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The Sung and Yuan Dynasties (960-1368) with their firm local government administrations were notable in organizing and promoting agricultural research, extension work, and the teaching of agriculture and sericulture, much facilitated by the invention of woodblock printing, which allowed agricultural treatises and practical handbooks to be widely distributed.Similar activities continued during the succeeding Ming (1368-1644) and Chi'ing (1644-1912) Dynasties, driven not only by the growing population and periodic threats of famine, but also by the state's recognition of the importance of well-coordinated extension work on agricultural recommendations if the most benefit was to be achieved (Perkins, 1969; Elvin, 1973; Bray, 1984; Delman, 1991).It is a significant social innovation, an important force in agricultural change, which has been created and recreated, adapted and developed over the centuries.
Though few have survived, the earliest were written during the ancient Greek and Phoenician civilizations, but some of them were adapted by Roman writers. That landowners and their tenants should improve their production was a matter of concern to the state since, from the sixth century B. onwards, it relied heavily on land taxes for its revenues.
Second, this information is used, among other things, to educate professional agriculturists who may further enlarge or refine this body of knowledge or become active promoters and disseminators of it.
Third, an appropriate administrative or organizational structure exists by and within which the dissemination activities may be established and conducted. Improving the transfer and use of agricultural information: A guide to information technology.
Around 1850, discussions began in the two ancient universities of Oxford and Cambridge about how they could serve the educational needs, near to their homes, of the rapidly growing populations in the industrial, urban area.
It was not until 1867 that a first practical attempt was made in what was designated "university extension," but the activity developed quickly to become a well-established movement before the end of the century.
Fourth, there is a legislative or some other official mandate or influential proponent which prescribes or enables that agricultural extension work is desirable and must occur.