Extension & Outreach
WSU IRAD uses an integrated community-based approach of intensive dialogue, training and extension support implemented through traditional leadership structures in the countries in which we operate. Our international extension efforts are a cornerstone of our integrative approach to poverty alleviation and increased agricultural production. We place emphasis on decentralization and capacity building at the local levels, with a focus on the following activities:
- Providing training in relevant technical disciplines, business and financial management, and marketing, with linkages to relevant support groups and information centers.
- Producing or upgrading user-friendly extension and training materials as needed on all components of the project based on results and lessons learned. These materials provide the tools and knowledge for strengthening extension delivery and training.
- Implementing extension strategies to expand outreach efforts by leveraging limited human, financial and physical resources available:
- Positioning extension agents in central locations to work with communities to support key components of the project.
- Targeting villages in each site or watershed will be organized in clustered concentrations to facilitate logistics, training and extension support services.
- Providing intensive support to villages for a period of time, scaled down thereafter as communities become self-sufficient in maintaining the programs created.
- Incentivizing collaboration between villages and enhancing impacts from the synergistic effects and traditional leaders under a coordinated program with common goals.
- Providing access to improved seed, inputs, materials and equipment through agreements with the local NGO or finance institutions, instilling a sense of ownership and value for the goods and services offered and creating common market practices.
- Supporting marketing initiatives as follows:
- Evaluating existing markets and potentials for specific crops and products.
- Facilitating linkages among producers, processors, traders and consumers.
- Expanding opportunities for agro-dealerships and value-added processing of products
- Organizing promotional campaigns to popularize new crops and products.
- Addressing cross-cutting health and social issues target selected communities to improve access to clean water, sanitation and basic primary education
Successfully leveraging the above activities within the communities we operate attracts interest in participation from other service providers, as well as neighboring communities.