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Reforming the agricultural extension system in India: What do we know about what works where and why?

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  • Raabe, Katharina

Abstract

"In order to realize agricultural potential and to increase agricultural yields, India's extension system has experienced major conceptual, structural, and institutional changes since the late 1990s. This paper reviews existing reform programs and strategies currently existing in agricultural extension in India. It distinguishes strategies that have been employed to strengthen both the supply and demand sides of service provision in the area of agricultural extension, and it reviews the effects of the demand- and supply-side strategies on the access to and the quality of agricultural extension services. The ultimate objectives are (1) to gain a view on what works where and why in improving the effectiveness of agricultural extension in a decentralized environment; (2) to identify measures that strengthen and improve agricultural extension service provision; and (3) to reveal existing knowledge gaps. Although the range of extension reform approaches is wide, this paper shows that an answer to the question of what works where and why is complicated by the absence of sound and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative impact and evaluation assessment studies. Even evidence from the National Agricultural Technology Project and the Diversified Agricultural Support Project of the World Bank, the women empowerment programs of the Danish International Development Agency, the Andhra Pradesh Tribal Development Project, and the e-Choupal program of the Indian Tobacco Company is subject to methodological and identification problems. Conclusions regarding the importance (1) of implementing both decentralized, participatory, adaptive, and pluralistic demand- and supply-side extension approaches; (2) of involving the public, private, and third (civil society) sectors in extension service provision and funding; and (3) of strengthening the capacity of and the collaboration between farmers, researchers, and extension workers are necessarily tentative and require further quantification. The paper seeks to inform policymakers and providers of extension services from all sectors about the need to make performance assessments and impact evaluations inherent components of any extension program so as to increase the effectiveness of extension service reforms." from Author's Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:775
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Birner, Regina & Davis, Kristin & Pender, John & Nkonya, Ephraim & Anandajayasekeram, Ponniah & 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," FCND discussion papers 210, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Diao, Xinshen & Hazell, Peter & Resnick, Danielle & Thurlow, James, 2006. "The role of agriculture in development: implications for Sub-Saharan Africa," DSGD discussion papers 29, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Alston, Julian M. & Wyatt, T. J. & Pardey, Philip G. & Marra, Michele C. & Chan-Kang, Connie, 2000. "A meta-analysis of rates of return to agricultural R & D: ex pede Herculem?," Research reports 113, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Jock R. Anderson, 2004. "Agricultural Extension: Good Intentions and Hard Realities," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(1), pages 41-60.
    5. Birner, Regina & Davis, Kristin & Pender, John & Nkonya, Ephraim & Anandajayasekeram, Pooniah & Ekboir, Javier M. & Mbabu, Adiel N. & Spielman, David J. & Horna, Daniela & Benin, Samuel & Kisamba-Muge, 2006. "From "best practice" to "best fit": a framework for designing and analyzing pluralistic agricultural advisory services," Research briefs 4, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Deepa Narayan & Robert Chambers & Meera K. Shah & Patti Petesch, 2000. "Voices of the Poor : Crying Out for Change," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13848.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ashok Kotwal & Bharat Ramaswami & Wilima Wadhwa, 2011. "Economic Liberalization and Indian Economic Growth: What's the Evidence?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1152-1199, December.
    2. Singh, K.M. & Meena, M.S. & Swanson, B.E. & Reddy, M.N. & Bahal, R., 2014. "In-depth Study of the Pluralistic Agricultural Extension System in India," MPRA Paper 59461, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 23 Sep 2014.
    3. repec:taf:jdevst:v:52:y:2016:i:11:p:1561-1576 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Glendenning, Claire J. & Babu, Suresh C, 2011. "Decentralization of public-sector agricultural extension in India: The case of the district-level Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA)," IFPRI discussion papers 1067, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Glendenning, Claire J. & Babu, Suresh & Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo, 2010. "Review of agricultural extension in India: Are farmers' information needs being met?," IFPRI discussion papers 1048, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Singh, K.M. & Meena, M.S. & Swanson, B.E., 2013. "Extension in India by Public Sector Institutions: An Overview," MPRA Paper 49107, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 16 Aug 2013.
    7. Shreedhar, Ganga & Gupta, Neelmani & Pullabhotla, Hemant & Ganesh-Kumar, A. & Gulati, Ashok, 2012. "A review of input and output policies for cereals production in India:," IFPRI discussion papers 1159, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Babu, Suresh Chandra & Joshi, P.K. & Glendenning, Claire J. & Kwadwo, Asenso-Okyere & Rasheed, Sulaiman V., 2013. "The State of Agricultural Extension Reforms in India: Strategic Priorities and Policy Options," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 26(2).
    9. Raj M. Desai & Shareen Joshi, 2014. "Collective Action and Community Development: Evidence from Self-Help Groups in Rural India," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(3), pages 492-524.
    10. Raj M. Desai & Shareen Joshi, 2014. "Can Producer Associations Improve Rural Livelihoods? Evidence from Farmer Centres in India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(1), pages 64-80, January.
    11. Joshi, P.K., 2015. "Has Indian Agriculture Become Crowded and Risky? Status, Implications and the Way Forward," Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Indian Society of Agricultural Economics, vol. 70(1).
    12. Mittal, Surabhi & Mehar, Mamta, 0. "How Mobile Phones Contribute to Growth of Small Farmers? Evidence from India," Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, vol. 51.

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    Keywords

    Demand-driven and supply-driven agricultural extension services' extension service reforms; Agricultural extension services; Reforms; Demand driven; Supply driven; Governance;

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