Agricultural Extension Manual

                 Part 3
                             CHAPTER 7


The Department is responsible for providing high quality agricultural services to farmers in
response to local needs. The type of service, and the way in which it is provided, is given in
two ways:
• extension events planned in advance which form the Annual Extension Plan;
• extension events planned in response to day to day interaction with farmers as follow up
Events Planned in Advance

Each year, staff in every thana identify farmer information needs, and prepare an extension
plan for the next financial year, covering three seasons. Generally, the annual extension
plan includes major items of work, such as motivational tours, method demonstrations, result
demonstrations, field days and formal farmer training. The annual plan comprises three
seasons, each of which is reviewed for appropriateness prior to implementation.

Follow-up Events

During the year, Block Supervisors work closely with farmers, implementing activities from
the annual extension plan. In many cases, implementing these activities leads to new ideas
for extension events, and for follow-up work, which was not in the annual extension plan. In
order to maintain flexibility, and where these ideas involve no significant additional
expenditure, they should be undertaken.

Extension staff should not confuse these two types of planning, they both aim at providing
farmer responsive extension activities, one planned in advance, and one planned in
response to day-to-day interaction with farmers.

For example, the annual extension plan may include a motivational tour to a research
station. At the end of the tour, the extension staff and farmers may decide that it would be
useful to implement a method demonstration about one of the technologies they saw on the
tour as a follow-up activity. Chapters 10 and 11 are about Extension Methods and they
provide some ideas for possible follow-up activities.

This Chapter concentrates on the development of annual farmer responsive extension plans,
based on the annual extension planner.


The Annual Extension Planner is shown in Figure 7.1. It follows a sequence of 15 steps,
which should be completed within a specific period of time, in order to produce an extension
plan for approval at headquarters. This sequence of steps is shown in Table 7.1.

Plans are produced each year. They are reviewed before each season to ensure that
they remain appropriate. These reviews are conducted through the Thana Agricultural
Extension Co-ordination Committee, the District Extension Planning Committee and
the Agricultural Technical Committee.

                                                                                                               FIGURE 7.1: AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION PLANNER

                                                                                                                                                         Kharif-II                                               Rabi                                            Kharif-I
                    Task                                                       Activity                               Responsibility        J             A                S              O      N          D                J                F          M   A          M                J

Farmer Information Needs Assessment          ! Conduct Problem Census, PRA                                            BS
                                             ! BS write farmers problems in BS diary, regularly

Thana Agricultural Extension Co-ordination   ! Review FINA results and performance of extension programmes            TAO                                  Rabi &                                                            Kharif-I                             Kharif-II
Committee Meeting                            ! Brief review of forthcoming extension programmes
                                             ! Review organisational responsibilities and collaborative
                                               programmes, and develop proposals                                                                          Annual
Collect & bring together Planning            ! Review Seasonal Extension Monitoring System results                    TAO
Information                                  ! Review Technical Audit and KAP results                                                                Annual
                                             ! Collect credit, marketing, input and other information
                                             ! Collect information on other organisations working in the area
Thana Agriculture Extension Planning         ! Review FINA results and develop agriculture extension plans            TAO                                                             Annual
Workshop (Annual Thana Extension Plan)       ! Check plan with farmers

Prepare documents of Thana Annual            ! Complete Form A1                                                       TAO                                                                      Annual
Extension Plan and Budget                    ! Send Form A1 to district

District Extension Planning Committee        ! Review and revise Thana Annual Extension Plans (Form A1)               DD (District)                                 Rabi                                Annual                          Kharif-I                       Kharif-II
Meeting                                      ! Review and revise programme for forthcoming season
                                             ! Review and revise proposals from TAECC for collaborative
Prepare Annual In-Service Training and       ! Decide what in-service training & national media support is required   DD (District)                                                                          Annual
Media Requests                               ! Send requests for in-service training & media support to
                                               Director FSW
Prepare Consolidated Annual District         ! Add thana plans (Form A1's) together                                   DD (District)                                                                                   Annual
Extension Plan and Budget                    ! Prepare Form A
                                             ! Send set of thana plans + Form A to District
Agricultural Technical Committee Meeting     ! Review & revise technical content of district plans                    AD (Region)                                              Rabi                                          Annual           Kharif-I                             Kharif-II
                                             ! Review programme for forthcoming season
                                             ! Review proposals for research and collaborative projects

Advise Annual District Extension Plans       ! Districts make final adjustments to plan and budget                    DD (District)                                                                                                     Annual
and Budget                                   ! Send to Additional Director, Region

Prepare Consolidated Annual Regional         ! Region compiles District Annual Plans into regional plan and budget    AD (Region)                                                                                                             Annual
Extension Plan and Budget                    ! Submit regional consolidated plan and budget to headquarters

Conduct In-Service Staff Training            ! Budget for extension programme received before season                  TAO                                                      Rabi                                                           Kharif-I                             Kharif-II
                                             ! Train staff before start of season                                     DD

Implement and Monitor (SEMS)                 !   Seasonal implementation and monitoring                               All Staff                        Kharif-II                                                      Rabi                                        Kharif-I
                                             !   Regions conduct technical audit
                                             !   Complete SEMS
                                             !   Districts conduct supervision for thanas
Evaluate Last Years Extension Programme      !   Knowledge, attitude and practice surveys                             TAO & DD (District)              Kharif-II                                                      Rabi                                        Kharif-I
                                             !   Prepare SEMS summaries and evaluation reports

Develop Estimated Budget for Next Year       ! Outline budget sent to region for compilation & AD send to DAE HQ      DD (District)                  Next Budget      Report
Report of Last Year                          ! District prepare previous years activities report


1. Farmer Information Needs             Working with male and female farmers, operating small
   Assessment                           and large farms, to identify problems and information
                                        needs, using the Problem Census, PRA, meetings and the
                                        Block Supervisor Diary.

2. Thana Agricultural Extension         Sharing information about farmer needs, available
   Co-ordination Committee              resources and ideas for collaboration between all local
   meetings                             Government and Non-Government extension agencies.

3. Collating planning information       Combining / Merging background information, monitoring
                                        and evaluation data, results of KAP Surveys and Technical
                                        Audits and FINA results to help in planning.

4. Thana Planning Workshops             Developing an extension plan on the basis of FINA and
                                        planning information, by involving all DAE extension staff in
                                        the thana, and inviting other organisations if appropriate.

5. Preparing thana planning and         Writing up the results of the Thana Planning Workshop
   budgeting documents                  and preparing documents including Form A1.

6. District Extension Planning          Reviewing and approving thana extension plans.
   Committee meetings

7. Preparing annual in-service          Preparing requests for national level mass media and in-
   training and media requests          service staff training programmes.

8. Preparing annual district            Preparing a plan of district level activities (Form A), then
   extension plan and budget            sending them to regional level.

9. Agricultural Technical               Conducting a technical review of extension plans at
   Committee meetings                   regional level, with research participation.

10. Adjusting district extension        Adjusting thana and district extension plans on the basis
    plans                               of ATC reviews.

11. Preparing consolidated              Consolidating all thana and district level extension plans
    Regional Extension Plans and        and budgets on computer at regional level, and sending
    budgets                             these to headquarters for approval.

12. Conducting in-service training      Training staff in the necessary technical and extension
                                        skills prior to implementing the extension plan.

13. Implementing and monitoring         Implementing extension activities as planned, and using
                                        the Seasonal Extension Monitoring System and Technical

14. Evaluating last years extension     Evaluating extension programmes using Knowledge,
    programme                           Attitude and Practice Surveys. Analysing SEMS and
                                        Technical Audit results.

15. Developing budget for next          Estimating budgets which will be required for next year,
    Financial Year and reporting last   and preparing a brief annual report for last year.
    years extension programme.


Extension programmes concentrate on meeting the needs of farm households, in particular
helping them solve the key technical problems they face in farming and homestead activities.
Most extension messages and activities are based on needs, problems and potentials
identified at farm level. Identification of farmer needs is vital for planning an effective
extension programme. On the basis of the needs identified, messages can be developed
and targeted at specific groups within the farming community. The methods by which DAE
identify farmer information needs are described in detail in Chapter 6.

Compiling FINA Results for Annual Planning

In each thana the Block Supervisors conduct meetings, discussions and Problem Censuses
with farmers throughout the year, and record the results in their diary and on Problem
Census result sheets. They may also be using some of the PRA techniques. Results of
PRA techniques are also recorded in the diary. Once a year, this information is brought
together to help in making a Thana Extension Plan.

FINA results are compiled in the annual planning and seasonal review process. For annual
planning, the Agriculture Extension Officer is responsible for compiling a Thana Master List
from PC results sheets. A guide for preparing Thana Master Lists follows.


The easiest way to make a Thana Master list is to the follow the tasks below:
1. Separate the Problem Census sheets into 4 piles:
• small female farmers;
• large female farmers;
• small male farmers; and
• large male farmers.

2. For each of these target groups prepare a Master List using the guide below:
• take one problem census result sheet from one of the piles. Use this as a master sheet to write
• mark every problem on the sheet with a tally mark;
• look at all the other sheets in the pile. Each time the same problem appears mark another tally
   mark beside it;
• add new problems to the bottom of the master sheet as they appear;
• mark new problems with a tally mark;
• when all the sheets in the pile have been looked at, add up all the tally marks on the master result
   sheet. Write the total beside each problem. This will provide the frequency or importance of
   each problem;
• repeat this exercise for all target groups. If Problem Census were not conducted for female
   farmers operating more than 1 ha collect problems which have been recorded in BS diaries;
• add additional problems listed by BS from their diaries.

3. Summarise the Master Lists:
• on a clean piece of paper make a grid:

      Problem         F (L)        F (S)         M (L)          M (S)           DAE can Address

•     look through the problems on each master list and try to group similar problems together;
•     write all the problems from each master result sheet in the first column (if you have grouped
      problems try and list them in their groups);
•     if the same problem appears do not write it again;
•     for each target group write the frequency of each problem;
•     assess the whole list. Decide which problems DAE can address alone and place a ! for each
      one in the last box. Leave the box blank if DAE cannot solve the problem alone (these problems
      are those which may require collaboration with other extension partners and should be discussed
      at the TAECC meeting).


