This two weeks program will provide the participants with an opportunity to strengthen their knowledge and widen their views on different aspects of smallholder agriculture transformation including extension services from government and private sectors, use of ICT in agriculture and extension practices. It is expected that after attending this professional development training and exposure visit program the participants will have clear understanding on the following aspects:
1) Overview of the smallholder agriculture sector and its transformation in Thailand
2) Effective extension services/practices and technology transfer in agriculture
3) SMART farming approaches
4) Innovation, technological intervention and strategies to reduce post-harvest losses in agriculture
5) Agro-processing and agribusiness development at the community level in Thailand
In most countries, agricultural extension services from the government still play the key role in country’s agricultural development. Besides government, research institutions, universities, enterprises and NGOs are also involved in the provision of agricultural extension activities in many countries. Current extension practices are focused on conducting demonstration sites and field-days, training, organizing science-technology forums on field crops, livestock, veterinary care, forestry, water resource management, agro-forestry, processing and engineering. Technologies for transfer come mainly from research institutions, universities and abroad. In addition, the extension system also provides farmers information related to new policies, and market prices. Top down and supply-driven extension is still the main extension operation or practice in many countries. This training course aims to enhance participants’ competencies in new concepts and strategies, and practical skills for agricultural extension using result-based management approach. The course focuses on conceptual frameworks for rural and agricultural extension, extension for smart farming, quality management practices and enabling people’s participation.
TOPICS TO BE COVERED
The two weeks program will have three modules namely technical input sessions, field and study visits, and an integration and presentation session at the end. The contents will cover following key areas:
- Foundations of Rural/Agricultural Extension
Policy framework for agricultural extension services; review of agricultural extension practices: T&V, contract farming, strategic extension campaign, agricultural knowledge and information systems.
- Quality Management Practices
Service quality management concept; applications of result-based management to agricultural extension programs; stakeholders’ analysis on agricultural extension; marketing issues in agricultural extension.
- Epowering People’s Participation
Participatory planning and implementation in agricultural extension program, leadership development in rural community; communication skills for extension workers; ICT in extension services; extension monitoring and evaluation.