The process of decentralisation and privatization of agricultural extension services in Benin must take into account important issues such as the news actors, including agricultural producer organisations, private sector and NGOs, the reduction in the power of high level extension administration, active participation or stakeholders in the financing of extension service, financial and technical assistance from the State, particularly for resource-limited communes, institutional changes that are adapted to both decentralisation context and local management capacity. In the new decentralised system, agricultural extension needs to be flexible and avoid hierarchical structures Most of the staff should be in the communes and should be oriented towards enhancing the capacity of farmers and the elected local governments to participate in the process of solving their problems and reach their development objectives, including financing of agricultural extension services. To achieve all this, adequate decision- making power and resources for extension activities should be transferred to commune level. The experience from Benin indicates the difficulties African countries in general, and Benin in particular, will face when trying to better tune extension activities to local needs.

Keywords: Agricultural Extension, Decentralization, Farmers’ Organizations, Financing, Participation, Privatization.


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