Decentralization of public-sector agricultural extension in India

This paper examines the evolution and spread of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) over the last decade and considers some of the challenges of national implementation of a decentralized process in the public-sector extension system of India. Using primary and secondary sources, in addition to interviews and discussions gathered at a recent national workshop, this paper examines whether the inherent organizational capacity, culture, and management within the public-sector extension system has been addressed by ATMA during the pilot period, during the national scale-up, and now under the revision guidelines. Using an organizational capacity framework, the paper concludes that despite the ambitions of the program, the inherent capacity and culture of public-sector agricultural extension in India, where limited organizational learning from implementation process is taking place, limits the ability of ATMA to fulfill its original objectives.