Glossary of Terms


The section does not cover all terms, but only the basic concepts and approaches. Therefore, it may be useful for readers to first review this glossary to facilitate their understanding of the terms used in the web portal documents & Contents.


The term extension was first used to describe adult education programs in England during the second half of the nineteenth century (starting in 1867); these programs helped extend the work of universities beyond the campus and into neighboring communities. In the early twentieth century, when this extension function was transferred to the Ministry of Agriculture, these activities were renamed as advisory services. The term extension was adopted in the United States during the late nineteenth century and integrated into the Land Grant Universities as a central function of these institutions; there nonformal educational services continue to the present. Also, as outlined in the Wikipedia website on agricultural extension (, a number of other terms are used in different parts of the world to describe the same or a similar concept:

• Dutch: Voorlichting (“lighting the path”)
• German: Beratung (“advisory work”)
• French: Vulgarisation (“simplification”)
• Spanish: Capacitación (“improving skills”)
• Thai, Lao: Song-Suem (“to promote”)
• Persian: Tarvij & Gostaresh (“to promote and to extend”)


Advisory service(s) is commonly used as an alternate term for extension services. These systems involve a broad spectrum of market and nonmarket entities, and agents are expected to provide useful technical information about new technologies that can improve the income and welfare of farmers and other rural people. Apart from their conventional function of providing knowledge and technology to improve agricultural productivity, agricultural advisory services are also expected to fulfill a variety of new functions, such as linking smallholder farmers to high-value and export markets, promoting environmentally sustainable production techniques, and coping with the effects of HIV/AIDS and other health challenges that affect rural people.


Agricultural extension was once known as the application of scientific research, knowledge, and technologies to improve agricultural practices through farmer education. The field of extension now encompasses a wider range of communication and learning theories and activities (organized for the benefit of rural people) by professionals from different disciplines. There is no widely accepted definition of agricultural extension, but to see how this field has evolved over the past 50+ years, look at 10 examples from different extension books found at: http://en.wikipedia org/wiki/Agricultural_extension).


Commodity-based advisory services are similar to value-chain extension systems (defined later in this glossary), in which an economically important crop or product, generally for export (e.g., cotton, coffee, or other high-value crops or products), requires that producers use specified genetic materials or varieties and follow strict quality-control standards in producing and harvesting the crop or product.


The concept of decentralized extension is based on three major factors: (1) transferring specific decision-making functions to local levels, starting with simple managerial functions, then setting priorities and allocating funds and providing other administrative functions, including accountability and financing/cofinancing; (2) encouraging public participation, reflecting the degree of authority that is formally transferred to rural people, who start in an advisory capacity for program planning and implementation, and eventually assume control over selected financial planning and accountability functions; and (3) expanding local involvement in organizing and delivering extension services, which reflects the level of control that local governments and/or other institutions, including private firms and NGOs, have for implementing specific extension activities. For more information on decentralization, see Module 3 of the Agricultural Investment Sourcebook (World Bank 2006a).


Demand-driven extension is concept that is viewed differently by economists and other social scientists. As Birner and Anderson (2007) point out, "demand-driven refers to the economic concepts of supply and demand" (p. 4). However, most people view technology systems as being “supply driven” by research institutions; therefore, extension scholars relate “demand driven” to the technology system itself and are aware that research and development (R&D) is seldom farmer led. Therefore, in this book, we generally refer to demand-driven extension as a concept in which the farm household is the central focus of a farmer-led or participatory extension system. As Wennink, Heemskerk, and Nederlof (2006) indicate, “Farmer-oriented knowledge services are a prerequisite for innovation”.


Diffusion of innovation is the process by which new ideas and technologies spread through different farming systems, countries, and cultures. Everett Roger’s innovation theory (2003) states that innovation diffusion is a process that occurs over time through five stages: knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation. Accordingly, the innovation–decision process is the process through which an individual or other decision-making unit passes through the stages of (1) having awareness and knowledge of an innovation, (2) forming an attitude toward the innovation, (3) making a decision to adopt (or reject) the innovation, (4) implementing the new innovation, and (5) confirming the decision.


Farmer Field Schools consist of groups of people with a common interest who get together on a regular basis to study the “how and why” of a particular topic, such as integrated pest management (IPM). Farmer Field Schools are comparable to programs such as study circles or specialized human resource development (HRD) programs. Farmer Field Schools are particularly adapted to “field study,” where specific hands on management skills and conceptual understanding are required. Originally, the FFS methodology was developed by the FAO to transfer IPM technologies to farmers in Indonesia. More recently, these schools are being used to both promote the development of farmer organizations (social capital) and to pursue new technologies or enterprises (HRD) that will increase farm incomes.


Under fee-for-service extension programs, the provider may be a public entity (e.g., ATMA), an NGO, a private-sector firm, or even a consultant, but, in developing countries, FSEs normally require considerable public funding on a long-term basis even if the provider is private (as in Chile). Under such an arrangement (e.g., using government-funded vouchers), groups of farmers typically contract for specific extension services to address their needs. When it is the intension of government to shift most extension costs to commercial farmers, such as in Europe, the results are mixed. Generally, shifting the cost of extension services directly to commercial farmers must be done incrementally over a number of years (as in Ireland), especially for public goods. Otherwise, these formerly public extension systems will rapidly downsize, seek new funding opportunities (as in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands), and/or collapse altogether.


