How does agricultural extension help farmers


Agricultural extension can help the small holder farmers through:

  1. Educating the farmers on modern farming practices which gives higher output with little input. E.g. hydroponics,…
  2. Educate them on the important of adopting innovation as majority of smallholder farmers are risk averse.
  3. Provision of high quality planting materials.

Through extension, land-grant institutions reach out to offer their resources to address public needs. By educating farmers on business operations and on modern agricultural science and technologies, extension contributes to the success of countless farms, ranches, and rural business.


What are the objectives of agricultural extension?

Agricultural extension can help the small holder farmers through: 1. Educating the farmers on modern farming practices which gives higher output with little input. E.g. hydroponics,… 2. Educate them on the important of adopting innovation as majority of …

What is the role of agricultural extension?

 · Agricultural extension programmes have been one of the main conduits of addressing rural poverty and food insecurity. This is because, it has the means to transfer technology, support rural adult learning, assist farmers in problem-solving and getting farmers actively involved in the agricultural knowledge and information system [ 10 ].

What is the meaning of ‘agricultural extension’?

Agricultural extension agencies provide advice, information, and other support services to farmers to enable them to improve the productivity of their crop and animal production and thereby their farm and non-farm incomes. They are also key actors in implementing governments’ rural development policies and programs However, due to low quality of service provision …

What is the role of rural sociology in agricultural extension?

increase farmer income increase sustainability of agricultural practices Increasing local food availability directly addresses hunger problems that arise …


How extension is useful for farmers?

An agricultural extension service offers technical advice on agriculture to farmers, and also supplies them with the necessary inputs and services to support their agricultural production. It provides information to farmers and passes to the farmers new ideas developed by agricultural research stations.

How can agriculture extension help small farmers?

Agricultural extension program will help to increase productivity of the farm, reduce poverty, minimise the food productivity etc. this can be done by the teaching technical and managerial skill and demonstrate the new relevant technology at the farmer field.

What is the importance of extension?

Extension helps in studying and solving the rural problems. Extension increases farm yields and improve the standard of living of farmers. Extension makes good communities better and progressive. Extension contributes to national development programmes.

Why is agricultural extension communication important?

Development communication and extension (advisory services) are important instruments for encouraging dialogue about science-based farming solutions with communities, helping to stimulate agricultural production.

Why agricultural development is important?

Agricultural development is beneficial to planting crops, harvesting, and processing for safer food conditions. Over 70% of the population in rural or developing areas depend on agriculture as a source of income. Food security keeps agricultural development maintained and profitable.

What are the role of agricultural extension workers?

Agricultural extension officers are intermediaries between research and farmers. They operate as facilitators and communicators, helping farmers in their decision-making and ensuring that appropriate knowledge is implemented to obtain the best results with regard to sustainable production and general rural development.

What is meant by agricultural extension?

What is agricultural extension? Agricultural extension is another name for agricultural advisory services. In practical terms, extension means giving farmers – for us, smallholders in developing countries – knowledge of agronomic techniques and skills to improve their productivity, food security and livelihoods.

Where can agricultural extension work?

In addition, graduates of Agricultural Extension may become self-employed as farmers, consultants, agro-input dealers, etc. or work with non governmental organizations.

How does agricultural education and extension affect agricultural production?

The major finding in the study were that the as educational level increases, output increases with secondary school education having the highest returns on agricultural productivity. Extension service has a greater impact on agricultural productivity than formal education even though coverage is low.

Why is agricultural extension communication important to the study of mass communication?

To a large extent, mass media serves as a veritable instrument for information dissemination in agriculture. Agricultural extension/information delivery is precisely a process of communication of improved skills, practices, innovations, technologies and knowledge to farmers.

What is the role of communication between extension agent and farmers?

The extension agent is responsible for providing the knowledge and information that will enable a farmer to understand and make a decision about a particular innovation, and then for communicating that knowledge to the farmer.

What is agriculture extension and communication?

