The Worldwide Extension Study gives pragmatic statistics on the human and financial resources of agricultural extension and advisory systems worldwide.
In the past decade, many information and communication technology (ICT) projects in Indian agriculture have emerged, either substituting or supporting extension services by providing farmers with access to agricultural information.
Public agricultural extension systems often fail due to inadequate consultation of farmers about their information needs and poor understanding of their information search strategies. In discussing and implementing extension programs and advisory services, the following questions need to be addressed: What information do the farmers need? How and where do they search for information? What factors determine their search behavior? How much are they willing to pay for information?
The introduction of private enterprises to deliver agricultural advisory services is seen as a strategy to increase the coverage and effectiveness of the pluralistic extension system in developing countries. The Indian national program of agriclinics and agribusiness centers, started in 2002, aims to provide farmers with a reliable alternative to the private input dealer by subsidizing technically trained agricultural graduates to establish their own agricultural input shops and agriclinic laboratories
Despite a wide range of reform initiatives in agricultural extension in India in past decades, the coverage of, access to, and quality of information provided to marginalized and poor farmers is uneven. This paper aims to ascertain why farmers are not accessing information and where information gaps exist, despite the variety of extension approaches in India.