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The article analyzes and discusses the privatization of the rural extension services according to international literature. To start with, the subject is set in the horizon of the debate of the so called State Reform, which determined the agenda for the development since the 1980’s. Next, we show how the subject has been treated so far having the economic theory as background and we examine experiments of privatization at international level. The analysis of such experiments reveals that the early agenda for the privatization took for granted that the rural extension services − which were a responsibility of the State − would be held completely by the private sectors. However, a series of obstacles appeared and arguments for models of privatization in which the State has a main role spread over. Therefore, the exam of international experiments of privatization led to the conclusion that they followed different orientations. One set of experiments was oriented by the notion of the “Minimum State” while the other had for reference the State as a supporter for private action. The privatization is a current and relevant process and, therefore, the discussion about it is considered necessary.


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