Hanoi (translation of Chu Tien Anh, 2005) Hoang Xuan Thanh, et al, 2006, Subsidies in agricultural extension for poverty reduction in Vietnam, Ha noi, un-publish Hoang Xuan Thanh, Nguyen Viet Khoa, 2003, Agricultural Extension Services for the Poor, un-published Holiday Arian, 2002, Doing and Wrting Qualitative Research, SAGE Publication, Page 1-24 Lai Ngoc Hai, 2007, “Tam nong” (rural-agriculture and farmer) in undertaking implementation of WTO Marshall, C., and Rossman, B.G., 1999, Designing Qualitative Research, 3 rd Edition, SAGE Publication, p. 2 Michesen, H., 2002, Stakeholder involvement in research training: option and necessary, un-published Ministry of Agricultural and Rural development, 2005, Summarizing of Extension activity in period 1993-2005, Agricultural publishcation house, Ha Noi Neuchatel Group, 1999, Common framework on agricultural extension, un-published Nghe An province party’s construction, 2002, Decree 05/CT-TU on extension activities Nguyen Duy Hoan, et al., 2007, Document for training on exetnsion methods, Agricultural Publishing House, Hanoi Nguyen Thanh Lam, 2007, agricultural extension activities at Vietnam, un-published Nguyen Thi Phuong, 2004, research report on Evaluation impact of extension services, un-published Nguyen Tho Canh, 2005, The report on the role of extension in transfer of technology in agricultural production, workshop at Vinh, un-published Norton, Geoff and Elaine Brough, 1995, Electric journal of Extension, Vollum 33, No 44, Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Pest Management, Australia Pain, A., 2004, An evaluation of the extension system of DACAAR and proposals for its future development, p 3-4 (un-published) Peterson, W., et al., 2001, Methods for Planning Effective linkage, Briefing Paper 45 Pham Huy Thuy, 2005, Thinking on knowledge based economy ( verified on 23 February, 2008, http://www.vinhphuc.gov.vn/hoikhkt/hoikhkt/tthd/maynetsuynghive.html ) Practices in extension, D.J. Blackburn University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, N I G 2 W I Qamar, M.K., 2005, Mordenizing national Agricultural extension systems: A practical Guide for policy makers of developing countries Ramizer, R., non date, the gatekeeper 66: Understanding Farmers’ Communication Networks: Combining PRA with Agricultural Knowledge Sytem Analysis, un-published Rivera, W.M., et al., 2005, Enhancing coordination among AKIS/RD actors, Rome Salomon, M.L., and Engel, P.G.H., 1997, Networking for Innovation: A Participatory actor-oriented methodology, un-published Tong Khiem, 2005, the report on the result of extension activities VandenBan, A.W., and Hawkins, H.S., 1999, Agricultural Extension, Agricultural publishing House, Hanoi (translation) Vietnamese gornevment, 2002, Decree 80/ 2002/QD-TTg at 24/6/2002 Vietnamese government, 2005, Decree 56/2005/ND-CP on extension Weitz, R., 1971, From Peasant to farmer: A Revolutionary Strategy for development, Columbia State University Press Wilbur S., 1973 Channels and Audiences. In Handbook of communication.
William McLeod Rivera and M. Kalim Qamar (no date), Agricultural Extension, Rural Development and the Food Security Challenge (un-published) Word Bank, 2004, Viet Nam Development Report 2004, Poverty, Printing and Cultural Product Company. Hanoi. World Bank, 2007, World Development Report 2008: Agricultural for Development, www.tcw.utwente.nl/theorieenoverzicht/Levels%20of%20theories/macro/Diffusion%20of%20Innovation%20Theory.do c/) Yadav, J.P., non date, Ensuring people’s participation through strong extension linkages, un-published
Appendix 1: The checklist for interviews Appendix 1.1. The checklist for interview farmers 1. ông/bà ã t•ng tham gia vào nh•ng ho•t •ng nào sau ây và t•n su•t tham gia (bao nhiêu l•n/1tu•n/tháng/quí/n m), k• c• các thành viên trong gia ình. Ghi rõ tên ngu•n cung c•p (ai, t• ch•c nào)
Have you (and other members in your family) been attend activities below and how frequancy (amount time/week/month/quarter/year)? Please tell me about activities source?
