October 2011

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Innovation in Extension: Major conference in Kenya

The School of Agriculture at The UWI will partner with the Technical Center for Agriculture and Rural Cooperation in Agriculture (CTA) to host a conference on innovations in Extension and Advisory Services at the Nairobi Hilton, Kenya, November 15-18, 2011.

Extension is a very old discipline which seeks to extend scientific knowledge and technologies. More recently Extension has revisited indigenous knowledge which can be appropriate to modern agriculture. Extension’s most popular form, Agricultural Extension, has significantly contributed to assisting farmers and other agricultural stakeholders to improve the productivity of agriculture globally. There will be four cross-cutting themes: Policy, Capacity Development, Tools and Approaches and Learning Networks.

There will be many scholarly presentations from Trinidad and Tobago. Dr Carlisle Pemberton and staff members will be discussing the successful Caribbean Agricultural Extension Project (CAEP). There will be a presentation on the extension models of the Ministry of Food Production, Lands and Marine Affairs and that of the National Agricultural Marketing and Development Corporation. Professor Gary Garcia’s thinking with regard to a new model for teaching agriculture will be presented in a poster session. There will be a detailed analysis of the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) of Jamaica. Norman Gibson of the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) will discuss the institute’s work with sheep and goats. From Antigua, Ms Jennifer Maynard will discuss the new concept of Extension for Agro Tourism and from the Sir Shridath Ramphal Institute at the Cave Hill Campus, Neil Paul will present a new vista for extension in the field of trade liberalisation. Post graduate Agribusiness student from Dominica, Malcolm Wallace, teamed up with staff Drs Govind Seepersad (UWI) and Ardon Iton (CARDI) to present a discussion on Extension challenges to assist farmers in marketing Windward Island bananas in a fair trade market.

There will be field trips to successful agricultural projects in Kenya and an exhibition which will display the operations and achievements of many international agencies which are involved in Agriculture. The St. Augustine Campus will host Caribbean booth. The conference website features blogs, other discussion groups, videos, photos and a list of registered participants at http://extensionconference2011.cta.int. The conference is on Face book and Twitter.