World poverty is overwhelming in the rural third world, a fact which has fueled the exodus of millions into hopelessly crowded urban centers (UN, 1979). To alleviate rural poverty, a realistic approach could be to perceive the farming systems and practices utilized by small farmers as factors in social adaptation for survival and to assist the farmers in improving them. Peasant farmers should be persuaded that change is possible and that they have sufficient knowledge and ability to make change happen. Therefore, rural people should be provided with community education for development through which "community members come together to identify their problems and needs, seek solutions among themselves, mobilize the necessary resources and execute a plan of action or learning or both" (Compton & McClusky, 1978, p. 229). The extension education system can provide information regarding social, economic, cultural, and human needs of people in the rural Third World and then assist them to utilize the information to achieve community education to make life better for themselves.
extension education, Third World, international agriculture