Nghiêncứu về NN or Nthôn Research on Agriculture or Ru. de
Đạihọc CĐ/TCấp Đào tạo về NN,LN,TS NN,LN,TS NLN,NTngắn Agr. Agr. hạn(1 tháng-1 University Colllege năm) (Agr., For., Short Aqua.) Training on Agr. (1m12m)
Interviewee Người p/v Ông/grandfather Bà/grandmother Cha/Father Mẹ/Mother Con/Children: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
2. Trong nhà ông/bà ai là ng••i hay tham d• các cu•c h•i h•p(h•p b•n, h•p h•i…)……….g•p g• trao •i làm n…….t•p hu•n KN……. •c sách báo ……..xem TV (các CT liên quan •n sx nn)…….. - Nh•ng ng••i ó sau tham d• v• tri•n khai • g nh• th• nào? - In your family, who often attend activities Meeting (village me., unions me….)……; Exchange together with others on A. Pro…….; Traning on Extension………; Reading book, newspaper…….Watching TV (the program related to A. Pro.)…….. - After attending the these activities, how to apply in the fact?
3. Các ngu•n cung c•p (khai thác, tìm ki•m) thông tin và ki•n th•c nông lâm nghi•p cho g ông/bà t• âu và nh• th• nào (ch•t l••ng KI, m•c • th••ng xuyên, m•i quan h• gi•a ông/bà/g và m•i ngu•n, hi•u qu• •ng d•ng, t• l• thành công)? What are the AKI(agricultural knowledge and information) sources? And how? (quality and quantity of KI, frequency, relationship between you and each of source, effect, )
Kind of AKI
Head of village
Exst. of village
Exst. of com.
Exst. of district
Est. of provi.
Awareness Technology Market I. Indigenous K A.policy I. Other (environment, sources of finance…) - Ông/bà có th• nói rõ v• s• l••ng và ch•t l••ng thôngtin, ki•n th•c mà ông bà thu nh•n t• các ngu•n trên, v• s• l•u thông, lan truy•n thông tin trong c•ng •ng; v• khó kh n, thu•n l•i và nh•ng ki•n ngh•, gi•i pháp c•a you cho dòng ch•y thông tin ch•t l••ng h•n.
Please tell me about quantity and quality on AKI from above sources; on AKI flow in your community; on advantage, disandvantage, initiative, sollutions from you for AKI better Khi g ông/bà g•p khó kh n, tr• ng•i trong s•n xu•t nông nghi•p, ai là ng••i ông/bà trao •i,g•p g• v•i h•. Trao •i b•ng hình th•c gì ( •ên tho•i, th• t•, tr•c ti•p, gián ti•p…). Và v•n • ó ••c gi•i quy•t nh• th• nào? When you and your family has some problems, disadvantages in agricultural production, who do you meet or contact/exchange with them? How to resolve? 4. • ra quy•t •nh tr•ng cây gì, nuôi con gì vào m•i v•, m•i n m hay hàng n m ông/bà và gia ình th••ng d•a vào âu? Trong vi•c ra quy•t •nh tr•ng cây gì, nuôi con gì, ông/bà g•p nh•ng khó kh n nào? What sources you base on when you/your family decided investment for what production each of year? What difficult did you meet in making decision process? 5. Ông/bà ang g•p nh•ng thu•n l•i và khó kh n gì trong vi•c tr•ng cây ó nh• th• nào, nuôi con v•t ó ra sao, vay v•n • âu, qu•n lý v•n ntn, và tiêu th• nông s•n ó ra sao? What does the advantages and disadvantages in your production process? How about credit/funding for production? How about financial management or planning in your household? What purpose in your production and how about achievement this purpose? 6. Các ki•n th•c •a ph••ng (ki•n th•c t• kinh nghi•m ông/bà ngày x•a • l•i) trong s•n xu•t (c• th• ch n nuôi, tr•ng tr•t, gi• •t, gi• r•ng…) có ••c l•u truy•n trong c•ng •ng không? Ng••i CB khuy•n nông có chia s• v•i ông/bà nh•ng ki•n th•c ó không? Theo ông/bà ngu•n ki•n th•c này hi•n nay ra sao? How about local knowledge and the conservation of indigenous knowledge in your local community? Who does sharing this knowledge with you/your family? 7. Ông/bà/g th••ng liên h• nh• th• nào v•i khuy•n nông viên (g•m khuy•n nông viên chính th•c và phi chính th•c) ? How often do you contact with extensionist both of formal extensionist and informal extensionist? (amount time/month/quarter/harvest/year; participate or not, one way or two way) 3.
