Extension systems and change facilitation for agricultural and rural development

  • Artur CristóvãoEmail author
  • Alex Koutsouris
  • Michael Kügler


The field of extension is quite dynamic and new configurations and alternative extension systems and approaches have been emerging. This chapter explores the recent developments and debates critical questions such as: Is extension still relevant? What are the current trends and challenges in the field of agriculture and rural development and how are they affecting the structure, mission and delivery of extension services? How is extension being considered in the frame of the EU Common Agriculture Policy? We stress the growing involvement of multi-stakeholder networks of different sorts in extension work (with emphasis on private-profit or non-profit-organisations) as well as the adoption of participatory approaches. We also analyse the complex relationships between extension agents and rural actors. The major focus is on the changing roles of extension agents, underlining their current roles as learning-innovation-change facilitators and knowledge brokers. Examples drawn from proceedings of the European IFSA Symposia specifically address European cases, and illustrate the analysis.


Innovation Process Rural Development Extension System Extension Service Extension Agent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Artur Cristóvão
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alex Koutsouris
    • 2
  • Michael Kügler
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Transdisciplinary Development StudiesUniversity of Trás-os-Montes and Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural DevelopmentAgricultural University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.German Chambers of Agriculture, and EU-Platform of Chambers of AgricultureBrusselsBelgium

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