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ERIC Number: EJ811751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-1389-224X
The Role of Agricultural Consultants in New Zealand in Environmental Extension
Botha, Neels; Coutts, Jeff; Roth, Hein
Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, v14 n2 p125-138 Jun 2008
The aim of this study was to understand the role that agricultural consultants in New Zealand were undertaking in the Research, Development and Extension (RD&E) system--and in particular in relation to environmental extension. New Zealand does not have a public extension service and hence there is a strong reliance on consultants and regional councils for environmental management information and advice. As they are independent of the formal RD&E system there is no guarantee that RD&E outcomes are reaching farmers, nor that effective environmental extension is occurring. The study used a combination of case studies, phone interviews with informed persons and a national web survey to explore the role of the consultant. The study found that agricultural consultants are playing an important role in working with farmers to improve agricultural production. There are, however, indications that gaps have developed over time between agricultural consultants and the agricultural research sector which limit the effectiveness of the RD&E system. Agricultural consultants are playing a minimal role in proactive environmental extension because insufficient market forces are driving this role. The paper suggests that a national database of agricultural consultants could improve the flow of tailored information between research and agricultural consultants and also suggests mechanisms where consultants could be better integrated into the RD&E system and provide feedback to research programs. Market failure in the area of environmental extension could be addressed by publicly funded incentive programs. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand