Is extension an effective tool for increasing social welfare? The objective of this study is to evaluate the feasibility of farmer financial participation in extension as an alternative to increase its efficiency. While extension costs have been high, the impact at farmers' welfare has not yielded the expected results. Rice production in Nigeria and Benin is used as a study case. Rice is an important food crop and cash crops and both countries have conditions to produce it locally. Two concepts are used to evaluate private participation: farmers' capability to pay (CTP) and requirement to pay (RTP) for extension. Farmers' capability to pay is evaluated from the expected increase benefit due to extension work. Requirement to pay is deducted from extension costs. Results show that rice farmers could initially contribute with 25% of the extension costs in Nigeria and 10% in Benin. While financial participation from farmers is a possibility, the role of the government is still needed to guarantee social welfare.