Agricultural Extension: Good Intentions and Hard Realities
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
What considerations lead policymakers to invest in agricultural extension as a key public responsibility, and what factors and agency incentives explain differences in extension system performance? To help answer these questions, this article provides a framework outlining farmers' demand for information, the public goods character of extension services, and the organizational and political attributes affecting the performance of extension systems. This conceptual framework is used to analyze several extension modalities and their likely and actual effectiveness. The analysis highlights the efficiency gains that can come from locally decentralized delivery systems with incentive structures based on largely private provision, although in most poorer countries extension services will remain publicly funded.
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