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Agricultural Extension Officer PDF Print E-mail

Job overview
Agricultural extension is the intermediate point between research, or any other source of new information, and the farmer.

Extension officers act as facilitators and communicators helping farmers to make decisions and ensuring that the appropriate knowledge is correctly applied to obtain the best results in terms of agricultural production and general rural development.

What do people do in this job?
In addition to responding to farmers requests by providing agricultural information and advice, extension officers often actively implement and promote farming and development programmes aimed at reaching marginalised farmers or those who have little access to information and extension services or who make little use of them.

They do this in close collaboration with the farming communities, helping them to help themselves and become more self-reliant and independent.

What kinds of people are suitable for this career?
As development facilitators, extension officers usually work within a community where they are expected to have a wide knowledge of agriculture. Together with this they must have an interest in people and be good at communicating with them, both on technical matters and at a social level.

Some extension officers operate from a more central locality and provide more specialised services within specific farming enterprises, but they still need the qualities of the more localised officer.

Agricultural extension officers are employed by government departments of agriculture, industries which manufacture agricultural chemicals and fertilisers, or which buy agricultural products, agricultural co-operatives and NGO's (non-governmental organisations) involved in agricultural or rural development.

What qualifications are needed?
A good degree in agriculture, preferably with some research experience and a farming background.

 
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