On the Path to Sustainable Agricultural Development: Enhancing Extension Agents’ Contribution

By Maria Navarro.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The role of agricultural development agents in poverty reduction is very complex, and sometimes misunderstood not only by the general public, but also by the agents themselves. The paper describes common mistakes made in agricultural development programs, and discusses strategies and changes necessary in the education and performance of agricultural extension agents so that they can better address the knowledge, environment, constraints, and reality of the people they are working with, improving their contribution to sustainable development. Among the most important transformations are 1) Moving from a transfer of technology mindset to a co-creation of knowledge framework (Röling, 2004); 2) Creating and maintaining interdisciplinary work teams; 3) Better understanding and addressing the pro-innovation bias and better preventing negative and unexpected consequences of development; 4) Engaging in sound program development; and 5) Adequately using participatory methods and better integrating extension efforts with local dynamics and indigenous knowledge systems.

Keywords: Sustainable Agricultural Development, Extension, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, Transfer of Technology, Interdisciplinary, Participatory Methods, Consequences, Change, Program Development, Co-Creation of Knowledge

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.71-78. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 581.173KB).

Dr. Maria Navarro

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, The University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA

Dr. Navarro is an Assistant Professor in the department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication at the University of Georgia (USA), where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses dealing with international development, international agriculture, and program planning. Dr. Navarro conducts research in the areas of curriculum development, teaching methods, and international agriculture. She also works with Georgia’s Cooperative Extension, and participates in several local and international outreach projects. She has a BS in Agricultural Engineering from Spain and a PhD in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M University (USA). She also worked for six years at the International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies as the Plant Production area coordinator, and has worked in several countries in Latin America, Southern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.


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