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Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)

Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor

Chapter-1
Agricultural Extension System in India
Agriculture Extension system in India: After independence in 1947, the government's first
step toward building an agricultural extension system was expansion of the World War II
Grow More Food Campaign. Administrators and extension workers were exhorted to
convince cultivators of the gains in yields that could be obtained through the use of improved
seeds, compost, farmyard manure, and better cultivation practices. Rural agents, often
inundated with other assignments, had little or no training for extension work, however.
Gains in yields were minimal, and India's leaders came to realize that converting millions of
poor farmers to the use of new technologies was a colossal task.
The Community Development Program in India was inaugurated in 1952 to implement a
systematic, integrated approach to rural development. The nation was divided into
development blocks, each consisting of about 100 villages having populations of 60,000 to
70,000 people. By 1962 the entire country was covered by more than 5,000 such blocks. The
key person in the program was the village-level worker, who was responsible for transmitting
to about ten villages not only farming technology, but also village uplift programs such as
cooperation, adult literacy, health, and sanitation. Although each block was staffed with
extension workers, the villagers themselves were expected to provide the initiative and much
of the needed financial and labor resources, which they were not in a position to do or
inclined to do.
Although progress had been made by the early 1960s, it was apparent that the program was
spread too thin to bring about the hoped-for increase in agricultural production. Criticism of
the program led to more specialized development projects, and some of the functions were
taken up by local village bodies. There was only a negligible allocation for community
development in the sixth plan, however, and the program was phased out in the early 1980s.
The Intensive Agricultural District Program, launched in five districts in 1960 by the central
government in cooperation with the United States-based Ford Foundation, used a distinctly
different approach to boosting farm yields.

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
The program operated under the premise that concentrating scarce inputs in the potentially
most productive districts would increase farm-crop yield faster than would a wider but less
concentrated distribution of resources in less productive districts. Among these inputs were
technical staff, fertilizers, improved seeds, and credit. Under the technical guidance of
American cooperative specialists, the program placed unusual emphasis on organizational
structures and administrative arrangements. For the first time, modern technology was
systematically introduced to Indian farmers. Within a decade, the program covered fifteen
districts, 28,000 villages, and 1 million inhabitants. The Intensive Agricultural District
Program was thus a significant influence on the forthcoming Green Revolution.
Indian Extension System
India has the second largest extension system in the world in terms of professional and
technical staff. According to recent estimates, India has more than 100,000 technical
personnel in its extension system. India is in the process of transforming its agricultural
extension and technology transfer systems to become more demand-driven and responsive to
farmer needs.
Following independence in 1947, the Indian extension system concentrated on rural
community development objectives, rather than having a strong agricultural focus.
However, during the food crisis of the 1960s, the government initiated several major
agricultural development projects, such as the Intensive Agricultural District Program (IADP)
and the development of farmer training centers. During the same period, Green Revolution
wheat and rice varieties were being tested throughout the country and in 1966 the
Government of India imported high-yielding wheat seed from Mexico. Given the urgency of
this food crisis, the program focus of Gram Sevaks or Village Level Workers (VLWs) gave
more emphasis to agricultural extension.
During this period, the Department of Agriculture, along with the other line departments such
as Animal Husbandry, became involved in the distribution and sale of agricultural inputs and
services. Although the high yielding wheat and rice varieties had an immediate effect on
yields, the lack of attention by both research and extension to the management practices
limited the overall impact. The training and visit (T&V) extension system was first
introduced into India during 1974 through a World Bank irrigation project. Given its focus

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
on crop management practices, it had an immediate impact on wheat and rice yields.
Consequently, this extension approach was adopted throughout the country during the
following decade. Implementing T&V extension largely completed the transformation of the
Indian agricultural extension system from a community development agency to one
concentrating on technology transfer, especially for staple food crops. Although the extension
management system changed under T&V, the basic structure of extension at the district and
village levels changed very little. At the district level, there was a district extension officer
(DEO), 3-4 subject matter specialists (SMS), plus other support staff. Agricultural extension
officers (AEOs), were assigned at the block level to supervise village extension workers
(VEWs).
Under T&V projects, most states added large numbers of VEWs to achieve the recommended
ratio of one VEW for approximately 800 farm households who would constitute an extension
circle. During the 1970s and 1980s, most of these VEWs were secondary school graduates
who received in-service training provided under the World Bank financed project. In the past
decade, most new VEWs are university graduates. Since SMS positions are filled on the
basis of seniority, the technical expertise of this cadre remains weak. When T&V projects
were being implemented during the 1970s and 1980s, these projects generally financed the
salaries of the new staff, especially the expanding VEW cadre, plus most program, travel, and
operational costs associated with the T&V approach.
Once these projects were completed, then these additional salary costs shifted to the
respective state government. At this point, due to the lack of financial resources, in-service
training programs and the regular schedule of fortnightly visits collapsed in most states.
Therefore, during the 1990s, extension's operating budget shrank to about 10% of recurrent
costs, with the program budget being primarily financed through central government central
projects and schemes.
Analysis of the Indian Extension System
There are specific structural, resource, and policies of the national extension system that
contribute to overall productivity. Some are as follows:
1. Extension agent--farmer ratio: In India, this ratio is estimated at 1:2,000.

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
2. Subject Matter Specialists: Most districts in India have fewer than 10 SMSs and these
positions are viewed as stepping-stones in the career ladder rather than permanent
technical posts.
3. Extension Methods and Techniques: Over the past two decades, India has relied on the
T&V approach involving fortnightly visits to groups of contact farmers within each
village. However, with the completion of T&V projects in the early 1990s, both VEW
training and fortnightly visits have been largely discontinued due to the lack of operating
funds.
4. Program Development and Financing: In India, the state government finances most
extension salaries and basic operating costs, but nearly all program funds come from the
central government. These funds come in the form of special projects, frequently
involving the demonstration or distribution of subsidized inputs. Therefore, program
decisions are largely centralized with little accountability to local farmers and other
stakeholders.
5. Extension Mission: Following the food crisis in India during the 1960s and the
introduction of T&V extension in the mid-1970s, technology transfer has also played an
increasingly important role in the Indian extension system. At the same time, however,
the technical capacity of the Indian extension system has never been particularly strong,
both in terms of the SMS and VEW cadres. In the future, VEWs will be assigned to work
under the local Panchayat or village-level government; therefore, they will likely become
more general-purpose VEWs, as was the case under the community development
extension.
Extension Strategies for the 21st Century
A primary goal of most governments is how to reduce investment in agricultural extension
while maintaining food security. India is reducing its public investment in agricultural
extension. India is in the process of privatizing its input system to improve farmer access to
purchased inputs and to create a more efficient input supply system. At the same time, it is
recognized that salaries for the large number of extension staff that were added during T&V
projects have tied up all available operating funds. The only way of making more program
funds available to support extension program activities is through staff reduction.

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
Therefore, India can be expected to reduce it VEW cadre as the older, poorer trained,
extension staff members leave the extension system through normal attrition. In the process,
the Indian extension system will likely shift its attention to pressing natural resource
management problems, such as soil and water conservation and integrated pest management,
while leaving the task of transferring crop management technologies to private sector dealers.
All of these trends can be expected to make extension and the overall technology transfer
system more demand-driven and responsive to farmer needs.
Organizing farmers empowers them and allows farmers to more effectively articulate their
problems and needs to the research-extension system. Privatizing the input supply system
increases its efficiency as well as farmer access to improved technology. India is
experimenting with a new organizational mechanism that will decentralize decision-making
to the district and block levels and, thereby, increase the extension staff's accountability to
local stakeholders. If this model is successful, then program development will become more
"bottom-up" and responsive to local needs.

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor

Chapter-2
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION - THE NEXT STEP
The Arrangements:
The arrangements for agricultural extension in India have grown, over the last five decades,
in terms of activities, organizational types and available manpower. Public sector extension,
represented mainly by the State Department of Agriculture (DoA), continues to be the most
important source of information for the majority of farmers. Activities of other extension
agencies, be it Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), input agencies, mass media,
research institutions or farmers associations, though increasing, are still restricted to certain
regions, crops and enterprises. The performance of public sector extension is under scrutiny
for quite some time and questions are being raised on its capability to deliver goods in the
rapidly changing environment. The shifting emphasis of Indian agriculture towards
diversification, commercialization, sustainability and efficiency has made it necessary for the
state extension organizations to critically examine their extension approaches. DoA in several
states made changes in some of their approaches towards the late 1980's as the Training and
Visit System of Extension was coming to an end. But the basic issues regarding the type of
support required by the farmers and the changes in extension organization needed to provide
these were not addressed

The changing nature of Indian agriculture


Shrinking resource base: The land and water resource base for an average farm holding has
declined considerably during the last five decades (Selvarajan S and Joshi P.K (2000) Socioeconomic Policies in Natural Resource Management, Souvenir, International Conference on
Managing Natural Resource for Sustainable Agricultural Production in the 21st Century, New
Delhi.) . The main reason for the increasing resource degradation is the inappropriate and
unscientific use of land and irrigation water. Degraded lands are either going out of
cultivation or are being used for growing low value crops. Most of the future agricultural
growth will have to come via yield enhancement, (that means more intensive but more
appropriate and scientific use of natural resources) and from rainfed areas, wherein most of
the technologies are knowledge based and need community action. Forming and sustaining
farmers' groups will be crucial in achieving future agricultural growth.

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
Changes in demand and consumption pattern: Per capita cereal consumption for food
declined somewhat over the past three decades, while the consumption of fruits, vegetables,
meat, fish, eggs and dairy products increased (Kumar, P(1998) Food Demand and Supply
Projections for India, Agricultural Economics, Policy Paper 98-01, Indian Agricultural
Research Institute, New Delhi ). The demand for livestock products has been increasing
rapidly during the last two decades. Increasing per capita income and changing lifestyles are
expected to further increase the demand for milk, fruits and vegetables. Rapid growth in
livestock demand would push demand for cereals for livestock feed. Assuming a modest
growth in per capita income of 2 percent, the total cereal demand in 2020 is projected at
257.3 million tons, a modest 70% increase over 1993 demand ( Bhalla. G.S, Peter Hazell and
John Kerr (1999) Prospects for India's Cereal Supply and Demand to 2020,Food, Agriculture
and the Environment, Discussion Paper 29, International Food Policy Research Institute,
Washington, DC, ). For a country of India's size and population, importing huge quantities of
grains is not feasible. The increased demand has to be primarily met through increase in
productivity gained through increased application of knowledge by the farmers.
Changing farming systems: The area under food grains as percentage of GCA (gross
cropped area) has been declining in the Nineties, whereas the percentage share of non-food
grains has been generally increasing during the same period. Area under horticultural crops
(fruits, vegetables and tuber, spices and plantation crops) increased from 12.3 m.ha in 199192 to 15.0 m.ha in 1996-97. Farmers require a different type of support (training, problemsolving consultancy, marketing advice etc) for growing many of these crops, than simply
information on technology.
Declining public investments in agriculture: Public investments in agriculture,
(investments in irrigation, rural roads, rural electrification, storage, marketing, agricultural
research and education, land development, co-operation etc) in real terms since mid-seventies
have been declining consistently in all the states ( Ramesh Chand,(1999) Emerging trends
and Regional Variations in Agricultural Investments and their implications for Growth and
Equity. Draft Project Report, NCAP. New Delhi). Farmers have to join together to put
pressure on governments to invest more and have to pool together their resources to develop
and maintain the necessary infrastructure. Extension may have to support farmers in this
endeavor. The increasing pressure on research funds to find technological solutions to more
diverse problems necessitates serious efforts in research prioritization and targeted

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
technology development. Extension need to assist and direct researchers in problem focusing
and evaluating technological options.
International developments Liberalization of agricultural trade, consequent to the WTO
agreements has resulted in new opportunities and threats to Indian agriculture. India is likely
to gain in some crops, but consistent efforts for improving quality (to meet international
standards) and increasing cost effectiveness (increasing productivity, achieving cost
reduction) in these crops/products are essential to achieve these. Liberalization of agricultural
imports, which would gain further momentum in the months to come, would subject our
producers to competition from outside. There is an urgent need to increase the
competitiveness of Indian agro-products.

The changing needs of farmers for support from agricultural extension


Due to changing face of agriculture, farmers have to make a number of complex decisions
now. Most relevant of them are as follows:
a. What technological options could be used profitably in his/her situation keeping in view
the potential resource constraints in terms of land, capital, labour and knowledge?
b. How to manage the various technologies? (eg: how to make optimal use of new inputs in
his farm?)
c. How and when to change his farming system? (eg diversifying from crop production to
mixed farming or vegetable or animal production)
d. For which type of products, is there a good demand in the market?
e. What are the quality specifications he should achieve to get good value for his produce and
how to achieve?
f. How, when and where to buy inputs and sell products?
g. How to make decisions collectively on resource use and marketing?
h. How to find quickly the most relevant and reliable knowledge and information?
i. What are the feasible off-farm income generation options available for him and how far he
could depend on them?
j. What are going to be the implications for his farming if the input subsidies are phased out
and/or if the trade in agriculture is liberalized? (Van den Ban. A.W (1998) Supporting
Farmers' (Journal of Extension Systems, Vol 14,) pp 55-64).
To make good decisions, farmers need information from different sources and often need
help to integrate them. Farmers are presently receiving information from extension mainly

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
on technologies generated in research stations and passed on to extension. The emphasis,
even now continues to be on food grains, though broad basing of agricultural extension
(including messages for other crops/ enterprises) is an accepted philosophy. Moreover the
efforts have been confined to the head of family only, though the outcome of many of the
farm decisions is influenced by members of his family. Many new institutions (private and
public) that have emerged during the last two decades are found to be providing support to
farmers in some of the above areas. However, "their concentration of manpower and
expenditure in specific crops and regions are affecting their effective outreach to the
masses" (Sulaiman, R.V and V.V. Sadamate (2000) Scope of Privatizing Farm Extension
in India, Policy Paper 10 (Draft), NCAP, N. Delhi). Moreover, it is difficult to replicate
them on a wider scale. The performance of the public sector extension agencies in either
meeting many of the above needs or in integrating information from different sources have
not been satisfactory. To perform these roles effectively, the DoA needs more diverse
types of expertise than what is available at present.

