Power to the partners? Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as an approach for more pluralistic agricultural extension service in Egypt
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Agriculture remains a key and sensitive economic sector in Egypt. Given contemporary geo-political concerns that limit access to international markets, it continues to remain responsible for the production of food and fiber needed for a growing population. Efficacy in agricultural Extension Services (AES), within the broader scope of an agricultural innovation system, has the potential to assist in the government’s mandate, and particularly so given historical levels of high public investment and attention to this institution. Our focus is on current limitations in both access to, and delivery of, effective public extension services; as well as on opportunities for enhancing the delivery of more pluralistic and equitable extension services through public private partnerships (PPPs). The methodological framework is largely qualitative, guided by a review of both historical and contemporary literature. Recommendations for reviving efficacy in public provision of AES in Egypt include: (i) establishment of non-parastatal CSOs, or representative farmers’ and producers’ NGOs and associations, (ii) recruitment of new village extension workers (VEWs) as an urgent requirement to fill the gap resulting from retirement of an aged population of extension agents, and (iii) enhancing organizational and institutional arrangements required to facilitate better linkages between researchers and end users of knowledge generated.