`Agricultural Extension and Communication: A Theoretical Guide to the Social Preparation of the SAAD Program´ (First Edition), authored by Drs. Rosana P Mula and Myer G. Mula, mainly aims to provide the SAAD Program’s stakeholders a reference to basic theories and concepts of extension service.

How many sources of agricultural extension are there?

There are three main sources of agricultural extension.

Which countries have strong agricultural extension services?

Many countries with advanced agricultural sectors, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Denmark, enjoy strong extension services. In the developing world, however, agricultural extension has not always met farmers’ needs.

What is the difference between Extension and Research?

Research institutions focus on the technical aspects of generating useful technologies. Extension focuses on the acceptance and adoption of those technologies by farmers. The two areas must work in partnership.

What are the components of a farm?

This has two important components: 1 dissemination of practical information, including on improved seeds, soil quality, tools, water management, crop protection, agricultural practices and livestock, and 2 application of this knowledge on the farm.

How does extension help farmers?

In agricultural-dependent economies, extension programmes have been the main conduit for disseminating information on farm technologies, support rural adult learning and assist farmers in developing their farm technical and managerial skills. It is expected that extension programmes will help increase farm productivity, farm revenue, reduce poverty and minimize food insecurity. In this study, we estimate the effects of extension services on farm productivity and income with particular reference to agricultural extension services delivered by Association of Church-based Development NGOs (ACDEP).

Why do farmers need to participate in extension programmes?

Similarly, access to agricultural credit will encourage farmers to participate in the extension programme to get more information that may help to maximize their yield to repay the credit on time. Group membership such as FBO enhances farmer-to-farmer extension services where knowledge and ideas on farm business and other off-farm activities are transferred from one farmer to the other. Thus, farmers who are members of FBOs are likely to get sufficient awareness and knowledge on farm technologies and, hence, are sensitized to join extension programme for more information on their farm business. Similarly, participants in the ACDEP agricultural extension programme tend to have larger farm sizes than their non-participants counterparts as supported by the descriptive statistics in Table 1. Usually, members of such extension programmes are encouraged to consider their farm as a business entity rather than a cultural way of life and are, therefore, poised to achieve higher output through expansion and productivity. Gebreegziabher [ 26] reported a positive effect of plot size on the probability of participating in an extension programme in Ethiopia.

What are the determinants of farmers’ farm income?

Some of the socio-economic factors include gender, age, household size, the number of years in formal education and the number of years in crop farming (experience). The farm-specific factors included in the empirical models of this study are the hectare of agricultural land allocated to maize cultivation (farm size) and the number of maize farm plots. The institutional and policy variables include membership of a farmer-based organization (FBO), distance to the local district market and distance to the main regional city market as well as access to agricultural credit.

How does agriculture contribute to the Millennium Development Goals?

The millennium development goals (MDGs) of reducing hunger and to promote food security are rooted in increasing agricultural productivity, especially from the crop sector. This is because agriculture is considered as the engine of growth in many developing economies, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The policy direction of growth and poverty reduction strategy (GPRS II) formulated by Ghana was to achieve accelerated and sustainable growth and poverty reduction through agricultural productivity. Although poverty had declined by 7.7% over the years (2005–2013), about 25% of Ghana’s population is still poor while under a tenth of the population are living in extreme poverty [ 1 ]. This suggests that the role of agriculture has not been sufficient to elevate many people above the poverty line, especially the rural folks who contribute immensely to agricultural production in Ghana. Ghana’s agricultural sector, which employs about 42% of the workforce, is dominated by smallholder farmers (about 90% farming on less than 2 hectares of land) who are using traditional production methods and farm inputs [ 2 ]. Asfaw et al. [ 3] argue that achieving productivity growth in the agricultural sector can only be successful through the development and dissemination of improved agricultural technologies to these smallholder farmers in the rural areas. Rural farmers farming on small hectares of land can be attributed to conditions such as lack of adequate credit, lack of access to product market, lack of adequate extension contacts, among others. Among these constraints, inadequate extension services have been identified as one of the main limiting factors to the growth of the agricultural sector and rural community development at large [ 3 ]. With recent threats of climate change and the rapid advancement in technology, more farmers require capital investment in agriculture and human capacity development to at least continue to make their living out of farming. Thus, the role of agricultural extension today goes beyond the transfer of technology and improvement in productivity, but also, it includes improvement in farmers’ managerial and technical skills through training, facilitation and coaching, among others.