Changes in extension approaches-experiences from different states


After the close of the World Bank supported National Agricultural Extension Project
(NAEP), the central support to the state extension services dried up and many state
governments initiated different extension approaches. Rajasthan adopted the group-based
approaches to extension and presently the village extension workers operate mainly through
Kisan mandal (group of 20 farmers). The state has also been encouraging NGOs to
participate in extension activities and has been contracting out some extension activities to
them, particularly in the far-flung areas where public extension is comparatively weak.
Maharashtra adopted the single window system from July 1998, by merging the Departments
of Agriculture, Soil and Water Conservation and Horticulture at the operational level. Kerala
decentralized the functioning of the Department of Agriculture way back in 1987 by creating
offices of DoA (Krishi Bhavans) in all panchayats. In 1989, the state initiated the group
approach for extension in rice farming and this was subsequently extended to other crops.
The agricultural development programs are at present decided at the panchayat level. Punjab
had been adopting the SAU-Farmer Direct Contact method over the past two decades and has
also upgraded all front-line extension workers to graduate level. Andhra Pradesh Agricultural
University has also established District Agricultural Advisory Technology Centers in all the
districts for technology refinement, diagnostic visits and for organizing field programs in

Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
collaboration with DoA and allied departments. Different approaches are also being tried in
several projects in specific districts. For instance, the Agricultural Technology Management
Agency (ATMA) model is presently under way in six selected districts in the country. This is
a bottom-up approach based on Strategic Research and Extension Plans (SREP) prepared at
the district level based on Participatory Rural Appraisal /approach. Integration of the
activities of agricultural and allied departments and other organizations such as KVKs is
expected to be achieved through ATMA at the District level. Similar approach is also tried
under Uttar Pradesh Diversified Agricultural Support Project (UPDASP). Apart from these,
in several states, various approaches for organizing farmers groups as Self Help Groups are
being tried mainly as part of external technical assistance to governments/NGOs. Krishi
Vigyan Kendras, (presently numbering 569) continues to be the main source of training for
farmers and agro-based entrepreneurs at the district level.
The need for making the system broad based, demand driven, and farmer accountable has
been widely recognized. The need for linkages between other extension providers,
prioritizing public interventions, cost-recovery, contracting out services, higher use of mass
media and Information Technology etc are also gaining acceptance. Measures to achieve
many of these are presently under experimentation.

Linkages
Though extension has to maintain effective linkages with several systems, only the ResearchExtension linkages capabilities of the KVK and the quality of linkage have been so far
emphasized. "Information flow has been mostly top-down" (Macklin. M (1992) Agricultural
Extension in India, World Bank technical paper 190, World Bank, Washington, D.C ) and
"the weak feedback has not resulted in any fundamental change in the way research priorities
are set at the research stations" (Jha, D and Kandaswamy. A (Eds) (1994) Decentralizing
Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer in India, ICAR. New Delhi and IFPRI.
Washington. D.C.). Apart from linkages for obtaining technology, the capabilities of the
extension agency to assess and refine them for its integration in their knowledge base has
been very weak, mainly due to lack of qualified staff.. In many cases, KVKs were found to be
wanting in both. Efforts to develop functional linkages with other systems had been adhoc
with no real outcome. With its main emphasis on transfer of technology and implementation
of schemes, which are input distribution related, the extension system never did take the other
systems seriously though its performance did depend upon all these factors. As Mosher

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Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
(1966) wrote more than three decades ago, "agricultural development requires markets for
farm products, a constantly changing agricultural technology, local availability of supplies
and equipment, production incentives which make it profitable for farmers to produce more
and transportation to and from the village"(Mosher, A.T. (1966), Getting Agriculture
Moving, Agriculture Development Council, New York). An extension organization is a
knowledge intensive organization, which is involved in the production and dissemination of
knowledge. Hence the success of this organization depends to a large extent on knowledge
"management. A major role of its managers is to ensure that:

it gets relevant knowledge where ever this is produced,

the staff members use their creativity to acquire/develop new knowledge,

all staff members have access to all knowledge which is available in the organization,

one learns from experience on how to develop more effective extension methods,

there is a social climate which stimulates sharing of knowledge and a critical analysis
of the knowledge developed or used by colleagues (van den Ban, A.W (1997)

The most important challenge for the future extension managers would be the Management
of Knowledge. The success of a farmer in the years to come is going to be primarily
dependent upon his level of knowledge. The real prices of agricultural products are falling,
because knowledge makes it possible to produce products with less land, labour and other
resources. In many countries, farmers, who are farming at a knowledge level a good farmer
had 10 years ago, have to go out of business because they can no longer compete with more
competent farmers.

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Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor

Chapter-3

Reforming the Agricultural Extension System in India


In order to realize agricultural potential and to increase agricultural yields, India's extension
system has experienced major conceptual, structural, and institutional changes since the late
1990s. This chapter reviews existing reform programs and strategies currently existing in
agricultural extension in India. It distinguishes strategies that have been employed to
strengthen both the supply and demand sides of service provision in the area of agricultural
extension, and it reviews the effects of the demand- and supply-side strategies on the access
to and the quality of agricultural extension services.
The ultimate objectives are (1) to gain a view on what works where and why in improving the
effectiveness of agricultural extension in a decentralized environment; (2) to identify
measures that strengthen and improve agricultural extension service provision; and (3) to
reveal existing knowledge gaps. Although the range of extension reform approaches is wide,
this chapter shows that an answer to the question of what works where and why is
complicated by the absence of sound and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative impact
and evaluation assessment studies. Even evidence from the National Agricultural Technology
Project and the Diversified Agricultural Support Project of the World Bank, the women
empowerment programs of the Danish International Development Agency, the Andhra
Pradesh Tribal Development Project, and the e-Choupal program of the Indian Tobacco
Company is subject to methodological and identification problems.
Conclusions regarding the importance (1) of implementing both decentralized, participatory,
adaptive, and pluralistic demand- and supply-side extension approaches; (2) of involving the
public, private, and third (civil society) sectors in extension service provision and funding;
and (3) of strengthening the capacity of and the collaboration between farmers, researchers,
and extension workers are necessarily tentative and require further quantification.

1. INTRODUCTION
The well-being of the rural population worldwide is invariably linked to the performance of
the agricultural sector and to the sector's ability to cope with the challenges that result from
rising population pressures, changing demand for food and agricultural products, resource
scarcity, climate change, and greater production uncertainty. The World Development Report

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Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
2008 (World Bank 2007) emphasizes agricultural extension as an important development
intervention (1) for increasing the growth potential of the agricultural sector in the light of
rising demand- and supply-side pressures, and (2) for promoting sustainable, inclusive, and
pro-poor agricultural and hence economic development. The call for agricultural extension
services is made at a time when the underutilization of the productivity and growth potential
of the agricultural sector for development poses a severe threat for achieving food security
and for further reducing (rural) poverty.
Ideally, the design of the service provision and funding arrangements reflects the inverse
relationship between the stage of economic development and the importance of extension for
agricultural development and poverty reduction. The access to well-defined extension
services is more important for economies in which agriculture is a major or declining source
of economic growth agriculture-based and transforming economies but less important in
economies in which agriculture is a minor source of economic growth (urbanized
economies). A prominent example for the group of transforming economies in India. The
transition from an agriculture-based to a transforming economy was initiated by
macroeconomic and nonagricultural reforms in the early 1990s, which triggered
unprecedented high growth in nonagricultural (urban) sectors. At the same time, a weak,
ineffective, and inefficient extension system and the consequent deficits in knowledge and
technology development and dissemination constrained agricultural-sector growth, which in
turn caused the share of agriculture in aggregate income to contract from approximately 31
percent in 1993 to about 19 percent in 200305.
In order to meet these challenges, Indias extension system has experienced major changes
since the late 1990s in governance structures, capacity, organization and management, and
advisory methods. The changes involve the decentralization of extension service provision to
the local level, the adoption of pluralistic modes of extension service provision and financing,
the use of participatory extension approaches, capacity training of farmers to express their
demands, and capacity training of service providers to respond to the demands of farmers,
among others (Rivera, Qamar, and van Crowder 2001; Birner et al. 2006; Birner and
Anderson 2007; Anderson 2007). The reform initiatives reflect the view that improvements in
agricultural productivity require demand-driven and farmer-accountable, need specific,
purpose-specific, and target-specific extension services. Birner et al. (2006) argue that there
is no single optimal or best model for providing need specific, purpose-specific, and targetspecific extension services.

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Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor

The ultimate choice of the agricultural extension approach depends on (1) the policy
environment; (2) the capacity of potential service providers, another case in point is China.
Because India and China pursued different policies to initiate the economic transition, the
case of China is not further considered. See Gulati, Fan, and Dalafi (2005) for a comparison
of the development paths of India and China. Authors computations from the World
Development Indicators (2006) and information from the World DevelopmentReport 2008
(World Bank 2007). Diao et al. (2006) and the references therein provide details on the
relationships that explain the importance of the agricultural sector for the nonagricultural
rural sector. Anderson and Feder (2004) and Anderson (2007) describe the properties of a
poorly performing extension system. (3) the type of farming systems and the market access of
farm households, and (4) the nature of the local communities, including their ability to
cooperate.
Different agricultural extension approaches can work well for different sets of frame
conditions. In order to use extension approaches that best fit a particular situation, the
agricultural extension system has to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the different
options. To this end, the recent agricultural-sector reforms have been geared toward creating
a demand driven, broad-based, and holistic agricultural extension system (Sulaiman and Hall
2002, 2004; India, Planning Commission 2005). This has involved the design and
introduction of a multitude of integrated measures that, on the demand side, enable service
users to voice their needs and hold service providers accountable, and on the supply side,
influence the capacity of service providers to respond to the needs of the extension service
users (that is, the farmers). This chapter analyzes Indias major reform initiatives
implemented to create a demand-driven, broad-based, and holistic agricultural extension
system.
The reform projects are studied with regard to (1) the governance structures of the
agricultural extension system and the institutional arrangements for funding and providing
agricultural extension services, (2) the actions taken to improve the capacity of extension
service providers and users to supply or demand agricultural extension services, and (3) the
methods of providing agricultural extension services. The ultimate objective is to gain a view
on what works, where, and why in improving the effectiveness of Indias agricultural
extension system, to identify measures that strengthen and improve agricultural extension
service provision, and to reveal existing knowledge gaps. As per the policy framework

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Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
developed by Birner and Anderson (2007) who identify options for providing and financing
extension services, which could help to address market failures and state and community
failures, and they discuss the (theoretical) relevance of the strategies to Indias agricultural
extension policies.

2. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
In order to analyze India's recent agricultural extension reforms, we apply the conceptual
framework in Figure 1, first presented in Birner and Palaniswamy (2006). The framework
identifies the major governance structures, organizational and managerial characteristics, and
frame conditions (for example, socioeconomic characteristics) by which public-sector
extension reforms can improve the organizational and managerial performance of service
provision, lead to better public-sector governance outcomes, and generate sustainable propoor development. Public-sector governance outcomes can be evaluated in terms of the
efficiency, effectiveness, and long-term sustainability of service provision, regulatory quality,
rule of law, the degree of corruption, and equity aspects. Demand-side approaches of publicsector service reforms aim at improving the ability of the private sector (such as farm
households and profit-oriented firms) and the third sector (such as nongovernmental
organizations, farmers' organizations, and rural women's groups) to demand better
governance and to hold public officials accountable by strengthening the voice of clients. To
this end, demand-side approaches include policies that increase information and coordination
in voting, strengthen the citizens' right to information, and improve the credibility of political
promises. Demand-side approaches of rural service provision also involve policies that
promote the political decentralization of service delivery to local governments, reserve seats
in local councils for women, and advocate participatory planning and implementation
methods, among others. Figure 1 indicates that demand-side reforms are likely to be more
effective if they directly address socioeconomic and socio-cultural obstacles that prevent
citizens from exercising their voice and demanding accountability.

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Course: Agricultural Extension Management (2 Credit)


Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor

Figure 1. Conceptual framework


Source: Birner and Palaniswamy (2006).

Here equity outcomes refer to the ability of governance reforms to be inclusive, that is, to
improve the access and the availability of services to the poor, to marginalized groups, and to
women. The third sector is also known as the civil society sector. Strategies to strengthen the
demand side of rural service provision will have little effect if they are not accompanied by
strategies to increase the capacity of service providers to finance and deliver the respective
services, to apply the rules of law and regulation, and to control corruption. Supply-side
approaches to public service delivery reforms include the administrative and fiscal
decentralization of service delivery, public expenditure management reforms, training
programs for public officials, changes in procurement and audit procedures, and efforts to
coordinate the activities of government agencies and departments. Another popular supplyside approach reduces the tasks that are performed by public-sector agencies. The respective
strategies include outsourcing of service provision to organizations in the private and third
sectors, publicprivate partnerships, pluralistic forms of service delivery, devolution of
authority to user groups, and privatization. Recent reform trends emphasize the need for the
state to play a coordinating and facilitating role and to create an enabling environment for the
private and third sectors. Supply-side approaches also include strategies for cost recovery that

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aim to improve the financial sustainability of service provision and to strengthen the
incentive for clients to demand better services.
The usefulness of cost recovery schemes can be debated on equity grounds, especially in
absence of specific measures (vouchers for low-income households, for example) that address
this concern. Figure 1 suggests that the success of demand- and supply-side reforms depends
on the extent to which reform strategies address the socio-cultural characteristics of local
communities (social hierarchic structures, for example) and the bureaucratic characteristics
and incentive structures of public-sector service providers (such as moral and ethical
standards and elite capture). Because local communities and service providers differ in terms
of characteristics, a one-size-fits-all reform approach is an inadequate mechanism for
improving rural service provision for rural development. In addition, the structure and scope
of reforms also depends on the feasibility of reform implementation. Rather than engaging in
ambitious reform programs that address all service delivery problems at the same time, it is
often necessary to concentrate initially on those reform elements for which political support
can be built (Levy 2004). These relationships suggest that reform approaches should center
on principles of best fit rather than best practice.
The conceptual framework in Figure 1 points to the role of decentralization as a governance
mechanism to improve the quality of and the access to basic services, infrastructure, and legal
and regulatory structures. The importance of decentralization for good or responsive
governance is attributable to the positive effect of decentralization on the efficient use of
resources, with efficiency gains arising from (1) the functional, financial, and administrative
autonomy of individual government tiers; (2) role clarity; (3) peoples participation; (4)
accountability; and (5) transparency, among others. At the same time, decentralization
ensures that each government tier performs those tasks in which it has a comparative
advantage. The actions taken by the different government levels are then complementary to
each other, with the actions being separated by clear boundaries. Furthermore,
decentralization may lead to welfare losses because of local elite capture and administrative
failures (World Bank 2004b). Local elite capture implies that a small share of the population
with a disproportionate share of political and economic power resists the changes from
decentralization and participatory policies because of their perceived undue influence on
established power relationships (Rajaraman 2000; Narayan et al. 2000). Local elite capture is
associated Types of decentralization differ for the fiscal, administrative, and political
systems. The less extensive forms of administrative and fiscal decentralization include de-

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concentration and delegation or shared governance systems. With de-concentration, the
central government merely posts employees to the local level. With delegation or shared
governance systems, the central government delegates some functions to the local level,
while the main responsibility still rests with the central state.

3. AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION REFORM INITIATIVES


In India, major changes in the provision and financing of agricultural extension services
materialized in the late 1990s. The reform programs of the late 1990s were motivated by the
failure of the World Bankfunded Training and Visit (T&V) model to promote agricultural
development by providing effective and efficient extension services in a timely and
sustainable manner. Launched in 1977, the T&V model aimed at establishing a close link
between agricultural research and agricultural extension. To this end, the model emphasized
the role of the state Departments of Agriculture as the instruments through which research
institutions should pass on their extension recommendations to the farmers and receive
feedback from farmers on the usefulness of new agricultural methods and practices. The
T&V model failed to effectively promote agricultural development mainly because of
structural problems in the organizational, financial, and institutional design of the model.
Structural problems and the consequent inefficiencies in the delivery of research and
extension services resulted from the operation of (1) a hierarchical, classical top-down, oneway communication system and (2) a one-size-fits-all research and extension approach that
centered on the institutional, agro-climatic, and socio-economic conditions of irrigated areas
but bypassed those of rainfed areas (Sulaiman and Holt 2004). The problems inherent in the
T&V model were only fully acknowledged in the 1990s. Since then, numerous, mutually
reinforcing reform programs have been induced at the central and state levels. These seek to
accelerate the development and dissemination of technologies, so as to promote agricultural
and rural development through higher productivity growth.
The reform initiatives identify and define (1) governance structures and methods for the
effective and efficient development (that is, research) and dissemination (extension) of
technology and (2) ways for improving the management and organization of the research and
extension system within governance structures (capacity strengthening). At the core of the
reform programs are supply- and demand-side elements that embrace principles of
decentralization, transparency, accountability, and e-governance, among others. Two of the
most prominent research and extension reform initiatives were the World Bankfunded 1998

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2004 Diversified Agricultural Support Project (DASP) and the 19992005 National
Agricultural Technology Project (NATP). The DASP initiative aimed (1) to increase
agricultural productivity, (2) to promote private-sector development, (3) to improve rural
infrastructure, and (4) to increase the income of farmers by supporting intensified and
diversified agricultural production and farming systems.
Principal objectives of the NATP initiative were: (1) to improve the efficiency of the
Organization and management systems of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR), (2) to strengthen the effectiveness of research programs and the capacity of scientists
to respond to the technological needs of farmers, and (3) to increase the effectiveness and
financial sustainability of the technology dissemination system with greater accountability to
and participation by farming communities. In contrast to the DASP, the NATP did not
emphasize the diversification of agricultural production and of farming systems as
instruments to close the productivity gap. The NATP exclusively focused on research and
extension and on an integrated system of extension delivery. Both the DASP and NATP
programs involved (institutional) supply-side and (farmer-initiated or participatory) demandside components of service provision. On the demand side, the DASP and NATP programs
aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, agricultural growth, and rural development by
pursuing broad-based, bottom-up participatory developmental approaches that centered on
community mobilization.
On the supply side, the DASP and NATP initiatives included (1) public expenditure reforms,
(2) changes in planning and decision making processes, and (3) training and capacity
building. Some agricultural reform initiatives take explicit actions for improving the access of
women to agricultural extension services. Prominent examples are the ongoing
Women/Youth Training Extension E-governance involves the utilization of information and
communication technology infrastructure and resources to ensure the reliable, transparent,
and effective access of citizens to government services (World Bank 2005b). Project
(WYTEP) in Karnataka, the 19862003 Tamil Nadu Women in Agriculture (TANWA)
initiative, the 1998-2003 Training and Extension for Women in Agriculture (TEWA)
program in Orissa, and the 19932005 Madhya Pradesh Women in Agriculture (MAPWA)
project. Implemented under the auspices of the Danish International Development Agency
(Danida), the projects mainly aimed at strengthening the position of small and marginal farm
women in society and at increasing the agricultural productivity and hence income of small
and marginal farm women through training in the application of low-cost technologies. Next

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to the gender-focused projects, reform efforts are also directed toward improving the
livelihood of disadvantaged tribal groups.
A case in point is the 199198 Andhra Pradesh Tribal Development Project (APTD) of the
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). The project aimed to improve the
income and food security situation and living conditions of tribal groups, taking gender,
health, educational, environmental, and marketing and credit issues into account. In line with
other programs, the IFAD initiative emphasized the importance of (1) productivity-improving
farm technology and irrigation systems and (2) participatory planning and implementation as
means to improve the livelihood of disadvantaged groups. In addition to these programs,
another prominent reform initiative is the ongoing e-Choupal initiative of the Indian Tobacco
Company (ITC). The private-sector program employs information and communication
technologies (ICTs) as instruments for improving agricultural extension service provision in
terms of outreach (cost) effectiveness, efficiency, transparency, and accountability.
In promoting accountability and transparency of service provision, information and
communication technologies are designed to facilitate the delivery of demand-side-driven
extension services. In order to gain insights into what works where and why in improving the
delivery of agricultural extension services, this chapter analyzes the DASP, NATP, Danida,
APTD, and e-Choupal reform initiatives in greater detail, using information from the
program-specific appraisal documents and from the program-specific performance and
evaluation assessment reports. Many of these programs have informed recent reform
initiatives such as the 2005 Support to State Extension Program for Extension Reforms
(SSEPER), the 2006 National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP), or the 2003 National
e- Governance Action Plan (NeGAP).
As these programs are in early stages of implementation, they have not yet been evaluated in
terms of outcome and impact and are therefore not further considered. The following sections
review the design of the supply- and demand-side elements of the DASP, NATP, Danida,
APTD, and e-Choupal reform initiatives. Particular attention is paid to (1) the proposed
institutional structures of the programs, (2) the actions taken to improve the capacity of
extension service providers and users to supply or demand agricultural extension services,
and (3) the methods that have been designed to improve the delivery of agricultural extension
services. Training of Women in Agriculture program in Gujarat, the 1994-2007 Andhra
Pradesh Training of Women in Agriculture program, and the ongoing Mahila Samakhya
project in Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh.

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Even if formal evaluations would be available, their usefulness could be contested as the
simultaneous implementation of multiple interacting programs precludes the unique
identification of the effects associated with each initiative. For example, the NeGAP project
on agriculture is supplemented by other e-governance projects like the Agricultural
Marketing Research and Information Network (Agmarknet), the Agricultural Informatics and
Communication Network (Agrisnet), and the Kisan Call Centers. Describes the actual
structural changes and assesses the effects of the reform initiatives on the access to and the
quality of agricultural extension services. Finally, it should be noted that the DASP and
NATP schemes are more comprehensive and complex in the scope and dimension of the
envisaged structural supply- and demand-side changes than the Danida, APTD, and eChoupal reform initiatives. For this reason, the following discussion is biased toward the
DASP and NATP.

Supply-side Reforms
According to the conceptual framework in Figure 1, supply-side reforms emphasize (1)
public, private, and third-sector service provision and financing; (2) administrative and fiscal
decentralization; and (3) capacity strengthening and building. This section describes the
different supply-side mechanisms for agricultural research and extension, mainly within the
framework of the DASP and NATP programs. The supply-side reforms of the NATP
program aim to (1) increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the research system, (2)
intensify and support agro-ecological systems research, (3) improve the efficiency and
outreach of technology dissemination, and (4) strengthen human capital development and
capacity in project management and project implementation.
Closely related, the supply-side reforms of the DASP initiative emphasized (1) technology
dissemination, (2) private-sector involvement and publicprivate partnerships in agribusiness
development, (3) rural infrastructure development and marketing support, and (4) project
management and capacity building for economic policy analysis. In promoting rural
infrastructure development, private-sector involvement and publicprivate partnerships in
agribusiness development, the DASP supply-side reforms were more far-reaching than those
of the NATP.
Administrative and Fiscal Decentralization
Organizational structure of the Agricultural Technology Management Agency

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Under the DASP, fiscal and administrative decentralization were also employed as
instruments to foster rural infrastructure development and to provide marketing support. The
DASP initiative recognized that the development of an intensified and diversified agricultural
production and farming system critically depends on a well-developed network of roads and
markets. Because rural infrastructure is by and large underdeveloped, the DASP took steps
toward promoting the development of rural roads and rural markets.
With respect to markets, policies were designed to reduce the public-sector leverage in the
management of rural markets and to improve the operation and maintenance of rural markets
by strengthening the responsibilities of traders and farmers. The upgrading of infrastructure
also included actions to strengthen the participation of communities in planning,
implementing, and maintaining rural infrastructure. In order to increase community
ownership and commitment to newly created assets, to improve the operation and
maintenance of rural infrastructure, and to increase the representation of traders and farmers.
The ATMA model was particular to the DASP initiative in Uttar Pradesh. Uttaranchal did not
undertake the ATMA approach, but implemented Agricultural Diversification Management
Societies, which were established at each of the project districts to coordinate, plan, and
implement the project through officers of line departments and farmer federations.
Administrative and fiscal responsibility for rural infrastructure was transferred from line
departments like the Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development, and
Rural Development to Panchayats. Under the new institutional setup, district Panchayats
exercised functional control over district department officers. The process of administrative
and fiscal decentralization was supported by elections to all tiers of Panchayati Raj
institutions. Under the NATP initiative, administrative decentralization was implemented in
the area of technology development (research) and technology dissemination (extension).
With respect to technology development, the administrative decentralization efforts resulted
in changes in the expenditure decision-making authority and attributed greater financial
management responsibilities to the technology development research staff of the ICAR
system.
The administrative decentralization of expenditure decision-making was driven by the notion
that changes in the organizational and managerial structure are needed in order to enhance the
efficiency and effectiveness of the research system and hence the long term growth prospects
for agricultural productivity. With regard to technology dissemination, administrative
decentralization was seen as an effective way to support the state Departments of Agriculture

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in making the technology dissemination system knowledge based and demand driven. The
underlying support mechanisms were summarized in the NATP's Innovations in Technology
Dissemination (ITD) component, which emphasized the organization of the technology
dissemination system at the national, state, district, block, and village levels.
At the national level, technology dissemination was facilitated by institutions that supported
the effective coordination of technology dissemination activities and created a discussion
forum on their usefulness (for example, the Technology dissemination Management
Committee [TDMC]) and the Technology Dissemination Unit [TDU]). The ITD component
strengthened the institutions' monitoring, supervision, and evaluation roles for technology
dissemination. For instance, the TDU was responsible for the daily management and
supervision of the ITD component, while the TDMC supervised and approved the annual
work plans of the different project units. At the state level, the technology dissemination
system centered around agricultural line departments. These formed an interdepartmental
working group aimed at harmonizing project activities among the different line departments
at the state level and facilitating and coordinating interactions with the TDMC at the national
level. The TDMC included all major stakeholders (representatives of NGOs, women's
organizations, and the private sector) and thus provided a platform for these institutions to
influence the reform process and the technology dissemination agenda of public institutions.
In addition to interaction with the TDMC, the interdepartmental working group also
monitored the progress of district-level programs.
Technology dissemination at the district, block, and village levels was institutionalized in the
ATMA. The ATMA was an autonomous entity that managed technology dissemination,
facilitated decentralization in planning and implementation, and promoted interdepartmental
coordination and demand-driven service provision at the district, block, and village levels by
bringing together district administrative entities, line departments, NGOs, and local farmer
representatives. Being autonomous, the ATMA had full discretion over its budget and was
thus flexible to respond to changing technological and environmental requirements. At the
district level, ATMA was supported by a Governing Board and the Management Committee.
Within its functional framework, the Governing Board identified the programs and
procedures for district-level research and extension activities, reviewed the progress and
functioning of the ATMA, and approved the Strategic Research and Extension Plan.
The Management Committee implemented the district-level research and extension program
and conducted participatory rural appraisals to identify problem areas in the implementation

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of the Strategic Research and Extension Plan. At the block level, programs were implemented
through a Farm Information and Advisory Center (FIAC). This institution constituted the
operational arm of ATMA. Under the NATP, the ATMA approach was realized in 28
districts. After the advent of SSEPER, the ATMA model was implemented in 268 districts in
28 states and 2 union territories by the end of January 2007 (GOI Ministry of Agriculture
2007). Block Technology Team of technical advisors and a Farmer Advisory Committee
(FAC). The FAC constituted a platform that encouraged interaction between all key
stakeholders (including farmers and line department staff), partly by stimulating the
formation of commodity-oriented farmers and womens interest groups at the block and
village levels.

