Masters Plan B Defense - Boaz Mandula - Aug 19

Date: August 19, 2015
Time: 9:00 AM
Location: Natural Resources RM 130

Enhancing Access to Agricultural Information for Extension:

Developing a Field Reference Handbook for Extension Workers in Malawi

Master’s Plan B Professional Project Final Defense

Department of Community Sustainability

Boaz Mandula


Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, 9 a.m.

Room 130, Natural Resources

It is widely acknowledged that agriculture is one of most important sectors driving the economy of Malawi. Agriculture extension on the other hand is one of the key strategies being used by the government to ensure that farmers are aware of new methods of farming and technology options that can lead to increased yields. In order to be effective in this mandate, extension service providers need to have unlimited access to relevant and up to date information at all times. Most frontline extension officers however, face challenges in their quest to access information to meet the needs of their clients. My Master Plan B project focused on developing a field reference handbook for frontline extension workers in Mtakataka and Golomoti Extension Planning areas in Dedza district of central Malawi. The study involved understanding of information sources available to extension workers in the study area as well as their expressed information needs when they interact with their clients. The frequency of using a particular information source was dependent on its availability in the study area. Based on the findings from the study, a field reference handbook was developed in consultation with key subject matter specialists for the suggested thematic area. Once drafted the handbook went through a validation process where a selected team of frontline extension officers and subject matter specialists reviewed and commented on the contents of the handbook. Thinking beyond the needs of this project, it is hoped that the handbook will be presented to national level agriculture extension stakeholders and developed further so that it becomes a key reference material that can be issued to all extension workers across the country. 

Committee Members:

  • Dr. Robert B. Richardson, Chairperson
  • Dr. Gail Vander Stoep, Member