This paper describes a possible model for livestock-based extension (in developing countries), the Poultry Surveillance Unit (PSU), that uses local knowledge and practices. The PSU was able to operate successfully under structural adjustment conditions in Trinidad and Tobago. There are several reasons for the success of the PSU: it is a small unit, with its own home base and some degree of independence. Although labour costs are high, input costs (bulletins, videos, newsletters) are low. The PSU uses a participatory approach built on farmers’ indigenous knowledge and informal experimentation (based on local and foreign data). The usefulness of the technology that is introduced on-farm is continuously assessed by the PSU in weekly feedback meetings. The PSU emphasizes a whole-farm preventive approach rather than stressing the treatment of illnesses. As a result PSU staff act as ‘reflective practitioners’ and practise the art of transformative learning.
Keywords: Livestock-Based Extension; Poultry; Privatization; Trinidad and Tobago; Medicinal Plants