Rural extension, communitary agricultural work, capacities, rural development.
Objective: To determine the problems that extension workers face during their work to promote rural development, from their own perspective.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The research was carried out with extension workers, who took part of the 2019 Rural Development Program (PDR) in Morelos, Mexico. An exploratory-descriptive methodology, with a non-probabilistic convenience test, was carried out. The tool comprised 25 items. Thirty-one extension workers and 6 technicians of various programs were interviewed.
Results: Most of the extension workers were men, 86% of their professional profiles are related to agricultural sciences, 10% has a master degree, and 45% has some kind of proficiency certificate. The interviewees pointed out that they were not paid enough for their services, that each technician had to work with too many producers, and that a short-term contract is not enough to achieve the development processes. The main activities carried out were related to the program.
Study Limitations/Implications: As a result of the SARS COVID pandemic, the interviews were carried out remotely and we could not get in touch with more extension workers.
Findings/Conclusions: Extension workers demand long-term contracts, appropriate payments, and a lower technician:producer ratio, in order to make their work more efficient and to contribute to the development of families and communities. They also mentioned that they would like to focus on extension activities and that their involvement in management issues aimed at exercising the resources of government programs should not be a priority.