maliGovernments in many countries including sub-Saharan African countries have traditionally taken the dominant role in the provision of agricultural extension services because of the important contribution of the agricultural sector to the economy. In Mali, governmental and parastatal extension services are by far the most important agricultural extension and advisory services providers because of the number of field staff members (841), the extent of geographic coverage and the range of technical areas.  To lend support to the government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and projects provide temporary or occasional extension and advisory services, alongside the private sector whose contribution to EAS is very limited.

History

A Brief History of Public Extension Policies, Resources and Advisory Activities in Mali

Governmental agricultural extension and advisory services are offered through the operational units (Directions) of principal ministries (e.g. Ministére de l’Agriculture, Ministére de l’Elevage et de la Pêche, Ministére de l’Environment, etc.) and the various Offices du Development Rural (e.g. Office de la Haute Vallée du Niger-OHVN, Office du Niger-ON, etc.). Ministerial Directions coordinate extension services in their specific technical domain while offices are the dominant extension service providers in their geographic area of operation. NGOs and the private sector entities intervene through governmental field program by providing additional technical training and operational support to governmental field staff members.

At the national level, public extension is managed by 141 staff, of which 11 are senior staff and all men. There are 130 subject matter specialists who provide backstopping support to the field staff, two of them have a graduate degree (PhD) and all are male.  The field level extension workers constitute the bulk of staff (77%), with 47% of them holding a 2 to 3 year agricultural diploma, and only 7% are female (Table 1). Pre-service training is available through the Centre d’Apprentissage Agricole, CAA Samanko and three other similar vocational agricultural training centers in the country. The in-service training is provided by 40 staff, 22 of them with a bachelor degree and one with a PhD, while 12 Information, Communication & Technology (ICT) Support Staff trained at the bachelor level are responsible for providing support in the use of multimedia resources and advanced communication and information tools.

Table 1: Human Resources in the Public Extension Service in Mali (Governmental or Ministry-based Extension Organization)

Major Categories of Extension Staff

Secondary School diploma

2-3 yr. Ag diploma

B.Sc. degree

M.Sc./Ing. Agr. degree

Ph.D. degree

Gender

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

F

M

Senior Management Staff

11

Subject Matter Specialists (SMS)

128

2

Field Level Extension Staff

41

295

7

303

Information, Communications & Technology (ICT) Support Staff

1

11

In-Service Training Staff

4

13

22

1

Total Extension Staff:  841      

41

299

8

316

 

172

 

 

 

3

Source: IFPRI/FAO/IICA Worldwide Extension Study, 2011

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