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Privatization of Agricultural Extension System in the Punjab, Pakistan: A SWOT Analysis

Shoukat , Ali (2009) Privatization of Agricultural Extension System in the Punjab, Pakistan: A SWOT Analysis. PhD thesis, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad .

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Abstract

Globally, there is a trend towards privatization due to poor performance of public extension services. Private agricultural extension system is considered demand-driven, cost-effective with efficient and quality service. In Pakistan, Privatization of agricultural extension system was started in 1988 when the then Government of Pakistan established a commission to look into the causes of poor performance of agricultural sector and suggest ways to improve its performance. The commission suggested the involvement of the private sector in reshaping agricultural extension. It was a major policy shift, in which the supply of inputs was shifted to private sector from public sector. Currently, 320 pesticide companies (private sector) are working in the Punjab. These companies not only provide pesticide products to the farmers through dealers but also provide advisory services to them. Privatization experiences in the world had mixed results. In some cases it has positive results while in other location the results are discouraging. The present study was conducted to analyze the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for private extension system in the Pakistani context where the literature is either silent or scanty about the performance of private sector extension. A cross-sectional research design was used for the study. The study was carried out in the Punjab province which comprises five cropping zones, out of which, three zones were selected purposively. Multistage proportionate sampling technique was used for the selection of respondents. A sample of 408 respondents was selected (136 from each zone) by using simple random sampling technique. Sample size was determined by using Fitzgibbon table (Fitzgibbon & Lynn, 1987). Similarly, a sample of 60 respondents from EFS of Syngenta (Pesticide Company) were also selected randomly by using the same table. The data were collected through personal interviews with the help of validated research instrument. The data, thus collected were analyzed by using computer software (i.e. SPSS). The results showed that a diagnostic skill of the EFS was strength of the system. Attributes of the EFS i.e. politeness and good conduct with farmers were also rated as strengths. Group discussion method was rated as strength of the system. However, subject matter coverage, target beneficiaries, extension approach and functions, communication, competencies of EFS of private extension found to be the weakness of the system. Limited opportunities existed for the demand of advisory services for specific crops at specific location and fee-based private extension system in the country. Overall it poses threat for the system. There were great discrepancies observed between the perceptions of the farmers and the EFS about the same questions. According to the EFS, the system has more strengths as compared to weaknesses. It is suggested that the steps should be taken to mitigate the weaknesses and ensure the strengths of the system. Similarly, threats should be converted into opportunities.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Private agricultural extension system, cross-sectional research design.
Subjects:Agriculture & Veterinary Sciences(a) > Agriculture(a1)
ID Code:2770
Deposited By:Mr. Javed Memon
Deposited On:07 Jan 2010 11:19
Last Modified:07 Jan 2010 11:19

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