A NEW APPROACH TO TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
The diffusion of information by extension agencies is often poorly understood. Too often, extension effort is concentrated on those farmers who quickly adopt new practices, with the assumption that information will eventually filter down to the rest of the farming community. Recent experience with agriculture extension has demonstrated that using grower groups to achieve adoption of technology and information is more valuable than working with individuals.
In this project, mango grower groups were formed around the common aims of its members; these social and business groups, revolving around interests in specific pack houses or new varieties, are more likely to stay together than are groups formed by the extension agency. The roles of the extension officer have been to recognise existing social structures and mobilise growers into groups, to provide training in areas of need, and to act as a link between growers and other resources. Information packages have been prepared in a form that grower groups can use. To ensure that aid is appropriate, information packages were developed so that groups of large producers, (>25 000 trees), receive packages that are different than those sent to groups of small producers (<1000 trees).