FAO’s Role in Agricultural Extension as a Contribution to Agricultural and Rural Development in India

Asit Ranjan Satpathy


Significant growth in agriculture is pre-requisite for engineering country’s economy on fast tract. Support to agribased and expanding export market besides ensuring national food security needs focus in agricultural growth. The combined effect of an unabated population growth, improved family income, increasing industrial needs and rising export requirement has been causing drastic changes in the demand pattern for agricultural commodities in the liberalized era. By the year 2010 and 2020, we need to reach a production level of about 247.8 MT and 296.6 MT of food grains respectively from the present production level of 206.39 MT (2004-05). The projected production must emanate from improved resource productivity. Since, the output of new technology gradually slowed down and rather, for more than two decades no new break-through technologies have been offered. Substantial yield gaps still exist in major crops with the available technology. Research indicates that the available technologies have not been adopted effectively and efficiently, further more notable unevenness and distortions were observed wherever adopted. Additionally, the main global forces of change that are affecting or are likely to affect the existing structure, mandate and practices of national agricultural extension systems are globalization and market liberalization; privatization; commercialization and Agribusiness; democratization and participation; environment concerns; information technology break through; sustainable development; Eco technology and genetic engineering; market led extension; diversification and value addition integrated, multidisciplinary and holistic development. It is true that the growth in the agriculture sector is not the sole responsibility of the extension service. Many other factors including policy interventions, price incentives, and institutional support and market facilities also play a significant role. Since agricultural production is entirely in the hands of the farmers, the extension service has the central role in informing, motivating and educating the farmers about the available technological, managerial and market opportunities and enable them to improve their farm productivity and income

Keyword: FAO, Agricultural Extensi

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