AKST: Generation, Access, Adaptation, Adoption and Effectiveness | 53

intensive management, which women cannot coordinate with other household responsibilities.

Agricultural production and household management leave women “time poor.” The use of improved farm implements and appropriate mechanization can increase productivity, reduce drudgery, conserve labor and ensure timely farm operations while mitigating pressure on women. However, adoption of strategies that primarily benefit women may be inhibited by men, who have greater decision-making power.

Women are less likely than men to be able to afford agricultural technologies and farm inputs. They are less likely to make decisions within the household that would enable them to direct resources toward improvements. They are also less likely to control cash crop production, which often requires agricultural technologies and inputs, and often lack access to markets for cash crops as these markets are built on relationships among men. Women have less access to credit to invest in agricultural technologies and other farm inputs and they are more likely to spread household resources across a broader range of needs. While men may conceive of a choice among which agricultural technologies to use and which crops to apply them to, women may conceive of their choice as between acquiring technologies and paying school fees or medical bills.

3.1.3 Education, training and extension
Formal education in agriculture is available at all levels of the educational system in SSA, from primary school to tertiary institutions, and becomes more male-dominated at advanced levels. Students, however, do not seem to have much interest in extension education (Debouvry, 2001). Science students are more interested in studying medicine and engineering than agricultural science (World Bank, 2006). Formal education is almost universally conducted in official languages, certainly beyond the primary school level; thus, agricultural education is not conducted in African languages.

Extension training for future agents is inadequate, occupying a small percentage of the agricultural education curriculum. Inadequacies include a lack of instruction on effective communication in multilingual settings, and in speaking other local languages (Robinson, 1996). There are many types of extension work in SSA, the two main ones being commodity and general approaches. Under the commodity approach, commodity boards provide education and services to farmers who grow a cash crop, such as cocoa or tea, and the extension-to-farmer ratio is good. The major advantage to this approach is that the assistance provided includes inputs, marketing infrastructure and price guarantees. This assistance provides incentives for the farmer to adopt the technologies that are required for cash crop production.

In the general approach, the Ministry of Agriculture provides general extension services for all farmers. The extension agent-to-farmer ratio is usually inadequate because of inadequate recruitment and training of extension workers. The extension service emphasis is on farmer education, while other activities such as marketing are left to other organizations. Getting farmers to use agriculture technologies requires developed markets, adequate pricing and agricul-


tural infrastructure. The general approach to extension services is mainly for staple food and animal producers, whose use of technology is relatively low.

Where the World Bank has intervened in the agriculture sector, training and visit (T&V) systems are used, which prescribe how and when an extension agent meets with a farmer and the kinds of interactions that should occur. T&V operates on the assumption that national agricultural research institutions (NARIs) and the international agricultural community provide appropriate and relevant technologies to disseminate to farmers. The number of farmers assigned to each extension agent is very high and as a result, most farmers do not receive educational services. This often has negative implications for the use of new technology. The T&V system has declined because of inadequate coordination with agricultural research systems, weak accountability, lack of political support, and above all, high recurrent costs leading to unsustainable services (Anderson et al., 2006).

Government investment in formal education in SSA has been increasing; however, the percentage of funds allocated to science and agriculture remains inadequate. Science and agriculture require much more investment to produce a relatively small number of graduates. The majority of graduates work with crops or plant-related fields, while few work in animal production, disease control and agricultural engineering (IAC, 2004).

Through donor-assisted programs, a number of scientists from SSA train outside the country. Some do not return after completing their studies. Even when scholars do return, they lack the research facilities and stimuli that enable them to work on par with their counterparts from the industrialized world. Those who do choose to work in their countries of origin often get absorbed into administrative jobs that have higher salaries, but curtails the continuity required to successfully complete research. Different donor-assisted programs attempt to address these obstacles. In west and central Africa, the International Foundation for Science and the French Research Institute for Development (IRD) provide competitive grants to junior researchers, in partnership with international scientists. They offer research expenses and scientific equipment, provided that the research is carried out in their country or region of origin.

In a bid to curb the loss of human resources, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has developed a regional protocol to diminish competition from neighboring countries that attract professionals with higher salaries (SADC, 2007). African leaders have responded through various initiatives, such as establishing regional model research institutions that provide specialized scientific training. Some have instituted policies to attract scientists back to their countries of origin. Other factors that are important for retaining professionals include increasing teaching incentives, enhancing school infrastructure and revising teaching methods to increase student performance.

3.2 Key Actors and Institutional
Between 1960 and 1980, overall economic growth in sub- Saharan Africa averaged 3.4% annually and agriculture contributed to economic growth in most countries. This growth was crucial for improving food and nutritional se-