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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 341: IV International Mango Symposium

A NEW APPROACH TO TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

Authors:   R.J. Holmes, T.P. Campbell
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1993.341.33
Abstract:
Mango production is forecast to increase rapidly from new plantings throughout Australia. Fruit quality has been identified as a major limitation to both domestic and export market expansion. There are many production, post-harvest handling, and market aspects to fruit quality, all of which are closely related. For the mango industry to expand, while maintaining grower viability, new technology must be developed and passed on to all growers by the extension agencies working with the industry.

The diffusion of information by extension agencies is often poorly understood. Too often, extension effort is concentrated on those farmers who quickly adopt new practices, with the assumption that information will eventually filter down to the rest of the farming community. Recent experience with agriculture extension has demonstrated that using grower groups to achieve adoption of technology and information is more valuable than working with individuals.

In this project, mango grower groups were formed around the common aims of its members; these social and business groups, revolving around interests in specific pack houses or new varieties, are more likely to stay together than are groups formed by the extension agency. The roles of the extension officer have been to recognise existing social structures and mobilise growers into groups, to provide training in areas of need, and to act as a link between growers and other resources. Information packages have been prepared in a form that grower groups can use. To ensure that aid is appropriate, information packages were developed so that groups of large producers, (>25 000 trees), receive packages that are different than those sent to groups of small producers (<1000 trees).

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