The Thana Agricultural Extension Co-ordination Committee (TAECC) has been established
to assist in implementing the New Agricultural Extension Policy. It has no executive function
for the Department, and acts instead as a place where extension partners can share
information, ideas and resources, and develop ideas for collaboration and partnership. The
TAECC meets at least three times each year:

August       To review farmer needs and ideas for programmes for the coming Rabi season, and for
             the next annual extension plan

January      To review farmer needs and ideas for programmes for the coming Kharif-I season

May          To review farmer needs and ideas for programmes for the coming Kharif-II season

The TAECC agenda may also include other items where co-ordination between extension
providers is needed. TAECCs may also have a role in developing specific ideas for
collaboration between agencies and approving and monitoring collaborative projects.

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference of the TAECC include:

Review Farmer Information Needs Assessment results
Information about farmer needs should be shared between partners. Any information which
local partners have, and which is available to DAE, can be used for planning. The TAECC is
a good place to discuss such information. For example, DAE can use TAECC meetings to
find out whether other agencies have FINA results, or whether they learned important
lessons about what works well (or does not work well) locally. DAE should briefly present
their FINA results and provide partners with copies of the master list of problems and
frequencies. The problems which cannot be addressed alone i.e. those which require
partnership should be noted.

Review past, present and future extension programmes
Each partner should present a briefing of what programmes are on-going, the experiences
with these programmes, and what is planned for the future. For example, DAE could
present their programme for the coming season as well as SEMS / KAP and Technical Audit
results. Other partners should be encouraged to do the same.

Identify possibility for collaborative GO-NGO or GO-GO programmes in response to

Problems which cannot be resolved by any one agency should be discussed. The potential
for collaborative programmes within existing resources should be identified. These should
be submitted to the District Extension Planning Committee.

Discuss staff training programmes and identify scope for joint training / participation
On-going and future in-service staff training should be discussed to see whether there is
scope to include staff from partner agencies in training courses or whether there is scope for
DAE staff to attend training organised by other organisations.

Maintain joint information halls
Resources available with each partner, and how these are accommodated should be
discussed. There may be potential for developing joint mini-libraries or joint resource
centres. It may also be possible to share training materials or visual aids.

Liaise with Thana Development Co-ordination Committee
The representative from the Thana Development Co-ordination Committee (TDCC) should
present the minutes of TAECC meetings to the TDCC meetings and vice versa.

Membership comprises the DAE Agricultural Extension Officers, selected Block Supervisors
if appropriate, a representative of the TDCC, and representatives of extension partners at
thana level, including fisheries, livestock and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).
Provision for farmer representatives (from crop, livestock or fisheries sectors) is also
provided. TAECCs are chaired by each of the senior core members in rotation. DAE acts
as the member secretary.

NGOs are selected by the Thana Nirbai Officer according to the following criteria:


NGO must have:
• Government registration;
• at least three years agricultural experience;
• current agricultural programmes;
• an office in the thana;
• extension activities with women farmers in the thana;
• at least Diploma Agriculture staff who will attend the TAECC;
• technology transfer programmes;
• current liaison with NAEP partners;
• separate credit activities.


High quality plans are made on the basis of relevant high quality information. Thana and
district extension staff are expected to use the following information when planning:

Information about the current situation in the thana:

•     market price of agricultural outputs;
•     population data;
•     agro-ecological information;
•     cropping patterns;
•     current agricultural production and market situation; and
•     farmer needs and problems (FINA).

Information about the performance of extension programmes:

•     monitoring results such as the Seasonal Extension Monitoring System (SEMS);
•     evaluation results such as Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP) Survey;
•     technical audit results; and
•     an understanding of partner agencies in the area and their strengths and weaknesses.

Information about national policies:

•     current agricultural policy;
•     the New Agricultural Extension Policy;
•     any national DAE initiatives or priorities; and
•     current DAE planning and budgeting criteria.

Using Monitoring Data for Extension Planning

Chapter 12 contains details of procedures for monitoring and evaluating extension
programmes. Two techniques are described; the Seasonal Extension Monitoring System
(SEMS), and Knowledge, Attitude and Practice surveys (KAP). A third management
technique, the Technical Audit is described in Chapter 2. All three techniques yield
information about performance and it is essential that this is taken into account when
planning. Both chapters also describe how monitoring data can be interpreted.


A thana planning workshop is held once each year in September/October to prepare the
annual thana extension plan. All DAE staff in the thana should attend the workshop, under
the management and facilitation of the Thana Agricultural Officer.


•     Planning information is collated before the workshop, to guide participants in preparing a
      high quality plan. Collated information should include, as an absolute minimum, FINA,
      SEMS, KAP, Technical Audit results, the output from TAECC meetings and information
      from extension partners.
•     The workshop is participatory, and all staff have an equal opportunity to contribute to the
      decision making process, under the facilitation of the TAO.
•     The workshop can involve other extension partners if the TAO feels this is appropriate.
      For example, if the fisheries department and DAE decided to work together on rice-fish
      programmes then it would be worthwhile inviting the Thana Fisheries Officer to the

The workshop has three sessions:

•   Session 1: Consideration of planning information;
•   Session 2: Generation of objectives, indicators and means of verification; and
•   Session 3: Selection of activities.

In each session, the TAO divides workshop participant into smaller groups of 5-6 people,
and asks them to prepare ideas for presentations in a plenary session. During the
presentation, conclusions should be reached about the planning information, objectives and
activities. At the end of the workshop, the TAO should be able to use these conclusions to
finalise the planning documents (using Form A1). Form A1 is described later in this chapter.

Consideration of Planning Information

During this first session, participants review the information from FINA, SEMS, KAP,
Technical Audit and other extension partners to decide what the key features of the thana
plan should be. Useful questions to assist this process include:

•   What are the core problems that farmers are facing? (the answer to this should be
    derived from the Thana Master List);
•   Are there specific technologies that are no longer appropriate? (SEMS and KAP results
    can help answer this question);
•   Are there specific technologies which definitely need to be included? (SEMS and KAP
    analysis may help answer this);
•   Are there certain extension methods which have not worked well in the past, and need to
    be improved or dropped for a while? (SEMS and KAP analysis should help answer this
•   Are there certain extension methods which proved cost-effective and successful, and
    should be included again? (again SEMS and KAP analysis can be used);
•   Are there important areas (technologies or extension) where staff need extra training?
    (SEMS, KAP analysis and Technical Audit can be used).

Generation of Objectives, Indicators
and Means of Verification

On the basis of the planning information, and the answers to the questions above, this
second session determines the overall objectives required for the plan and, for each
objective, how can success be indicated.

Indicators should be SMART:

Specific and Stretching
Agreed and Achievable
Realistic and

Thana plans should also demonstrate how each indicator will be measured or verified.
Examples include, information recorded in the Block Supervisors Diary, SEMS, KAP or
Technical Audit results. Figure 7.2 shows two examples of objectives, indicators and means
of verification, using the thana plan format (Form A1).


   Description            of    Indicators of Achievement      Means     of     Verification   of
   Objective 1                  of Objective 1                 Objective 1

   Increase the capacity of     200 female farmers in 100      Tick from the following:
   female farmers to grow       groups, five in each block,    ___BS Diary
   homestead vegetables         produced high quality          __!_SEMS
                                homestead vegetables by        ___KAP Survey
                                June 1999.                     ___Technical Audit

   Description            of    Indicators of Achievement      Means     of     Verification   of
   Objective 2                  of Objective 2                 Objective 2

   Increase the capacity of     30 Block Supervisors each      Tick from the following:
   staff to conduct FINA        worked with 4 groups of        __!_BS Diary
   accurately and effectively   farmers, covering all target   ___SEMS
                                categories and identified      ___KAP Survey
                                specific information needs,    ___Technical Audit
                                and recorded these in their
                                diary by July 1999.

Selection of Activities

Once objectives have been selected, the workshop should decide what activities are
required. This happens during this, the final season. For every objective, there should be
sufficient activities to ensure that the objective is achieved. TAOs can divide workshop
participants into groups, one for each objective. The task for each group being to develop a
list of activities.

Thana plans should include one activity for each group that participated in the problem
census. This means that during this session BS should review their diaries for the top five
problems recorded during each PC. Participants should agree suitable activities for
inclusion in the plan. These are recorded under the suitable objective by the AEO or TAO
during the final plan preparation.

All project activities and special programmes should be included in the thana plan. To assist
in ensuring that thana plans meet DAE’s requirements the following list can be used by the
AEO and TAO after the workshop. Where there are any gaps or areas which could be
strengthened, the AEO and TAO should make minor changes to the plan.


Thana Plans should:
• adequately address farmer needs;
• define enough objectives to meet farmer needs;
• use SMART indicators;
• include activities required to achieve each objective;
• show how staff training is built into the extension plan;
• show the use of a range of extension methods;
• show how DAE will work in partnership with other agencies;
• provide extension services to all target groups;
• demonstrate cost-effectiveness and sensible use of resources;
• not have a negative environmental impact.


After the Thana Planning Workshop, thana level staff can complete the Thana Planning
Form A1, which is shown in Annex VIII. The sections in the form correspond to the sessions
of the Thana Planning Workshop.

Section 1: is for objectives. The form makes provision for six objectives, but this should be
adapted to local needs. Sometimes there may be less objectives and sometimes there may
be more.

Section 2: is for activities. A separate Section 2 should be completed for each season. The
form is based on MIS Codes which are described in DAE’s annual planning instructions.
There are codes for each extension method. There are codes for each type of technology.
There are codes for each crop. Codes for method, technology and crop are combined to
create a code for every planned extension event.

Section 3: is simply a budget summary showing how funds have been allocated. Part B of
this section is only relevant to those projects whose target criteria are the same as DAE
Policy. These are given in the DAE Planning Instructions which are published annually. In
the future however, all projects will conform to the same targeting criteria.

Form A1 contains details of all planned activities for the next year. However, a complete
plan should include the following items:

•     A Cover: to identify the Thana, with the DAE logo (monogramme);

•     An Introduction: a brief summary of the main activities included in the plan and a brief
      description of the type of information used to make the plan. This should not be a
      detailed background account of the Thana. The focus of the introduction should be
      about the reasons why the planned activities have been selected.

•     SEMS / KAP / Technical Audit Summaries: a written summary of evaluation results
      and lessons learnt which have contributed to the plan should be included. For example,
      successes and failures recorded by SEMS. SEMS forms should not be included in the

•     The Thana Master List of Farmer Problems: the Thana Master List should be

•     Form A1: Sections 1, 2 and 3 should be completed clearly and accurately.

