Social Systems

Next generation agricultural extension: social relations for practice change

Project code
AUD 4,500,004
Research program manager
Dr Todd Sanderson
Project leader
Dr Brian Cook
Commissioned organisation
The University of Melbourne
JAN 2021
DEC 2025
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project aims to complement and/or replace the globally-dominant but limited model of agricultural extension reliant on the transfer of technology-capital and information.

The project responds to long-standing criticisms of provision and calls to develop social models of agricultural extension, suggesting a widespread interest in the project outcomes. Importantly, though, the project is structured such that it cannot fail to produce valuable findings. That is, the project will confirm or refute that existing provisionist methods are having significant but under-recognised impacts. In doing so it will address significant gaps in understanding agricultural extension in Cambodia and Southeast Asia, with findings of global significance.

Project outcomes

  • By emphasising social relations this project’s main scientific contribution to knowledge will begin with a reconceptualisation of agricultural extension, which will be drawn from the context of the gendered knowledge-practices of smallholder households in the case study area and guided by appreciation for the spatial distribution of enabling and disabling social relations 
  • Filling the gap in understanding concerning smallholders’ social relations, the project will actively reformulate the practice of extension.
  • By extending smallholders’ connections with enabling individuals and organisations, which will be followed by empirical analysis and comparison of perceived and material impacts, including the primary and secondary impacts of past provisionist extension versus extension via social relations.
Map of Cambodia
Key partners
Macquarie University
Partners for Rural Development
University of Adelaide
University of Battambang
University of Canberra
University of Melbourne
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact Sheet SSS/2019/138