Agricultural extension around the world is experiencing structural reforms as countries make the transition from centralized to decentralized and privatized systems. Four principal restructuring reform trends exemplify this pattern. Former Soviet Union countries are just beginning to create market-oriented agricultural systems, and can tailor their extension institutions to this philosophy. The Government of Uzbekistan, which became an independent republic in 1992, is negotiating with the World Bank to restructure its agriculture, including the development of a Rural Business Advisory Service (RBAS). The RBAS can be regarded as an innovative institutional variant of the public-private partnership trend which features commercialized information delivery preceded by government (public) subsidy. A description and analysis of the proposed Uzbek RBAS integrated into a discussion of the above reform trends is provided in the paper. Prospects and challenges of the RBAS are presented.
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