Under the Expert database of CIRDAP, the third webinar on Issues of Agricultural Extension in India” was held virtually on 3 October 2021. The presenter was Assistant Professor Dr. Binoy Goswami, South Asian University, New Delhi, India. Different participants, researchers and experts attended this webinar virtually. Dr. Goswami presented the topic to the audiences and after the presentation an interesting and fruitful discussions was held.
A dynamic agricultural extension delivery system can play an important role in increasing farm productivity and income. Using data from the Situation Assessment Survey, 2013, the paper analyses the status of and challenges confronting the agricultural extension in India. Our analysis finds that notwithstanding regional variations, about 58 percent farm households access extension services. However, a substantial portion of marginal and small farmers does not access extension mainly due to non-availability and lack of awareness about extension facilities available. Further, public extension is the least preferred source of extension. The estimated Probit model identifies age, sex and education of the head of the household, proportion of farmers among the family members, crop intensity, crop diversification, irrigation, farm size, awareness about minimum support price (MSP), social group and the region to which a farmer belongs as the factors that affect the decision to access extension. These factors also influence the choice regarding the source of extension service. The study suggests that provisioning of public extension must be improved in terms of inclusiveness, and quantity as well as quality of manpower. Organizing farmers into groups based on crops that they cultivate, and linking such groups to agri-business can improve access to and quality of extension.