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Rural extension services


  • Anderson, Jock R.
  • Feder, Gershon


The authors analyze the considerations that lead policymakers to undertake extension investments as a key public responsibility, as well as the complex set of factors and intra-agency incentives that explain why different extension systems'performance vary. The authors provide a conceptual framework outlining farmers'demand for information, the welfare economic characterizations of extension services, and the organizational and political attributes that govern the performance of extension systems. They use the conceptual framework to examine several extension modalities and to analyze their likely and actual effectiveness. Specifically, the modalities reviewed include"training and visit"extension, decentralized systems,"fee-for-service"and privatized extension, and farmer-field-schools. The authors also discuss methodological issues pertaining to the assessment of extension outcomes and review the empirical literature on extension impact. They emphasize the efficiency gains that can come from locally decentralized delivery systems with incentive structures based largely on private provision that in most poorer countries is still publicly-funded. In wealthier countries, and for particular higher income farmer groups, extension systems will likely evolve into fee-for-service organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Jock R. & Feder, Gershon, 2003. "Rural extension services," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2976, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2976

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    Cited by:

    1. Ovwigho, Bishop O., 2014. "Rethinking Rural and Agricultural Development Through Market-Oriented Technologies in Africa," Sustainable Agriculture Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 3(1).
    2. Marcos Gallacher, 2011. "Returns to Managerial Ability: Dairy Farms in Argentina," CEMA Working Papers: Serie Documentos de Trabajo. 478, Universidad del CEMA.
    3. Nava Ashraf & Xavier Giné & Dean Karlan, 2009. "Finding Missing Markets (and a Disturbing Epilogue): Evidence from an Export Crop Adoption and Marketing Intervention in Kenya," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 91(4), pages 973-990.
    4. Demont, Timothée, 2007. "Overcoming constraints to agricultural innovation through the market: insights from the Peruvian Andes," MPRA Paper 21285, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Nov 2009.
    5. Hu, Ruifa & Cai, Yaqing & Chen, Kevin Z. & Huang, Jikun, 2012. "Effects of inclusive public agricultural extension service: Results from a policy reform experiment in western China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 962-974.
    6. Alexis Rampa & Yiorgos Gadanakis & Gillian Rose, 2020. "Land Reform in the Era of Global Warming—Can Land Reforms Help Agriculture Be Climate-Smart?," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(12), pages 1-24, November.
    7. Jones, Maria & Kondylis, Florence, 2018. "Does feedback matter? Evidence from agricultural services," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 28-41.
    8. Spencer, Rochelle & Mthinda, Catherine & Masangano, Charles & Boyd, Davina & Davis, John K., 2018. "Uptake and resistance: The rural poor and user-pays agricultural extension in Malawi," World Development Perspectives, Elsevier, vol. 9(C), pages 48-55.
    9. Radi Altarawneh & Ali Al-Sharafat & Mohammad Altarawneh, 2020. "An Assessment of the use of Agricultural Marketing Extension among Extension Methods: Insight from Jordan," Asian Journal of Agriculture and rural Development, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 10(1), pages 109-119, June.
    10. Carter, Michael R. & Tjernström, Emilia & Toledo, Patricia, 2019. "Heterogeneous impact dynamics of a rural business development program in Nicaragua," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 77-98.
    11. Armas, Enrique Blanco & Osorio, Camilo Gomez & Moreno-Dodson, Blanca & Abriningrum, Dwi Endah, 2012. "Agriculture public spending and growth in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5977, The World Bank.


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