Agricultural extension is now backing on the development agenda. The acknowledged failure of the traditional extension model in India has stimulated debate on extension reforms and the introduction of new extension models. Further, Indian agriculture has recorded an alarming ‘knowledge gap’ where ‘knowledge’ became central to agricultural production. The role of extension functionaries today is more challenging and demands structural and functional changes to meet the holistic needs of farmers and they have to equip themselves to cope with the drastic chance and dire needs. Agricultural extension is not only about imparting knowledge and securing adoption of improved practices but it also aims at changing the outlook of farmers. Moreover, Indian agriculture is undergoing a rapid transformation under globalization from a simple making a living to complex endeavour. Information revolution leads to fundamental changes in economic, political, social and cultural relations. Information technology is the lifeblood of many other technologies. It is opined that there is direct relationship between communication and development of agricultural sector. New information technology provides the opportunity for innovation. The ‘free flow of information’ will help the farmers is to overcome the knowledge gap and the availability of the new technology lead farmers to make real choice. This paper emphasizes on the role of ICTs in contemporary agricultural context and critically understands the failure of traditional extension functionaries.
Key words: Agriculture; extension; ICTs; sustainability, ITC.
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