High-value crops such as fruits and vegetables are receiving considerably more attention in helping to close the income and nutrition gap in the process of achieving both household and national food security. For example, several Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers work on various high-value crop species, as well as more efficient livestock production systems. Most HVCs can be grown on small farms and require more labor, both in production and post-harvest processing; therefore, the potential net income from these HVCs is generally higher than from staple food crops (see discussion of staple food crops later in this glossary). However, to begin producing HVCs, most small-scale and women farmers will need suitable agro-ecological growing conditions and access to reliable markets for these products. Equally important, interested farmers will need training about the necessary technical, management, and marketing skills if they are to successfully produce and market these crops.


Market-driven extension is a relatively new concept in which the focus of a technology transfer-driven agricultural extension system shifts 180 degrees—or from “research” to the “market,” especially for high-value crops, livestock, fisheries, or other products. This change in focus is consistent with the concept of a market-driven agricultural innovation system (AIS), because market opportunities and access depend in part on the location of each farm (or groups of farmers), farm size (to produce specific products), and many other factors, such as agro-ecological conditions, transportation infrastructure, available labor, and possibly access to other production resources, such as irrigation, greenhouses, and so on. Therefore, the decision by groups of farmers to supply specific markets with different high-value crops or products will depend in large part on the relative size of accessible markets for particular products and the strategic advantage of producer groups to supply these markets with high-value crops or products.


The participatory extension paradigm is essentially a combination of technology transfer, advisory services, and human resources development, and involves two key elements. The first element addresses how extension systems are organized and emphasizes the fact that all types of farmers, especially small-scale and women farmers, must play an important role in setting extension priorities and shaping extension programs. By so doing, farmers will take more “ownership” over these ongoing extension programs and operations. The second key element of the participatory extension approach generally encompasses more participatory extension methods, such as experiential learning and farmer-to-farmer exchanges. It emphasizes that knowledge is gained through interactive processes that include extension field staff, private-sector firms, NGOs, and/or innovative and progressive farmers within local or nearby communities. Participants are expected to make their own decisions, especially about how they will intensify and/or diversify their farming systems.


Training and Visit extension is based on classical management principles, including that (1) extension agents should have primary responsibility for carrying out extension functions; (2) extension should be closely linked with research; (3) training should be carried out on a regular and continuous timetable; (4) work should be time-bound; and (5) a field and farmer orientation should be maintained. This technology-driven approach was initially successful during the late 1970s and 1980s in disseminating the production management practices associated with Green Revolution wheat and rice varieties. However, in rainfed and other production areas where these new technologies were not appropriate, the T&V approach had limited success. The primary reason was that extension agents did not have economically useful messages to disseminate to these farmers; also these agents were not trained how to assess the needs of farmers and then look for alternative technologies or production systems that might better address their needs.

Transfer of Technology Models

This approach focuses on using the advisory service for the transfer of technologies that are generated at research stations. Since a variety of methods and media can be used for this purpose, “transfer of technology” describes a perspective, rather than a specific set of methods. The limitations of this “linear” and “top-down” perspective of advisory services have been widely recognized since the 1980s (e.g., Chambers and Ghildyal, 1984), which has led to the development of models in which the farmer is not just considered as a recipient of technologies generated in research stations.

Indigenous knowledge

Sum total of the knowledge and skills possessed by people in a particular geographical area, that enable them to get the most out of their natural environment.



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News & Events

Sep 7, 2016
The First JCC meeting of EVAP-2

Aug 23, 2016
23-25th of Augusts Field Trips and Meetings with Farmers, EVAP team

Aug 17, 2016
JICA Dispacthed EVAP-2 Consulting Team

May 25, 2014
Watermelons Harvesting Event: it was conducted on May 25 @ Beit Hassan & Bouqa'eh areas, and attended by the Ambassador of Japan & the Minister of Agriculture and JICA Cheif Representative

May 12, 2014
Conducting a field day on Silage Making in Bardala

May 6, 2014
Conducting a Study Tour for a group of farmers from Tamoon to An-Nassaryia

Apr 30, 2014
Signing a bilateral agreement between Tubas Agriucltural Directorate & Bouqa'eh cooperative for Establishing a Compost Making Center

Apr 21, 2014
Accomishment of EVAP Terminal Evaluation

Mar 15, 2014
The commencemnet of the second round of extending AI activities to farmers in JRRV

Sep 20, 2013
Accomplishment of distribution of Grafted and Non-grafted seedlings to a group of farmers in JRRV- EVAP Project

Sep 19, 2013
Accomplishment of Artificial Insemination Campaign in JRRV- EVAP Project

Sep 18, 2013
Holding of Guava Exhibition in Qalqilia

Sep 12, 2013
Comencement of Two demonestations on Compost uses in Jericho Station- EVAP

Aug 14, 2013
Conduction of the 4th JCC meeting - EVAP project

Aug 13, 2013
Conduction of the 6th JTF meeting - EVAP project