Improving the delivery of new innovations

In a bid to improve farmer access to new innovations, the ICARDA-managed and USAID- funded HSAD initiative recently sent senior Iraqi extension agents to a major international conference where they were able to share ideas and practices on participatory approaches to agricultural extension. The decision will contribute to a major aim of the initiative – to help Iraqi extension programs shift from ‘top-down’ to participatory approaches.   
The European Seminar on Extension Education (ESEE), held in Turkey, presented new concepts informed by experiences in a range of countries – including Egypt, Ghana, and Iran – which could provide useful models as Iraq develops its own extension strategies. Lessons learned elsewhere will influence the methods Iraq exploits to facilitate farmer access to production-raising innovations like stress-tolerant plant varieties, alternative feed sources, or supplemental irrigation. 
The Seminar also involved visits to different agricultural enterprises in the Antalya region, helping participants to see first-hand how the new concepts worked in practice, and how they could be incorporated into existing Iraqi extension networks. 
Representing three provinces and accompanied, the participants were keen to disseminate what they have learned to other Iraqi extensionists.