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Commercialization of Agriculture and Role of Agricultural Extension


Rohana P Mahaliyanaarachchi ,

Sabaragamuwa University, Belihuloya, LK
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RMAS Bandara

Sabaragamuwa University, Belihuloya, LK
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Today commercialization of agriculture is an inevitable reality throughout the whole world.  There are a number of factors affecting the commercialization process in agriculture. Some of them could be named as rapid growth of economies in the both developing and developed countries, introducing of new technologies, market expansion, market liberalization, urbanization, rapid increase of demand for food, decreasing of farming population, liberalized and open economic policies, bilateral and multilateral economic agreements, developed infrastructure facilities in farming areas and government agricultural policies. However, commercialization in agriculture is not a new phenomenon and it is not a surprise to the farming community. Since the nineteen fifties, farmers in most of the countries have moved towards commercial agriculture. Their major objective was surplus production aiming market prospects. Agricultural extension plays a major role in agricultural production. 

Role of agricultural extension in a commercialized agricultural system is different from such service in subsistence farming system. In the commercialized agriculture the extension service will mainly concentrate on the resourceful big farmers, with favorable environmental conditions and higher socio-economic status. Under the commercialized agriculture the number of farmers is to be reduced and the size of the farm land should be increased. This is a generally accepted concept in commercial agriculture. Do we have to accept this concept under each and every situation? We think the answer is "no". By using improved technologies farmers can move towards commercial agriculture without considering the size of land. Under protected agriculture, farmers follow concepts of the commercial agriculture. Commercial livestock farming does not rely on the farm size except diary farming.

However, the role of agricultural extension in the commercialized agricultural system is mainly dependent on the type and way of commercialization in a given society. We have to expect that agricultural extension services are supposed to fulfill many aims, from reducing rural poverty and improved livelihoods for rural households to increasing the overall production and contributing to foreign exchange earnings from exports. But the level and percentage of this contribution may vary from one situation to another.

DOI: 10.4038/suslj.v6i1.1686

Sabaragamuwa University Journal, vol 6, no. 1, pp 13-22

How to Cite: Mahaliyanaarachchi, R.P. and Bandara, R., 2010. Commercialization of Agriculture and Role of Agricultural Extension. Sabaragamuwa University Journal, 6(1), pp.13–22. DOI:
Published on 29 Mar 2010.
Peer Reviewed


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