Pakistan Institute of Development Economics



Ronald E. Ostman (ed). Communication in Indian Agriculture. NewDelhi: Sage Publications. 1989.319 pp.Bibliography. Price: Rs225.00.

The editor of the book under review divides the process ofagricultural development into three crucial stages. The first twostages, i.e., the basic scientific research to develop the crops, birdsand animals and the development of the technology to process theincreased yields, are essentially productivity-enhancing in nature andare generally available in most developing countries or can betransplanted. However, the third and most crucial stage is thetransferring of this knowledge from the educational centres to thefarmers’ fields, which is generally neglected. This is, often, thegreatest single impediment to agricultural development. A host ofcomplex sociological, cultural, attitudinal, educational, economic, andevolutionary factors have a direct bearing on the development of thisstage. It is this stage that is the focus of the book. There are severalareas where effective agricultural communicators can playa key catalyticrole in streamlining the eventual translation of new knowledge to thefarmers’ fields. At the practical applied level, their role lies inhelping to improve communication with the government, university, orresearch institute and between the research institute, the governmentplanners, and the farmers. At the theoretical and research level, theirrole lies in the evaluation of the effectiveness of variouscommunication strategies in terms of the overall objectives, and in thesearch for ways to improve interpersonal, organizational, and mass-scalecommunications. Effective communicators also have a key role in thedissemination of the results obtained at the research level about themost expedient methods of communication amongst the users.

Sohail J. Malik

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