Changes in the agricultural sector and extension workers roles: Implications to training sector in Tanzania
In Tanzania and elsewhere, extension workers roles have been focusing mainly on transfer of technologies from research centers to farmers and train them on the same for improving agricultural production. However, agricultural extension system has been criticized as not effective in improving the agricultural sector. This is mainly caused by changes that are taking place in and outside the agricultural sector like technological, climate, and others that affect performance of extension workers roles. The objective of this paper is to present these changes and their implications to the training sector. The information presented in this paper was obtained from author’s long experience in the topic, literature review and synthesis of the collected information from various sources like Journals, books and reports. The collected information show that there are various changes that are taking place in the agricultural sector like technological, social, climatic and political that require extension workers to change their roles in line with these changes. These include shifting from technology transfer to facilitation, beyond training to learning, lobbying and advocacy, networking and partnering, coaching, negotiation, problem-solving, capacity to reflect and considering value chain aspects. These changes should be well addressed through long and short term training programmes involving new curriculum development and review and organizing short courses. It is recommended that training organs should conduct training needs assessment through participatory approaches to identify relevant knowledge, skills, attitudes and new ways of extension service delivery needed to build capacity of extension workers for them to perform their roles effectively for improving performance of the agricultural sector in general.
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE SOKOINE UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE, MOROGORO, TANZANIA