8. • •a ph••ng, ông/bà th•y vi•c liên k•t 4 nhà nh• th• nào? Liên k•t ôi? Liên k•t ba? Liên k•t b•n? What the key actors important in extension in your household /your community? Please tell me about the linkages between you/your family with these key actors in AKIS? 9. Nhung nhan to nao anh huong den moi quan he giua ong/ba/ gia dinh va cac thanh phan chinh do trong khuyen nong/san xuat? What the factors affecting on relationship between you and these key actors 10. Vai tro cua cac thanh phan chinh trong khuyen nong/san xuat nhu the nao? What are the roles of key actors in extension/ production? 11. Nhung nhan to nao anh huong den kha nang dong gop cua khuyen nong trong hoat dong khuyen nong/san xuat? What factors affecting on contribution of extension services in extension activities/production? How about your/your household demands/needs?
Information Demands/needs Planning in production Financial management Credit sources Input sources Market consumption sources Market information: trend, demand, criteria Ecological and environmental information related to production High technologies: new varieties, Organization on production Linkage with research and education in the field Others
How information is offered
Appendix 1.2: The checklist for interview (extensionist, researchers, educators, management officers)
1. Please tell me about relationship between your office and others in generation, diffusion and utilization agricultural knowledge information for production. How about these linkages? It mean the relationship among you in your office together, the linkages between you(your staff) with farmer? Between you (your staff, your office) with researchers? Between you (your staff, your office) with educators and others? 67
2. Please tell me about effect of these linkages in your work and others? 3. What kinds of key factors influence AKIS linkages? Please tell me detail 4. Do you know that how about research and education on agricultural at commune/district/upland level? Appendix 2. The checklist for discussions Appendix 2.1 Checklist for general group discussions What kind of agricultural production in your village? What main kind of these? And why? Please rank priority of them Please remember events in main agricultural productions related to extension and your production? How about strengthen, weakness (internality) in your village related to extension and agricultural production? And how about opportunities and threaten (externality) related to agricultural production and extension Appendix 2.2. Checklist for four types of production: tea, rice, forestry and livestock Which actors involve in tea production (rice or forestry or livestock production). What else? (mapping) What main actors related to tea production (rice or forestry or livestock). Why they are major actors? (pair matrix, Venn diagram) How about the linkages between/among main actors together in tea production (rice or forestry or livestock). And why that? Which factors affecting on each linkage? Which main factors? How about effectiveness of these linkages on tea production (rice or forestry or livestock) Appendix 3: Pair matrix of agricultural production
Forestry Forestry Tea Horticulture Livestock: Poultry and Cattle Husbandry: Cattle Maize Bean Cassava Rice Tea Horti.. F F T Poultry F P P Cattle F Catt. Catt. P Maize M T H M Catt. Bean F T H P Catt. Cassava F T H P Catt. Rice R R R R R
R R R
Appendix 4: Kinds of agricultural knowledge and information
Kind of Agricultural Knowledge and Information
The main sources Regularly The main sources n=39 (30+9) sometimes n=39 TV, Radio: 20
The main Rarely n=39
General Awareness (quality and nutriment of Agr.product, TV, Radio: 9 criteria of Agr. Product, value of agr. Product, etc.) Technology (the ways of production, IPM, guidance production, Head of village: 15 production orientation, etc.)
