File(s) not publicly available

International comparison of extension agent objectives and construction of a typology

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 21:32 authored by Fernando Landini, James TurnerJames Turner, Kristin Davis, Helen PercyHelen Percy, Johan Van Niekerk
Purpose: To analyse and compare the extension objectives of individual extension agents across nine countries. Design/methodology/approach: Extension agents from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Paraguay, and South Africa were surveyed using convenience sampling (n = 2707). A typology of extension agents with different profiles of objectives was built using data from five of the countries. Findings: The most frequent individual extension objectives were to increase farmers’ knowledge through training, and productive modernisation of farms. Four types of extension agents were identified: the socially-engaged extension agent; the agricultural production and business expert; the trainer of subsistence farmers, and the pro-poor practitioner. Practical implications: Researchers can use these results to analyse specific institutional settings, and extension institutions to reflect on the type of extension agent that best fit their institutional goals and to select practitioners accordingly. Theoretical implications: Productive modernisation persists as a fundamental individual extension objective in many countries. Individual extension objectives are not stand-alone preferences but clusters of interrelated priorities, which do not necessarily coincide with those of extension institutions or national policies. Practitioners’ agency plays a key role in realising (or not) a fit between extension service offerings and demand for extension services, and contributes to a wider repertoire of advisory styles in extension systems than implied by extension institutional objectives. Originality/value: This research adds to the literature by examining individual extension agents, rather than the institutional extension objectives, and providing a typology of agents with different profiles of objectives.


Rights statement

Copyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


Taylor & Francis Group

Journal title

The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension




Landini, F., Turner, J. A., Davis, K., Percy, H., & Van Niekerk, J. (2021). International comparison of extension agent objectives and construction of a typology. The Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension, 28(4), 415-437. doi:10.1080/1389224X.2021.1936091

Usage metrics


    Ref. manager