© 2021 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.Extension programs in rural communities play a critical role in linking farmers and other actors in rural developmental agenda. The relevance of these programs in agriculture is largely dependent on their ability to meet farmers’ needs since they are the stakeholders at the grassroots. This paper aimed to review studies on enhancing the role of rural agricultural extension programs in poverty alleviation. Various approaches and tools used in rural extension program delivery have been discussed, and ways in which their contribution to poverty alleviation can be enhanced have been highlighted. Extension programs have undergone many changes throughout the years in response to farmers’ changing needs as well as the market they operate in. Therefore, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach recommended for effective service delivery and outcome due to different farmer needs that are affected by their geographical location, social and economic structures. We conclude that rural extension programs can provide a sustainable solution to poverty, however, the appropriate approaches should be chosen taking into account the needs of the farmers and market dynamics of a particular area.