Agricultural extension is the application of scientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. It is a branch of Extension Education which deals with social & economical aspects of the people who are directly or indirectly depends on Agriculture. The field of ‘extension’ now encompasses a wider range of communication and learning activities organized for rural people by educators from different disciplines including agriculture, agricultural marketing, health and business studies. This discipline acts as a bridge between scientists and farmers to ensure a continuous transmission of agricultural technology to the farmers and on the other hand address the problems of farmers to the scientists.
Agricultural extension viewed as an educational programme to be undertaken by public agencies to activate the process of transferring agriculture knowledge, science & technology from laboratories to farmers and to help them in farm planning, decision making, use of inputs, storage, processing, marketing, increase their production, improve their occupation, family and community life. In order to develop manpower with professional competencies for undertaking the extension programmes through various public and private agencies, the department of Agricultural Extension came into existence during 1963-64 at Agricultural College, Bapatla with the founder Head Dr. A. Adivi Reddy and is known among the extension professionals in entire globe with his prestigious publication of Extension Education, published locally at Bapatla by M/S Lakshmi Press.
The main objective of establishing the department was to train the undergraduate students in the areas of communication, rural development, programme planning and implementation, monitoring and evaluation and entrepreneurship development. After two decades of establishing the department, the postgraduate programme was started during 1984 and Ph.D. programme during 2009.
The Department has a pride of developing operation manual for Rural Agricultural Work Experience Programme offered to the Final Year B.Sc.(Ag.) students during first semester way back in 1981-82 and later ICAR has made it mandatory for all SAUs in the country and further played vital role in developing manuals for Agricultural Experiential Learning Programme during 2011 and Student READY during 2019 as per the Fourth Deans and Fifth Deans Committee recommendations. Further, the department is focusing research in the areas of communication, role performance, functioning of government programmes, constraints in adoption of crop technologies, information management, livelihood security, information communication technology, entrepreneurial behaviour, teaching-learning process, private extension, new innovations etc.
The Department is playing a vital role in conducting extension out reach programmes through village adoption, farmers training programmes, kisanmelas, rythusadassus and exhibitions.
So far, 150 students in M.Sc. (Ag.) and 12 students in Ph.D. had completed and obtained their degrees.