Taking Stock and Shaping the Future: Conversations on Extension

The developmental and policy context that led to the establishment and strengthening of EAS in the
20th century no longer exists currently in most countries. To remain relevant and contribute effectively
to agricultural and rural transformation we need to continuously challenge our professional beliefs and
paradigms that have so far shaped our professional behaviour. We need to experiment, evaluate and
learn from alternative approaches, and then re-tool, re-equip and re-acquaint our professionals with
new knowledge and skills. Conversations around our present and future contributions are a sine qua non
for reinventing extension in order to deal with the emerging challenges. This collection of professional
reflections by those involved and interested in the policy and practice of extension, is surely one of the
most credible means of strengthening EAS.
Farming context as well as farmers aspirations are evolving rapidly. Since our profession deals with the
provision of EAS to rural communities it is all the more incumbent upon us that we pause, take stock,
probe, self-reflect and then only move forward with more focused and relevant strategies. This is where
these conversations become so crucial as we believe that these are not merely conversations but ‘voices for
change’. These conversations nearly encompass all the issues that EAS are facing and are critical not only
for its present, but also for a future that remains relevant to the changing context.

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