Revitalizing our agriculture research and extension system

Research and extension (R&E) are vital ingredients in promoting robust agricultural growth and development. It is through R&E that innovations are generated and their results disseminated to farmers and fisherfolk. Not surprisingly, a study by the International Food Policy and Research Institute in 2000 revealed that among investments in agriculture, those in R&E yielded the highest returns (48 percent for research and 62 percent for extension).

In the Philippines, agricultural technological innovations are generated foremost by educational research institutions, like state universities and colleges (SUCs), or government-funded research institutions, including the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) and Philippine Carabao Center (PCC). As for extension, the dissemination of those technological innovations and new knowledge in agriculture has become the main function of local government units (LGUs).

Recall that the Local Government Code of 1991 devolved the delivery of basic services to local communities to LGUs, including agricultural extension services. This move was anchored on the premise that LGUs are in a better position to understand the needs of their constituents and can therefore respond more effectively to their needs. That was the theory, but the reality is it did not pan out that way.

 

See full article at Manila Times