The agricultural extension system in Ethiopia: operational setup, challenges and opportunities
Since the 1960s, Ethiopia has been inducing changes in its approaches to agricultural extension through reforms. In 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources adopted a Participatory Extension System. Farmers’ group formation accompanies the reform process. This paper analyzes and discusses how the newly adopted system is structured and operates, the characteristics of extension services, and the evaluation system employed in agricultural extension, and assesses the challenges and opportunities associated with the system. Data are drawn from field research carried out in 2015/16 in two districts of Southwestern Ethiopia. A mixed methods approach was employed, combining qualitative and quantitative data-collection tools: household survey, expert and key informant interviews, Focus Group Discussion (FGD), participant observation, and desk literature review. ATLAS.ti and SPSS were used for data analysis.