Bedo, Shannon Hajdik (2004-09). Education, research, and extension: an evaluation of agricultural institutions in Tunisia. Master's Thesis. Thesis uri icon


  • Texas A&M University of the United States and the Institute National Agronomique de Tunisie (INAT) of Tunisia established a collaborative relationship of mutual exchange of information and ideas for the further advancement of both universities. The researcher worked closely with these universities to conduct a qualitative study in Tunisia to determine the effectiveness of agricultural institutions working to further development in that country. The emphasis of the study was on the transference of knowledge and innovations from the research level through extension to the farmers and other end users. The triangle of teaching, research, and extension provided a base perspective. The researcher interviewed 37 respondents, including researchers, extension personnel, administration, professors, and farmers. From data that respondents provided, the researcher used a constant comparative method to organize results into the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the agricultural institutions as a system. Overarching themes included a pointed focus on meeting farmer needs, but this desire was hindered from being carried out fully due to complex communication systems and an organizational structure that did not facilitate change. Hope did abound for Tunisian agriculturalists because the opportunities available through globalization and international collaboration far outweighed any possible threats to development, such as fierce competition in trade and lack of quality water. The researcher also made specific recommendations based on the information gathered in the study. These recommendations were based on the findings of the study, and they were directed to leaders within the Tunisian agriculture system and other agriculturalists wishing to further development in countries facing similar situations as Tunisia.

publication date

  • May 2003