Private and Third-Sector Involvement:


The extent to which decentralization can improve the performance of the agricultural research
and extension system is likely to depend on the efficiency and effectiveness of public,
private, and third-sector service financiers and providers. The relative usefulness of the three
service-provider sectors in turn may depend on the degree of excludability and
substractability of research and extension activities. Theory predicts that the public sector
should only fund and provide the public good components of research and extension, that is,
those components with low excludability and low substractability (Sulaiman and Sadmate
2000). Similarly, the private and third sectors should only fund services with high
excludability and high substractability. Another supply-side governance mechanism
emphasizes the role of the private sector as an instrument to supplement the extension and
research efforts of the public sector and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of service
provision (Reddy and Swanson 2006).
Private-sector participation is seen as a useful means of addressing the research and extension
needs of commodity-oriented farmers and womens interest groups since it utilizes private
sector cost advantages, private-sector capacities in research and development, and skills in
multi-disciplinary and participatory research. These aspects are perceived to be critical
components for improving the accountability of the public sector in agricultural research and
extension, for providing demand-driven support services, for encouraging the introduction of
improved inputs (such as fertilizer and seed varieties), and for strengthening marketing and
post-harvest activities and processing. Both the DASP and NATP initiatives emphasized the
importance of private-sector participation in the area of technology development and

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technology dissemination. As will be explained in the next section, the NATP program
encouraged private-sector participation within the framework of competitive grants programs.
In comparison, the DASP scheme planned to encourage private-sector participation in
extension service provision by reducing the role of the government as input supply provider
and by facilitating the leasing or sale of government facilities/farms to private-sector firms. In
order to strengthen the move to inputs supplied by the private sector and to improve the
ability of the market to respond to changing technology needs, state-level government
subsidies for inputs and other services were to be phased out, moving to full cost recovery
over the life of the project. The DASP not only supported private-sector participation in input
supply and support services in general but took measures to encourage private-sector
involvement in agribusiness activities.
The aim was to promote the development of intensified and diversified agricultural
production and farming systems and to stimulate the vertical integration of smallholder
agriculture with input suppliers and agro-processors. To this end, the program sought to
mobilize institutional credit and to facilitate the availability of credit for smallholders and
womens self-help groups. It was thought that the consequent removal or alleviation of credit
constraints would encourage incremental investment and the adoption of improved
technologies. In addition to easing credit constraints, the DASP also planned to promote
private-sector investment in agribusiness by raising the value of post-harvest activities such
as agro-processing. At the core of the initiatives was the so-called Project Development
Facility that helped small- and medium sized investors to establish new ventures or to enlarge
current operations so as to exploit market-led opportunities for agribusiness development.
The underlying fee-based support services (such as feasibility studies, project reports,
business plans, and product marketing) were meant to improve access.
The NATP also promoted private-sector participation in policy formulation through formal
consultative mechanisms (World Bank 1998a). Technology and technical expertise, to
strengthen the linkages between producers (farmers) and processors, and to improve the
availability of information on markets and marketing opportunities. The DASP and NATP
programs also contained provisions for the active participation of third sector institutions in
technology dissemination. Third-sector participation was to be initiated through contractingout arrangements. Contracting would de-link funding from service provision, and it was seen
as an instrument to reduce costs, to improve the cost-effectiveness of public extension
services, and to ensure the financial sustainability of extension. NGOs can be important

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providers of third-sector extension services and useful instruments to generate, refine, and
promote need-based agricultural technology for a number of reasons.
The involvement of NGOs is important because their work centers on clearly defined and
specific objectives (Shekara 2001; Shankar 2001; and Nataraju, Lakshminarayan, and
Nagaraj 2001). A clear mission and a common objective ensure better teamwork and avoid
the uncoordinated implementation of strategies. In addition, a restricted local focus; the
consequent closeness to markets; and the adoption of participatory, farmer-centered, bottomup approaches causes services to be explicitly targeted and demand driven. In addition to
contracting out, the DASP and NATP schemes also planned to institutionalize partnerships
between publicprivate and publicthird-sector institutions in order to improve technology
development, technology dissemination, and agribusiness activities through better access to
credit and greater flexibility in program implementation (World Bank 2004a). In order to
enhance the knowledge base and thus the quality of public extension services at the state
level, the NATP scheme also advocated partnerships between public institutions.
The public-public partnership involved the state Department of Agriculture and the state
agricultural university or separate wings of the Department of Agriculture. In Andhra
Pradesh, cooperation between the Department of Agriculture and the state agricultural
university was enforced through the operation of a District Agricultural Advisory Technology
Center in all districts. These centers were supposed to refine technology, make diagnostic
visits, and organize field programs in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and
allied departments so as to improve the dissemination of technology, to strengthen research
capacities, and to foster human capital accumulation at ICAR institutes. Along a similar line,
Punjab Agricultural University fostered adaptive research, training, and consultancy at the
district level by having a multidisciplinary extension team in each district, again in
collaboration with the state Department of Agriculture.
In Maharashtra, the publicpublic partnership involved the merger of three separate wings of
the Department of Agriculturethe Department of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Soil and
Water Conservationat the operational level. The resulting organization was deemed to have
a broader (multidisciplinary) and more solid knowledge base and a more effective manpower
intensity in the field.

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Capacity Building and Strengthening
Reforms of the technology development and dissemination systems also include the
rationalization and reorientation of public extension services through capacity strengthening
and building. In the present context, capacity development involves steps toward improving
the operational, managerial, and scientific skills and capabilities of individual research and
extension workers as well as of the aggregate research and extension system. As will become
evident, the existing reform initiatives pursued different approaches to strengthen the capacity
of the research and extension system to implement the reform components effectively and
efficiently. The DASP especially emphasized the need for building and strengthening the
capacity of those agents who were responsible for project management (line departments) or
project implementation (extension workers).
Project management was the responsibility of the Project Coordination Unit at the state level
and the District Project Coordination Unit at the district level. Project management included
the management of project activities, finances, and administration; the provision of technical
support to the stakeholders. On the other hand, the restricted local focus can also be seen as a
disadvantage because it constrains the dissemination of new ideas, approaches, and
improvements in productivity (Alsop et al. 1999). Operational flexibility and autonomy were
provided by the institutional setup of the Project Coordination Unit as a registered society,
which offered scope for nongovernmental fund raising. Project implementation rested with
the agricultural researchers and with the extension workers. In order to strengthen the
capacities of agricultural researchers for identifying and solving problems, and to enhance the
quality, relevance, and accountability of agricultural research, the DASP initiative advocated
a competitive grants program.
Competitive grants were available for research on key production and processing constraints
of the main production systems to state agricultural universities and their zonal research
stations, agricultural colleges, ICAR institutes, private-sector institutions, and NGOs. The
DASP also contained provisions for improving research coordination. At the state level, this
involved institutional changes in terms of governance, staffing, and operational procedures in
the Council for Agricultural Research in order to improve policy guidance and to promote
and facilitate the cooperation and exchange in agricultural research between institutions. In
addition to strengthening the capacity of program management and program implementation
units, the DASP also took steps to improve project monitoring, evaluation, and impact
assessment. At the core of the monitoring and evaluation component was the Agricultural

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Management Center, which had been established under the auspices of the Indian Institute of
Management (Lucknow). The Center's main task was the design and implementation of a
computerized project monitoring system, which supports the Program Coordination Unit in
the management of the DASP program.
Within this framework, the Agricultural Management Center (1) prepared economic impact
studies, (2) supported the preparation of annual action plans and implementation schedules,
(3) identified training needs, and (4) developed strategies for capacity strengthening. Closely
related, the DASP program also supported the establishment of an Economic Policy Analysis
Unit. The Unit's main objective was to strengthen the ability of the state to develop and
analyze the impact of agricultural policies on rural development and to assess the efficiency
of public sector spending on agriculture.
In order to strengthen the capacity of extension workers, the DASP assisted in the
redeployment and training of (existing) extension staff (1) to impart new technical skills that
help line departments to assume direct responsibility for technology dissemination at the
block level and (2) to convey skills in financial and group management that help to
effectively operate a demand-driven public, private, and third-sector extension system. The
training of extension workers was provided by the state agricultural universities, the State
Institute for Rural Development, and the National Institute of Agriculture Extension
Management, called MANAGE. These institutions offered professional skill training to
extension personnel across all line departments and the agricultural science centers (Krishi
Vigyan Kendras), forwarded technical information, and supported the technical training of
district-level subject matter specialists and of the instructors at the agricultural science
centers.
Closely related to the DASP, the NATP sought to improve the intensity, efficiency, and
effectiveness of the public agricultural research system by strengthening the capacity of
scientists to develop new, productivity-improving technologies that improve the performance
of production systems and solve farmers' problems with their farming systems. To this end,
the NATP implemented sponsored and competitive grants programs that promoted
multidisciplinary and multi-institutional collaborative agro ecological research. The
multidisciplinary program areas were identified according to a set of national research
priorities (improvement of productivity, sustainability of production systems, and
precommercial technology development), which were defined to ensure the rational and

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efficient allocation of resources between different production systems, commodities, and
socioeconomic groups.
Local research priority areas differed from national research priority areas to the extent that
they controlled for local agro-climatic and socioeconomic conditions. Sponsored research
programs were designed to improve the performance of major production systems under
intensive irrigated, rain-fed, hill and mountain, coastal, and arid agro-ecological systems.
Thrust areas of research were food security, sustainability, economic growth, equity, and
rural welfare, with research centering on natural resource management, post-harvest value
addition, integrated pest management, and integrated plant nutrient management, among
others.
The sponsored research schemes also (1) advocated cross-cutting research on topics that span
more than one production or agroecological system and were thus not location specific and
(2) promoted strategic (upstream) research on new innovative forms of managing
decentralized research activities and research units. Sponsored programs were predominantly
implemented by institutions within the ICAR system. In an attempt to strengthen the capacit y
of domestic researchers and to resolve technical constraints to improved production systems,
sponsored programs encouraged the collaboration of ICAR institutes with international
research institutes. The sponsored programs were supplemented by competitive grants
programs. The competitive grants programs were introduced to promote research on topics
that were not covered by the sponsored program and to improve the quality of research and
technology development by granting access to financial resources on the basis of competitive
bids.
The programs were open to public, private, and third-sector institutions and to public-private
and public-third-sector partnerships with the capacity to conduct research in priority areas.
The competitive grants programs thus actively encouraged links between the research and
development activities of public and nonpublic organizations. Funding was available for
location-specific and innovative research, for research on improving the productivity and
sustainability of production systems on a time-bound mission mode, for pre-commercial
technical development and pilot manufacturing, and for private-sector product and process
development. Similar to the DASP initiative, the NATP program augmented efforts to
improve the performance of the research system with efforts to strengthen the capacity of
national- and state-level institutions to disseminate, coordinate, monitor, and evaluate
technology innovations. Under the NATP, a critical source of human capital development

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was the National Institute of Agriculture Extension Management (MANAGE). MANAGE's
main task was to enable the project-participating states to develop a decentralized, locationspecific, farmer-centered, sustainable technology dissemination system. To this end, the
NATP program strengthened the role of MANAGE as provider of training in extension
management, strategic planning, and participatory rural appraisal to senior managers and
trainers at the national and state levels. In first- and second-phase districts, MANAGE also
trained the extension workers at the district and block levels.
In third- and fourth-phase districts, the extension personnel received training from
Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institutes (SAMETIs). These were
established in association with either the state Department of Agriculture or a state
agricultural university and had the broad mandate to provide training that supports the
implementation of the ATMA model. In addition to the SAMETIs, extension workers also
received training from the ATMAs. These agencies offered in-service training and technical
backstopping for the extension field staff in order to strengthen the capacity of extension
workers to provide broad-based technical advice to farmers. In addition, ATMAs offered
training to the staff of line departments in order to improve operational capacities.
Within the framework of capacity strengthening, the reform initiatives also supported the
development of information systems. For example, under the NATP, this involved the
intensified use of information technology and management information systems and the
development of a library information system. The management information system was
installed to facilitate project coordination and monitoring, communication, financial
management, and performance assessments, among others. The library information system
was promoted to strengthen the efficiency and capability of the ICAR research system by
improving access to information. The following section provides more details on supply-side
reforms that evolve around information systems and emphasizes the use of information and
communication technologies. The program was introduced in a phased manner. In the first
phase, the program was implemented in one district in each of the participating states.
Following major reviews of the project, 12 more districts were added in the second phase and
the remaining districts were added in phases three and four.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)


ICT initiatives are driven by the objective to facilitate planning, monitoring, and the effective
exchange of information between various agents such as service providers and service users.

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The advance of ICT programs is attributable to the rapid emergence of extensive
telecommunication networks and the rising electrification of even remote areas. ICT
programs are perceived to be an essential element in improving service provision and
agricultural growth for two interrelated reasons.
First, ICT is an effective means for improving governance and service provision by reforming
government processes through greater transparency and accountability. Transparency and
accountability result from ICT-driven improvements in the access to and the quality of
information flows between agents such as service providers and service users.
Second, these factors strengthen the scope for participatory actions on the part of service
users such as farmers and make technology dissemination demand driven and available to a
large number of farm households on a regular basis, mainly through private-sector
participation.
The private sector was among the first to rely on ICT as an effective and efficient
communication means in agricultural service provision. The most prominent example of a
supply-side initiative of the private sector is the e-Choupal initiative of the Indian Tobacco
Company (ITC). Reflecting efforts to improve the procurement process for various cropping
systems and to reduce the dependence on government-mandated agents (mandis), the eChoupal initiative was launched in 2000. It now operates in 31,000 villages in six Indian
states through 5,200 kiosks, extending to 3.5 million farmers. There are plans to up-scale the
program to 10 million farmers in 100,000 villages of 15 Indian states by 2010. At the core of
the e-Choupal initiative are kiosks in rural farming villages that are equipped with computers
with Internet access via phone lines or by a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT)
connection.
As villages often face power supply shortages, each e-Choupal is equipped with a batterybased uninterrupted power supply backup, which provides sufficient energy to run the system
twice a day. Since the system is infrastructure intensive, ITC incurs significant up-front costs
in creating and maintaining its own information network in rural India. It also has to identify
and train a local (literate) farmer (called a Sanchalak) to manage each e-Choupal. Farmers
can use the e-Choupal free of charge, while the managing farmer bears part of the operating
costs. However, the operating costs need to be compared against the commission that the
managing farmer receives for intermediating the e-Choupal transactions between ITC and the
farmers. E-Choupal transactions include, for example, accessing the internet for information

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on scientific farming and best-practice methods, extension, farmer interaction forums,
markets, market trends and prices, and weather conditions.
Another transaction consists of placing purchase orders for input and consumer goods from
ITC or its partners. The corresponding prices tend to be lower than those available from
village traders. In addition, farmers use the e-Choupal to directly sell their crops to ITC. The
corresponding prices are higher than the bid prices obtained from government-mandated
agents. In paying higher prices to farmers than intermediaries, ITC operates an effective
procurement system for crops. At the same time, ITC incurs lower procurement costs, given
that the procurement price does not include the commission fees of the intermediaries.
Annamalai and Rao (2003) argue that the corresponding savings are sufficient to meet the
equipment costs from an e-Choupal in the first year of operation. For reducing the costs of
intermediation alone, the ITC e-Choupal system has to be deemed a success.
Inspired by the success and popularity of the system, the public sector has tried to increase
the outreach of extension and the speed of rural transformation through comparable
mechanisms. The NATP initiative, for example, actively encouraged the use of ICT facilities
in order to promote the organizational and managerial efficiency of the ICAR research
system and in order to strengthen the link between the research and farming system and the
research and extension system. The institutional setup involved the establishment of
information kiosks and information shops unless stated otherwise; the discussion in this
section rests on the e-Choupal case study of Annamalai and Rao (2003). Closely related to
the e-Choupal system, the information kiosks and shops offered direct training of and
information for farmers on, for example, crop technology and farmers' rights, loans, and the
availability of grants.
In order to enable farmers to effectively use the services offered by information kiosks and
shops, they received training in the use of ICTs (Singh 2006). Considering the other reform
initiatives, ICTs were mainly installed to support the reform projects efforts in the area of
monitoring, evaluation, and capacity building. The NATP, for example, sought to improve
ICARs organization and management systems by creating an information technology based
library information system and management information system (MIS). The MIS was
intended to develop ICARs Agricultural Project Information System, which aimed to
provide a comprehensive overview of agricultural research activities at the national, state,
district, and block levels. Under the DASP, information technology was used to develop a
computerized accounting and reporting system at the level of the Project Coordination Unit.

