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Dilemmas of agricultural extension in Pakistan: Food for thought

Research reports

Since their inception, agricultural extension services in Pakistan have been organised as a part of the Ministry of Agriculture. A number of extension models and styles have been tried and rejected. Currently, the Government is looking for an extension service that is cost effective, responsive to farmers’ needs, and environmentally sustainable. To this end, the government is inclined towards the privatisation of extension services. The study was conducted among cotton farmers in Punjab Province to determine the comparative effectiveness of public and private sector extension as perceived by the stakeholders. Data were collected from contact farmers and extension personnel from both extension systems, as well as from non-contact farmers. A number of biases were identified in both systems. Overall, neither system appears to be working for the benefit of the wider farming community.

Andrew P. Davidson, Munir Ahmad, Tanvir Ali