Crops and livestock sectors constitute agriculture in Botswana. The sectors are dominated by small-scale farmers engaged in traditional production systems. National Agriculture Policy calls for an effective extension service to ensure continued farmer capacity building, increased efficiency and production by the sectors. Several extension approaches adopted over 79 years have been replaced one after the other since 1926 to find the extension service that best addressed production needs of farmers. However, it has proven over the years that the national extension system is not responsive to the needs: hence the decreasing contribution of agriculture to the wellbeing of Batswana. The paper adopts an historical approach to discuss the evolution of agricultural extension in Botswana: the challenges, interventions, policy and other initiatives implemented to make extension effective. Document analysis provided data on past and present extension programs, and rationale for new reforms. Institutional pluralism, cost-recovery, and decentralization are recommended to strengthen the extension service.
Key words: Agricultural extension, extension approach, extension reform.
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