How can agricultural extension services be boosted?

It is, therefore, recommended that agricultural extension service delivery should be boosted through timely recruitment, periodic training of agents and provision of adequate logistics.

What are the positive economic gains from ACDEP?

Apart from the primary variable of interest (ACDEP agricultural extension programme), socio-economic, institutional and farm-specific variables were estimated to significantly affect farmers’ farm income depending on the estimation technique used.

What are the drawbacks of agricultural extension?

According to the current context, there are several major drawbacks identified in the agricultural extension system in Sri Lanka such as client dissatisfaction, bureaucratic approach, large performance gap, declining investments in extension, and slow adjustment in responding to changing roles.

Why is agricultural extension so expensive?

Providing agricultural extension services to famers is costly and challenging because of several reasons: farmers are geographically dispersed in difficult-to-reach places (Nakasone and Torero, 2016 ); some of their information requirements are highly localized ( Binswanger and Rosenzweig, 1986 ); and large-scale extension provision faces several governance challenges ( Birner and Anderson, 2007 ). ICT applications have the potential to address some of these challenges. Compared to face-to-face extension, they are cheaper because they do not rely on costly and time-consuming travelling. This may also allow for more timely and regular provision of farming advice ( Baumüller, 2012; Cole and Fernando, 2012 ). Most ICT applications for agricultural extension rely on SMS and audio elements and focus on weather reports, disease outbreaks, general farming advice and information about agricultural prices. As noted by Aker et al. (2016 ), these are the “low-hanging fruits” of extension advice as they are not location and client-specific (in economic terms, this type of information has the character of a public good, see Birner and Anderson, 2007 ), although precise and location-specific weather reports are still a challenge. However, there are also some ICT applications aiming for “higher-hanging fruits”. The tool iCow, which is widely used in Kenya provides livestock keepers with cow-tailored advice ( Baumüller, 2012 ). Studies that assess the impacts of ICT-based extension systems have usually found some positive effects. Camacho and Conover (2011) found that weekly weather reports reduce the risk of crops losses of Columbian farmers by 4% to 7%. Cole and Fernando (2012) found that the service Avaaj Otalo increased adoption of effective pesticides and of lucrative but risky crops ( Cole and Fernando, 2012 ). Casaburi et al. (2014) found that the use of farm-cycle based SMS advice increased yield by 11.5% in Kenya. In contrast, Fafchamps and Minten (2012) found that the mobile service Reuters Market Light had no significant positive impacts on farmers in India. It is important to note that in all of these studies, the counterfactual is not the traditional extension service. A properly functioning extension service could have advantages over ICT-based extension because it may be able to provide more farm-specific advice and it can work with field demonstrations. In addition, some studies suggest that the question of who provides agricultural extension advice may play a large role in a farmer’s decision to uptake the advice ( Buck and Alwang, 2011, 2011; Moser and Barrett, 2006 ). As noted by Srinivasan (2007, p. 350), farmers tend to adhere more to advice that contains “not only the facts, but the analysis of the facts within the context”. In addition to easing the work of traditional extension system, ICT applications may also facilitate peer extension through social networks such as Facebook and WhatsApp. For example, in the Facebook group “ Small Scale Farmers (Farming as Business) ”, 400,000 farmers from across the world discuss their challenges and opportunities ( Small scale farmers – farming as business, 2018 ). Here, however, the quality of the content may not always be assured.

How to improve convergence of agricultural extension services?

