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Agricultural Extension logo Governments often lack a clear strategy for extension. It is now recognized that in most cases, a single extension system may not be the only option. Rather, there is a need for flexibility and the adoption of multiple approaches to extension. This is increasingly being considered within the Bank, recommended to Borrowers and tested in the field. Another key point made in the paper is that extension must evolve rapidly if it is to survive. Extension services continue to be provided in most countries by the public sector while farmers play a rather passive uncommitted role. Given the high recurrent costs involved, this situation cannot be sustained for long. Sooner or later, countries will have to divest themselves from extension services and the supply of agricultural inputs. When this happens, most responsibilities for extension should gradually and to the extent possible, be handed over to the private sector. Meanwhile, the public sector is likely to retain a certain role in agricultural extension, a role that needs to be redefined.

Publisher: World Bank

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