Information sources of agricultural extension specialists in Indonesia
Paul Mundy, PhD dissertation (mass communications), 1992, University of
This study aimed to discover:
- Where do Indonesian agricultural extension subject-matter
specialists (SMSs) obtain technical information?
- Why do they use certain sources?
- How important are research-extension linkages relative to other
problems facing extension?
- How quickly do research-derived technologies spread among SMSs?
- What are the SMSs' unmet information needs?
Where do SMSs get information?
||Other major sources
- Field agents
- Other SMSs
- Agricultural press
- Extension publications
- Research publications
- Direct contacts with researchers
Why do they use these sources?
SMSs tend to obtain information from a source if:
- The source is familiar
- They think it is locally relevant
- It is close by and accessible
- It is timely.
There is some evidence that SMSs use a source if:
- It is easy to understand and use
- It is credible and complete
- They think it is their job to use the source.
The source type is important in determining which factors influence the amount
of information an SMS obtains from the source.
How important a problem is poor linkages?
Research-extension linkages are an important problem in Indonesia -- second only
to the SMSs' mobility.
How quickly do technologies spread?
Information flows are slow: it takes about two years for news
about a new technology to reach 50% of the SMSs, and about six years for
the news to reach 80%.
What are the unmet information needs?
The main unmet information needs are in:
- Regional planning
- Farm systems analysis
- Horticultural crops
- Post-harvest processing of crops and livestock
- Livestock feedstuffs
I conducted two nationwide mail surveys of a stratified random sample of
livestock and food-crops SMSs working at province and district-level offices and
Agricultural Information Centers. Response rates were 72% (valid n = 280)
and 75% (valid n = 165). I also conducted personal interviews with 101 SMSs,
local extension officials and other persons connected with the Indonesian research and