Improving convergence through harmonization —The ATMA has made some progress in the convergence of agricultural extension services at the district level. Further convergence of the extension services at all levels requires a careful harmonization of work plans of the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, national missions, and other schemes that will require support of the extension services to succeed. Allocation of resources for agricultural extension services should be made under these national schemes to support the ATMA activities. This will not only increase the operational resources for effectively targeting the ATMA activities but will also help the national schemes to meet their objectives and make ATMA sustainable in the long run.

What are the three main categories of agricultural extension service providers?

The agricultural extension service providers who have a stake in the NAEP can be grouped in three main categories: GOs, NGOs, and private sector and agribusiness enterprises. Each of these broad groups has a crucial role to play in creating an environment that ensures optimal utilization of all available resources for successful implementation of NAEP. However, in terms of development approach, motivation, resources, and competence, there is much variation within each of the broad groups. For this reason, the detailed implementation plans within the overall NAEP strategy varied widely.

What will happen to agriculture related businesses?

Agriculturally related businesses will probably decline. Fertilizer, seed, implement and other input suppliers will face a greatly reduced market for their services. Lower levels of output will also eliminate the demand for much of the local processors such as cotton gins, grain elevators, etc. The reduction in the numbers of these types of firms, coupled with the reduction in the number of farms, will likely result in increased unemployment and/or migration of these people to other areas.

What will happen if irrigated land is reverted to livestock?

The majority of irrigated producers in this area, if current conditions continue, will be forced out of production by the laws of economics. Their land will revert to range land with less than native productivity and the income from most of the irrigated production will be lost to the region. If land reverts from irrigation to extensive livestock operations, there are important regional economic implications. Producers buy inputs such as fertilizer and fuel from local suppliers, and market products to local processors such as cotton gins, grain elevators, etc. This means the adjustments from irrigated crop production to livestock operations will affect many phases of the local economy.

What is private sector agriculture?

In India, the private agricultural sector plays a major role in agricultural extension service provision. It fills the gap of inefficient input delivery and customized advisory services. The private sector includes crop science industry, seed and input companies, distributors and agro-dealers, service providers of various kinds, food processors and retailers, and the content providers for agro-advisories. Contract farming is an increasingly important vehicle for agricultural extension. The term used in the literature for extension in this context is “embedded services,” where companies deliver information with the sale of inputs or the marketing of products ( Feder et al., 2011 ). There are an estimated 282,000 input dealers in India. They are pillars of their communities in rural or semirural areas and have interest in offering quality services to their farmer clients. The agro-input dealers and the farm-input suppliers selling through them have interest in presale and sometimes continue after-sale advice also to the growers ( Ferroni and Yuan, 2011 ).

How can introduction of new crops improve farmers’ profits?

The introduction of new types of crops can improve both a farmer’s profits (since they won’t face as much competition from other local producers) and the nutrients available to those who consume what he produces. For example, introducing lettuce to a couple in Niger allowed them to grow and sell enough to support their family (Hartill, 2010).

When is food aid provided to farmers?

In the off-season (when farmers are not growing crops), food aid will be provided to them as long as they participate in education sessions and incorporate the new technologies and methods into their farming.

What is living mulch?

Living mulch is a cover crop interplanted with cash crop. Examples of living mulch include vetch interplanted with corn; sweet clover with vegetables; ryegrass with vegetables; and legumes with berries, orchards, and grapevines. Catch crop is a cover crop planted after the harvesting of the cash crop.

What is a cover crop for a summer?

Summer cover crop is planted for a part of a summer growing season between rotating crops to add extra organic matters to the soil.

What is cover crop?

Introduction. A cover crop is a crop grown to provide a soil cover. It is primarily to prevent soil erosion by water and wind. It also reduces insect pest penetration, controls diseases, and suppresses weeds. Cover legumes enrich the soil with nitrates as well.

How long does it take to implement food for work?

Farmer education programs through existing Food for Work programs can be implemented/improved within 5 years. The actual training farmers receive can be completed within a year. So, the first wave of this solution can be accomplished within a decade, with beneficial effects continuing for years to come.

