Title of paper

Agricultural Extension in Ethiopia: Then and Now

Presenter's country

Netherlands

Start Date

27-5-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

27-5-2016 2:35 PM

Location

Hall II

Submission type

Presentation

Abstract

Attempts to increase Ethiopia’s agricultural productivity through the extension of technologies, fertilizers, seeds and other resources to farmers have a long and checkered history. Since at least 1952, when the United States launched an agricultural extension program in Ethiopia under the aegis of Truman’s recently-established Point Four Program, these activities have also had an international dimension. Various Ethiopian governments have risen and fallen, yet agricultural extension continues to play a key role in the development strategies of both foreign donors and domestic leaders. Today, extension in Ethiopia is spearheaded by China, which in 2008 established an Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center 80 kilometres outside Addis Ababa. This paper compares the goals, strategies and successes of agricultural extension in Ethiopia under American and Chinese leadership. Despite some differences between the two programs, a number of similarities also exist; most notably, each has been driven by a “low modernism” that has sought to temper the rationalizing and utopian features of extension with a moderate dose of local expertise and face-to-face knowledge transfer. Each has faced significant obstacles in realizing its ideals, not least the high modernism of an Ethiopian state determined to rapidly industrialise and develop Ethiopia’s urban centres.

Keywords

agricultural extension, rural development, Point Four, China, Ethiopia

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May 27th, 1:30 PM May 27th, 2:35 PM

Agricultural Extension in Ethiopia: Then and Now

Hall II

Attempts to increase Ethiopia’s agricultural productivity through the extension of technologies, fertilizers, seeds and other resources to farmers have a long and checkered history. Since at least 1952, when the United States launched an agricultural extension program in Ethiopia under the aegis of Truman’s recently-established Point Four Program, these activities have also had an international dimension. Various Ethiopian governments have risen and fallen, yet agricultural extension continues to play a key role in the development strategies of both foreign donors and domestic leaders. Today, extension in Ethiopia is spearheaded by China, which in 2008 established an Agricultural Technology Demonstration Center 80 kilometres outside Addis Ababa. This paper compares the goals, strategies and successes of agricultural extension in Ethiopia under American and Chinese leadership. Despite some differences between the two programs, a number of similarities also exist; most notably, each has been driven by a “low modernism” that has sought to temper the rationalizing and utopian features of extension with a moderate dose of local expertise and face-to-face knowledge transfer. Each has faced significant obstacles in realizing its ideals, not least the high modernism of an Ethiopian state determined to rapidly industrialise and develop Ethiopia’s urban centres.