Head of village: 24 Extension staff (district, commune): 10 Neighbors: 14 TV, Radio: 16 District market: 20 Neighbors: 20 TV, Radio: 23
Market Information (price, source of consumption, contract for trade, trend, product criteria, demand etc.) Finance In. (source of finance; financial management: planning, saving, investment, etc.;) Agr. Policy In. (decrees, law, etc.) Head of village: 39 Meetings: village, Unions: 39
Lack of s product kinds of p
Lack of managem productio TV, radio: 14 Other Foresters: 32
Indigenous K. (slopping land cultivation, environment protection, processing, preserver, local varieties, etc.)
Lack of knowledg hybrid r occurred) TV, Radio: 37 Head of village: 30 Head of village: 9 Neighbor: 13 Others: 15
Others (weather, epidemic, seasonal work, etc.)
Sources: Interview and group discussion, 2007
Appendix 6: Summary information on key actors within AKIS
Key actors Head of village Actors involving in linkages with key actor Farmers Extension at commune and district level Information content - Policy, plan on agriculture -Few technology, technique on hybrid rice production, livestock, Approaches/ practices - Direct guidance in production - Meetings - Field visits. - Feedback for extension staff - Managing contract (neighbor village) - some one ways, some two way - Communicating by game, stories, guidance -Training one way -Performing models - Base on head of village in direct guidance on production - Field visits (few) Effectiveness Success on rice production in short term Success on farmer's belief/trust Success on tea production in neighbor village Problems/ Difficulties -Low education level -Low salary -Limited skills, capacity on working methods
Media: Radio, TV, cultural post office Formal Extension services
Researcher/educators/ Farmer/input supplier for food security
Communicating of variety information: technique, market, awareness, weather, policy, etc. - Technique on hybrid rice, livestock production - Policy on agriculture
Poor means: non internet, journal, books,
Effectively in rice production for food security. Not success in livestock and absent in tea production Less success on forestry Enhancing local people awareness on forest protection but few success on practice Open large tea area in neighbor village. Spread of this extension is open for others Success on forestry Livestock Unsustainable in forestry and livestock
Few staff- capacity and responsibility of staff Funding: for working, for staff Mechanism: plan, state management, policy
Forestry management offices
Researchers/educators/ Farmers/ pupils/Visitors/ TV
- Policy on forestry protection
- Dissemination/ education on forest protection -Open ecology tourism but not involving farmers - Meeting - Training - Farmers visits
PuMat's project (project's extension)
tea research Institutes /universities -Farmers in neighbor village -Village head -bank, tea Association , -researchers, officer, farmers, extension, experts
- training/ field visit - support on variety, fertilizer - consumption market - Support variety for producers, salary for project's extensionist
Training one way and two way for farmer and extension staff
-Limited collaboration with all actors from dissemination to practices - Mechanism: funding, plan, state management - Less of research on T in this site - Lack of technical/extension staff in this site - Lack of action plans for safety and high quality on T production -short term - Maintaining project' s extensionist after the end of project - reorganization and maintaining it
Sources: group discussion with farmers and interviews, 2007
Appendix 7: Timeline related to agricultural production
Beginning of Hybrid rice cultivation Establishing on PuMat's Natural Resever Beginning of PuMat's Project Irrigation for rice cultivation Establishing on PuMatNational Park Support of PuMat's project on livestock The end of PuMat's project Luxambua's Project: training for village officers
Sources: group discussion with farmers, 2007
Appendix 8: The summary of research/education situation in Con Cuong district Question: Do you know that how about research and education on agricultural at commune/district/upland level?
