Legislated Policy as the Basis for Effective Extension Delivery: Lessons from the United Kingdom
AbstractThe paper compares the extension policies and programmes of Britain and Nigeria. Extension policy in Nigeria is characterized as stemming from ad hoc arrangements which are compounded by political instability and external locus of control. The United Kingdom in contrast has had focused extension policies supported by legislation, and which derived from the peculiar experience of that country. It is observed that the Agriculture Act of 1944 provided the basis for the success of British agriculture where farmers accounting for only 1.2 percent of the population produce in excess of national demand, while in Nigeria farmers amounting to 70 percent of the population cannot produce enough to meet domestic needs. It is recommended that in view of the positive correlation between legislated extension policy and high performance, a National Summit on Extension (NSE) be urgently convened to fashion out a milieu-sensitive policy document to be presented to the National Assembly for passage into law. Specific policy options suggested include devolution of extension delivery to the third tier of government, cost-sharing funding arrangement between the three tiers of government and the creation of an Agricultural Extension Tax Fund (AETF) from taxes on agro-allied industries to fund extension in the country.
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