Linking research and extension at the local level through on-farm research

Tamara M. Jackson, Thongchanh Sensourivong, Khammone Thiravong, Emilie R. Kirk, Khamparn Pathoummalangsy, Jessica L. Armstrong, Soulyphone Samadmanivong, Sisavanh Xayavong

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

Abstract

On-farm research (OFR) is undertaken in ‘real-life’ settings, providing a unique opportunity for local stakeholders to participate in the research process. Such an approach can serve as a linking mechanism between researchers and local stakeholders, facilitating communication and improving design, acceptability, awareness and adoption of a particular technology. An OFR project was implemented in southern Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) from 2010 to 2013. A survey of researchers, local extension staff and farmers highlighted the importance of several aspects of OFR, including understanding and working within local systems, engaging with and strengthening links between multiple stakeholders and promoting good communication. Additionally, local stakeholders identified multiple benefits as a result of their engagement in the research project, including a diverse portfolio of improved skills and capacity beyond expectations of project design. In addition to technical and research skills, enhanced personal skills were highlighted, including communication, confidence, attitude and critical thinking. These skills were noted in improvements to staff capacity and working ability by project leaders, the staff concerned and farmer cooperators. Strategic support is needed to ensure that the benefits from OFR are optimised for all stakeholders. A macro-level approach to strengthening research–extension links is required, incorporating improvements to institutional capacity, infrastructure, service delivery and coordination between these elements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA policy dialogue on rice futures: Rice-based farming systems research in the Mekong region
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of a dialogue held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 7–9 May 2014
EditorsLisa Robins
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Pages136-142
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781925133523
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Conference - Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 07 May 201409 May 2014

Conference

ConferenceAustralian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Conference
Period07/05/1409/05/14

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