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How to make agricultural extension demand-driven?: The case of India's agricultural extension policy

  • Birner, Regina
  • Anderson, Jock R.

"Many countries have recognized the need to revive agricultural advisory or extension services (the terms are used interchangeably here) as a means of using agriculture as an engine of pro-poor growth; reaching marginalized, poor, and female farmers; and addressing new challenges, such as environmental degradation and climate change. In spite of ample experience with extension reform worldwide, identifying the reform options most likely to make extension more demand-driven remains a major challenge. The concept of demand-driven services implies making extension more responsive to the needs of all farmers, including women and those who are poor and marginalized. It also implies making extension more accountable to farmers and, as a consequence, more effective. This essay discusses various options for providing and financing agricultural advisory services, which involve the public and private sectors as well as a third sector comprising nongovernmental organizations and farmer-based organizations. We review the market and state failures, and the “community” failures (failures of non-governmental and farmer-based organizations) inherent in existing models of providing and financing agricultural extension services and then outline strategies to address those failures and make extension demand-driven. Then we examine India's Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension, which has demand-driven extension as one of its major objectives, and review available survey information on the state of extension in India. We conclude that although the framework proposes a wide range of strategies to make agricultural extension demand-driven, it is less specific in addressing the challenges inherent in those strategies. Moreover, it remains unclear whether the strategies proposed in the framework will be able to address one of the major problems identified by farm household surveys: access to agricultural extension." from Authors' Abstract

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series IFPRI discussion papers with number 729.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:729
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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. 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.
  3. Binswanger, Hans P & McIntire, John, 1987. "Behavioral and Material Determinants of Production Relations in Land-Abundant Tropical Agriculture," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 73-99, October.
  4. Voigt, Stefan & Salzberger, Eli M, 2002. "Choosing Not to Choose: When Politicians Choose to Delegate Powers," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 289-310.
  5. Meinzen-Dick, R. & Zwarteveen, M., 1998. "Gender participation in water management: issues and illustrations from water users' associations in South Asia," IWMI Books, Reports H021513, International Water Management Institute.
  6. Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2007. "Agricultural Extension," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, Elsevier.
  7. Pranab Bardhan & Dilip Mookherjee (ed.), 2006. "Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524546, June.
  8. Faguet, Jean-Paul, 2004. "Does decentralization increase government responsiveness to local needs?: Evidence from Bolivia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3-4), pages 867-893, March.
  9. Ebrahim, Alnoor, 2003. "Accountability In Practice: Mechanisms for NGOs," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 813-829, May.
  10. Andrew Dorward & Shenggen Fan & Jonathan Kydd & Hans Lofgren & Jamie Morrison & Colin Poulton & Neetha Rao & Laurence Smith & Hardwick Tchale & Sukhadeo Thorat & Ian Urey & Peter Wobst, 2004. "Institutions and Policies for Pro-poor Agricultural Growth," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 22(6), pages 611-622, November.
  11. Pritchett, Lant & Woolcock, Michael, 2004. "Solutions When the Solution is the Problem: Arraying the Disarray in Development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 191-212, February.
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