The institutional structure of rural extension and public-private relations in Latin America
Alarcon, E.

This policy brief deals with the following points: (i) Given the importance of agriculture and the rural medium for countries’ growth and development, policy makers must strengthen the institutional structure of rural extension and increase public and private investment; (ii) Abundant natural resources, knowledge, technology, and extensionists are not enough. Countries also need policies, institutional frameworks, and solid management that link the local to the national and vice versa for the development of extension; (iii) The classical function of extension of “extending” knowledge and technologies and mainly working on aspects of production and education is being complemented by other needs and functions that go beyond the agricultural sector. The presence of these inter-sectoral functions merits the development of new institutional structures and skills; (iv) Institutional innovations for extension in a context of agricultural and rural innovation should consider the micro, meso, and macro levels. Failing to recognize them will lead to incomplete and unsustainable models and innovations.

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