Keywords: Extension, research, advisory services, knowledge transfer.
The movement of ideas from research to farm practice often is seen as a simple linear process involving an intermediary who may be an adviser, a provider of technical literature or web sites or a journalist. Such a simple model takes no account of interactions between farmers or of a flow of ideas and information from farmers to researchers. In practice, ideas and information move through the research, advisory and farming communities in many ways. Some new ideas are adopted quickly by many farmers, others are adopted by just a few farmers or after a long delay and some are not adopted at all. The movement of ideas is not a concise issue amenable to a comprehensive solution. The aim therefore is to identify factors associated with success and to implement these wherever possible. These factors include clarity and practical relevance of an idea, consensus on its value, financial incentives and easy communication among researchers, intermediaries and farmers. The last of these is especially important as there is a tendency for divergence between researchers and farmers.
Ian R Richards, Ecopt Ltd, Bredfield, Suffolk IP13 6AR, UK.
20 pages, 4 figures, 1 table, 13 references.