Improving Gender Responsiveness of Agricultural Extension

  • Catherine RagasaEmail author


This chapter makes the case for improving the gender-responsiveness of agricultural extension systems through consideration of (1) whether the gender of the extension agent affects the effectiveness of extension services; (2) whether both men and women receive extension advice; and (3) how extension services are delivered. As part of this, the author looks at issues surrounding quality and emphasis of extension services. The author then reviews the evidence on gender differences in access to formal extension agent visits and to other sources of extension information, and the factors that lead to women having lower access to extension services. At this point, the chapter examines the experience of programs and projects that aim to increase women’s access to extension, with more detailed analysis of extension system reforms in India (ATMA model), Uganda (NAADS), Venezuela (privatization and decentralization), and Ethiopia (sectoral policies). Subsequently, the chapter reviews innovative literature on the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in extension. The concluding section examines lessons learned and key messages.


Gender Agricultural extension services Rural advisory services Information and communication technologies (ICTs) Extension agents 



This chapter draws from the discussion on extension in Meinzen-Dick et al. (2010).


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Copyright information

© Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Development Strategy and Governance DivisionInternational Food Policy Research InstituteWashington, DCUSA

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