Agricultural Extension Service

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Dec 21, 2022, 18:25

Agricultural Extension Services are additional services that supply technical assistance to farmers to improve their crop production. These services require the implementation of scientific research and knowledge to boost agricultural production. Agricultural Extension Services benefits the farmers greatly by improving their technical skills and increasing production.

In India, Agricultural Extension Services are offered by government authorities and NGOs as a means of enabling farmers to produce better crop output. We have shared further information about these extension services, their types, and their significance here.

What are Agricultural Extension Services?

Agricultural Extension Services (AES) are a set of services carried out by skilled workers or agents that help farmers increase their agricultural produce. AES is common in all parts of the world, where uplifting agricultural workers is a priority. Through Agricultural Extension Services, farmers can get technical assistance, and the motivation to transform their agricultural methods.

Agricultural Extension Services in India are carried out by multiple government agencies such as the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, State Agricultural Departments, and SAMETI.

Types of Agricultural Extension Services

There are several different types of Agricultural Extension Services that can help transform the agricultural produce of any farmer. The types of Agricultural Extension Services can be categorized into three main components, shared below -

  1. Advisory Services: Advisory services can be carried out by skilled workers and agents to provide farmers with effective advice on how to improve their crop production.
  2. Technology Services: With the help of the right technology, and the imparting of knowledge about how to use that technology, farmers can benefit a lot.
  3. Facilitation Services: These services can help farmers realize the exact areas in which they need to work to get better agricultural results.

Agricultural Extension Services - How they Help?

Agricultural Extension System is a system that can help uplift people working in the agricultural sector by providing them knowledge, technology, and skills required to produce optimum agricultural output. It also involves offering them risk management advice and farm management techniques to facilitate them to profit higher net income from their agricultural ventures.

The following are some of the ways that the Agricultural Extension Service aids in increasing agricultural productivity:

  1. By substituting modern, cost-effective farming technologies with old methods.
  2. By allowing resources to be pooled to achieve economies of scale
  3. Farmers' attitudes toward new and effective farming methods are changing.

Water, soil, insecticides, weedicides, and other resources are used efficiently in Agricultural Extension Services. It warns farmers of pest and disease infestations, cyclones, floods, thunderstorms, and other natural disasters that can destroy entire crops.

Agricultural Extension Services 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.

Agricultural Extension Services - Challenges

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

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FAQs on Agricultural Extension Service

Q.1. What are Agricultural Extension Services?

Agricultural Extension Services refers to a set of services targeted to help farmers improve their agricultural output. These services may include technical assistance, imparting of knowledge about efficient crop production, risk management advices, etc.

Q.2. What is the purpose of Agricultural Extension Services?

Agricultural Extension Services 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.

Q3. What are the types of Agricultural Extension Services?

The types of Agricultural Extension Services include technical services, facilitation services and advisory services. Each of these services provides its own benefit in informing farmers about the best agricultural practices to improve their crop production and gain profits from their produce.

Q.4. What is the importance of the Agricultural Extension Services?

Agricultural Extension Services are important because it helps to share information with farmers so that they can increase their production and profitability (agricultural production performance) by using specialized tips, techniques and technologies.

Q.5. What is the responsibility of Agricultural Extension Service workers?

The role of the Agricultural Extension Service staff is to educate and demonstrate how to employ new technologies for farmers so that they can improve the quality and quantity of their produce.