What is Agricultural Extension?
Agriculture is the mainstay of Indian economy. It sustains over 70% of the populations contributes 35.6% to gross national products and adds 39% as it’s share towards exports. The growth in population and migration of the people to the city has led to an increasing demand for agricultural products.
Agricultural extension efforts in India have made significant strides towards development of the agricultural sector. The report of the national commission on Agriculture (1976) has emphasized the need for massive extension efforts to modernize the outlook of the farmers and to make them more enterprising and willing to adapt readily to innovations so that agricultural production could be increased.
Agriculture extension is favorite whipping boy in the agricultural system. It is an applied behavioural science, the knowledge of which is applied to bring farmers or people through various strategies and programme of change by applying the latest scientific and technological innovations. Agriculture extension education, its principles, methods and techniques are applicable not only to agriculture but also to other sciences like veterinary, animal husbandry, dairying, health and family planning etc.
To summarize, agriculture extension viewed as an educational programme to be undertaken by public agencies to activate the process of transferring knowledge, science and technology from laboratories to people or farmer and to help them in farm planning, decision making, record keeping, use of inputs, storage, processing and marketing, ensure supplies and services, increase their production, develop people and their leaders, improve their occupation, family, and community life.
Agricultural extension is known was known as the application of scientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. The field of extension now encompasses a wider range of the communication and learning activities organized for rural people by professionals from different disciplines, including agriculture, health and business studies.