Back to Library

Achievements and Challenges in Agricultural Extension in India

Published by:
Online Location
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Articles & Journals
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Capacity Development
Type of Risk:
Managerial & operational
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Marco Ferroni, Yuan Zhou

The purpose of extension is to disseminate advice to farmers. Knowledge gaps contribute to yield gaps. Services and quality inputs are essential productivity-enhancing tools. However, their optimum use requires knowledge. Farmers also need information on prices and markets, post-harvest management, produce quality determinants, and safety standards. Some farmers marshal knowledge themselves. The “resource-poor” majority, growers of much of India’s food, need external, science-based, extension to complement local knowledge. Much debate focuses on how best to achieve the desired outcomes that extension can convey. Many countries have neglected extension and indeed agriculture as a whole. But interest appears to be returning globally, and India is no exception. In 2009, a National Seminar on Agriculture Extension discussed knowledge management, convergence of extension systems, the role of information and communication technology and mass media, private sector initiatives including public–private partnerships, and farmer- and market-led extension systems. This article builds on that discussion. It looks at extension in relation to both primary production and market links, and acknowledges the contributions of all providers of extension, public and private.