The Changing Face of Livestock Extension: Experiences from Pakistan

David McGill

1University Of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia

This research describes the impacts and challenges of implementing an innovative farmer engagement and learning approach within the Pakistan extension system. Pakistan has over 8 million smallholder dairy-beef farmers, many of whom have suboptimal productivity. These farmers are serviced by a linear extension system with limited capability and reach. Through 10 years of experience, our project team along with local partners, have developed what we call the ‘whole-family extension approach’ (WFEA). The WFEA involves repeated interdisciplinary training to the men, women and children of the farming household on the whole dairy-farming system. This approach has similarities to extension programs that have come and gone in the past, but due to engagement with local partners and farmers, it has been tested and proven to work within the current extension system. Extension systems around the world are becoming more pluralistic (multiple organisations) and farmer extension programs are needing to evolve with it, hence new programs, like the WFEA are re-emerging. This paper will present data from the different collaborating organisational structures (20, including NGO, Govt., private) who depict the ‘evolving pluralistic’ extension system in Pakistan as well as a number of other developing countries.


Dr David McGill works in the international research for development space with over 10 years experience researching smallholder dairy farmers in Pakistan. He now leads an interdisciplinary project which communicates technical recommendations within the livestock extension system of Pakistan involving partners in social sciences, gender mainstreaming and farming systems.



The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.

Photo Credits: Visit Victoria

© 2019 Conference Design Pty Ltd