By JAMES LARAKI of NARI
A regional workshop on producing agricultural extension is underway at the Madang Resort Hotel, Madang, designed to improving the capacity of participants in developing appropriate extension materials.
The two-week workshop, organised by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) in collaboration with the Institute for Research and Extension Training in Agriculture (IRETA) of the University of the South Pacific, is to improve production of simple technical information relevant to the agriculture.
Writing and producing simple extension materials is proving to be a difficult task as few researchers and other agents in the agriculture sector posses the know-how to simplify research reports and bulletins in formats that could be easily understood and used by extension field staff as well as farmers in the South Pacific.
The workshop which started on January 10 is being attended by more than 20 participants representing various agricultural research and extension institutions from the South Pacific, including PNG.
The workshop is aimed at improving the practical communication skills of participants and enhance their ability to write and production extension material for extension field staff and farmers.
It is geared towards enabling participants to identify sources of agricultural information and acquire skills to develop materials in formats appropriate to the farming communities to which they serve.
Upon on completion of the course, participants would be able identify sources of agricultural information and relevant statistics, valid to the needs of their clients and choose appropriate media to disseminate the information.
The workshop also provides an opportunity for the participants to understand the importance of agricultural extension materials in the business of technology transfer and discuss the fundamental principles of communication and look at how existing material can be improved appropriate to their target audience.
The workshop, which is conducted through a mixture of lectures and practical work including field testing and validation of materials produced, will require participants to prepare action plans for follow-up action in their home countries and their respective institutions.
CTA will also be commissioning the development of an extension materials tool kit which will be field tested during the training.
The field testing exercise will enable participants to analyse what they have produced during the training is relevant to the client’s needs and make adjustments where required.
The workshop is a follow-up from a similar workshop in 2009 organised by CTA in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community for participants from the western South Pacific.