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The respective system advocated a double-entry accounting system, which was interlinked
with the related budgeting and financial management system in order to promote the timely
generation of summary sheet claims and accounting/fixed assets records.

Demand-side Reforms
A review of the literature shows that the supply-side reforms of the DASP and NATP
programs emphasized the need to make technology development and dissemination broadbased in order to promote the productive efficiency of the agricultural and hence rural
sectors. As will become evident, the demand side reforms supported this objective. The
discussion of the conceptual framework in Figure 1 indicates that demand-side reforms
include the empowerment of the rural population by means of political decentralization,
participatory planning and implementation (for example, farmer field schools and the farming
system approach), and affirmative action. For the set of reforms that we analyze, participatory
planning and implementation appear to be the most prominent modes of empowerment, at
least in technology development and technology dissemination.

Demand-side Governance Structures


On the demand side, the governance mechanisms highlight principles of participatory
planning and implementation. Participatory approaches are considered to be useful
instruments for increasing the productive efficiency of the agricultural and rural sector by
establishing a decentralized, bottom-up, demand-driven, and financially sustainable
technology development and dissemination system. By being decentralized, bottom-up, and
demand-driven, participatory approaches help (1) to meet region-specific requirements of
major production systems and farmers and hence region-specific institutional, agro-climatic,
and socioeconomic conditions and (2) to improve the effectiveness and financial
sustainability of the technology development and dissemination system by fostering a new
division of labor between government departments, the private sector, NGOs, farmers'
organizations, farmers' self help groups, and farmer associations, with greater accountability
to the farming community.
With regard to technology development under the DASP initiative, the demand-side reforms
were driven by the scope and dimension of the supply-side initiatives. The supply-side
reforms promoted technology development as an instrument to increase the use of
agricultural knowledge and to make new technologies more adaptable and appropriate to

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farming conditions. In order to control for farming conditions and to account for the needs of
farmers, the supply-side reforms of technology development were associated with demandside initiatives that institutionalized the participation of farmers in problem identification and
technology validation. The demand-side governance reforms in technology development
were mainly targeted toward location-specific agriculture, livestock, sericulture, and
horticulture.
The success of farmers' participation in technology development is dependent on the
existence of effective and strong linkages between farmers, research, and extension, which
ensured the effective communication of problems as well as solutions. To overcome
communication barriers between the different agents, DASP encouraged Krishi Vigyan
Kendras and extension agencies of the line departments to conduct on-farm research,
validation, and demonstration activities. Furthermore, DASP took measures to encourage the
participation of farmers in the development of technology through farmers' organizations,
farmers' self-help groups, commodity groups, and producers associations. The group
approach will benefit the underlying interest groups if it results in technology
recommendations that meet the conditions of a narrowly defined production environment
(Alex, Zijp, and Byerlee 2002) or promotes the more efficient and cost-effective utilization of
resources from economies of scale and scope.
Considering technology development under the NATP initiative, the program promoted
technology development via sponsored research on production systems, crosscutting
research, strategic (or upstream) research, and competitive grants research. The earlier section
on capacity building pointed to the existence of national and local research priority areas. The
local priority research themes controlled for local conditions that were identified by using
integrated participatory planning approaches, such as participatory rural appraisal schemes at
the zonal level. In comparison, the national priority research themes reflected the
accumulated experience of technical specialists for production systems research (scientific
advisory panels) and for other modes of research (research program committees), rather than
the experience of farmers as the end-users of technology developments. Turning to
technology dissemination, the DASP scheme emphasized demand-driven approaches to
stimulate the participation of farming communities in the identification of problem areas, in
decision-making, and in the implementation of proposed interventions.
Similar to the reforms in the technology development system, the reforms in the technology
dissemination system asked farmers to articulate their demands through farmers'

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organizations, self-help groups, commodity groups, and producer associations. The driving
force behind the mobilization of farmers were NGOs, which supported the establishment and
promotion of farmer interest groups in collaboration with the front line (district, block, and
village) extension workers of the line departments and the Krishi Vigyan Kendras. To this
end, NGOs and the front-line extension workers received training in financial management,
group dynamics, group management, participatory concepts, and leadership skills, among
others. While the technology development component of the NATP initiative contained
comparatively weak provisions for participatory action, technology dissemination was clearly
demand driven and bottom-up.
Extension accordingly involved participatory implementation processes at lower tiers of the
government (Reddy and Swanson 2006; Singh and Swanson 2006). The demand-side of the
technology dissemination system was predominantly defined at the block and village levels
through the institutional and operational setup of ATMA. Under this agency, programs at the
block level were implemented through a Farm Information and Advisory Center (FIAC),
which was operated by a Farmer Advisory Committee (FAC). The FAC hosted all key
stakeholders and farmer representatives. This institution's main task was to stimulate the
foundation of farmers' groups on the basis of a specific commodity or a general purpose at the
block and village level, in order (1) to strengthen the links of farmers to markets, credit, and
marketing services through better organization of farmers and (2) to make technology
dissemination and generation farmer driven and farmer accountable. The ultimate objective
behind the formation of farmers' organizations, commodity-oriented farmer interest groups,
farmers' cooperatives, self-help groups, or womens interest groups was to make farmers and
their organizations fully responsible for the technology system. In addition to the FAC,
NGOs supported the mobilization of farmers in voluntary informal interest groups. Farmer
interest groups are also formed to benefit from possible gains in operational efficiency,
possible reductions in the cost of cultivation through the collective purchase of inputs and
services, and the realization of scope economies.

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Chapter-4

Participatory Planning and Implementation in Technology Dissemination


Common to the reform programs discussed in section 3 is the belief that technology
dissemination needs to adopt a demand and user focus. To this end, technology dissemination
should build on principles of participatory planning and implementation. The DASP and
NATP program pursued this objective within the framework of the ATMA. Particular to the
ATMA is the strong emphasis on (1) private-sector participation in input supply and support
services, and (2) community participation in, for example, onfarm integrated pest
management and integrated plant nutrient management activities. According to the World
Bank (2004a; 2005a), ATMAs were very effective instruments for promoting participatory
planning and implementation.
The usefulness of the ATMA approach resulted from the underlying financial and operational
autonomy that facilitated decentralization in planning and implementation and collective
actions of farmers in the design and execution of technology development and dissemination.
At the core of participatory actions was the mobilization of farmers into commodity or
general-purpose groups. Within the framework of the NATP initiative, the adoption of the
ATMA model resulted in the organization of more than 10,800 crop- or product-based farmer
interest groups and 85 farmer associations and farmer federations. The organization of
farmers has contributed to the adoption of client focused and participatory approaches in the
formulation and implementation of agricultural policy programs. In comparison, the ATMA
model stimulated the organization of close to 20,000 self-help groups and 200 farmer field
schools involving more than 220,000 households under the DASP initiative. The organization
of farmers into self-help groups was considered to be an essential instrument for improving
the socioeconomic status and decision making role of farmers in general and of women in
particular on grounds of the large volume of the groups' internal savings. These were given
out as loans to group members for the purpose of financing short-cycle, income-generating
activities and social, medical, and critical consumption needs. Under the DASP and NATP
initiatives, the organization of farmers into interest or self-help groups was supported by line
departments, NGOs, and private-sector institutions. These improved the effectiveness and
sustainability of the technology dissemination system by providing training programs and
demonstrations on the main extension themes. The DASP initiative was judged to be

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successful in promoting private and third-sector participation and publicprivate partnerships
through policy and institutional reforms and changes in input supply mechanisms (cost
recovery schemes) and on-farm seed multiplication schemes, among others. In terms of
publicprivate partnerships, the DASP scheme successfully supported their operation in
agribusiness activities. At the end of the project implementation period, 125 food processing
and sale licenses were assigned to agroentrepreneurs. In comparison, the NATP program
encouraged the foundation of publicprivate partnerships in extension.
Capacity Building and Strengthening
Unfortunately, the lack of sound quantitative evidence makes it intrinsically difficult to assess
the effect of project implementation on the capacity of service providers and service users to
efficiently and effectively deliver or utilize extension services. The subsequent conclusions
about the human capital effect of the different programs are therefore descriptive. Under the
DASP and NATP programs, capacity building was inherent in ATMAs extensive training
and orientation program and the underlying Strategic Research Extension Plan. ATMA was
found to represent effective institutional and procedural setups for promoting the
collaboration of all major stakeholders. Collaboration broadened the human resource and
knowledge base in research and stimulated capacity building within line departments.
Regarding the NATP initiative, the World Bank (2005a) emphasized the role of ATMA as
the organizing entity of close to 2,500 exposure visits, nearly 32,000 demonstrations, and
12,000 training activities. The human capital gains arose from the outreach of the activities:
each of these activities respectively benefited 75,000, 88,000, and 400,000 farmers between
1999 and 2003. The Krishi Vigyan Kendras were a significant source of farmers' training at
the state level. During the project period, these agricultural science centers organized 9,082
training courses for 324,000 farmers. The DASP evaluation study was less specific on the
source of human capital gains. The study mentioned 10,158 field days for different crops as
the main initiative within which the agriculture and horticulture-related training of more than
263,000 farmers was accomplished. Under the NATP and DASP programs, training was
provided not only to farmers but also to extension workers. The NATP scheme resulted in the
training of more than 70,000 extension workers.
Important sources of training were the technology dissemination agency MANAGE at the
national level and SAMETIs at the state level. Together they provided training to more than
25,000 extension workers. In comparison, the Krishi Vigyan Kendras, at the state level,
organized 1,388 training courses for 45,324 field extension workers during the project period.

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Under the DASP, capacity strengthening occurred within line departments through an
extensive training and orientation program involving nearly 22,000 officials and extension
workers. The World Bank (2005a) highlighted differences in the performance of technology
dissemination agencies, with possible effects on the quality of the training activities. At the
national level, MANAGE was concluded to perform satisfactorily, given its strong role (1) in
training the ATMA directors and most of the district and block level extension staff, (2) in
establishing the state-level SAMETIs, and (3) in linking the NATP program components at
all government tiers through the design and implementation of an information technology
network.
The performance of MANAGE was found to critically depend on the commitment of the
leadership to the tasks at hand. Performance assessments of the SAMETIs suggest that those
associated with the state agricultural universities outperformed those associated with the state
Departments of Agriculture in terms of providing training and supporting the implementation
of the ATMA model. The differences in performance were attributed to dissimilarities in the
availability of and the access to research and extension resources. The overall performance of
the SAMETIs was concluded to be unsatisfactory. Although for a different reason, the
interdepartmental working groups also did not perform well. The main impeding factor was
the lack of responsibility in project implementation and the consequent absence of incentive
structures to monitor project activities.
Information and Communication Technology
The review of supply-side reforms points to the importance of ICTs as a means to increase
agricultural productivity and consequently agricultural and rural income. At least three
interdependent factors account for the positive effects (Annamalai and Rao 2003; Singh
2006). First, ICTs can improve the quality and availability of public and private services to
the rural poor. Benefits arise from re-orientating service provision from the supply to the
demand side, making it more responsive to the needs of the rural poor. Second, ICTs allow
services to be delivered to a large number of people at low variable costs, with consequent
efficiency gains in service provision. Third, ICTs increase the timely and transparent flow of
information between service providers and service users. This strengthens the ability of (1)
service providers to swiftly respond to the needs of the rural poor and of (2) service users to
demand the services they need and to monitor service delivery. Unfortunately, there are no
studies that rigorously test for or quantify the benefits of using ICTs. In fact, even the popular
and widely replicated ITC e-Choupal program has not been exposed to sound evaluation and

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impact assessment studies. While it is widely acknowledged that the e-Choupal system has
had a positive effect on the incomes of participating farmers, there are no quantitative
estimates of the magnitude of the effect or of the relative importance of individual factors as
sources of income gain. Income gains are at best identified on the basis of narrative evidence.
It is argued that gains accrue to farmers and the ITC from bypassing the intermediaries in
transactions related to the purchase of agricultural inputs and the sale of agricultural
commodities (Annamalai and Rao 2003). Intermediation becomes redundant since farmers
strike orders directly through e-Choupals. The incentive for doing so is high since the input
purchase costs are lower and the output sale price is higher. At the same time, the e- Choupal
provides nonfarm income to local entrepreneurs who gain commissions on the transactions
made through their kiosks.
The e-Choupal system also helps to improve agricultural productivity. Productivity
improvements are accomplished by providing timely and up-to-date access to information on
scientific farming and best practice methods, extension, farmer interaction forums, markets
and market prices, and weather conditions, among others. Moreover, productivity
improvements arise because e-Choupals are a platform for input suppliers to sell products and
services directly to the farmers and train the farmers on how to use them. In being a center of
information and communication flows, the e-Choupal system thus creates more transparency
for farmers. One objective of the NATP scheme was to develop a library and management
information system. The World Banks project evaluation report (2005a) positively assesses
the development of the NATP information systems. At the time of the performance
assessment, 70 percent of the institutes and 50100 percent of the scientists had access to a
computer facility. Scientists with computer access were found to use them. Out of the
projected 42 libraries, 39 had been computerized since the programs inception.
Furthermore, 310 research-executing institutes out of the projected 320 (including ICAR
institutes, state agricultural universities, NGOs) had local area networks, and 280 institutes
out of the projected 20 institutes were linked to the Internet. Major constraints in the effective
operation of the NATP information system were the limited bandwidth of the internet
connection and a decline in the amount spent on the ICT component. The NATP management
information system was formalized as the project information and management system, along
with an on-line componet called PIMSNET. The respective systems provided an overview of
NATP subprojects, agricultural research activities, institutions, and partners.

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Unfortunately, the project assessment report did not discuss the quality of the respective online entries.
Considering the development of the information and technology system under the DASP
scheme, the performance report documents little progress in the development of the ICT
system in Uttar Pradesh. At the core of the unsatisfactory performance was the
underutilization of funds allocated for technology development through the Uttar Pradesh
Agricultural Research Council. In Uttaranchal, ICT had been used successfully for the
development of a computerized financial management system, which promoted the timely
generation of summary sheet claims and accounting/fixed-assets records.

