Implementation of Cooperative Extension Programs in Developing Countries

Article excerpt

According to Science, even though there has been marked growth in food production "more than one in seven people today still do not have access to sufficient protein and energy from their diet" (Godfray et al., 2010). Furthermore, there will be a need for 70 to 100 percent more food by 2050. Producers are facing greater competition for land, water, and energy than ever before (Godfray et al., 2010). With the rising competition of these resources and the growing amount of people in the world; there will be a greater shortage of food and resources to grow food than ever before. A food shortage will cause dramatic price increases due to the extremely high demand for food around the world. One group of people that will be affected heavily by this will be those people in developing countries. They will not be able to afford food from other countries and with shortage of resources will not be able to produce the food they need themselves.

By creating a program like the California UC Cooperative Extension Service or other similar state and international programs in these developing countries, the countries will be able to use the technology and advanced knowledge needed to produce more food efficiently and equitably (Godfray et al., 2010). Synchronizing these programs globally will help to inform all about new technology, transportation, and ways to reducing losses.

The UC Cooperative Extension Service is a statewide network of University of California researchers and educators dedicated to the creation, development and application of knowledge in agricultural, natural and human resources (AllenDiaz, 2012). These researchers and educators team up with local farmers and ranchers to help them implement new technologies in the field of agriculture. This is done by informing farmers and ranchers about new issues to the industry, pest management, research and education programs, and working with farmers in discovering what crop management practices work best in their area (Allen-Diaz, 2012). If this type of program was implemented in developing countries; researchers could help the local farmers in creating their own farms and help them discover what works best for the area they live in. New technologies could also be implemented to help the fanners in providing enough food for their communities. One of the technologies that could be introduced is storage methods of food. According to Science; roughly 30-40% of food in both the developed and developing worlds is lost to waste (Godfray et al., 20 1 0). In developing countries, waste is often the result of a lack of transport infrastructure (Godfray et al., 2010). The extension could help provide the transport infrastructure or help in aiding the members of the community to find a way to get their products to the market in a timely manner or teach canning/drying technologies. Less food is lost to waste; more food will be available for the community, and for improving the community's economy.

By creating a program like California's UC Cooperative Extension Service in developing countries more communities can become self-sufficient. With the aid of researchers ing. These agents, who have a strong awareness of what is available to the communities (i.e., resources, inputs, markets) can tailor sustainable solutions to real community issues. …