Agricultural extension is generally understood as the activities of disseminating agricultural information to farmers and farming guide. The dynamics of agricultural extension trips moving in line with the dynamics of social, political and national economy. When national policy gives high priority to agricultural development is developing outreach activities with very dynamic, and vice versa when the priority of agricultural development did not become the main agenda of the agricultural extension experienced a period of gloom and stagnation.
Regardless of the controversy the impact of green revolution on the social, economic and environmental resources, the facts of history have noted the prime of agricultural extension in the success of food self-sufficiency program. Various international agencies and national documentation noting brilliant achievement of an important role of agricultural extension.
Since the early 1970s, the extension staff in various levels under the guidance of program missal (BIMAS) work together to provide technical assistance (know-how) to farmers for rice cultivation integrated practice known as “penta farming”. With political and financial support is good, the agent can perform its functions smoothly. Training and visit extension system (training and visit) are adopted from the World Bank-FAO model can be developed effectively.
Systematic agricultural extension is one of the determinants of success produkivitas boost rice. Before the introduction of green revolution, rice productivity is only around the 1-2 tonnes / ha. The use of production facilities and modern rice cultivation system has been able to increase the productivity of rice to 2-4 tons / ha.
After the achievement of rice self-sufficiency, national development priorities seem to no longer perpihak on agriculture. In development policy document, after the stages of agricultural development priorities, followed by agriculture-based industrial development. In practice, it can not be implemented properly. Industries that developed is not at all related to agriculture. Was to be expected that the development of agriculture has stagnated and even a remarkable setback.
Associated with agricultural extension, institutional system and the system of procedure also changes with no apparent pattern. Institutional affiliation and counselor competence demands also change with the direction that is not patterned. When the green revolution in the field extension workers who have direct contact with home base of farmers in the Central Agricultural Extension / BPP in each district, but since the 1990’s institutional become unclear and many were dissolved.
In terms of competence extension, changing the orientation of a single competency demands such as food crops (monovalent) to competence plural (polyvalent). After some time, the demands of competence also returned to the monovalent. This is confusing extension in the field. Implementation of Regional Autonomy Law also makes agricultural extension became increasingly uncertain in both the institutional affiliations and personnel. Although one of the ideals to be achieved by decentralization is intended to bring the service to the public in accordance with local conditions, but in practice it is still far from expectations.
For those areas where regional heads and local politicians have largely focused on agricultural development and the development of the rapidly growing agricultural extension. But on the contrary, quite a number of regional heads and local politicians who do not look significant to the development of agriculture, agricultural extension as a result the position becomes unclear and many were dissolved.
Bleak periods of agricultural development and more specifically the agricultural extension have resulted in stagnation of agricultural production. It has also been encouraging the central government and Parliament to design agricultural extension legislation. Through a long and exhausting discussions, in October 2006 has been enacted Law No.16/2006 on Extension System for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (SP3K). One mandate of the Act is the establishment of institutional education at various levels of government administration, other than that local government should contribute to financing institutional.
In practice is not easy, interpretation of the Regional Autonomy Law which gives a large space for local office and Parliament to set up local institutions to sometimes ignore and do not give enough space on the mandate of the Law SP3K. Implementation of policies extension is another extension staff recruitment aids / contract ditagetkan reached 10,000 people until 2007. This step is enough to help overcome the problem of shortage of extension workers in the area due to many workers retire or move the institution and the profession after the regional autonomy.
In many cases, the performance of extension agents is also questionable because it aids the status of the contract was partly used as a springboard to seek a more permanent job. The status is affecting the morale and performance on the pitch so it needs to be revisited.
In line with global change, agriculture experienced a remarkable dynamism. Model of the old approach where the extension is the transfer agent and information technology is not enough. Increasingly complex demands on the field so that if the extension of agriculture as a provider of public goods can not play well it will be increasingly left behind by traditional penguna. At this time the FEA is also the servant of private company’s technical production facilities of national and multinational companies have also penetrated into the villages.
Daram new era of agriculture, outreach workers are required to have a function in at least three things namely the transfer of technology (technology transfer), facilitation (facilitation) and adviser (advisory work). To support these functions, the field of agricultural extension agent should also retain and utilize information and communication technology.
The themes extension also shifts not only increase production but to adjust to other global issues such as how to prepare the farmers in farming to address the issue of global climate change and global trade. Farmers need to be introduced by the means of production which has a high adaptability to climatic shocks, in addition to environmentally friendly farming techniques, water-efficient and resistant to high temperature stress seems to be an important theme for the future of agricultural extension.