5. OBSTACLES TO REFORM IMPLEMENTATION


The implementation of reforms is subject to constraints that preclude the effective, efficient,
and sustainable implementation (rather than performance) of reform efforts. The constraints
usually involve political, managerial, or administrative resistance and regulatory barriers.
Considering the DASP initiative, different factors constrained project implementation in
Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal (World Bank 2004a). In Uttar Pradesh, project implementation
had a slow start given the stakeholders' unfamiliarity with procedures and concepts and the
time it took to build monitoring and evaluation capacity at the Agricultural Management
Center. Major obstacles to the swift implementation of the DASP were vested interests in line
departments that prevented the effective coordination of program components. According to
the World Bank (2004a), program implementation improved once line departments had
created a sense of responsibility and ownership for project implementation. Another obstacle
to reform implementation in Uttar Pradesh was the absence of adequate field level extension
of the program components, which constrained the dissemination of technologies down to the
grassroots level. At the core of the problem were the nonexistence of private and third-sector
institutions that could have supported extension and the establishment of farmers'
organizations and self-help groups.
In Uttaranchal, program implementation was impeded by the administrative and legal
complications that accompanied the creation of the state in 2000. In particular, the associated
bifurcation of Uttar Pradesh required the creation of a new set of administrative units suited
to the state's particular conditions and priorities. With regard to the NATP scheme, major
obstacles for the swift implementation of project components were established power and
top-down hierarchical relationships. The underlying traditional chains of command precluded

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the effective and responsive communication of organizational and managerial reforms. At the
same time, the hierarchical structures failed to create commitment among staff members to
implement any reformsa development that caused the reform process to be static rather
than dynamic. The consequent slowness of the reform process was amplified by the lack of
leadership at the reform-implementing entities. However, leadership is needed to overcome
vested power structures and traditional chains of command and to adopt recommendations for
improving the research and extension system in terms of monitoring, evaluation, and impact
assessment activities and institutional, operational, and managerial efficiency. Another
obstacle to swift reform implementation was the absence of qualified personnel for priority
setting, monitoring, evaluation, financial management, and impact assessment and the
reluctance of the reform-implementing entities to seek advice from reform-experienced
(international) agencies or to establish international partnerships. With respect to financial
management, the main problems concerned the existence of an initially rudimentary
accounting and reporting system and consequent weaknesses in bookkeeping, reporting and
documentation, reconciliation and control of the reform-implementing agencies (Sulaiman
and Sadmate 2000; World Bank 2005a).
The performance of the financial management system started to improve once the World
Bank enforced changes in financial management staffing and practices. Different
impediments to reform implementation prevailed for the Danida program initiatives. Danida
(2002) argued that program implementation was negatively affected by institutional conflicts,
which precluded an effective collaboration between farmwomens groups and local
government institutions (such as the Gram Panchayats). Besides institutional conflicts,
program implementation was also significantly affected by difficulties in the recruitment and
training of extension staff at all program stages. For example, the start of the MAPWA
project had to be postponed because of the unavailability of female agricultural graduates
who could be trained as extension workers. The consequent training of female science
graduates was more time and resource consuming. Unfilled female extension postings
indicate that recruitment problems persisted throughout the different project phases. The
WYTEP and TANWA projects in particular reported high vacancy rates for 33 extension
postings, with the recruitment problems being particularly severe in remote or less-developed
areas. The discrepancy between the desired and actual number of extension workers explains
why extension activities have not been carried out or implemented at a low scale in a
comparatively large number of taluks. Next to recruitment, another problem refers to the lack

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of transportation means, which hampered the connectivity of extension workers to villages.
This problem affected the implementation of all but the TEWA project. The strength of the
TEWA project in that respect can be attributed to the employment of village-based Lady
Village Agricultural Workers. The ICT projects faced severe constraints from poor telecom
infrastructure development at the village level. For example, the ITC e-Choupal system was
affected by slow and disruptive Internet connectivity due to slow and unreliable phone
connections and poorly maintained (overhead) landlines. Other sources of disruption
concerned the unreliability of electricity supply and power backup systems and operational
constraints from the inadequate maintenance and support of the equipment (computer,
printer, connection lines via either phone, among others). Critical factors in that respect were
public transportation constraints and poor road infrastructure. Characterized by infrequent
connections between villages and cities, transportation constraints put an upper bound on the
extent to which technical support and assistance could be swiftly provided (Annamalai and
Rao 2003).
6. PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS: METHODOLOGICAL CONSTRAINTS AND
KNOWLEDGE GAPS
As stated, the review of the existing literature was confined to reform initiatives that were
subject to impact evaluations, performance assessments, or both. The number of the
respective studies was low and confined to one evaluation study per program initiative.
Because this precludes cross-study comparisons of the performance of reform initiatives, the
results of performance assessments and the conclusions drawn critically depend on the
appropriateness of the evaluation methodology and the availability of data. Therefore, the
following section summarizes some methodological problems in existing program
performance assessments. The next section concludes by summarizing the major knowledge
gaps (partly attributable to the methodological limitations of the studies) that still prevail with
respect to (1) the real effects of agricultural research and extension reforms and (2) what
works, where, and why in improving agricultural extension services and in promoting
agricultural development.
Methodological Issues in Performance Assessments
Although there are many reform initiatives in the area of technology research and
dissemination in India, there are only a few studies that assess the performance and the
effects of the different programs. In addition, there is usually only one evaluation study per
program initiative. This, however, precludes assessments regarding the robustness of the

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results across different model specifications. Another factor that complicates the
interpretation of the existing evidence refers to the failure of the program assessment studies
(1) to control for the effects that are associated with the simultaneous implementation of other
development projects, (2) to address endogeneity problems, and (3) to identify the
mechanisms and institutions through which the project benefits can materialize. In addition to
these common limitations, there are also program-specific methodological problems in
performance assessments. The performance of the DASP and NATP programs was assessed
in terms of the economic and financial rate of return. Unfortunately, the DASP and NATP
evaluation studies do not provide information on the variables used and the assumptions
imposed in the computation of the return variables. It is therefore unclear whether the
performance studies report the marginal or average, private or social rate of return. The
distinction between the marginal and average rate of return is important because both
measures convey different information. The marginal rate of return reports the net benefit that
arises from investment in one additional unit of agricultural research or extension. It thus
provides information about the scope for expanding or contracting the level of agricultural
research and extension. In comparison, the average rate of return only answers whether
investment should or should not be carried out and compares the net benefits per unit of
investment over the project period with the net benefits from zero investment. The choice
between the private and social rate of return affects the economic rate of return in the
presence of market distortions like government interventions in commodity markets,
environmental externalities, and imperfect competition in markets with agribusiness firms
(Alston et al. 2000). In addition, the DASP and NATP assessment studies do not state
whether the projects rate of return considers the relative contribution of the project
subcomponents to aggregate income and productivity improvements. Assessments of the
relative importance of the project subcomponents would be useful, as financial resources
could be channeled toward program components that promise to have significant pro-poor
effects on income and productivity. In other words, the comparability of results across
different assessment studies for one program is complicated by the employment of different
methodologies. Besides these limitations, the rates of return estimates for the DASP and
NATP programs may not correctly reflect the benefits of the reform efforts because of
implementation and effectiveness lags (Alston et al. 2000). Investment in agricultural
research and technology dissemination takes time to be organized and implemented and to
become effective. Because both the DASP and the NATP are argued to have had slow starts

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(World Bank 2004a, 2005a) and given the time it takes for changes to fully work through the
system (including indirect effects), the full return on research and development may still have
had to materialize at the time of the performance assessment. As a consequence, the
estimated rates of return could be too low.
The NATP performance assessment suggests that districts that operated with the ATMA
scheme reported income growth of 21 percent, while those that did not grew by 5 percent.
The question yet to be answered is What factors lay behind the non-ATMA income growth of
5 percent, and do these factors interfere with the ATMA determinants of income growth?
What is the net contribution of ATMA to income growth if one accounts for the factors that
influence income growth in non-ATMA districts? It might not be equal to 16 percent (that is,
21 percent less 5 percent, if ATMA growth is affected by non- ATMA factors. Furthermore,
do the income gains equally accrue to small, marginal, and large farmers? Another limitation
concerns the absence of target/benchmark values against which the performance of the
initiatives can be compared. Even if the programs have positive income effects, the question
is whether the income gains are consistent with expectations. Still another limitation concerns
the assessment of human capital development.
The NATP and DASP programs are deemed to be successful, given the organization of a
large number of different training courses for a large number of farmers and extension
workers. One may wonder whether information on the number of beneficiaries provides a
reliable view on human capital development, as this variable does not contain information on
the quality of training. In addition, the underlying numbers only provide a reliable view on
human capital development if (1) the composition of farmers and extension workers differs
between training programs (in other words, training is open to all farmers and extension
workers) and (2) the course content differs between training units. If these conditions are not
met, the statistics double count beneficiaries and the actual number of trained farmers and
extension workers would be smaller. While the World Bank (2004a, 2005a) is largely silent
on the methodological problems inherent to the performance assessment of the DASP and
NATP programs, the Danida (2002) impact assessment report emphasizes the shortcomings
of the underlying analysis. Danida (2002) acknowledges that the project impact assessment
faced constraints from the lack of adequate baseline data. In order to gain a view on the
impact of and the benefits from project implementation, the impact assessment employed
information from trained farmwomen. Danida (2002) expresses concerns regarding the
reliability of the corresponding answers. In addition to the subjectivity of the answers, the

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impact assessment was also influenced by attribution or causality problems. For example, the
study did not distinguish between the effects associated with village-based training and high
female literacy. Similar to the performance assessment of programs, the performance
evaluation of service providers (Sulaiman and Sadmate 2000) is also subject to limitations. In
line with the previous assessments, the evaluation study of Sulaiman and Sadmate (2000)
presents tentative results, as it does not compare the performance of different extension
service providers against a benchmark that depicts the optimal or desired levels of
expenditure, contact intensity, and technical manpower.

Knowledge Gaps
Given the existing methodological constraints and the small number of evaluation studies,
major knowledge gaps prevail with respect to (1) the real effects of research and extension
reforms, and (2) what works, where, and why. This section discusses knowledge gaps in the
area of identification, theoretical foundations, and equity and efficiency in more detail.
Identification Problems: The performance and impact assessments of reform initiatives ask
whether the pursued program activities successfully promote agricultural and rural
development and empower women and disadvantaged groups. In most instances, the answer
is likely to be biased as it does not filter or identify the (indirect) effects associated with the
simultaneous implementation of other development projects. For example, we cannot tell to
what extent the 19992005 NATP influenced the performance of the 19932005 MAPWA
project in Madhya Pradesh. Identification problems not only prevail among projects but also
within projects, if they consist of several interacting subcomponents. Project performance
then depends on the relative importance of the individual project subcomponents and their
interaction. Unfortunately, there are pronounced knowledge gaps regarding the relative
importance of the individual project subcomponents for the aggregate reform effect. The
knowledge gaps are attributable to the lack of empirical evidence and to the absence of
theoretical foundations that guide the agricultural sector reform process and identify the
channels through which individual reform components affect the agricultural and rural
sectors. Agricultural reform initiatives mainly emphasize strategies that are assumed to be
effective on the grounds of sheer beliefs and common perceptions.
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Equity Considerations
Given the literature review, it appears that substantial knowledge gaps also prevail with
respect to the optimum mode of service provision. In order to decide on the optimum method

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of service delivery, one requires information about the dimension of market failures and
government failures. For example, public financing for efficiency or equity reasons may not
work for poor people in environments with significant market and government failures. The
World Bank (2004b) points out that private (public) provision and financing is the preferred
option when government (market) failures are the dominant source of disturbances. The
argument is that government (market) failures cause public (nonpublic) service provision to
be cost inefficient, ineffective, ill targeted, or all three. If this is true, the question that still
needs to be answered refers to the mechanisms that need to be in place to enforce efficient,
effective, and equitable nonpublic (public) service provision in the presence of government
(market) failures. Common to the existing reform initiatives is the view that the public sector
is less effective and efficient in the provision of agricultural extension services and less
willing and less able to respond to the extension needs of farmers, compared with the private
and third sectors.
The reviewed reform programs therefore emphasize the importance of the private and third
sector and of publicprivate and public-third sector partnerships in service provision.
Unfortunately, the reform programs do not systematically evaluate the role of partnerships as
service providers and do not qualify or quantify the factors that account for the success or
failure of private and third-sector participation in service provision. Knowledge of these
issues is, however, required in order to maximize the synergy effects of providing
multidimensional extension services and to encourage nonpublic service provision in areas in
which government failures in service provision are particularly pronounced. The need for
targeted public private and publicthird-sector partnerships is particularly evident if one
considers the large financial stakes inherent to nonpublic service provision: the 2005 budget
stipulates that 10 percent of the budget for recurring activities at the district level is allocated
to private-sector parties (India, Ministry of Agriculture 2005). Furthermore, the literature
argues that the shift from public supply-driven (costless) to private demand-driven (feebased) extension services could improve the allocative efficiency and cost effectiveness of
Indias agricultural extension system. The gains would accrue if the active involvement of the
private and public sectors promotes the diversification of institutional structures and
improvements in management decision support systems. Furthermore, the private- and thirdsector involvement would allow for better-targeted services if the provision of fee-based
private- and third-sector services frees public financial resources, which are then used to
improve the quality of existing public services, especially for those small and marginal

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farmers that cannot afford private extension services. Again, these relationships are
hypothetical. There are no systematic and empirically sound studies that discuss the income
distribution (equity) and cost-effectiveness effects of private- and third-sector service
provision. Closely related is the lack of knowledge regarding the factors that enforce the
commitment of senior managers and extension workers to structural and institutional changes
in service provision. Knowledge of these factors is important because it helps to define the
structural setup of reforms in line with the possibilities inherent to the existing environment.