Interviewees Mr. H (De. Of District Agri. ) Kind of research/ sources/ collaboration (linkage) -Elementary researches are mainly, lack of applied researches in Agriculture -Sometime there are development researches or projects by fund of foreigner, NGO or national programs such as Poverty reduction for DanLai ethnic group, PuMat project, Luxambua Project, 135 program - The sources of research consist of internal and external state such as Universities, Institutes, GO and NGO, etc. Application and efficiency - Most of research in Agriculture or biology which was not feedback, less application in this site, it can be useful for science for researchers but not for local people. Participation of farmers in agricultural science researches is few except rural development researches or project/programs . - Development researches or projects has a great significance for this site such as PuMat project of EU, Luxambua project for West Nghe An's districts, research on poverty reduction for Danlai ethnic group of Vinh University, study of HAU1 on resource management in the Ca river basin: policy, people and poverty, etc. Base on value of PuMat national park and recently the UNESCO recognized World biophere reservation area of the West Nghe An province, so there are many studies or projects focus on this area, this is advantage of our local people. - Lack of agricultural research on this district/upland area. However, the research on slope land ' s cultivation and extension's experiment occasionally focus to. - Limited agricultural education or relationship between this district or upland area with education. Some college/universities program is old and not suitable for new situation when VietNam join to WTO, such as curriculum focus mainly on specialist technical agriculture, lack of interdisciplinary or integrated speciality. The graduated engineers in state management, extension services is limited access with new knowledge/skills/approaches in their job/work. For example, participatory methods approach, market approach in extension is not support for extensionist except some projects such as PuMat'project, Luxambua's project Very few research apply in the fact for agriculture or rural. But about the researches in core zone of PuMat national park is usually high value in science and education (graduated theses at BSc, MSc, PhD), some information/knowledge from this to used diffusion for the local people. It is also base on this to see great potential value of PuMat national park for UNESCO's recognization of biosphere reservation area. And this issue leads to change many aspects of economic, education, culture and society in this area for natural conservation. In the fact, lack of effectively education on protection of natural resources combining theory and practice. We are only focus on enhancing local people awareness through Teaching pupil or disseminating in community through paper, poster, meeting, local radio. - Education on forestry is quite good when they apply most of new approaches in education such as social forestry, community forestry, etc.
Mr. T (District extension station)
We usual experiment on new technology before diffusion broad. Very few researcher or research institutions/organizations link with us for research or application technology at local area. But we are usually collaborate with research outsider as Crop Protection Institute, National Agricultural Technology and science Institute, Vegetable and Fruits Institute, etc. to improved knowledge and information for our task. The district/ institutions is not in contact with education on agriculture in reeducation for graduated engineers/ local staff
MSc. N MSc. L (PuMat national park)
Mainly basic studies in core zone such as biology, forestry science. The research institutions or organizations such as Agricultural Uni., Forestry Uni., Ecology and creature resources Institute, Foreign researchers of Japaness, EU, WWF, WCN, etc. There are many studies in buffer zone of the park as development researches, social studies or projects related to agriculture and rural. The main sources of researches in buffer zone come from NGO or National program. It is very few studies from home Univesities or Institutes. We was only associate with institutions/private persons in the field of core zone ( with basic studies) and other educated, communicated organizations. Lack of the close co-ordination with foresters, communities, leaders and other in implementation process.
Dr. D Lecturer of Vinh University
- The researches in upland area/this district focus on development research/program/project and few basic researches, slope land cultivation. We used commonly participatory research methods in these researches. However, we lack of research on agricultural techniques in upland area cause of funding/ geography and some disadvantages
- Base on new approaches such as participatory action research, participatory methods had used in working process. Thus, most of development researches / programs /projects in upland area is rather success with participation of farmers in participatory methods, focus on farmer demand, farmer voice, etc. - In education, we oriented training/education for suitable to labor market demand, association between theory and practice, between agricultural education and the fact production. However, sometimes, we lack of connection in training curriculum such as less of training/educating on rural development, specialist extension, interdisciplinary professional, social science combine with technical science. Education/training is still not suitable for labor market demands such as much more graduate on agricultural technique, graduate lack of interdisciplinary approach, community working skills, group working capacity, systematic approach, etc. and feedback from graduate to education actors
Sources: Interview, 2007
Appendix 9: The interview on the AKIS linkages Question: how about the linkages between and among you/your office and other actor in the AKIS?