A copy of the completed Thana Planning Form is retained in the thana office. Block
Supervisors are responsible for re-visiting some of the farmers who participated in the
Problem Censuses, to make sure that planned objectives and activities really do meet their
needs. They should therefore record the planned activities for their PC groups in their

Another copy of the plan is sent to the district office, to be assessed by district staff before
the District Extension Planning Committee meeting.


The District Extension Planning Committee (DEPC) also forms part of the chain of
committees which assist with the implementation of the New Agricultural Extension Policy.
The main functions of the DEPC are to: review Thana Plans before submission to regional
offices for approval and consolidation; review the activities in Thana Plans prior to each
season; and to plan District level activities. The key to organising and managing successful
DEPC meetings is to create an environment whereby partner agencies are able to contribute
to the review and planning process.

Before the annual DEPC meeting, thana plans should have been reviewed by one of the
District Officers to ensure that they have been completed correctly. This will save time
during the meeting.

The DEPC is a forum for partnership and discussion. The DEPC itself cannot
consolidate or implement plans. This is done under the management of the
respective agency. However, in DAE’s case, the DEPC is an executive committee
with the authority to approve thana plans for submission to the ATC for technical

Terms of Reference

Review and approve thana extension plans
Each TAO should present a brief summary of the thana plan, concentrating on Form A1,
which should be reviewed by participants, amended if necessary and approved. When
reviewing thana plans, participants should refer to the thana planning workshop checklist
described in Section 7.5.

Prepare consolidated district extension plans and forward to ATC
The DEPC as a committee cannot consolidate plans. This task must be conducted by the
Deputy Director, District, after the meeting, using Form A. Form A is where district level
activities can be added, and a budget summary prepared. The Deputy Director should
bundle all thana plans together and attach Form A, a copy should be retained at the district
office and the plan sent to the region. This is the only type of consolidation that is required.

Implement extension programmes, and oversee monitoring, supervision and
The DEPC as a committee cannot implement programmes. This is done by the staff of DAE
and other agencies, as per plan. However, before each season, the DEPC should check
that forthcoming programmes remain valid. The DEPC should assess the quality of on-
going or completed programmes by reviewing SEMS, KAP and Technical Audit results and
making recommendations for improvement.

Publicise extension programmes through regional radio
Approved programmes should be sent to the regional radio station. Radio stations should
be encouraged to broadcast items which are related to the technical content of extension
programmes. Radio staff should be encouraged to accompany extension staff at specific
events such as farmers rallies or fairs. The Additional Director (Region) is responsible for
liaison with Bangladesh Betar, as described in Chapter 11.

Provide technical co-ordination for arranging district fairs
The DEPC is the perfect forum for partners to share ideas concerning the content, schedule,
funding and other logistical arrangements for district fairs. All the extension partners could
contribute to the cost of fairs, as they provide a benefit to all participating organisations.

Provide technical advice for other development activities
Where the DEPC has been approached for advice outside the field of agricultural extension,
assistance should be given wherever possible.

Review proposed collaborative programmes in thana plans
Where there is a special proposal for a collaborative programme from a thana, this should be
presented by the Thana Agricultural Officer, and reviewed by DEPC participants.

Identify scope for meeting farmer needs through collaboration at district level
The DEPC should identify information needs and farm level problems which have not been
addressed in the DAE thana extension plans, plans of other partners, or collaborative
programmes. If possible a district level collaborative programme can then be proposed,
agreements developed, and these sent to the ATC. Collaborative programmes should,
wherever possible, be implemented within existing resources.

Discuss staff training events, and identify scope for joint training / participation
Partners who have on-going or forthcoming staff training programmes, or who are planning
future programmes, should present details. Wherever possible, and where appropriate, staff
from other partner organisations should be invited to attend such training.

Maintain liaison with District Development Co-ordination Committee (DDCC)
The representative from the DDCC should present the minutes of DEPC meetings to the
next DDCC meeting, and vice versa.


The DEPC is chaired on a rotation basis by senior core members. These include: the Deputy
Director, DAE, District Livestock Officer, the District Fisheries Officer, the Executive
Engineer Water Development Board, the Deputy Director (Seeds) BADC, and the Deputy
Director, BRDB. DAE acts as the member secretary. Other participants include:
• the DAE District Training Officer;
• Thana Agricultural Officers;
• representatives from NGOs;
• representative from Bangladesh Betar;
• research representatives especially the Senior Scientific Officer, Soil Research
    Development Institute (SRDI), and others where there is a local research station;
• a representative from the lead bank;
• private sector representatives.

NGO participants are selected according to the following criteria:


NGOs Must Have:
• Government registration;
• at least three years agricultural experience;
• current agricultural programmes in the District;
• an office in the District;
• extension activities with women farmers in the District;
• at least BSc Agriculture staff who will attend the DEPC;
• technology transfer programmes;
• current liaison with NAEP partners;
• separate credit activities.

DEPC Schedule of Meetings

The DEPC meets four times each year, after the TAECC meetings and the Thana Planning
Workshops as follows:

December        To review and approve plans for the next financial year
February        To review and approve plans for the coming Kharif-I season
May             To review approve plans for the coming Kharif-II season
September       To review and approve plans for the coming Rabi season

The meeting in December, to review and approve plans for the next financial year, should be
a rigorous in-depth assessment of the quality of plans. At all other meetings, in September,
February and May, the plan for the coming season will have already been approved. In this
case, the DEPC should ensure that:

•     the activities which have been approved are still relevant;
•     there are no urgent problems which should be addressed in the coming season;
•     new ideas which have arisen over the last few months can be included in the plan (but
      only at no or very low cost).


A key area of the revised extension approach is decentralisation. This means that much of
the work of planning and managing extension programmes is done by thana and district
staff, rather than headquarters. Headquarters now has more of a support function.
In-Service Training Requests

In-service training is planned locally in the same way as extension activities - on Form A1
Section 2 (see Chapter 8). However, some of the training that staff may need to implement
activities or respond to new needs may not be possible to arrange locally. In this case,
these needs should be submitted to the Director, Training Wing, in order for them to be
included in the Master Training Plan.

Media Requests

The Media Cell described in Chapter 2 is responsible for providing media support to field
staff. It has co-ordinated a large number of productions, including seed videos, flip charts
and posters, and the Annual Extension Planner. The Media Cell is a responsive service for
field offices and will consider requests from thanas and districts. For example, some field
staff have requested media support for seed extension activities and the Media Cell has
provided material in response. Once each year, at the time of preparing the annual
extension plan, districts should send media requests to the Media Cell.


The District Planning Form A is provided in Annex IX. There are two parts. Part 1 is for
district level events. Here, the district staff itemise extension activities to be implemented at
district level to support the thana plans. Examples include preparing district bulletins, district
agricultural fairs, and training of thana level staff.

Part 2 is a budget summary and contains a summary of Thana budgets from planning forms

The consolidated district extension plan comprises a copy of each Thana Plan plus a copy of
the District Planning Form A, bundled together. It should be sent to the Regional DAE office
for presentation at the ATC.


Chapter 1 provides an overview of the function of ATCs and how they provide a linkage
between research and extension. In terms of planning, ATCs have a key role as they are
responsible for reviewing potentially inappropriate technologies included in district plans.

Detailed guidelines on schedule, planning and management of Agricultural Technical
Committees, which are chaired by senior core members on a rotation basis, follow.

These have been specifically prepared for DAE. If other organisations chair the meeting then
it is up to the Additional Director to ensure that the ATC meets DAE's requirements.


The Role of the ATC for DAE
ATCs have a vital role to play. They are where extension and research staff come together. Research-
extension linkage is a two way process, as DAE needs to stimulate research ideas (via unanswered
farmer problems) for research institutes, and the Research Institutes need to promote the transfer of new
technologies to farmers. The purpose of the ATC is to:

•   ensure that technologies offered to farmers, in response to the problems they have identified, are the
    most appropriate;
•   discuss possible solutions to farmers problems that have not been solved adequately by the Thana
    or District office;
•   promote a two-way flow of information between the Research Institutes and DAE;
•   promote co-operation and understanding between DAE, other extension providers and research

ATCs are not the place to discuss how District budgets are allocated or how each individual event
relates to FINA. ATCs are not the place to go through each Districts extension activities one by one.
These functions are performed by the District Extension Planning Committee.

The chairman is responsible for ensuring that the Agricultural Technical Committees fulfil their Terms of
Reference. So, they must:

•       prepare carefully for ATC meetings;
•       chair ATC meetings efficiently; and
•       follow-up on ATC meetings promptly.

Preparing for the ATC
As shown on the Annual Planner, ATCs meet four times a year, in January, February, June and

In order to ensure that the ATC fulfils its terms of reference at each of these meetings, the chairman

•   review district plans as they arrive, before the meeting, and assess the appropriateness of
    technologies used;
•   produce an agenda and invite relevant participants; and
•   encourage invitees to attend.

Reviewing District Plans
All Districts should be asked to submit a copy of their District Plans in advance of the ATC meeting. It
is the responsibility of the Additional Director to review the plans and note the technologies that: a)
require further guidance/clarification, and b) appear potentially inappropriate.               These are
questionable technologies. It is also the responsibility of the Additional Director to confirm that
planned extension activities relate directly to problems identified by farmers in FINA. If not, this matter
should be raised with the relevant Deputy Director during the meeting.

Producing an Agenda
The chairman should produce an agenda including details of the questionable technologies. In order
to promote co-operation between all ATC members the agenda should also allow for other members
to discuss their objectives for the coming year/season. The chairman will need to telephone ATC
members to see what they would like to include on the agenda. The final agenda is then sent to all
relevant ATC members with an introductory letter and an invitation to attend, at least one week before
the meeting. The invitation should include:

•   a letter of introduction, including the date, location and time of ATC;
•   a list of technologies to be discussed;
•   details of any FINA results requiring further research or action in partnership;
•   a request for invitees to attend with details of their own activities for the coming season.

An agenda will encourage participants to attend as they will be aware in advance of the subjects to be
discussed. Furthermore, requesting the ATC members to present their own activities for the coming
year/ season allows areas for co-operation to be explored and makes the meeting more relevant to all
those attending. Sending the invitation in advance gives participants time to review the technologies
and prepare comments for the ATC.