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Chapter-5
CONCEPT AND OPERATION OF AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY
MANAGEMENT AGENCIES (ATMAs)
In order to address the key constraints faced by extension system in the country with
respect to reducing capacity of public extension services, its lack of decentralized and
demand driven focus, the Innovations in Technology Dissemination component of National
Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) was implemented in seven States in the country
namely, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Maharashtra and
Punjab through four project districts in each State. This component aimed at pilot testing
new institutional arrangements for technology dissemination at district level and below in
order to move towards an integrated extension delivery. The project process involved
adopting bottom up planning procedures for setting the research and extension agency in
order to make the technology dissemination farmer driven and farmer accountable. The
extension delivery was oriented towards group approach catering to the location specific
requirement of the farmers. Gender concerns have been given adequate emphasis under the
project. To operationalize the above reform initiatives under ITD - NATP an Agricultural
Technology Management Agency (ATMA) has been established in each district as an
autonomous institution providing flexible working environment involving all the stakeholders
in project planning and implementation.
Recently Policy Committee of the scheme decided representative of Growers
Association/ Federation, Industry and Trade be nominated as a member of the Governing
Board of ATMA. The ATMA is a unique district level institution, which caters to activities
in agriculture and allied departments adopting a Farming System Approach. It can receive
funds directly (Government of India/States, Membership fees, beneficiaries contribution etc).
Local research and extension priorities are set through Strategic Research and Extension
Plans (SREPs) which are developed by using participatory methodologies such as
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA). ATMA is be supported by a Governing Board (GB) and
a Management Committee (MC). In order to manage programme implementation at block
level and below, ATMA has established a Farm Information and Advisory Centre (FIAC) at
each block in the district. In effect the FIACs acts as extension planning and operational arm
of ATMA. These are supported by two groups; one, a group of technical officers at block
derived from different functional areas termed as Block Technology Team (BTT), whereas,

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Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
the others is a Farmers Advisory Committee (FAC) which is a body exclusively of farmers.
While BTT develops the Block Action Plans (BAPs) in light of the SREP and is responsible
for its implementation, the FAC plays a more proactive role by scrutinizing, improving and
approving BAPs, before these are referred to the ATMA GB for its final approval.
Commodity oriented Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) are promoted at block/village level to
make the technology generation/dissemination farmer driven and farmer accountable. These
Village level FIGs are ultimately federated at block/district level and represented in FACs
and GB. In order to address the extension needs of these groups, ATMA has established
close linkages with various players operating at cutting edge level viz. public, private, NGOs,
Para extension workers, input dealers, etc. In order to provide needed HRD support in
innovative areas of extension delivery a State Agricultural Management and Extension
Training Institute (SAMETI) has been established either by strengthening one of the existing
apex training institute in the state or by creating a new SAMETI in a State Agricultural
University (SAU). Project activities, at state level are closely monitored by an Inter
Departmental Working Group (IDWG) functioning under Chairmanship of APC or Secretary
(Agriculture) of the state. A Project Implementation Cell (PIC) created at the State
Headquarter level provides support to the IDWG.

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ORGANIZATIONAL

STRUCTURE

OF

AGRICULTURAL

TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (ATMA)

ATMA GOVERNING BOARD (GB)


ATMA is supported by Governing Board (GB) and Management Committee (MC).
The Governing Board is a policy making body and provide guidance as well as review the
progress and functioning of the ATMA.
1.

District Magistrate / Collector

Chairman

2.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Chief

Vice-Chairman

Development Officer (CDO)


3.

Joint Director / Deputy Director (Agri.)

Member

4.

A representative from ZRS/ Krishi Vigyan

Member

Kendra
5.

One Farmer representative

Member

6.

One Livestock Producer

Member

7.

One Horticulture Farmer

Member

8.

One Representative of Growers Association/


Federation

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Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
9.

Representative of Women Farmers Interest

Member

Group
10.

One SC / ST farmer representative

Member

11.

A representative of NGO

12.

Lead Bank Officer of the District

Member

13.

A representative of District Industrial Center

Member

14.

Representative of Agriculture Marketing

Member

Board
15.

Representative of input supplying

Member

Associations
16.

One Fisheries / Sericulture representative

Member

17.

Project Director ATMA

MemberSecretary-cumtreasurer (Exofficio)

Appointment / Nomination / Term of Members:

Non-official members of GB are appointed for a period of 2 years by APC on the


recommendation of the Chairman of GB.

Some initial appointments are staggered to ensure that about two-thirds of the
members are carried over for an additional year on the GB.

Thirty per cent of the farmer representatives on the GB are reserved for women
farmers to ensure their interests are fully represented.

The key functions of ATMA Governing Board are to:


1.
2.

3.
4.
5.

Review and approve Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP) and annual action
plans that are prepared and submitted by the participating units.
Receive and review annual reports presented by the participating units, providing
feedback and direction to them as needed, for various research and extension
activities being carried out within the district.
Receive and allocate project funds to carry out priority research, extension and related
activities within the district.
Foster the organization and development of Farmers Interest Groups (FIGs) and
Farmers Organizations (FOs) within the district.
Facilitate the greater involvement of private sector and firms and organizations in
providing inputs, technical support, agro-processing and marketing services to
farmers.

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Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

11.
12.

Encourage agriculture lending institutions to increase the availability of capital to


resource poor and marginal farmers, especially SC, ST and women farmers.
Encourage each line department, plus the KVK and ZRS, to establish farmer advisory
committees to provide feedback and input into their respective R-E Programmes.
Enter into contracts and agreements as appropriate to promote and support
agricultural development activities within the district.
Identify other sources of financial support that would help ensure the financial
sustainability of the ATMA and its participating units.
Establish revolving funds / accounts for each participating unit, and encourage each
unit to make available technical services, such as artificial insemination or soil testing,
on a cost recovery basis moving towards full cost recovery in a phased manner.
Arrange for the periodic audit of ATMAs financial accounts; and
Adopt and amend the rules and by-laws for the ATMA.

ATMA MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (MC)


The Management Committee is responsible for planning and executing the day-to-day
activities of ATMA.
Composition:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Project Director of Agriculture Technology Management


Agency
District Head of Dept., Agri.
District Head of Dept., Horticulture
District Head of Dept., Animal Husbandry
District Head of dept. Fisheries
District Head of Dept. Sericulture

Chairman
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member

To be effective and to remain relevant in the years to come, the state extension departments
should initiate the following structural reforms in the organization.
Strengthen its understanding on matters with respect to technology, markets, prices, demand
and policies. Departments have to either recruit specialists or have to hire the services of
professionals in these areas.
Recruit better qualified staff - States have to initiate (as Punjab has done) measures to
ensure that, the minimum essential qualification for an extension staff should be a graduation
in agriculture. In total the states employ some 1,10,000 extension staff of whom presently
only around 20 percent are graduates.
Improve social science skills of extension personnel. Apart from technical skills, "extension

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Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
personnel needs several social science skills with respect to need assessment, group
formation, negotiation, conflict resolution, mobilisation, management of CPRs, use of IT,
data collection, analysis and documentation" ( Farrington ,J, Suresh Pal, Rasheed Sulaiman
V(1998) Improving the Effectiveness of Agricultural Research and Extension in India, Policy
Paper 8, NCAP. New Delhi).
Increase the allocation for operational expenditure. "Allocation of operating expenses in
State Departments of Agriculture is around 15% whereas a fully functional extension system
should have 30-35% of its total expenses as operational expenses"( Swanson,B(1996)
Innovations in Technology Dissemination Component of NATP, (Prepared for Ministry of
Agriculture), Delhi.
Decentralize the operations of the department and provide flexibility to field level officers
to decide appropriate extension programs. Initiate activities for developing Strategic Research
and Extension Plans in all the districts to be followed up with Block level plans.
Improve the capabilities of extension managers-Extension managers need skills to operate
effectively in the pluralistic extension environment. They need to know, how their
organization can do better or cheaper than other organizations?, how can it co-operate with
other actors in this system to provide all farmers better knowledge to survive and succeed in a
competitive society?; and how to create the social climate for a successful learning
organization? The main challenge for an extension manager would be managing the process
of change in extension. A series of training programs have to be initiated to provide these
skills.
Future
As discussed earlier, the role of agricultural extension in the next decade should be quite
different from what it was 10 years ago or even now. Its role as a facilitator of agricultural
knowledge system would only increase, as more participants from private sector would get
involved in extension. It is likely that input related extension (seed, fertilizer, machines and
chemicals) would move to private sector in the future. The public sector extension would still
continue to be the major extension provider in most parts of the country as the private sector
alone would not be able to meet even partially the varied needs of farmers. The ability of the
system to perform these roles would entirely depend on the pace of internal reforms, the
system would undergo. Experience the world over is that it is easy to change farmers than to
change government agencies. Internal reforms are thus going to be the greatest challenge for
the Indian Extension System.

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Chapter-6
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION EDUCATION
Introduction
The worlds populations in the underdeveloped countries are living the life of poverty. This
area encompasses South-east Asia, Africa and Middle East. These countries were for many
years/centuries under foreign rule and subjected to exploitation. As a result, state of
ignorance, superstitions, unhealthy environment and illiteracy took roots in these countries.
India is also one of these countries, which was under foreign rule. In India, 60% people are in
the grip of poverty and about 67% people are illiterate. Population, in India is increasing
continuously and land ratio per person is decreasing. The total land area of India is 143
million hectares of which 108 million hectares is dependent on annual rainfall and from this
type of dry land only 42% of total agricultural production is produced. In such critical
conditions an all-round development of people is a tough task. But, through the medium of
Extension Education it has become a slightly easier task.
The Goal of Extension Education is an all-round development of rural people.
There are certain other questions, which come to the minds of the students. They are:
(i) What is Extension Education?
(ii) When and where did it originally begin?
(iii) What were the circumstances responsible for it?
The word Extension was first time used in Britain in 1840 in the form of University
Extension or Extension of the University. In 1850, William Sewell of Britain used it in his
report entitled suggestions for the extension of the university. But, this word was first used
in a practical way by James Stuart of Trinity College, Cambridge University in 1867-68,
when he was addressing Women Association and Working Mens Clubs of North England.
Again in 1871, he appealed to the officials of the Cambridge University to establish extension
centres under the supervision of university, so that these centres can be used as a platform to
deliver lecture to the people. His effort in this field was responsible for him being called
Father of University Extension. In a formal way, Cambridge University in 1873, London
University in 1876 and Oxford University in 1878 developed extension system, which
worked among people. In 1880, his work came to be known as Extension movement . In
the eighth decade of the 19th century, the word Extension was used in the form of Extension

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Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
education in U.S.A. The reason was that in the latter half of the 19th century rural people had
started migrating to urban areas. This led to two major problems in U.S.A.:
(i) due to the migration of rural people to cities, the agriculture suffered a setback, and
(ii) the increase of urban population created education, employment and housing related
problems.
It was due to the fact that industrial development is not possible without agricultural
development so, maximum people must live in the villages and help in the agricultural
development. County commission in its report stated that firstly, there is vast difference
between rural and urban life and this should be lessened. It further stated that the standard of
living of rural people can be uplifted permanently only when they themselves make an effort
in this direction. Secondly, in order to encourage people to take initiative, it is prerequisite
that the change in the field of knowledge, understanding, skill and attitude should be brought
about. In order to implement the above recommendations educational work has to be taken
upon. Therefore, county commission recommended the establishment of an institution, which
can organize out of school education. Keeping this in mind Smith Leaver Act (1914) was
passed and this Act led to the integration of cooperative extension service according to which
out of school education was organized. As a result, rural people were able to bring about
developments and progress in farming and housing. This type of education comes to be
known as Agricultural Extension Education.
Why Extension? In reality it is seen that what was applicable in the past is obsolete at
present and likewise it can be said that techniques and methods prevalent at present cannot be
applied in future. The nature of problem is changing day by day, therefore, in order to
scientifically tackle new problems, it is necessary that there should be such an institution,
which should act as a bridge between scientists and farmers, it should introduce new
techniques to the farmers and address the problems of farmers to the scientists.
Research Centre Extension Personnel Problems of People.
Such an institution, which mediates between farmers and scientists was established and is
called Extension system. The people working in this institution are called Extension
personnel
Why Study Extension? It is more important to lay emphasis on How to teach instead of on
What to teach so that the people can be encouraged to adopt new research techniques
easily. In other words, if a person is very knowledgeable of various methods and techniques

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Dr. S. R. Singh, Course Instructor
but does not know how to explain them or express them, then his knowledge has no meaning.
Therefore, the power to express knowledge and viewpoint also plays a crucial role.
Extension Personnel should not only be aware of objectives and programmes but should also
be aware of prevalent conditions, problems, requirements and circumstances. After analysing,
the situation the extension personnel should give information about scientific techniques, so
that the people according to their needs and requirements can adopt them. Therefore, the
study of extension education is necessary for extension personnel, so that they can encourage
the adoption of new techniques.
Meaning of Extension Education: Various Scientists have defined the term Extension
according to their interest, experience and training. This term was first used in a customary
way in U.S.A. Afterwards it was used by many countries. Extension education is used in
various fields, such as Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Dairy, Veterinary, Health, Home
Science, Industry, Cooperative and Forestry. Now, Extension Education is included in the
syllabus of Graduate and Post-Graduate classes. Therefore, it is necessary to understand basic
concept of Extension Education for those who are associated with it in some way or the other.
To fully understand the nature of extension education, it is important to study various
definitions given by different scholars.
Definitions:
(1) Extension education is an applied science consisting of content derived from research,
accumulated field experiences and relevant principles drawn from the behavioural science
synthesised with useful technology into a body of philosophy, principles, content and
methods focussed on the problems of out of school education for adults and youth. J.P.
Leagans (1961)
(2) Extension education is the process of teaching rural people how to live better by learning
ways that improve their farm, home and community institutions J.P. Leagans (1961)
(3) Extension work is an out of school system of education in which adult and young people
learn by doing. It is partnership between the Govt. and the people, which provides service and
education designed to meet the people. Its fundamental objective is the development of the
people. Kelsey and Harne (1963)
(4) Extension is a programme and a process of helping village people to help themselves,
increase their production and to raise their general standard of living. D. Ensminger (1961)
(5) We can define Extension as the increased dissemination of useful knowledge for
improving rural life. H.W. Butt (1961)

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(6) Extension is a two-way channel; it brings scientific information to the village people, and
also takes the problems of the village people to the scientific institution for solution. It is a
continuous educational process, in which both learner and teacher contribute and receive.
B. Rambhai (1958)
Extension Education at a Glance: What is Extension Education The following points
have to be kept in mind to understand it.
(1) It is a system in which youth both male and female, adult people and women are
encouraged to work for their own development and prosperity.
(2) Extension Education is an informal system of education for all rural people.
(3) Extension Education brings required change among the people of rural area.
(4) Extension Education helps only those people who are prepared to help themselves.
(5) It educates people as to how to achieve their target.
(6) Extension Education educates people through learning by doing and seeing is
believing.
(7) Extension Education is a two-way system of education. It brings scientific knowledge
to the rural people and conveys the problems of rural people to the scientific
institution for solution.
(8) Extension Education works together with the rural people, and thereby helps people to
bring prosperity to their home, family, society, community and country.
(9) Extension Education helps in personality development, raising standard of living of
people, developing local leaders and development of society and country.
(10) Extension Education is a continuous educational process, which goes on between
teachers and learners. In this both teacher and learner benefit and learn from each other.
Concept of Extension Educational Process: Extension is a continuous educational process.
Primarily, in an effective extension education programme, the following five stages are
included (Leagans 1971):
1. Study of situation and problemAt this stage Extension Personnel should collect all
information about farmers, i.e., farmers education, interest, requirement, way of thinking,
viewpoint and social status. Information related to physical condition, i.e., type of soil, types
of land, market, cropping method, size of land, family status, community service,
communication facilities etc. should be collected and study of local, social, national and

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international problems should also be undertaken. Extension Personnel should analyse these
factors on the basis of What they are and What they ought to be. Only after analysing all
these problems the solution should be considered.
2. Objectives and solutionAt this stage, objectives of Extension Education should be
according to above-mentioned requirements. In drafting the objectives the Extension
Personnel should keep in mind the following points:
(i) Objectives should be limited and extremely important.
(ii) Participation of rural people should be compulsorily included.
(iii) Objectives should be able to bring about desired change in human behaviour.
3. Teaching plan of workThere are two main points in this third stage: (i) What should be?
and (ii) How it should be? In this stage, extension methods should be selected and all the
conditions necessary for learning process should be created so that the people can easily learn
it to solve their problem and bring about change in their behavior. How the Extension
Personnel selects the extension methods will reflect his true capabilities and worth.
4. EvaluationAt this stage, all the work done until now is evaluated and it is seen that
whether the objectives were properly chosen and how they are executed. From this we can
figure out whether we are going in right direction or not. The success and failure of extension
educational program depends on this stage of evaluation. The facts should be analysed
without any bias during evaluation.
Difference between Extension Education (Informal Education) and Formal Education
S.No.