- Dr. D/educator: The linkages among education office together, or among staff in each of education Univerities/College is usually formally such as research team, education council, research council, research working group and some cases is informally. This type of linkages and the linkage between education and research are quite good and effectively with participatory methods used, two-way. However, the linkages between education campus/Univesities/colleges on agriculture with extension or with farmers in remote area are not strong. Because of limited funding for this work and thought or attitude of educators as well as difficulty of remote area. Although in recently, the trend was been change slow, many researches on development or project or program of educators/researchers in agriculture and rural development was be implemented with participation of farmers and extension. Some universities such as HaNoi agricultural University, CanTho University, Hue University of Agricultural Forestry, Vinh Universtity and so on having department of application on agricultural science and rural development as extension (Centre Rural Development, Environmental and rural development Central, …). The linkages between and among actors in the AKIS to be under market economic rule. When Vietnam join to WTO, the change will be occur drastic to suitable globalization. - Dr. H/researcher: The research institutes are usually link with education campus or other research institutes. Some researches in agriculture and rural development need to be relation with farmer and others closely. But in the fact, research sites on lowland are more than upland areas cause of reason chain such as funding, difficulties of remote area, and others. In my opinion, the linkages following lengthwise (in similar research fields, in research institutes or specialists together through research councils, working group, etc.) are stronger than the linkages following widthwise (the linkage between researcheducation-farmers and others). And the linkages in extension and production are weaker than in research or education because larger areas in production and narrow areas in research /education as well as other capitals (mean, human, finance, etc.) - Mr. T/extensionist: In my point of view, extension services usually have strong linkages one way with others and weak linkage two way with actors within AKIS. The reasons are traditional thought or attitude of Vietnamese in one-way approach in subsidized centralized economy. When Vietnam "doimoi" conversion to market economy, this mechanism lead to change in approaches, thought, ideology and actions. The loose linkages between extension and other actors in AKIS to be under this economic rule. In addition, the funding and planning for this working still not yet includes in our extension plan due to complexity and difficulties in participatory extension methods (these methods requires time, funding and quantity/quality of extension staff) Sources: Interview, 2007
Appendix 10: The interview on difficulties on agricultural production of local farmers Question: What does the difficulties or challenges in your production process?
Mss. A. We meet many challenges and difficulties in agricultural production such as epidemic, natural calamity, consumption market, investment on input, and financial management. But the difficulties in my family are input investment and consumption market on forest production and livestock production. Although we received technology on these production through training course of district extension station, but these technologies was non adopted by us cause of above reason. For instance, the program on “training technology for farmer who under 50 year old “ is very wasteful and nearly ineffective. I and some neighbors attended this training course (get five thousand and few knowledge) but we almost non adopted in this fact cause of we forget information from this course and lack of many capital to adoption this technology. This situation is similar with other farmer who attended this program. Mr. D. We are lack of access on finance for our production such as credit sources, financial management. We also are limit on effectively production organizing for market such as big product amount, high quality, and equal products which meet market demand. The extension services were not supplied information on market, financial management and organizing production for local farmers. They mainly supported merely technology on agricultural production for us. Meanwhile, the local farmers usually were non creative, dynamic and low knowledge, low education and others. If some progressive farmers could be effective production for market on small scale that is not effect cause small quantity of product for market affecting consumption. In my opinion, we should synergy all of small farmers scale together through establishing a production association/group for better production. For example, establishing association of forest production or tea production which are easier to invest and to organize for each of production .
Appendix 11: The interview on factors affecting the AKIS linkages
Ms. N (farmers): I think that the attitude/knowledge/custom/ culture of farmers in contact/ relationship are narrow and not open. Although many lesson learnt from the past (in some specific cases: the War, famine) on national solidarity, but creativeness and initiative of farmers on this issuse are limited. However, some progressive farmers thought the important role of association, co-ordination in agricultural production. So they had contact with many outsiders to develop their production. Ms. P (researchers): In my opinion, the main factors affecting the AKIS linkages mainly are attitude/ thinking/ideology and habits of actors; and the mechanism of economic/policy/. Planning, plan content, policy making, policy content; process of their implementation and evaluation are effective or not that will be affecting on quality of the AKIS linkages. Mr. H (educators): The mechanism of each of economy types such as subsidied economy, agricultural economy, industry economy, knowledge economy or market economy will be affect on the AKIS linkages. And mechanism in working also will be affect on the AKIS linkage from planning to implementation, evaluation.
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