Encouraging Participants to Attend
An ATC is Technical Committee and as such should restrict its activities to discussing the technical
contents of district plans. This allows all the extension partners invited to the ATC (e.g. Research
Institutes, Livestock, Fisheries) to comment on whether the technologies being offered to the farmers
are the most appropriate and up to date. The key to getting invited ATC participants to attend is to
make sure that they feel they have a genuine contribution to make and that the ATC is important for
their organisation. To make the ATC relevant, ensure that all participants have the opportunity to
present their own activities and limit discussion to technical issues. During the week before the ATC
meeting, telephone ATC participants to ensure that a) they have received the invitation, b) they have
read the list of questionable technologies, c) they prepare a brief presentation of their own activities,
including issues where they need assistance from DAE. Making sure that only relevant people are
invited will also make it more likely that they come to the meeting.

Chairing the ATC Meeting
Use the following tips for chairing the ATC meeting:

•   ensure that refreshments are organised before starting the meeting;
•   once participants arrive, start promptly by summarising the purpose of the meeting, and summarising
    the agenda;
•   during discussion of each agenda item, restrict the discussion to appropriate subjects;
•   ensure that each DD gives only a brief summary of the technologies they have planned and the
    reasons they have chosen that particular technology. If presentations are too long participants will get
    bored and time will run short. Each district presentation should be no more than 15 minutes, and
    budgets should not be included;
•   after each DAE district presentation, ask committee members for their comments and suggestions.
    Where modifications to the technology are agreed the Deputy Director District should note the
    relevant change. During the discussions opportunities for collaboration between extension providers
    can be explored. Make sure that the technologies identified during preparation for the ATC meeting
    as being questionable are discussed, and that the appropriate action is decided. Questionable
    technologies could be a) deleted, b) modified, or c) retained as planned;

•   allow each partner, (including NGOs, Livestock, Fisheries, Research Institutes etc.) an opportunity to
    present to the committee what they will be doing over the forthcoming year/season;

•   once all the presentations have been made, raise any unsolved farmer problems, which were
    identified during FINA. If a solution is not available these can be recommended for further research.
    ATCs play an important role in identifying research topics. If a subject requiring further research is
    identified this should be recorded in the ATC minutes. The Chairman of the ATC should send a
    written proposal, outlining details of the problem, to the relevant research institute and DAE
    headquarters. This will then be considered by the Agricultural Research Institute;

•   Headquarters. Other unsolved farmer problems might need the assistance of other organisations -
    such as NGOs in the case or credit, or livestock in the case of poultry;

•   discuss any requirement for, or arrangement of research/extension workshops;

After the ATC
Once the meeting has concluded, follow the follow-up tips:

•   make sure the member secretary prepares and circulates the minutes as soon as possible to all the
    invitees (even those who did not attend) and to Additional Director (Monitoring) Field Services Wing,

•   ensure any research proposals are submitted to the appropriate research institute and DAE

•   make necessary arrangements for the next Research/Extension Workshop;

•   ensure District Extension Plans are adjusted, before compiling them and submitting them to


The ATC is responsible for reviewing potentially inappropriate technologies included in
district extension plans. In some cases, district plans may include ideas which, when
reviewed by specialists from research and other agencies, may be deemed inappropriate.
The Deputy Director (District) is a member of the ATC, and therefore participates in the

The Deputy Director knows what decisions were made, and receives copies of the minutes.
The Deputy Director is therefore responsible for adjusting District Form A and Thana Form
A1, in accordance with decisions taken at the ATC. Adjustments could be of the following

•   deleting activities;
•   adding additional activities;
•   adjusting the detail of existing activities.

Any adjustments made should not deviate from FINA results.

Adjusted plans are sent back to thana staff as technically valid. The only adjustments that
might occur after this would be as a result of budget review at headquarters. All plans are
sent to the Regional office for consolidation.


Regional consolidation of District Extension Plans has been introduced by DAE to reduce
the work load of Headquarters staff who were previously responsible for checking and
consolidating 64 different plans. Since consolidation has been decentralised to regional
offices staff at Headquarters only have to review nine plans, once per year, giving them
more time to support District and Thana officers.

District plans are consolidated at regional level by the Statistical Officer (SO). The
Additional Director Region supplies all District and Thana Plans to the SO. The SO types
each one of the forms (Form A and Form A1) onto the planning computer using Extension
Planning Software. During the data entry stage, the SO checks each planned activity to
make sure that it has the correct unit cost and the correct code number. If there is any doubt
about any activity on any of the forms then the SO should telephone the concerned District
or thana for necessary correction.

Once data entry has been completed the SO prints a report. Two copies are supplied to the
Additional Director (Region). One copy is retained by the AD whilst the other is sent to the
Management Committee for final approval. The regional plan is also copied onto disc and
sent to Headquarters. The Management Committee review the regional extension plans and
makes any amendments if they see fit. Budgets are disbursed after the Management
Committee has reviewed and approved plans.


This section briefly describes the requirement for and the need to plan local in-service
training. A detailed description of DAE’s approach to training is given in Chapter 8.

Extension plans and the activities which comprise the plans, can only be implemented if staff
have the required skills. Broadly, there are two types of skills:

•   technology skills; and
•   extension skills.

This means that staff must have the technology and extension skills necessary to implement
the activities in the plan. If staff do not have these skills then they require training. Staff
training and development is a continuous process. However, a specific effort to ensure that
staff are trained to implement the activities in the coming season is important. By evaluating
staff skills during the planning process Thana and District staff are able to decide local
training needs for inclusion on Form A or Form A1.


Implementing extension activities from the plan and follow up activities recorded in the BS
diary is the key to successful extension work and takes place throughout the year. However,
in order to provide necessary feedback so that planners (at Thana and District) can assess
which activities are particularly successful or to identify areas of weakness it is necessary to
record how each event took place. This is known as monitoring. The systems which DAE
have devised for monitoring are described in detail in Chapter 12. It is important to
recognise that monitoring data collected during implementation is an essential component of
the planning process.


Evaluation includes analysing the monitoring information recorded during implementation.
Evaluation should take place after each season to:

•    check whether objectives have been achieved;
•    check whether objectives were appropriate;
•    identify any particular strengths;
•    identify whether there were weaknesses.

This information is then fed into the planning process. It helps planners decide appropriate
activities and training for the next year’s plan.


Advance Budgeting

Advance budgets are prepared by Deputy Directors annually during August. These are sent
to DAE Headquarters so that it is able to include extension activities in its request for funds
to the Ministry of Agriculture during September / October for the next financial year. Steps
for preparing advance budgets follow.


1.   Take the total figure from the current extension plan (Form A).
2.   Assess the extent to which extension service costs can actually be reduced (e.g. by planning more low or no
     cost events and using more mass media).
3.   Reduce the total figure in Form A by this amount.
4.   Decide whether there are additional activities that may be implemented in the next financial year.
5.   Draft a cost for these activities and add it to your new total.
6.   Submit recommendations with a simple justification in a letter to the Director Field Services Wing, copied to
     the Additional Director (Region).

Preparing Annual Reports

To complete the annual planning process each District is required to submit a simple annual
report covering the previous financial year to DAE Headquarters. The report should contain:

•     description of achievements against targets. This should include a summary of SEMS
     and KAP results; and
•    a note of actual expenditure for extension activities against planned expenditure.

The report should be prepared by the Deputy Director and submitted to the Director Field
Service Wing during September. A copy should also be sent to the Additional Director

                                   CHAPTER 8
                          EXTENSION STAFF DEVELOPMENT


Impact of Bottom-up Demand Driven
Extension Planning on Capacity

A bottom-up, demand driven extension system must be able to respond to whatever
problems farmers identify. One of the difficulties faced is to ensure the skills and capacity to
solve farmers problems. DAE can only provide immediate assistance that is within its

Capacity is the overall ability of an organisation or unit to carry out various activities.
Capacity always has limits. Each extension manager needs to know the limits of their staff.
Work plans must be within limits or within their ‘capacity’.

Relationship Between Capacity
Required and Staff Development

There are many problems to overcome to meet the demands of extension clients. This
means that extension staff need to have the appropriate skills and knowledge to be able to
provide the correct response to farmers. This might mean technical knowledge about a
particular crop and/or skills in extension such as how to handle a group of farmers so as to
be sure the messages are understood.

District and thana extension managers need to be sure of the competence of their staff
before selecting and assigning activities as part of the extension plan. The knowledge and
skills required to carry out work plans determine any immediate additional training required.
This means both the technical content of the extension programme and the ability to carry
out the extension method to be used.

Training Needs are Directly Linked to
the Extension Planning Process

The Revised Extension Approach is centred on farmers needs. These needs are diverse.
Responding to diverse farmer information needs requires equally diverse extension
programming. Each thana and district have their own locally responsive extension
programmes, which require specific staff knowledge and skills. Because each plan is
different, the responsibility for staff development rests with the District Deputy Director, the
District Training Officer, and at Thana level with the Thana Agricultural Officer. DAE
Headquarters provides additional assistance and resources but does not have the capacity
to respond to all the extension staff development demands.

During the planning process:

• it is essential that staff ability be considered; and
• it is essential that training possibilities be assessed.

Extension plans can only include those activities that staff are already able to do, or can be
adequately trained to do before the activity is implemented.


Female farmers have requested, and the extension plan contains, method demonstrations
on soybean storage. The BS assigned this responsibility does not know how to store
soybeans, how to conduct a method demonstration, or how to work effectively with women’s

What are the options?

• Provide the required training to the BS before implementation of this activity, OR
• Give this assignment to another staff member who has the necessary expertise; OR
• Remove this activity from the extension plan. This may mean postponing this activity until
  the following year in order to train the BS. (District Specialists and AEO/AAO may also
  need this training).

In order to assess the ability of staff to carry out the extension plan district and thana
managers must:

• know what skills and knowledge are required to carry out the planned activity;
• know what skills and knowledge staff currently have; and
• identify any gaps in the skills and knowledge that are required.

Once it is known what training is required, an assessment can be made of the feasibility of
providing this training in time to implement the planned extension activity.

Staff skills and knowledge are an essential factor in deciding what extension activities can be
undertaken. If training of staff can not be ensured in time to implement the activity, it cannot
be included in the current extension plan.

It is the responsibility of District and Thana managers to ensure that their staff are
adequately trained to carry out their assignments under the District and Thana extension


Competence is the level of knowledge, skills and experience of an individual to carry out
specific tasks. People have differing degrees of competence in different skill areas. No one
is completely competent at all things. An individual's overall competence is usually related
to the opportunities they have had to develop new skills and to practice the skills they have.

In DAE the main areas of competence are:

• agricultural technical knowledge and skills;
• agricultural extension knowledge and skills; and
• management knowledge and skills.