Why do farmers gather at the central location?

As connectivity to a central location improves (part of the plan for cluster schools: see Primary Education), farmers can gather at the central location for training sessions where they also receive distributions of seed.

What is agricultural extension?

The agricultural extension system is largely responsible for the dissemination of technological knowledge to farmers in India. It is being operated by the Department of Agriculture, Government of India (GoI), through state, district, and block levels machinery. The research institutes and agricultural universities in the country also play a limited role in delivery of extension services. The extension system, being an increasingly important engine for transfer of knowledge, innovations, and developments in agriculture, needs reforms over time (Rivera and Sulaiman, 2009 ). The emphasis of agricultural extension system has changed from production to organizing farmers and, recently, to linking of farmers to markets ( Swanson, 2006; Shepherd, 2007 ). During mid-1990s, the GoI and the World Bank explored a new approach to address the prevalent problems and constraints of the agricultural extension system. The new decentralized extension approach emphasized more on agricultural diversification and increasing farm income, and rural employment came into existence. A new approach, known as Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), was pilot-tested through innovations for technology dissemination (ITD) component of the World Bank-funded, National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) that became effective in 1998 and concluded in June 2005. As a follow-up action, the GoI, on the success of ATMA model, initiated a new scheme on support to state extension programs for extension reforms and provided funds for setting up of ATMA in all the 588 rural districts of the country. The ATMA model envisages a paradigm shift from top-down to bottom-up planning and in implementation of agricultural development programs. However, to make future program more effective, scientific study of the technology transfer system is essential. It is observed that technological interventions through ATMA have enhanced the knowledge level of farmers on several subsectors such as bee-keeping. The knowledge level of farmers has a significant association with several independent variables, such as age, education, family type, family size, sources of information utilized, etc. ( Prakash and De, 2008 ). Therefore the study presented in this chapter was undertaken to measure the impact of ATMA model implemented under the ITD component of NATP in Bihar using following indicators: research–extension–farmer interface, level of diversification, adoption of technology, and change in crop yields in the study locale.

What was the role of the agricultural extension system in India?

During this period, the public agricultural extension system played the key role in conducting field demonstrations of high-yielding varieties and improving the input delivery that ensured timely availability of quality seeds, fertilizers, and agricultural chemicals at affordable prices to the farmers. Along with agricultural extension services, the price policy and procurement support through public agencies provided additional encouragement to the farmers for adoption of high-yielding varieties in the 1960s and 1970s. By the end of 1970s, the Green Revolution type of agricultural extension system had largely achieved its major goal of increasing the area under adoption of high-yielding varieties in the country (Ameur, 1994 ).

What are the most used information sources for farmers in India?

Despite varying search behaviors, almost all the farmers in this region are already seeking information from one source or another. The results indicate that private input dealers, state department of agriculture officials, local farmer cooperative banks, newspapers, and television are the most used information sources of farmers. Interpersonal methods of information sharing are the preferred mode of dissemination.

What is ATMA in agriculture?

ATMA is a modern agricultural extension system reform in India and is a gap-filling mechanism not only for agriculture but also for allied sectors. To retain its position as the largest milk producer of the world, India needs to focus on milk productivity per dairy animal. In this chapter, we study the role and contribution of ATMA for dairy development in India. Dairy extension service is provided through ATMA interventions only in a limited extent. Moreover, the sustainability of dairy extension programs largely depends on a regular allocation of budget every year and proportionate increase in budgetary allocations to meet the increasing number of dairy units. Rapport and noticeable convergence with animal husbandry department and other dairy development organizations of the state and district are needed. Moreover, in the present climate change scenario, ATMA needs to ensure the farmers that animal husbandry can also be a profitable venture at the village level.

What is agricultural advisory?

Agricultural advisory services are under an obligation to demonstrate that they have made an economic and social impact on the well-being of the farmers they serve, mainly through the quantitative and qualitative enhancement in crop productivity and in farmers’ net income. This impact should be environmentally and economically sustainable.

