RESEARCHERS’ AND EXTENSION WORKERS’ PERSPECTIVES ON AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH-EXTENSION LINKAGES IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA
H. S. Kassem1,2, F. O. Aldosari1, M. B. Baig1, S. Muneer1 and A. N. Elmajem1
1Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Society, College of Food and Agriculture Sciences, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2460, Riyadh 11451, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 2Agricultural Extension and Rural Society Dept., Mansoura University, Mansoura 35516, Egypt
Corresponding author’s email address: email@example.com
There have been multiple mechanisms employed to improve research-extension linkages in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Improving access and adoption of agricultural innovation is the indirect outcome of the research-extension linkages. This study was conducted to describe existing linkages in terms of implementation and strength levels. Moreover, the study identifies factors affecting linkages and explores appropriate approaches to develop and strengthen sustainable research-extension linkages. Data were collected from122 research personnel and 221 extension workers from all regions of the kingdom. Data were generated by administering a structured questionnaire. Percentages, means, standard deviations, the critical ratio (C.R), and t-test were used as statistical tools. The results indicated a significant difference between extension workers and researchers regarding joint technology development and determining farmers’ needs. It was observed that lack of physical/financial facilities and routine administrative work were among the factors inhibiting extension- research linkages. The study recommends several improvement measures, such as developing the provision of extension services by utilizing ICTs, forming a national coordination committee for planning, and merging research and extension into a single new administration.
Key words: research, agricultural extension, linkages mechanisms, assessment, Saudi Arabia.