Document Type : Original Article

Authors

1 Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran

2 MSc. Graduate, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Sari Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sari, Iran

3 Ph.D.Graduate, Department of Agricultural Extension and Education, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

In many countries, private sector provision of agricultural extension services is recognized as a key factor in the process of agricultural development. Insufficient attention to the private agricultural extension system in Iran, despite its relative success, has made it imperative to explore and identify appropriate strategies to improve and develop its activities. The statistical population of the present study consisted of 40 knowledgeable and experienced experts of agricultural consultation and technical service firms as a sample of private extension systems in Iran. The research used the SWOT and TOWS methods as the basis for the AHP technique known as the hybrid A’WOT method. In the first step of the research, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of these firms were evaluated. The results of the first step were used to extract 11 strategies by the TOWS diagram. In the second step, to identify the most appropriate strategies to improve the performance of private extension firms, 12 experienced experts were sampled from the research population by the snowball technique. The research instrument was two questionnaires whose validity were determined by face and content validation methods and whose reliability were estimated by Cronbach’s alpha and inconsistency ratio strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats were assessed  in the first step. Then, TOWS was employed to develop 11 strategies. In the second step of the research, the AHP technique was used to identify the most appropriate strategies. The ranking of the strategies revealed that the strategies “financial support of firms and farmers in order to lay the ground for the privatization of agricultural activities” and “orienting the attitudes of the policymakers and managers of the public sector towards the role of private extension activities” were the most important strategies to improve and develop these firms in Mazandaran province, so they should be considered by the officials.

Graphical Abstract

Identification of Appropriate Strategies to Improve and Develop Private Agricultural Extension System: A Study in Mazandaran Province, Iran

Highlights

  • In this research the SWOT and TOWS methods were used as the basis for the AHP technique.
  • The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of private extension firms were evaluated.
  • Using TOWS was developed 11 strategies in order to improve and Develop Private Agricultural Extension System.
  • The strategies “financial support of firms and farmers in order to lay the ground for the privatization of agricultural activities” and “orienting the attitudes of the policymakers and managers of the public sector towards the role of private extension activities” were the most important strategies to improve and develop of private extension firms in Mazandaran province.

Keywords

Main Subjects

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