All staff members should periodically assess their levels of competency in all general
skill areas. To do this, staff should complete an annual staff competence form (see Annex
X). The completed forms should be analysed by the DTO/TAO and kept as a record of
competence. This is best done as part of the "work programming" process, particularly for
Block Supervisors. Completed annual staff competence forms should be entered on
computer wherever possible to enable quick and ready analysis.

The work programming process, particularly with Block Supervisors, also identifies small
gaps in knowledge and skills where remedial action should be taken.

The information collected through the Annual Competence Assessment forms a database for
the thana and district to use as a basis for extension planning and for assisting in identifying
areas of training need. If it is done by all field staff in a District, extension managers will be
able to see where further actions are required.

The staff competence database enables extension managers to:

• assess staff competence to implement proposed extension assignments;
• assign activities to individual staff members which they are fully competent to carry out;
• identify areas of extension work which cannot be undertaken due to limitations in staff

The annual staff competence form identifies six categories of competence as shown in
Table 8.1.


 Level of Competence                 Gaps                             Training Required

 5      EXPERT                       none, can train others           none
 4      COMPLETELY                   none, no supervision             unsupervised practice
        COMPETENT                    required
 3      MOSTLY COMPETENT             requires adequate                supervised practice,
                                     supervision                      on-the-job training,
 2      MODERATELY                   requires some assistance         on-the-job training,
        COMPETENT                    and guidance                     self directed learning
 1      PARTIALLY                    cannot complete task alone,      on-the-job training,
        COMPETENT                    lacks some important             self directed learning,
                                     knowledge and skills             focused training
 0      NO COMPETENCE                cannot perform task, no          comprehensive training
                                     significant knowledge or skill   course


It is the professional responsibility of each staff member to constantly increase their
competence in both existing and new knowledge and skill areas. In a bottom-up demand
driven system new skill areas are determined according to what is required to assist farmers
with the problems they identify.

Training is an essential part of ensuring that the extension advice provided is correct and
appropriate. DAE has over the years invested huge resources in training and continues to do
so. However, formal organised training classes are often not the most effective or most cost
effective way to increase competence. Everyone is responsible for his or her own learning
development and the practice of learning from experiences should become an integral part
of our daily lives.

DAE does not have the resources to provide formal training to meet all training needs and all
staff and officers are encouraged to develop their own abilities. Officers are responsible to
train and develop their staff and to help people to learn how to be more effective in their
personal and working lives.

How to Identify Training Needs

The competence assessment form gives an indication of general ability in different
knowledge and skill areas. Where lack of competence is indicated, further analysis is
necessary to identify exactly what knowledge and skill is lacking. This requires breaking
down the knowledge and skill area into its component parts. This is called job analysis.

The job analysis process provides a comprehensive understanding of what is required to
adequately perform the various tasks the job requires. Jobs usually include a number of
different activity areas. Each activity area consists of a number of specific tasks which must
be performed. Analysis of a specific task identifies a number of actions required to complete
it. Finally, analysis of a specific action identifies a number of individual steps which are

Once all of the activity areas are identified, the learner's competence in each can be
measured. What the learner is currently able to do must be compared to what is required to
adequately perform the job tasks. This is called gap analysis. There is a “gap” when the
tasks require more skills and knowledge than the learner currently possesses. It is this “gap”
that must be filled through training. The same competence assessment categories used to
indicate competence in the overall knowledge and skill area, i.e. expert, completely
competent, mostly competent, moderately competent, partially competent, no competence,
can also be used to indicate ability to perform each of the component tasks, actions and

At each stage of the training needs assessment process, it is only necessary to breakdown
the items that competence assessment indicates require improvement. The process is a
sequence of job analysis followed by gap analysis, again followed by job analysis and so on.

The component parts of a "job" can be described in different ways depending on how
broadly the job itself is defined. Sometimes levels of breakdown are skipped. For example
DAE's Job Descriptions go straight to "tasks", skipping the "activity area" level. This is useful
when most of the activity areas within the scope of the job require similar sets of tasks.

The level of break down necessary will depend on the nature of the activity area and tasks
concerned. Training will be most effective if it focuses on the particular areas where the
learner requires additional knowledge and skills.

Figure 8.1 provides an example of a job and gap analysis. In the general knowledge and
skill area "Tomato Production", a person may have a competency assessment of "2.
Moderately Competent". To find out what the actual training needs are it is necessary to
break down the general area of Tomato Production into its activity areas as shown. This is
the "job analysis". This is followed by a "gap analysis" exercise to focus in on the specific
gaps in knowledge and skills that resulted in the initial general competence rating of "2.
Moderately Competent".

Once the activity areas have been identified, competence can be assessed for each activity
area. In this example the competence assessment of activity areas shows that the
difficulties are in 'pest and disease management'. It is now necessary to break down this
activity area into its component tasks. To identify learning needs in the 'pest and disease
management' activity area, competence can then be assessed for each task which has been

In this example, the task 'using a knapsack sprayer' has been identified as the difficulty. It is
now necessary to breakdown the task 'using a knapsack sprayer' into its component
actions. Competence assessment of each action reveals that the real problem is that the
learner doesn't know how to operate the sprayer. This action can now be broken down into
its component steps. The steps involved in correctly operating the sprayer should make up
the training exercise.

Using the process of job and gap analysis helps to focus limited resources on the training
needs which are most critical. After the training needs have been identified it is useful to
determine the frequency, relative importance and learning difficulty for each component.


 JOB AREAS       ACTIVITY                         CL*   TASKS              CL   ACTIONS         CL   STEPS

                   • soil requirements            4
                   • soil preparation             4
                   • planting times, growing
                     season                       4
                   • planting/seeding rates       4
 Tomato            • water requirements,
 Production          application                  3
                   • fertilising needs,
                     application                  3
                   • pest and disease mgt.        2
                   • weeding needs,
                   • thinning needs, techniques
                   • pruning needs, techniques
                   • maturity characteristics     4
                   • harvesting needs,            4
                   • post-harvest handling        3
                   • processing                   3
                                                        • pest
                                                          identification   4
                                                        • pest counting    5
                                                        • disease
                 PROBLEM ACTIVITY AREA:                   identification   5
                  • pest and disease mgt.               • selecting
                                                          control method   3
                                                        • selecting
                                                          pesticide        4
                                                        • determining
                                                          quantities to    4
                                                        • determining      3
                                                        • using a
                                                        • assessing
                                                          effects of
                                                                                • checking
                                                        PROBLEM TASK:             equipment     3
                                                         • using a              • calibration   3
                                                         knapsack               • mixing        4
                                                         sprayer                • protection    5
                                                                                • operating
                                                                                  sprayer       1
                                                                                • cleaning up   4
                                                                                PROBLEM              • pressure
                                                                                ACTION:                control
                                                                                 • operatin          • pace/speed
                                                                                 g sprayer           • nozzle
                                                                                                     • coverage

*CL = Competence Level

If individuals are already moderately competent in a knowledge and skill area, they likely
know what specific tasks they find difficult and can focus their own learning accordingly.
When the annual competence assessment form indicates staff have little or no competence,
and organised training may be required, it is very important to know exactly what
deficiencies in knowledge and skills really exist. Training resources can then be effectively

How Individuals can Learn What they
Need to Know

Most extension staff are already "Moderately Competent", "Mostly Competent" or
"Completely Competent" in many commonly required technical skill areas.

Most learning needs can be overcome through on-the-job training/supervised practice, self
directed learning, and informal training. These learning methods are generally low or no-cost
and comprise experiences which should be an integral part of daily professional lives.

If enough Block Supervisors or other staff have requested the same training, a course may
be arranged by District or Thana officers for the regular monthly formal training session. If
there is a general need for training in a particular subject, DAE headquarters will arrange
country-wide training.

Improving competence is the individual’s responsibility. No one can assist farmers

• they do not know how to use the extension method properly;

• they do not know about the technology being discussed.

Individuals must decide what training they need. This will depend on:

• what extension methods are the best to use with their farmers;

• what information and assistance their farmers have asked for;

• what they already know and feel confident about doing.

If it is felt that training is needed in order to carry out assigned extension activities
properly, training needs should be discussed with supervisors. This advice will help
them to choose training topics for the on-going formal monthly training sessions.

 Assistance from DAE Headquarters

DAE Training Wing should be informed when:

• a district has a significant number of staff with a common learning need;
• the area of required knowledge and skills is comprehensive; and
• that learning need cannot be satisfactorily achieved with local resources.

These requests should be documented in detail and passed to the Director Training at DAE
Headquarters in December of each year as noted on the Extension Planner. An additional
copy of these requests could also be attached as an Annex, to the annual District and Thana
Extension Plans. Each request should specify:

•   the training topic and content;

•   the suggested duration;

•   the number and designation of officers to be trained; and

•   the urgency of the training i.e. is it required for implementation of that annual extension

DAE Training Wing will develop and organise the training centrally as soon as is feasible, or
will include trainees in an appropriate scheduled training course.

Low and No-cost ways to Increase Staff

On-the-Job Training

The most common way that competence is increased is through on-the-job training. On-the
job training is where training is carried out as part of supervising or coaching a BS or other
staff member. On the job training is common in DAE. It is when guidance is provided to
another staff member to help them do the job better. Supervising officers are doing this
when, for example, they provide guidance on how to improve a demonstration plot or on how
to complete the BS diary, answer technical questions about crops or procedures, or
demonstrate how to do a particular task. Competence always improves with practice.
Practising tasks in the presence of a "mentor" provides opportunity for advice on improving
one's ability.

On-the-job training is a joint responsibility. Individuals should realise where they need extra
assistance and ask for it, and supervisors should recognise where staff require extra
guidance and provide it.

Self-Directed Learning

The primary way for individuals to increase their own competence is through self-directed
learning, where the individual is responsible for keeping themselves updated and seeking
solutions to their own questions. Self directed learning is ideal for keeping up with changes
and advances in technologies.
There are many ways to pursue one's own learning. Some examples are:

•   seeking out and discussing problems with professional colleagues and other local
    experts. These may be senior DAE staff, or perhaps specialised farmers, NGO staff,
    private sector businessmen or others with special knowledge and skills. This is the
    quickest way to get the information needed;
•   consulting books and other technical reference information. Training materials and other
    information can be found at the local District or Thana office, or with input dealers, NGOs
    and others. What is needed can be learnt by studying these materials independently or
    with guidance from a supervisor. This allows focusing on exactly the information needed;
•   listening to relevant radio and TV broadcasts;

•   visiting agricultural research facilities;
•   participating in an appropriate training course in your area being conducted by another
    organisation such as an NGO;
•   conducting one's own research trials;
•   joining groups with similar interests.

