Eelke Wielinga


It is widely acknowledged that extension or advisory services play a crucial role in agricultural and rural development. But how could such a service be organised in a sustainable manner when the Government has insufficient funds and farmers are not ready to pay for advice? In this contribution I propose some ideas, based on my experiences in the Philippines, and many years of work in various positions within the agricultural knowledge and innovation system in The Netherlands and Europe.

         The key idea is that a centre, providing advisory services to farmers, should have other sources of income than the government budget only. It could generate income from a training and demonstra­tion farm, and services to commercial partners who have an interest in supporting the centre. The technicians working at the centre should develop expertise that is really worthwhile for its partners. But just as important is the role of such a centre as a trustworthy ”Free Actor” in the network of stakeholders in the area. Let us call it “The Partnership Approach for Extension


extension; innovation support; public agencies

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