Agroscope FAW Waedenswil, Swiss Federal Research Station for Fruit-Growing, Viticulture and Horticulture, CH-8820 Waedenswil

Client-friendly extension for the Swiss vegetable and fruit production sector

Extension is a way of planning, implementing and controlling applied agricultural research, which is new for Switzerland. The extension’s slogan is “know-how – created for application “. Extension projects are planed for one year, with the possibility to be continued if needed. Clients, i.e. grower’s, cantonal extensionists and the post-harvest sector, are organised in forums, propose issues to be addressed and set their priorities. The article gives insights into interesting examples of the extension and summarises Agroscope FAW Wädenswil’s experience of 2004 for the areas of “fruit production” and “vegetable production”. Clients value the first year positively, the system will be continued in 2005. Truly new is the systematical and transparent management of client relations and client-friendliness. The extension for „vegetable production“ and for „fruit / vine grape production“ consist in teams of less than 10 specialists each and the respective FAW-experiment farms’ leaders , who worked on more than 25 projects in 2004. A board knowledge and interest, continuous learning and flexibility are among the most important characteristics of FAW’s extensionists, who have to develop practicable problem solutions by applying a holistic view. The essence of the extension may therefore be characterised by three words: holistic, transparent and useful.

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