Managers must ensure that staff have sufficient time and resources to undertake self
directed learning, and that it is recognised as an important and valuable use of time.
Informal Training

Informal training is where information is given or skills demonstrated to a group of people
often assembled for another purpose. Gatherings of extension staff such as meetings
provide opportunities for informal staff training. Examples of informal staff training are:

    •   briefing staff on methods to control an insect pest outbreak;
    •   introducing a new technology of interest to farmers;
    •   updating staff about new market conditions;
    •   demonstrating a piece of equipment;
    •   discussing current production problems and solutions

This type of training often occurs at regular meetings of BSs at the Thana Office or
elsewhere. This should not be confused with the BS monthly training session which is
regarded as formal training.

On-the-job training and supervised practice, self directed learning, and informal training
provide low-cost or no-cost ways to significantly increase staff competence.

Formal Training

Formal training can be costly and is the best option only if a large number of staff lack
significant competence in a broad area of knowledge and skills. Formal training requires a
prepared course of study, and often training aids and handout materials for participants.

Courses may be run at Thana, District, National or even international level.

Formal Training of District Officers
Most formal training for district officers is managed and financed centrally by the Training
Wing. Courses may be arranged in central locations, or Districts and Thanas may be
instructed to arrange courses locally. Course training guides and other materials are usually
provided from Headquarters.

Formal Training of Thana Staff
Formal Training of Thana officers and Block Supervisors may also be directed from
Headquarters, usually as part of specific development assistance projects.

In addition to the formal training programme directed from Headquarters, each district may
develop some of its own training courses for Thana Officers. Regular formal training of Block
Supervisors takes place one day each month.


District management of locally organised training has several components and
responsibilities. The DD must determine the component tasks of training management,
define the order and time frame for each task, and identify persons to be responsible for
each component.

Component tasks:

• identify areas of knowledge and skill where additional competence is required.
  Competence assessment is discussed in Section 8.1. Where lack of competence is
  indicated it is important to isolate training needs from other factors affecting staff
• determine the context in which training needs should be assessed;
• relate training needs to tasks assigned to each staff member,
• identify areas and types of specific and general training required;
• determine options for local skill development;
• identify sources of local technical expertise;
• define mechanisms for utilising local technical expertise in staff training;
• integrate staff training into local work plans;
• link trainees with local training resources and opportunities;
• budget time and financial resources required for local staff training;
• develop training courses locally;
• define and obtain required assistance from DAE Training Wing.

Responsibility for the overall supervision of the training programmes rests with the District
Training Officer and includes:

• ensuring that determination of training needs is integrated into the bottom up extension
  planning process;
• correlating training to the extension plan and the individual work programme, in both
  content and timing;
• encouraging on-the-job training and self-learning amongst all extension staff and
  providing appropriate resource materials.

Formal training programmes are prepared each season by the District Training Officer with
the assistance of the District Specialists and Thana Agricultural Officers. The formal training
programme is primarily made up of all the courses specified for implementation by the
Training Wing and development assistance projects. The training programme states the
subjects to be presented at each session and who will present them. There may be more
than one subject per session. The programme should also identify any outside assistance
that is required, for example guest speakers, equipment or teaching aids. Responsibilities

• ensuring all training event organisers are familiar with the procedures and guidelines in
  the "DAE Trainers Guide for Officers";
• ensuring training event organisers complete training session guides, including the
  objectives, content, training methods and participants;
• training of trainers and close monitoring and supervision of training events at all levels;
• monitoring and evaluating training.

In addition to periodic courses in the Formal Training Programme, a half day per month is
set aside exclusively for regular monthly training of Thana Officers. This is to ensure a
minimum of time and access to learning resources.

Regular monthly training of Thana Officers is managed jointly by the DTO and the District
Specialists at the District office. The session may be an organised lesson on a common
topic of interest or current concern; or it can provide a forum for information updates on a
variety of upcoming topics to be taught at the monthly training sessions for the BSs.

The time could also be utilised to obtain information from other district sources such as the
District Learning Resource Centre, and specialised professionals of DAE and other
extension partners. Training managers should ensure that training time is utilised to
maximum benefit.

The remaining half day of the monthly training session is a forum to which field problems are
brought for discussion and can provide an opportunity for informal training.


The TAO is responsible for providing a basic training unit at the Thana Agricultural Office.
This requires making best use of existing facilities. The basic requirements for the Training
Unit are:

•   suitable seating and lighting arrangement;
•   storage facilities for reference books and other printed materials;
•   storage facilities for training materials;
•   training equipment (OHP, slide projector, flip board, etc.).

The TAO keeps records of all training sessions held in the Thana. These records include
dates, places, attendance and a list of subjects. These are submitted to the Training Officer
at the end of every month, with the relevant lesson plans or Training Modules attached.

Management of the BS Training

Block Supervisor training is on-going with regular monthly training. Additional BS training is
provided periodically as part of specific development assistance projects. This training is
usually prescribed by the specific project and may involve external trainers and venues.

The TAO is responsible for the regular monthly training of the BSs, assisted by the
AEO/AAO, who serve as principal trainers, Assistant Agricultural Extension Officers
(AAEOs) and Junior Agricultural Extension Officers (JAEOs). District Specialists and the
District Training Officer may also participate to ensure the quality of the training. The BS
should record the training information in their diary.

The purpose of the BS training is:
• to prepare Block Supervisors to undertake their upcoming extension programme;
• to teach Block Supervisors agricultural practices which may be suitable for farmers in
  their block;
• to provide BSs with supporting technical knowledge and skills, which will improve their
  ability to analyse farmers' problems, understand the benefits of recommended practices
  and demonstrate these practices;
• to enable BSs to develop skills in communication and alternative extension methods
  which will improve their ability to interact effectively with farmers.

The Deputy Director, in consultation with the TAO, determines which day of the week the
thana level training should take place.

BS attend technical meetings at the Thana office on two days of every month. One day is to
be used as a formal training session and the other day is used for other types of
interaction and information exchange.
     Meetings at the Thana Office

Technical Meeting: BS Formal Training Session

This training should follow the Training Wing guidelines for other in-service training
components, including reporting and monitoring and standard documentation of planning
i.e. a definite time frame, formal training programme and lesson preparation and evaluation.

Adequate technical training of Block Supervisors is of primary importance. BSs are
traditionally the last and least trained while functioning as the main interface between DAE
and its clients. The extension system requires one day per month for regular, un-funded BS

Emphasis should be on motivation though development of appropriate and relevant training
topics directly related to the current extension programmes of each thana. The analysis of
the individual annual competence forms will assist in identifying appropriate topics for
training. For example in skill areas where farmers require extension assistance but staff
competence is low.

Block Supervisors require practical training to develop sufficient extension and technical skill
to give meaningful assistance to farmers. The training is normally held at the thana
headquarters but practical training could be done at a research station, BADC farm,
Horticulture Centre or a farmer's field.

Local training of Block Supervisors focuses on learning applied skills through supervised
practice and consists of a series of instruction modules and applied exercises. Modules are
one day training sessions and exercises will be completed by the BS between instruction
sessions. Each instruction module will guide trainees through case studies and examples of
selected skill applications. Instruction modules are followed by applied exercises that Block
Supervisors complete independently in their blocks. Each new instruction session will review
exercise assignments from the previous session.

Modules are related to the specific kinds of demonstrations and other extension activities in
the thana extension programme. The training programme for each thana will vary depending
on the extension programme and the projects being targeted and implemented in the thana

The modules are studied and the teaching plan reviewed in the monthly training sessions for
Thana Officers. District and thana staff select the modules to be taught to the Block
Supervisors. District staff ensure that the thana staff have a clear understanding of the topics
to be taught.

Each District should over time develop a bank of one day training modules on a wide range
of topics, for use during these sessions. Training Wing and projects as well as extension
partners may contribute additional training modules related to the technological knowledge
and skills required in their respective programme and activity areas.

The TAECC can provide a good forum for discussing BS training needs with extension
partners. This will help to identify knowledgeable local trainers outside of DAE. Extension
partners also conduct training that may be beneficial to BSs. The TAO should ensure that
BSs attend training offered by other extension partners when it is appropriate. Partners
should also be encouraged to participate in DAE's BS monthly training programme where

Technical Meeting: Review of Activities and Field Situation, and Informal Training

The other technical session in each four week period covers:

• a review of the current situation in the field, including discussion of farmers' problems,
  pest and disease incidence and availability of inputs;
• a summary of extension messages relevant to different categories of farmer and to the
  time of the year;
• a review of progress in implementation of the extension programme for the current
• a review of BS extension visits and diaries;
• a review of programmes at demonstration plots;
• a general technical discussion, in which BSs can seek advice on any subject not covered
  in the regular training programme and the trainers can determine BSs’ level of knowledge
  on any topic which it is proposed for future training sessions.

This technical meeting provides opportunities for extensive informal training of Block

Other Monthly Meetings

In the other two weeks of each four week period, Block Supervisors will also attend the
thana office. Although these meetings are intended mainly to address administrative matters
such as salaries, postings, leave, allowances, housing, work programme assessment, etc.,
some time critical items, for example review of demonstration plot progress, may also be
discussed during these meetings.


The diversity of learning requirements arising from a bottom-up, demand driven system
places a primary responsibility for learning on the individual. A key requirement of this "self
directed" learning is access to information resources. Each district and thana must develop
and expand their informational resource base. The TAECC can provide a way to make this a
joint undertaking among local extension partners.

The objective of the District and Thana Learning Resource Centre is to assemble, preserve
and manage books, documents and other materials in an organised manner.

Types of resource materials that can be collected include:

•   printed leaflets and books;
•   packaged training courses;
•   technical reports;
•   newspapers and journals;
•   collections of insect, seeds, mounted plants etc.;
•   audio and video cassettes, and computer discs containing relevant information.

Primary sources of reference and training materials include:

• DAE Headquarters;
• development assistance projects and donor agencies associated with DAE and other
  extension partners;
• agricultural research organisations such as BARC, AIS, BARI, BJRI, SRTI, SRDI;
• NGOs and other extension partner agencies and organisations;
• agricultural input suppliers.

There are many other sources of useful information. Officers should actively look for useful
items on a continual basis.