Why did many agricultural development projects fail?

Unfortunately, many agricultural development projects, financed by foreign donors, failed once donor funding ended, usually because national governments did not have the budget or the political will to continue. These projects were either too expensive for a developing country or they did not fit the national development programs. Some lessons can be learned:

How to spread extension messages?

The most effective and economic means to spread specific extension messages is through campaigns, using well publicized meetings at demonstration plots and appropriate mass media. However, such campaigns should not replace regular training for developing a deeper understanding, for example, on the roles that fertilizers play in plant husbandry.

What countries use pesticides to control brown rice hoppers?

For example, as a result of training, rice farmers in Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh moved from prophylactic spraying against brown rice hoppers to Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and reduced the use of pesticides by 35-92 percent.

How difficult is it to find two groups of farmers who are equal enough to set-up a controlled experiment?

In addition, it is extremely challenging to find two groups of farmers who are “equal” enough to set-up a controlled experiment. Models developed for experiments with genetically identical plants are not necessarily suitable for measuring human behavior. Trying to differentiate between the separate contributions of research and extension to a new agricultural practice is very problematic. Furthermore, a rise in productivity could be the outcome of many factors: Extension interventions, different levels of farmer’s education, better market opportunities, availability and low prices of inputs, optimal weather etc. The nature of agricultural extension interventions makes randomization difficult. Several meta-studies have shown different types of biases in the selection of the samples (Romani, 2003).

Why do extension systems use sociological impact evaluations?

Because of the weaknesses of purely economic impact evaluations, extension systems often use more sociological impact evaluations, in which farmers’ experiences, expectations, opinions and other non-economic factors are considered.

Where is fertilization needed?

Where soils are poor and depleted, as in many parts of Africa, fertilization is an urgent need. In regions with moderate fertilizer usage, an improvement in nutrient management hand in hand with other practices is required.

What is a smallholder farmer?

smallholder farmers were a reduction in amount of rainfall received in a season (19.4%), . a reduction in area covered by vegetation (trees) due to deforestation (18.4%), and a late . or delayed start of the rainfall season when compared to previous decades (17.3%).

What are the characteristics of smallholder farmers?

characteristics of smallholder farmers, their perceptions on climate change and major . effects on agriculture, adaptation practices being used to moderate negative effects of . climate change on agriculture, and the roles of agriculture extension in building the . adaptive ability of smallholder farmers.


What Is Agriculturalextension?

Agricultural extension is another name for agricultural advisory services. In practical terms, extensionmeans giving farmers – for us, smallholders in developing countries – knowledge of agronomic techniques and skills to improve their productivity, food security andlivelihoods. This has two important c…

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Who Provides Agricultural Extension Services?

  • There are three main sources of agricultural extension. 1. The public sector Ministries and departments of agriculture, and agricultural research centres. 1. The private non-profit sector Local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), foundations, community boards andassociations; bilateral and multilateral aid projects, and other non-commercial associations. …

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Agricultural Extension in The Developing World

  • Many countries with advanced agricultural sectors, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, andDenmark, enjoy strong extension services. In the developing world, however, agricultural extension has not always met farmers’ needs. The World Bank-devised ‘training and visit’ system played an important role in India’s Green Revolution from the late 1970sbut also failed in some i…

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New Approaches to Agricultural Extension

  • Addressing new and growing challenges in agricultural markets, technology and sustainability demandnew thinking. Extensionnow needs to focus on 1. Participatory approaches to shape demand-driven services 2. Multiple providers of extension services, and 3. Strategies to develop agricultural innovation systems The public sector has been the traditional source of research an…

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Learn More

  • Find out more about our work in extension and other agriservices. Yuan Zhou is our Foundation’s Head of Research & Policy Analysis. She is also co-editor of “Knowledge Driven Development; Private Extension and Global Lessons”. Here is a synopsis. Together with Suresh Babu of IFPRI, Yuan and the many other contributors draw on real-life examples. These illustrate the role and c…

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