IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Combining extension services with agricultural credit


  • Mahajan, Vijay
  • Vasumathi, K.


India has nearly 90 million farm households. More than 80 percent of these farmers operate on a small or marginal scale, farming less than two hectares of land. They also usually have one or two buffaloes or cows, reared for milk and dung. Most of these small and marginal farmers fall below the poverty line. To reduce overall poverty in India, it is important to enhance the incomes of small and marginal farmers. One way to do that is to provide credit so they can get access to yield-enhancing inputs like seed, fertilizer, and cattle feed, as well as acquire irrigation pumps and crossbred cattle. But these kinds of investments alone will not raise farmers’ incomes. Agricultural and livestock development services are also crucial to give farmers knowledge of improved practices and strengthen their links to markets. BASIX is an Indian livelihood promotion institution working with more than a million poor households. Its mission is to promote sustainable livelihoods for a large number of rural poor people and women. When it started in 1996, BASIX’s primary focus was delivering microcredit to its customers. In 2001, however, BASIX asked the Indian Market Research Bureau to carry out an impact assessment, and the results were rather disappointing. Only 52 percent of the customers, who had received at least three rounds of microcredit from BASIX, showed a significant increase in their income (compared with a control group); 25 percent reported no change in income level; and 23 percent reported a decline in their income level. BASIX then carried out a detailed study of those who had experienced no increase or a decline in income and found that the reasons for these results could be grouped into three factors: 1. unmanaged risk; 2. low productivity; and 3. unfavorable terms in input and output market transactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahajan, Vijay & Vasumathi, K., 2010. "Combining extension services with agricultural credit," 2020 vision briefs 18(13), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:2020br:18(13)

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Clemens, Michael A. & Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 2007. "The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 735-751, May.
    2. William Easterly & Ross Levine & David Roodman, 2004. "Aid, Policies, and Growth: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 774-780, June.
    3. William Easterly, 2003. "Can Foreign Aid Buy Growth?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 23-48, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    agricultural extension; BASIX; Rural poverty; Sustainable livelihoods;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:2020br:18(13). See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.