Agricultural Extension in Central Asia: Existing Strategies and Future Needs

Kazbekov J., Qureshi A.S.
Publication Date: 

This paper provides information on the current status of the agricultural extension systems in Central Asia (CA), with special reference to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The report reviews the existing extension strategies, donor- and state-driven initiatives to revitalize the agricultural extension systems, informal linkages that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) play in helping a limited number of farmers, and recommendations on ways to further improve the agricultural extension services in CA. The information related to each country was analyzed separately. This is because, after independence, each republic in CA had initiated their agricultural reforms with specific objectives, and have now established their unique agricultural systems that differ contextually. However, due to having the same history and agricultural system that existed during the Soviet times, these republics have many things in common. This paper (a) starts with a discussion of the modern definitions of the agricultural extension system to set the stage for the analysis framework (to establish a prism through which the existing extension systems within CA can be evaluated); (b) gives a historical perspective to the unified agricultural extension system; and (c) discusses the current status of the agricultural extension system. The report also reviews the current institutional set up and related policies that directly affect the existing agricultural extension systems, and identifies the limitations that need to be overcome in order to make improvements to these agricultural extension systems in these countries.