 Control and Use of Resource Centres

To make good use of learning resource materials, they must be taken care of properly and
be readily accessible to users. It is a challenge to maintain an environment where staff are
encouraged to use the resource centre while also maintaining sufficient control to keep the
collection intact.

Learning resources should be available at both the district and thana offices. District offices
have much greater facilities and will likely have a much larger collection.
Control of Resource Materials

The District Office should allocate a separate room as an information resource centre. The
centre should be accessible and should have ample space for the collections of books and
other materials. It should be adequately furnished to accommodate the materials collection
itself, and to facilitate use of the materials. Basic furnishing might include: two almirahs with
glass doors, one or two tables, chairs and a periodicals rack.

The District Training Officer should act as the officer-in-charge in addition to his own duties.
The DTO should arrange for procurement of materials and search out materials from
different organisations; and organise periodical assessment of the effectiveness of the
existing materials and specific material needed.

An office assistant should be assigned to manage the centre in addition to their regular

All information resource materials from any source should be officially received and
registered by the office assistant in charge. Registration should be made in the receipt and
delivery register. All entries in the register should be signed by the Training Officer or any
officer designated as officer-in-charge.

The assistant-in-charge should immediately put identity numbers on the materials. After
cataloguing the materials should be placed in the almirah.

A list of materials in the learning resource centre should be typed out and hung in the room,
so that visitors may see what resource materials are available. The list should be regularly
updated and circulated among district and thana staff and local extension partners.

The assistant in charge should draw out the materials that users ask for, and replace them in
proper order afterwards. If a lending system is used, the assistant in charge must ensure
that proper lending records are kept. These should include at least a description of the item,

the identity and how to contact the borrower, the date of lending and the date that the item is
due to be returned.

The assistant in charge must also ensure that outstanding items are carefully tracked and
follow-up action is taken immediately where items are overdue.

The management of learning resources at the Thana Office will be somewhat different.
Learning resources at the Thana Office should be assembled in one place, not spread
among the rooms of several officers. If possible the materials should be kept where they are
accessible without disturbing any of the officers. There should be a designated officer-in-
charge who should manage the resources similarly to the District Office.
Opportunities for sharing local learning resources should be explored with other extension
providers. If a learning resource centre is operated jointly among extension partners, the
TAECC should establish management procedures and responsibilities.
Use of Resource Centres

Intended users usually consist of District, Thana and Block level extension personnel. The
staff of extension partners, and farmers may also use the materials during office hours.
Thana Officers can access the district collection whenever they visit the district office and
particularly on their monthly training day. Some materials are produced for use specially by
the BSs and literate farmers. These should be placed in Thana collections.

Most of the materials are intended as reference materials for preparation of lesson sheets
and technical papers and for self directed learning.

Staff of districts and Thanas, and especially Block Supervisors should be encouraged to
make full use of the resource centre. Some ways to encourage usage are:

• publicise commitment to provision of reference information;
• make sure all staff are aware of the learning resource centre and what materials are
  available there, including regular updates;
• give staff training in the use of the resource centre;
• establish regular times for the resource centre to be open and staffed;
• ensure staff have sufficient official time to visit the resource centre;
• advise staff that their use of the learning resource centre is an indication of their
  commitment to continually increase their overall knowledge and skills through self
  directed learning;
• monitor usage of the resource centre and publicise it from time to time.

Learning resource centres are an increasingly important tool for increasing staff
competence. Every effort must be made to expand and update collections and increase staff
usage of the materials for self directed learning.


It is essential that progress in increasing staff competence to carry out extension
assignments is measured. Progress should be examined in the medium to long term as staff
development is a lifelong process.

Each individual should be made responsible and accountable for their improvement and this
should be an important part of every performance evaluation.

Regular competence assessment using the Annual Staff Competence Form will indicate
whether or not an individual has improved their knowledge and skills, or acquired new
knowledge and skills.

Some other indicators of increasing training and learning commitment, and progress in
improving competence are:

•   increasing interest and commitment to work programming and assessment;
•   increasing frequency of use of learning resource centres;
•   increasing requests for specific learning materials;
•   increasing requests for on-the-job training and guidance;
•   increasing requests for specific training activities;
•   improved attendance in scheduled training activities;
•   increased numbers of new BS Training Modules developed locally;
•   increasing regularity of BS monthly training;
•   increasing participation of District Specialists in BS monthly training;
•   increasing BS attendance at monthly training;
•   increasing staff participation in training activities of extension partners;
•   increasing numbers of new extension activities being undertaken;
•   declining cases where training is required before an extension activity can be undertaken;
•   declining cases where extension activities must be postponed due to lack of competence.

In addition to the Annual Staff Competence Form, individual and overall progress can be
measured and tracked by keeping records of these and other indicators. Each individual
should keep their own up-to-date records of their training and learning activities, and be able
to discuss new competencies they have achieved.

The primary purpose of any evaluation activity is to use the results to improve the situation.
This means that particularly the DTO and DD have to continually evaluate the training effort
according to the type of indicators we have discussed and implement actions as a result of
the evaluation. If competence is not improving in a District managers must accept
responsibility and conduct a thorough investigation to determine why this is happening.

Managers should continually encourage staff to improve their overall competence
through continued acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills.

                                CHAPTER 9


A principle of the Department’s Extension Approach is the use of a wide range of different
extension methods. This Chapter outlines the main extension methods which can be used
and contains some guidance on how to choose appropriate methods for different target

The majority of methods used by the Department are group based, and most print media
and audio-visual aids are used to support group events. These methods are detailed in
Chapters 10 and 11. The Department now places less emphasis on individual visits but
they can be important in some circumstances and Section 9.2. contains more detail.

The extension methods which are described in this Manual are summarised in Table 9.1.


 Category                                     Events
 Mass Media and Audio Visual Aids             • Radio
                                              • Newspapers
                                              • Print Media and Audio Visual Aids
 Group Extension Methods                      • Demonstrations
                                              • Field Days
                                              • District and Thana Fairs
                                              • Farm Walks
                                              • Farmers Rallies
                                              • Folk Media
                                              • Group Meetings
                                              • Motivational Tours
                                              • Participatory Technology Development
                                              • Training Days
                                              • Farmer Field School
 Individual Extension Methods                 • Individual Farm Visit


The decisions farmers take about what is to be done on their farms, by whom, how and
when, are complicated. Decisions are based on information which is available, partly from
the Department of Agricultural Extension. The process which farmers undertake in deciding
whether or not to use new ideas is known as the adoption process.

The adoption process has five generally recognised stages:

1. Awareness or Knowledge
   Through the gradual accumulation of knowledge, becoming aware of new ideas.
2. Interest or Persuasion
   Seeking out more information and forming and changing attitudes about a new idea.
3. Evaluation or Decision
   Collecting detailed information and making judgements about whether to try something
   or reject the idea.

4. Trial or Implementation
   Testing out or trying the idea on a small scale.
5. Adoption or Confirmation
   Deciding to apply the innovation comprehensively in preference to old methods.

A sixth stage is often referred to as Reinforcement which simply means gathering
additional information after whcih simply means adoption to reconfirm that the right decision
has been made.

The adoption process does not always follow this sequence in practice. This is particularly
true when dealing with a package of innovations. For example, after a farmer has decided to
adopt vegetable growing, the implementation or trial of this decision requires considerable
additional learning and evaluation. Similarly, interest may precede awareness where
farmers are looking for a solution to a specific problem, or it may not be possible to test out
an idea on a small scale.

Importance of the Adoption Process in
Selecting Extension Methods

Farmers have different information requirements at each stage of the adoption process.
This means that extension staff must understand which stage farmers are at before planning
subject matter and extension methods. Questions to help understand this process include:

•   Should information be provided to make farmers aware of a new idea?
    If yes, perhaps radio and posters, or folk drama and folk song might be the most
    effective methods.

•   Should detailed information be provided when farmers have become aware and are
    If yes, perhaps leaflets with detailed technical information should be printed and
    circulated, or group discussion meetings arranged, or field days held at a demonstration
    site, or articles published in local newspapers.

•   Should information be provided to increase specific skills in the use of a new technique
    so that farmers can make a full evaluation?
    If yes, perhaps method demonstrations and formal training days would be the most
    useful extension method.

•   Should information and support be provided to farmers when they are trying a new idea
    for the first time?
    If yes, perhaps individual farm visits and group discussions would be the most useful
    extension method. Perhaps extension staff could also meet with the whole farm family to
    discuss the new idea.

•   Should support be provided to farmers to reinforce the benefits of a new idea which has
    been adopted?
    If yes, perhaps group discussion meetings should be arranged, or a radio interview with
    the farmer, or the farmer could be invited as a resource person to a DAE extension

At a group extension event, different individuals may be at different stages. Where possible
activities should be planned with groups which are at a similar stage.

Other Criteria to Use in Selecting Methods

Local staff are responsible for choosing which methods are used in local extension plans.
How should staff decide which method is most appropriate? One key factor is the stage of
the adoption process, but there are other criteria which staff can use. For example:


•   cost - selecting methods which can be implemented within a budget, and are cost

•   coverage - choosing group extension methods which will reach more than one or a few

•   complexity - selecting simple methods which do not need a lot of materials, or a lot of
    time to plan and implement;

•   skill - choosing methods which extension staff have the capacity to implement, if not
    training may be required;

•   targeting - selecting methods which are especially appropriate to categories of farmers;

•   participation - choosing methods which enable farmers to participate in the learning

The choice depends on:

•   the message;
•   the participants;
•   available resources; and
•   complementarity.

The Message
The extension method should be appropriate to the subject, or message. For example, a
method demonstration might be the most appropriate way to show a group of farmers how to
graft mango.

The Participants
The extension method should be suitable for farmers, the participants. For example, a
method demonstration in the homestead area might be the most appropriate for female

Available Resources
The extension method should be cost effective. Using materials which have been borrowed
or re-used is a good way to increase cost-effectiveness. The Seasonal Extension Monitoring
System measures cost-effectiveness, by taking the total cost of an event, and dividing it by
the number of farmers who participated. This is an extremely rough guide, but can help
extension staff select the most cost-effective methods.

The extension method should complement any other methods which have already been
used to deliver a particular message. For example, demonstrations and field days are
perfect compliments, as is the use of visual aids in formal training days or group discussions.

Complementarity enables extension staff to develop local campaigns to address important
issues identified in FINA. The Thana Planning Form (A1) has been designed with objectives
to assist extension staff utilise a number of methods in sequence to solve a main problem or
identified need.

