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80% of South Asia's poor live in rural areas. Most depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Agricultural and rural development is key to eradicating poverty and creating conditions for sustainable and equitable growth. An effective and efficient extension and advisory service that offers a much broader support to rural producers (beyond knowledge on new technologies) is critical for agricultural development and poverty reduction. Commitment to pluralism is central to the discussion on extension reform as it is now widely accepted that no single actor or agency is best placed to offer the wide range of services required by the rural communities.

Extension faces challenging times in South Asia and extension professionals have to take a lead in shaping the future of extension and advisory services in the coming days. We hope a portal like this would be useful to share knowledge on different aspects related to extension practice and policy within the region and also to link all of us to new knowledge on extension and advisory service generated elsewhere.