Development of extension in agroforestry draws on the application of the innovation-diffusion process in agriculture. To be effective, agroforestry extension needs to fit the dynamics of the target farming system, the local socioeconomic and technological systems, and land use constraints. Failure of agroforestry extension has been blamed on inadequate and inappropriate methods, but there have been few studies to identify those factors that determine a farmer's awareness of, or attitude to, agroforestry. The present study focused on the modes of communication used in extension and how they affected adoption of agroforestry in a subsistence farming region of eastern India. The decision to adopt agroforestry was found to be determined by the farmers' attitude to agroforestry, which in turn was shaped by information received through farmer-to-farmer and farmer-to-extension contact. The mode of communication was important and, to be effective, needs to be customized for each target group.