Research-extension-farmer linkages

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FA Ojacor


Efforts to promote linkages between research and extension can probably be tt·essed back to the 1920s when the research
stations were established. Serere and Bukalasa trained chiefs and agricultural ox instructors while veterinary education
started under the umbrella of the research division as part of disease control measures. By 1958 veterinary research
officers still worked as field extension officers to introduce the results of research into the field. The past efforts to
promote linkages included such joint activities as experimental C(Jmmittee meet ings, field days, field trials, extension
training, field surveys, diagnostic work to support field services and production of fish fry. ln a move to restructure
agricultural research and extension services, Government in 1990 set up a number of working groups, two of which were
charged with the role of articulating the most appropriate research and extension systems for Uganda. Following the
recommendations of these working groups, national agricultural research and extension strategies and plans were adopted
by Government. This resulted in the creation of NARO and implementation of the national agricultural extension
programme. These strategies emphasized the need for strong research-extension-farmer linkages. The linkages which
were adopted are operationalised through such joint activities as technical and seasonal planning workshops, joint field
visits, diagnostic surveys, training, technical publications, on-farm research, agricultural shows, field days and outreach
programme. Following decentralization of extension services and restructuring of MAAIF, the agricultural extension
function is now shared among the District Administrations, MAAIF Directorates of Crop and Animal Resources and
NARO. NARO is respons.ible for disseminating the technologies it generates to districls and promoting linkages with
them. This calls for strengthening of the technology delivery ~ystcrn through expansion of outreach activities. A number
of selected District Farm institutes will be rehabilitated and developed into zonal adaptive research and outreach centres
each to serve a specified number of districts. Each centre will undertake such .activities as: dissemination of technical
information to the districts, adaptive research and on-farm demonstrat ions, t raining of extension staff.and farmers,
production of fo"undation seed, planting material, stock and fi sh s pecies. Achievements made on various joint activities
implemented by the unit include: production of some 80 brochures and leaflets both at ~AROSEC and institutes, monthly
production of 1800 copies of NARO bulletin, 1000 copies of Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences per issue, technical
and seasonal workshops have been regularised and du1·ing 1995 and 1996 a total of2889 farmers and 1031 extension staff
were trained. Holding of field days at institutes has been regulariscd and NARO a j:tively participates in national agricultural
shows. Diagnostic surveys are now regularly conducted and all technologies before release are on-farm tested to ensure
relevance and acceptability by end-users. Emphasis will be pul on promotion of extension staff training so as to impart
appropriate skills, consolidating outreach programme and intensifying on-farm r esearch, demonstrations and promoting
farmer-based seed production.

Article Details

How to Cite
Ojacor, F. . (2000). Research-extension-farmer linkages. Uganda Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 5(1), 66–71. Retrieved from
Author Biography

FA Ojacor, Associate Director (RELU)