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7 Final Observations D evelopment, agricultural or otherwise, is inherently about long-term political and economic improvement, and peacebuilding is about shorter-term stabilization. The two have strong commonalities. For example, building the community structures that enable peace, such as strong producer associations and schools and civic organizations, also sup- portS development. In that sense, extension can support both development and peacebuilding by simultaneously building capacity and providing a means of managing conflict. In their concluding remarks, the workshop co-chairs emphasized two major issues associated with efforts to combine agricultural and peacebuild- ing activities in an extension system: collaboration and sustainability. The workshop brought together people from quite different worlds, they noted, such as technology development, agriculture extension, and peacebuilding. The interests and concerns of these groups overlap, but they also have differ- ing experiences and expertise. Integrating these separate worlds and moving toward next steps will require continuing the conversations started at the workshop. In addition, extension efforts, whether they target agriculture or peace- building, serve both immediate needs and long-term goals. Many tasks are beyond the capacity of extension personnel, but by making small, cumulative changes over extended periods, agents can have a dramatic and positive effect 43
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44 ADAPTING AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION TO PEACEBUILDING on both agricultural productivity and factors that enable conflict manage- ment and peacebuilding. Because of their capacity to build social capital in rural communities, extension agents have real potential to improve the economic well-being and security of farmers.