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Paper Details

Research and Development Models in Agricultural Extension

Nikhila Bhagwat


Extension, broadly, is a function that can be applied to various areas of society, such as Agriculture Extension, Un iversity Extension, Rural Development Extension, Health Services Extension, Industrial Extension, etc. All of which thrive on non formal ways and participatory management principles. The Agricultural Extension is a general term meaning the application of s cientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. (Wikipedia) The Food & Agriculture organisation of the United Nations states that agricultural extension operates within a broader knowledge system that comprises of research and agricultural education. The R and D (Research and Development) is an inseparable wing of Extension activity. In many parts of the world it is also called RTD, which means Research and Technological Development. It refers to a specific group of activities within an industry. Since Extension is concerned with expansion as well as enhancement of agricultural industry it automatically connects with RTD. The primary function of R and D is to develop new products and services or to generate new knowledge to improve existing products, processes and services. There are three primary models of Research and Technological Development - the Exploration Model, the Improvement Model and the Testing Model. The Exploratory Model is used when there is no ea rlier theory to support and guide the investigation or when the field of enquiry is absolutely new. It is a gradual process of accumulating understanding about the object under study. During the exploratory research project, the provisional concepts slowly gain precision. In the Improvement Model the work starts from what is known and simply proceeds by enlarging an earlier theory. The existence of a tentative model helps in selecting the logical structure of the entire research project and planning it. Many of the problems of exploratory research can be avoided if the researcher can start with a model, developed in earlier studies, which he us es as a working premise. This model consists of cases or concepts. During the analysis with help of the collected material, the researcher either conforms to the model or corrects the model by suggesting required improvements.