Khin Mar Cho:
Towards Rural Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries --- The Role of Public Research and Extension Systems

<#8874#>KHIN MAR CHO<#8874#>
Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Institute of Rural Sociology and Extension, Germany

<#395#> Public research and extension systems will have a key role in implementing the pro;SPMquot;=poor agricultural research strategy. Because targeting the poor is not always win;SPMquot;=win for growth and poverty elevation, countries that can afford large research budgets, or enjoy significant private;SPMquot;=sector investment in productivity enhancing research, will be best placed to undertake this agenda. Where the trade;SPMquot;=offs are high, it is appropriate to consider alternative policies for poverty elevation. Technology is only one instrument for helping the poor, and it is not always the most effective one. Its role must be seen within the broader context of rural development and grassroots development efforts. Research needs to be undertaken in more participatory ways if it is to become more effective in empowering the poor. To meet these challenges, there is a need for a more client;SPMquot;=oriented, problem;SPMquot;=solving approach throughout the agricultural research system, an approach not limited to a particular kind of technology or a particular type of agriculture zone. The concept for participatory innovation development and extension should base on dialogical communication, farmer experimentation and strengthening of self;SPMquot;=organisational capacities of rural communities. Encouragement of active participation and dialogue as partners among all actors on the local level, for example, farmers and their institutions, extensionists and researchers are the main stay. Institutional reforms are necessary to change incentive structures within public research and extension systems so that scientists and extension officers are responsive to the needs of their clients. But to be effective, these changes will need to extend to all levels of management. The kinds of changes needed in public agricultural research and extension systems will also require the forging of new partnerships between the public system and NGOs, private sector firms, and farmers.<#395#>

Keywords: Developing countries, extension, poverty reduction, research


<#8873#>Contact Address: Khin Mar Cho, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Institute of Rural Sociology and ExtensionSenckenbergstraße~3, 35390~Gießen, Germany, e;SPMquot;~mail:<#8873#>