The socio-economic situation in the rural areas in the countries with weaker economies, also the fast growing ones, is well below average. This divide is not sustainable in a society. Moreover the people here are the growers entrusted with the production and supply of our food.
Last but not least agriculture has a strong impact on the environment. If we are really worried about a just society, production and safety of food and the environment, concerted action has to be taken.

The overwhelming extent of farming is done in open land under often deficient conditions.
This accounts for a strong reduction of the total possible agri production and an equivalent increase in cost price. Increasing production by expansion of the cultivated areas will not lead to much higher income for farmers and will affect the environment even more. However, increased production, as of more produce per square meter, will have a marginal increase in cost price per square meter, hence higher income for the growers and the negative impact on the environment is not more, but less.

Although the entire rural condition, including education and infrastructure, needs an integrated approach, one aspect is outstanding and that is technical knowledge for the growers. Business over all sectors is increasingly knowledge based. Nobody in any industry will rely solely on predecessor’s experience. For growers this is a different story. They rely strongly on experience, also from former generations. They often get erratic, incomplete and biased information from different sources.

In our attempt to develop the rural areas we have to recognize sufficiently that the poorer and less educated farmers need more basic knowledge of cultivation. Often it is not known how plants function, fertilizer is applied wrongly, chemicals are sprayed randomly and irrigation is erratic. As such the green revolution has done substantial damage due to incorrect use of chemicals, fertilizers and water. Information for growers has to take in account the diversity in conditions in the field and give guidance to implementation.

Explanation and implementation of basic technical knowledge is to be realized in an extension program. Only when this basic knowledge finds its way into the standard cultivation procedures, production will increase and new technologies and ideas can be built on for further progress.
In many cases there are many jobless diploma holders, under graduates and graduates to go out in the field under guidance of a program, managed by a professional with expertise, experience and sense for extension. Of course not top-down but bottom-up.