Agricultural Extension Service is defined as "the distribution of information inputs to farmers in order to boost agricultural output," as well as "the implementation of scientific research and knowledge of farming techniques through farmer education." Educators from several fields, especially agriculture, agricultural advertising, health, and business studies, now arrange a larger range of learning and interaction activities for rural people under the banner of "extension."
Agricultural Extension Service
"Agricultural Extension is an uplifting system of providing data, knowledge, technology, skills, risk, and farm management techniques, across agrarian sub-sectors, along the whole agricultural value chain, to facilitate farmers to realize higher net income from their venture on a sustainable basis," per the Committee for Doubling Farmers' Income.
Agricultural Extension Service is divided into three categories:
- Technology transfer services - Advice, knowledge, and information are transferred through technology
- Advisory Services - Advice is provided to farmers on specific challenges they are facing.
- Facilitation Services - Assist farmers in identifying and developing their own challenges and solutions.
Ways of Boosting Productivity through Agricultural Extension Service
The following are some of the ways that the Agricultural Extension Service aids in increasing agricultural productivity:
- By substituting modern, cost-effective farming technologies with old methods.
- By allowing resources to be pooled to achieve economies of scale
- Farmers' attitudes toward new and effective farming methods are changing.
Water, soil, insecticides, weedicides, and other resources are used efficiently. It warns farmers of pest and disease infestations, cyclones, floods, thunderstorms, and other natural disasters that can destroy entire crops.
Agricultural Extension Service in India
Agricultural Extension Service is offered in India through the public sector (ministries of agriculture and rural development), the private sector (consulting firms, seeds and other input corporations, and purchasers of produce), non-profit organizations (NGOs), and commodities boards or farmer-based associations.
- Public Extension Services
In India, the Agricultural Extension Services and Public Extension Services are primarily handled by the Public Extension System. State agriculture agencies, agriculture universities, ICAR organizations, KVKs, ATMAs, and a variety of other Central and State government entities are among them.
- Private Extension Services
Seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, machinery, credit, health coverage, contract farming, export, advisory services, and so on are all covered by private extension services, and many private players, such as progressive farmers, farmers' organizations (CIGs, FPOs), and cooperatives, are direct stakeholders in this system.
Agri-entrepreneurs, traders, agri-business corporations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are among the other private sector participants.
Problems with Agricultural Extension Services
- The main issue raised by those who had exposure to Agricultural Extension Services was the advice's practical applicability. Agricultural Extension Services in India are mostly focused on production elements, although farmers' current needs are increasingly market-related.
- Although public extension offers advisory services, the private sector controls input supply. This duality in service delivery produces confusion because, despite correct advice from public extension, producers purchase incorrect inputs persuaded by aggressive sales by business input dealers.
- Farmers in distant and underserved areas are rarely engaged by agents from Agricultural Extension Services. For such places, specialized and client-centred extension tactics that focus on lifestyles rather than technology diffusion are required. However, India has only one-sixth of the number of extension employees as China. Furthermore, the majority of personnel are overburdened.
FAQs on Agricultural Extension Service
Q.1. What is the Purpose of an Agricultural Extension Service program?
Agricultural Extension Service programs help farmers increase their yields and profits. Trained agents visit localities to ensure that current best practices are disseminated, cooperatives are formed, and secondary initiatives are implemented.
Q.2. What is the Objective of the Agricultural Extension Service?
The sole objective of the Agricultural Extension Service is to share information to help farmers increase their production and profitability (agricultural production performance).
Q.3. What are Agricultural Extension Service employees' Responsibilities?
The role of the Agricultural Extension Service staff is to educate and demonstrate how to employ new technologies to innovative 'contact' or 'master' farmers. It is expected that after inventive farmers have accepted new technologies, other 'laggards' or 'disciple' farmers will mimic them, and the innovation will spread to the majority of farms.
Q.4. Is there a distinction between Agricultural Extension Services and Agricultural Extension Education?
Yes, the Agricultural Extension Service usually refers to pre-planned educational programs aimed at meeting the needs of working people.