Appropriate Extension Methods for
Working with Women

Women are responsible for many agricultural development tasks, especially in female
headed households, and should therefore be specifically targeted for certain extension

However, there are constraints:

•   there are only about 500 female Block Supervisors, and this is unlikely to rise much
    further in the near future;

•   it is sometimes difficult for male Block Supervisors to work directly with female farmers in
    conservative areas for social reasons, such as purdah or restrictions on talking to men
    outside the immediate family;

•   there are constraints faced by women themselves, such as illiteracy, lack of capital to
    invest in new ideas, fear of authority and officialdom, or shyness and fear of ridicule from

To overcome these constraints, there are a number of innovative approaches which can be
used to communicate with women. Some examples are given below:


Radio: Approximately 75 per cent of households have radio. Extension staff can encourage
radio listening groups for women, and can encourage radio staff to air programmes about
innovations in areas of agriculture for which women are responsible.

Group Activities: Discussions, meetings, or village level training days can be implemented
with groups of women. Working with groups of women gives male field staff greater access
to women farmers as they do not have to be alone with an individual woman. Many NGOs
are now forming small women’s groups for the purpose of savings and credit, or health
programmes. Thana and district level extension staff can approach these organisations for
permission to work with their affiliated groups (see Chapter 4).

Demonstrations: Demonstrations can be established for women to manage in their own
homestead, with only occasional visits by extension staff.

Fairs and Field Days: Extension staff can provide women with opportunities to attend
extension events outside the homestead in groups, or with their husbands. Extension
events with families can often be highly effective, as any sequence of agricultural operations
is implemented by both men and women. Joint events can also promote the role of women
in agricultural decision making.

Extension staff can also use extension methods and audio visual aids which do not require
literacy. These include folk drama, song, puppets and other traditional media, and drawings
and cartoons on flash cards.

There are number of important factors to consider when planning extension activities with
women’s groups:

•     timing;
•     children; and
•     location.


Extension staff should consider whether the activity needs to be scheduled at a particular
time of day. For women’s groups this may be very different to the times that male farmers
groups meet. For example, during a Participatory Rural Appraisal in one area of
Bangladesh, Enfants du Monde staff found that women preferred activities to take place
between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., after they had fed the household at lunchtime, and before
preparing dinner. Men preferred activities to take place between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Extension staff should aim to plan the timing of activities in consultation with the groups they
are working with. PRA Technique Number 6 “Daily Routine” is one way which can be used
to agree suitable times. This technique is described in Annex VII.


Another important factor to consider when working with women is children. Women are
usually responsible for looking after children, whether they are working in a homestead area,
or participating in a group activity. Extension staff should make allowances for this, or plan a
separate activity for children.


While it is useful to meet a group of men in the field to discuss a crop related issue, it is
easier to meet women in the homestead. Many NGO women’s groups have regular meeting
places. Extension staff can find out where these are, and whether it is possible to use them
for extension events.

Finally, throughout the year, and once before preparing annual extension plans, Block
Supervisors conduct FINA with female farmers. Problem Census meetings should enable
female farmers to identify their own needs, generate some ideas for development, and help
to plan activities that they need in order to develop their homestead and farm. If women are
meaningfully involved in this way then extension plans are more likely to be gender


Although it is DAE’s policy to work with groups, there are occasions when it is appropriate to
visit an individual farmer or household. The main purpose of an individual farm visit is to
identify and analyse the main problems facing an individual farmer or household and to
provide advice on the best actions to take for overcoming them. Other situations where it
may be necessary to organise individual visits include:

•   specific advice has been requested by a farmer or member of the household;

•   extension staff may wish to develop their knowledge of a particular area and identify
    some of the common problems farmers face;

•   extension staff may want to create awareness amongst farmers they have visited and
    stimulate their involvement in extension activities;

•   extension staff may want to familiarise themselves with a particular farm and farm family,
    including non agricultural activities which contribute to the family’s livelihood;

•   extension staff may wish to learn about innovative farm practices or on farm research
    conducted by a particular farmer;

•   extension staff and a farmer may wish to discuss overall farm planning and

Whatever the main purpose of the visit it is likely to cover a whole range of activities.
Farmers may need further explanation or information about a particular new practise and it
may be necessary to show them how to do it through demonstration. Farmers may request
technical information which field staff do not have. This can be noted down and appropriate
action taken later (e.g. an appropriate leaflet or bulletin could be given to the farmer at a later

Individual visits also enable field staff to brief farmers on government agricultural policy,
discuss the current market situation and provide information on extension activities in the
area. Some visits may be of an emergency nature where the extension is required to
provide on the spot advice (e.g. concerning a pest attack).

Individual visits also enable field staff to relate with other members of farm households.
Different members may have different perceptions of problems and potential solutions. Field
workers should encourage the participation of all family members. In this way further
opportunities for the involvement of women and young people in local extension activities
are created.

Although individual farm visits are an important way of establishing rapport with farmers in
the area and building trust and confidence in the extension service they take time to plan
and implement making them an ineffective method for reaching larger numbers of farmers.
They are a costly extension method and should be carefully thought out and planned. The
visits need to make an impact and lead to positive agricultural development if they are to
justify their cost.

In addition, field staff should be careful not to visit the same set of farmers repeatedly as this
severely limits the impact of extension activities and may also arouse resentment among
other farmers who might feel extension service has nothing to offer them or has deliberately
ignored them.

The checklist below can be used to plan individual visits:


1.   Before the visit:
•    if possible, make an appointment;
•    decide the purpose of the visit;
•    review any information relating to previous visits;
•    prepare any technical information that may be required;
•    include proposed visit in work programme.

2.   During the visit:
•    be punctual and appropriately dressed;
•    greet the farmer and members of the family;
•    ask questions about the farm;
•    listen to the farmer’s problems and ideas she / he has for solving them;
•    explain any technical information or advice clearly, and check that the farmer has understood;
•    record any problems which cannot be solved and need to be referred to other extension partners
     or senior DAE staff;
•    discuss aspects of the farm that are going well;
•    make notes about the farm and visit;
•    agree any follow up action and the date and purpose of the next visit - if required.

3.   After the visit:
•    make sure the information obtained during the visit has been accurately recorded;
•    arrange any follow up action;
•    schedule the next visit for inclusion in the next work programme.

During the visit field staff should always use words and language that the farmer
understands and is accustomed to. In this respect BS need to be good listeners as well as
good talkers. Farmers should be encouraged to explain and discuss issues at their own
pace and in their own words. BS should ask appropriate questions so that she or he
understands the nature of a farmer’s concern.

Much of the benefit of the farm visit will be lost if the content and conclusions are not
recorded and followed up. The ideal place for recording information is in the BS diary.
Important points to include are:

•    the date;
•    the purpose of the visit;
•    the conclusions or recommendations that were agreed;
•    any additional information or observations which the field worker feels may be useful.

It is important that the field worker follows up any issues or actions that could not be dealt
with during the visit. Failure to do so will disappoint farmers and lessen their confidence in
the services DAE provide. Confidence and trust can take many years to build up and field
workers should take care to maintain it. If a further visit had been agreed with the farmer
then it should be noted in the BS diary and put into the relevant work programme.


Table 9.2 shows a summary of extension methods, and some key points to remember when
planning them.


 Extension Method       Key Points
 • Radio                Has the potential for large audiences. Use can be enhanced
                        through the establishment of Radio Listening Groups and linking
                        with Bangladesh Betar through the regional office.

 • Newspapers           Has the potential for large audiences. Use can be enhanced
                        through Newspaper Reading Groups with literate farmers.
                        Articles can be submitted to local newspapers about successful
                        technologies in thana and district extension plans or actions that
                        should be taken in the event of emergency situations.

 • Print Media and Help to make extension events more interesting. Scope for
 Audio Visual Aids reusing resources particularly if a Resource Centre with a stock
                   of flip charts, slide sets, real objects and displays, flash cards,
                   posters and other materials is developed. Materials can also be
                   shared with other organisations.

 • Demonstrations       There are numerous types of demonstrations which can be used
                        to show farmers a new technology or the benefits of modifying
                        existing practise.

 • Field Days           Enable groups of farmers to meet together to show first hand
                        demonstration sites or PTD test sites. Encourages farmers to
                        participate and allows the host farmer to act as the resource

 • District and Thana Potential to reach large number of farmers. Show a variety of
 Fairs                technologies and innovations and encourage partnership with
                      other extension agents. Requires significant planning and

 • Farm Walks           Have a variety of uses. For example, they can be used at block
                        level to show farmers a new technology, can help farmers
                        analyse farm problems, or help groups plan further activities.
                        They can also be used to stimulate permanent and temporary
                        farmer groups.

 • Farmers Rallies      Use a combination of methods (e.g. song, drama, presentations,
                        banners, prize giving) to introduce and / or reinforce a technology
                        to a large number of farmers. Working with partner agencies
                        increases cost effectiveness and interest.


Extension Method         Key Points
• Folk Media             Effective when linked to other extension activities such as fairs or
                         rallies. Simple messages are used to relay important information
                         in an informal way. Examples include, puppet shows, drama and

• Group Meetings         Many uses and are often low cost. For example, radio listening
                         groups or as a way of enabling farmers to discuss problems,
                         develop plans, plan extension events, and explore new ideas.
                         Can be made more effective if visual aids are used to stimulate
                         discussion e.g. flash cards, posters, or real objects.

• Motivational Tours     Motivational tours are like farm walks but are conducted further
                         away from the farmers homes e.g. visits to research stations.

• Participatory          A low cost method which encourages farmers to try new
  Technology             technologies on their farm as an experiment, rather than a
  Development            demonstration. Farmers are able to adopt the technology
                         according to their resources and local environment. Support and
                         advice are provided but inputs are not.

• Formal       Training Used to train groups of farmers in a particular technology. Can
Days                    last one day and can be held at any level, village, block, thana
                        or district. Are further enhanced if supported by audio / visual
                        aids.     Training materials require significant planning and

• Farmer          Field Enables groups of farmers to be trained over an extended period
School                  (e.g. a cropping season) using regular classroom and field
                        activities. Emphasises participatory, action based and problem
                        solving learning.

• Individual      Farm Enables field staff to identify and analyse the main problems
Visit                  facing an individual farmer or household and provide advice on
                       possible solutions. Individual visits also provide opportunities for
                       extension staff to learn about an area or innovative farm
                       practices. A potentially expensive extension method which
                       requires careful planning. DAE recommend working with groups
                       of farmers wherever possible.


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