This article describes agricultural technology extension, access to channels of information and adoption of agricultural technology in rural Guizhou, China. It addresses the questions of whether the agricultural technology extension process matches the needs of the villagers and whether in using extension services and adopting technologies there are differences between older and younger cohorts of farming households. Few farming households can get formal extension services and their main channels of information are neighbours, relatives and friends. Older cohort households like to learn by experience, while younger ones like to use written materials. There also appear to be differences in the ways women and men adopt technologies. Technology delivery and farming households’ needs are not well matched. Finally, the migration context has an influence on the suitability of technologies and the feasibility of applying them.