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Review of agricultural extension in India: Are farmers' information needs being met?

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  • Glendenning, Claire J.
  • Babu, Suresh
  • Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo

Abstract

Despite a wide range of reform initiatives in agricultural extension in India in the past decades, the coverage of, access to, and quality of information provided to marginalized and poor farmers is uneven. This paper aims to ascertain why farmers are not accessing information and where information gaps exist, despite the variety of extension approaches in India. Using information provision and access as the basis for analysis, the paper reviews some of the major agricultural extension programs in India by considering their ability to provide information and facilitate information sharing and use in farming communities. The review gives a broad overview of the current extension scene in India while providing a synthesis of recent debates and the observations of various authors as well as working groups in the Ministry of Agriculture and the Planning Commission. The paper examines the challenges and constraints of each agricultural extension approach as it attempts to provide farmers with access to information that is relevant to their farm enterprises. As a result of this analysis, opportunities are identified for increasing extension services' effectiveness and efficiency in reaching smallholder farmers. Research gaps are also identified. The review concludes that there is an increasing need to work in partnership and to share knowledge and skills in order to provide locally relevant services that meet the information needs of marginal and smallholder farmers in India.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 1048.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1048

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Related research

Keywords: agricultural extension; Knowledge; information; Innovation; Public-private partnership; Gender; Education;

References

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  1. Birner, Regina & Davis, Kristin & Pender, John & Nkonya, Ephraim & Anandajayasekeram, Pooniah & Ekboir, Javier & Mbabu, Adiel & Spielman, David & Horna, Daniela & Benin, Samuel & Cohen, Marc J., 2006. "From "best practice" to "best fit": a framework for designing and analyzing pluralistic agricultural advisory services worldwide," EPTD discussion papers 05, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Jock R. Anderson, 2004. "Agricultural Extension: Good Intentions and Hard Realities," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 41-60.
  3. Van den Berg, Henk & Jiggins, Janice, 2007. "Investing in Farmers--The Impacts of Farmer Field Schools in Relation to Integrated Pest Management," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 663-686, April.
  4. Howells, Jeremy, 2006. "Intermediation and the role of intermediaries in innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 715-728, June.
  5. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon & Ganguly, Sushma, 2006. "The rise and fall of training and visit extension : an Asian mini-drama with an African epilogue," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3928, The World Bank.
  6. Reardon, Thomas & Gulati, Ashok, 2008. "The supermarket revolution in developing countries: Policies for "competitiveness with inclusiveness"," Policy briefs 2, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Birkhaeuser, D. & Everson, R. & Feder, G., 1989. "The Economic Impact Of Agriculture Extension: A Review," Papers 567, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  8. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  9. Raabe, Katharina, 2008. "Reforming the agricultural extension system in India: What do we know about what works where and why?," IFPRI discussion papers 775, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Davis, K. & Nkonya, E. & Kato, E. & Mekonnen, D.A. & Odendo, M. & Miiro, R. & Nkuba, J., 2012. "Impact of Farmer Field Schools on Agricultural Productivity and Poverty in East Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 402-413.
  11. World Bank, 2007. "Enhancing Agricultural Innovation : How to Go Beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7184.
  12. Klerkx, Laurens & Hall, Andy & Leeuwis, Cees, 2009. "Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Capacity: Are Innovation Brokers the Answer?," MERIT Working Papers 019, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  13. Birner, Regina & Anderson, Jock R., 2007. "How to make agricultural extension demand-driven?: The case of India's agricultural extension policy," IFPRI discussion papers 729, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Adhiguru, P. & Birthal, Pratap Singh & Kumar, B. Ganesh, 2009. "Strengthening Pluralistic Agricultural Information Delivery Systems in India," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 22(1).
  15. Goyal, Aparajita, 2010. "Information, direct access to farmers, andrural market performance in central India," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5315, The World Bank.
  16. Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo & Davis, Kristin, 2009. "Knowledge and innovation for agricultural development:," Policy briefs 11, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Bernier, Quinn & Haglund, Eric, 2013. "The six "ins" of climate-smart agriculture: Inclusive institutions for information, innovation, investment, and insurance:," CAPRi working papers 114, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Goswami, Rupak & Paul, Malay, 2011. "Using Sustainable Livelihoods Framework for assessing the impact of Extension programmes: An empirical study in the context of Joint Forest Management," MPRA Paper 37793, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Mittal, Surabhi & Mehar, Mamta, 0. "How Mobile Phones Contribute to Growth of Small Farmers? Evidence from India," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin, vol. 51.
  4. Mittal, Surabhi, 2012. "Modern ICT for Agricultural Development and Risk Management in Smallholder Agriculture in India," Socioeconomics Program Working Papers 147107, CIMMYT: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center.

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