Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Extension: Assessing Needs

Mark Bell
Paul Marcotte
MEAS Project
University of California at Davis
Date Published: 
February 18, 2013

Why do a needs assessment?

Farmers often ignore recommendations because the recommendations are not suitable, not profitable or too risky for the farmers.

A good needs assessment starts with diagnosis of the farmers’ actual needs and circumstances and results in developing and recommending more appropriate solutions.

What is a needs assessment?

A good needs assessment combines discussion and field observation to identify the actual problems facing farmers, the “true cause” of those problems and possible solutions based on discussion with farmers, researchers and extension workers. Recommendations are discussed and developed with farmers based on the farmers’ resources and circumstances.

This is one out of a series of fact sheets on classig and proven methods of extension delivery with lots of practical tips intended for extension practicioners, trainers and facilitators.