Extension

Education

(Informal Class room Education (Formal

Education)
1.

Education)

It is an informal education. It has no 1. It is a formal education. It has a


definite

syllabus.

There

is

no definite syllabus. After completing

examination, and no degree or other the syllabus, students have to appear


certificate

is

given

participating student.

to

the in

an

examination

evaluation;
certificates

the
are

and

after

degrees

and

awarded

to

the

student.

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2.

The work of extension education is Institutional Education has a definite


according to the needs of the people program and do not run according to
and availability of resources.

3.

In it, the problems of the people are 3. In it the problems of the student
solved by the people.

4.

are solved by the teacher.

People involved are of different age Students are of same age and the
and abilities.

5.

the needs of the student

same qualification.

Teaching is according to the interest Here, teaching is according syllabus.


of the of the learner.

6.

The field of extension education Its area is limited in the institution


being related to farms and villages is only.
unlimited.

7.

The rural people learn with their In it, the students have to learn
own desire.

8.

The presence of the rural people is The presence of the student is


voluntary.

9.

compulsory.

In extension education the teacher In it, the teacher, only instruct the
also learns from the learner.

10.

compulsorily.

student.

By extension education the human In the institutional education, only


behaviour is changed.

the

knowledge

of

student

is

increased.

5. ReconsiderationIf our evaluation results indicate that our aim and objectives are not
fulfilled and that we have to do the work again than we should repeat educational
process from first step to the last step.
In this way, the extension educational process continuously goes on till the all-round
development of people is achieved.
Objectives of Extension Education: The main aim of Extension Education is to bring about
all-round development of rural people. In this all-round development educational, social,
economic and political developments are included. The first aim of Extension Education is to
bring change in the behaviour, in work capacity and in attitude in wider context. The second
aim of Extension Education like social, economic and political change is automatically

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achieved by bringing about above mentioned educational changes. How to achieve this aim is
known as objectives. In this context the objectives of Extension Education are as following:
(1) To increase the net income of farmers by more production and proper marketing system.
(2) To raise the standard of living of rural people.
(3) Development of rural areas.
(4) To increase the facilities for social, cultural and entertainment programs for rural people.
(5) To develop rural leadership.
(6) To develop the feeling of self-dependence among rural people.
(7) To provide educational and health facilities in rural areas.
(8) To develop feeling of patriotism and love for society by developing civic sense among
rural people.
(9) To encourage rural people to participate in community program.
(10) To train rural youth for development works.
Philosophy of Extension Education: The word philosophy is derived from two Greek words
Philos and Sophia. Philos means knowledge and Sophia means manner. In this way the
correct meaning of philosophy is the manner of achieving the knowledge. Extension
education is beneficial aspect of life, which besides being organized, calm and peaceful is
welfare oriented. Philosophy of extension education encourages a person to bring about his
own development and that of society through his own leadership and motivation by following
scientific approach and democratic ways. It further states that the interest of the community
should not suffer because of personal interest. In other words philosophy of extension
education considers development and progress of individual as a foundation for the
development and prosperity of the family, society and the country.
D. Ensminger (1961) has described the philosophy of Extension in the following ways:
1. It is an educational process. Extension wants to change the knowledge, attitudes,
understanding and skill of the people.
2. Extension is working with men, women, youths, boys and girls to answer their needs and
their wants. Extension is teaching people what to want and ways to satisfy their wants.
3. Extension is helping people to help themselves.
4. Extension is working on the basis of learning by doing and seeing.
5. Extension wants development of individuals, their leaders, their society and their world as
a whole.
6. Extension is working together to expand the welfare and happiness of the people.

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7. Extension is working in harmony with the culture of the people.
8. Extension is a two-way channel process.
9. Extension is a continuous educational process.
Principles of Extension Education: Specifically, the principles of extension education
means doing those works, which are essential for the success of extension philosophy or
those approaches, which are needed to be successful in the philosophy. Principles of
extension education are simple, easy, educative and moral. Generally principles of extension
are as follows:
1. Principle of need and interestExtension work is self-educative process. To make
extension work more effective, it is necessary that it should be done according to peoples
needs and interest. Extension worker should take notice of local peoples needs. As this will
generate interest of the people which in turn will lead to their cooperation in extension work
2. Principle of cooperation and participationPrinciple of cooperation and participation is
very important in extension education. Ultimately without the cooperation of people the work
cannot be successful and desired result cannot be achieved. The first task of extension
education is the cooperation of people and their participation in work. People should realise
that the task of extension education is their own task. Participation in extension work
generates confidence among people for the work. It is not essential that all the members of
the society should participate but extension worker should try for maximum participation of
people.
3. Principle of cultural differenceRural people have high faith in traditional customs and
values. Therefore, extension worker should be aware of what the rural people know, Think
and also about their belief. Cultural changes should be gradual and in accordance with the
cultural status of people. It is very difficult to achieve success in extension work by
neglecting their views and cultural behaviour.
4. Principle of applied science and democratic approachExtension Education is based
upon democratic principles. It is based on discussions and suggestions. Discussions are held
with the people on actual condition so that they participate in work. Extension worker
provide practical look to the scientific inventions so that farmers can easily adopt them in
their farm.
5. Principle of learning by doingAccording to this principle farmers are encouraged to
learn by doing the work themselves and by participating themselves. When a person does a
work he gains practical knowledge and experiences the difficulties. Extension worker is able

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to understand the problems and provide proper guidance to the farmers and thus, they are able
to receive proper information.
6. Principle of trained specialistsIt is very difficult that extension personnel should be
knowledgeable about all problems. Therefore, it is necessary that specialists should impart
training to the farmers from time to time.
7. Adaptability principles in use of extension teaching methodsExtension worker should
have knowledge of extension methods so that they can select proper method according to the
condition. Teaching methods should be flexible so that they can be properly applied on
people according to then age groups, educational background, economic standard and gender.
In extension education two or more methods should be applied according to principle of
adaptability.
8. Principle of leadershipThe participation or inclusion of local leaders in extension
programmes is the only criteria for assessing the success or failure of any extension work.
Local leader is the best medium for dissemination of new ideas in rural area. According to
Ensminger. No Extension worker can be successful till he receives the cooperation of local
leader of the village. It is very necessary for extension worker to select the proper leader. By
selecting a proper leader, extension workers half work is considered to be done as such,
proper precautions should be undertaken to choose the leader.
9. Principle of whole familyIn Extension Education, principle of whole family is of utmost
importance. Family is a part of the community, so there should be development of each
member of the family and extension education should be for each and every member of the
family, i.e., boys, girls, male and female, then only success can be achieved.
10. Principle of satisfactionIf people are not interested in extension work then there is no
possibility that extension work can be carried on for a long time. In a democratic
structure/set-up people cannot be run in a mechanized way. They should derive full
satisfaction from extension work. Extension worker should give priority to those work in
which there is scope for immediate benefits. Primary satisfaction is very helpful for the future
of extension work.
11. Principle of evaluationIt is necessary to evaluate the extension work after a certain
period so that merits and demerits of extension work can come to light and necessary changes
be brought about. Evaluation generates confidence in people.

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12. Principle of neutralityExtension worker should never take interest in local politics. If
he will not behave in this manner then lots of difficulties in extension work will arise.
Therefore, remaining neutral is more beneficial. Extension worker should never
express his special affection or hatred towards any person.
13. Principle of encouragementIn extension work, principles of encouragement have great
importance. Under pressure no work can be done in extension programme, for this
active workers in this field should be encouraged so that they participate and
enthusiastically remain active.
Qualities and Role of Extension Worker:
1. Sound knowledge of subject
2. Burning desire for new knowledge
3. Explicitness
4. Tactful
5. Foresightedness
6. Sympathetic attitude
7. Service attitude
8. Attractive personality
9. Faith in program
10. Enthusiasm
11. Courage
12. Tolerance
13. Honesty
14. Simple living
15. Friendly nature
16. Firm determination
17. Religious outlook
18. Organizing capacity
19. Dignity of labour
20. Knowledge of rural social values
Role of Extension Worker: The role of extension worker while living among rural people is
to bring necessary change in individual and collective behaviour and motivating them. For
this, extension worker is required to have knowledge about psychological factors, extension

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related training and technological knowledge. In performing his duties an extension worker
has to perform work enumerated:
1. To create motivation and feeling
2. Knowledge of local felt need
3. Precedence of instant needs
4. To create self-belief in rural people
5. Emphasis on self-dependence
6. To develop the close relations between research centre and agricultural farm
7. Full use of present local resources
8. Plan for all-round development
9. Reconstruction of village
10. Change in social attitude
Important Concepts of Extension Education: A concept is an abstraction from observed
events or a short hand representation of variety of facts. The purpose of concept is to
simplify thinking by sub summing a number of events under general one heading. Concept
is an idea, general notion or way in which one can see a thing in his mind. In more general,
concept means assigning meaning to the words. Some important concepts of extension
education are presented below:
1. Extension - The word extension is mostly used for Extension Education.
2. The basic concept of Extension is that it is Education - Means production of desirable
change in human behaviour, which includes knowledge, attitude and skill.
3. Extension Work - It means the whole structure of Extension work. It includes the process
of Extension Education i.e. the process of teaching and learning. Besides the process, in
extension work are included organization, administration, supervision, finances as well as the
programs for the overall development.
4. Extension Service - It means an organization and/or a programme for the welfare and
development, which employs the extension educational process for the implementation of
programme. It is thus same as that of extension work except that in extension service there
has been greater emphasis on service.
5. Extension Job - The job of extension in agriculture and home science is to assist people
engaged in farming and home-making to utilize their own resources more effectively and
those that are available to them, in solving the current problems and in meeting the changing
economic and social conditions.

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6. Extension Educational Process - The extension process is working with the people with
their immediate needs and interests, which can make available additional occupation, make
improvement in the socio-economic status, better home-management and expedite welfare of
the rural people.
7. Methods of Education - Education must be conceived as a life long learning process.
Human beings learn mainly by three methods; (i) Through informal education; (ii) formal
education; and (iii) non-formal education.
8. Technology assessment for sustainable agriculture and rural development is defined here
as a comprehensive approach to examine the actual or potential impact of technology
applications on certain sustainability issues and second order consequences and to facilitate
the development and use of technological interventions according to location-specific
constraints and objectives.
9. Technology transfer was taken to mean a system under which various inter-related
components of technology, namely, hardware (materials such as a variety), software
(technique,

know-how,

information),

humanware

(human

ability),

orgaware

(organizational, management aspects) and the final product (including marketing) are
rendered accessible to the end-users (farmers).
10. Appropriate technology: Appropriate technology refers to a technology package, which
must be technically feasible, economically viable, socially acceptable, environment-friendly,
consistent with household endowments, and relevant to the needs of farmers. Technologies
are subject to adjustment, change and evolution.
11. Sustainability: The underlying definition is the one adopted by the FAO in 1988,
sustainable development is the management and conservation of the natural resource base,
and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as to ensure the
attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations.

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CPAPTER-7

History of Extension Work in India


About 80% population of the world is living in the economically undeveloped area. This area
is spread to Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East. These countries are those, which
remained under subjugation till centuries, and their administration system was only for
exploitation. Therefore, many evils such as illiteracy, superstitions, unhealthy practices etc.
took roots in these countries. After Second World War these countries became independent
rapidly. Then, it was thought that how all these problems could be settled properly and so,
many development programs were reinvigorated. It is wrong to declare that there was nothing
done during slavery period. Howsoever, those works, which were executed at that time, were
very few in number according to the needs. Looking at a vast country like India, during
British rule some selected social workers had started some programs of rural development. In
this chapter we shall study the programs of rural development. For the clarity in study, we
can divide these Development Programs in two parts: Pre-Independence Programs, and PostIndependence Programs
Pre-Independence Programs
In the 19th century, many efforts were held to end the difficulty of rural loaning system. The
tradition of Takabi loan system (advance of money given to cultivators for digging wells,
bringing improved seeds etc.) which was started from the time of Mughal emperors,
continued during the British period and was further strengthened. But, above all it was too
little to improve the conditions of rural people.
In 1947 before achieving freedom in India, many programmes were started which are mainly
as follows:
1. Ideal Village Project: In 1903, Sir Daniel Hamilton began a project of rural development
on the basis of cooperation and started this project in Sundaram Village near Madras
(Chennai). In 1910 under this programme, Co-operative Deposit Institute was established.
Along with the savings, the programmes of health, literacy and small industry were started. In
this planning, the emphasis was on specialized training for unemployed young farmers to
make them self-dependent. This project continued till 15-16 years and after some time it
disappeared.
2. Shriniketan Project: Shriniketan is situated about 100 km. away from Calcutta (Kolkata)
in West-Bengal State. This area was backward socially, economically and politically. Shri
Ravindra Nath Tagore began this project of village development in this area with the help of

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sociologist Shri L.M. Hurst. Shri Tagore thought that if some villages were developed, the
other villages will get inspiration and the programme of village development will spread all
over the country and thus the whole country would be developed. Shriniketan Village
Welfare Institute was established in 1920 whose main objectives were the following:
(1) To increase the knowledge of rural people.
(2) To help the rural people in establishing cottage industry.
(3) To inspire the people to follow new technology.
(4) Development of dairy farming.
(5) To create the feeling of co-operation.
(6) To arrange the facility of health and education.
(7) To create the feeling of rural leadership.
3. Gurgaon Project: In Gurgaon district, this programme of village development was the
first one to be run by the State. It was started by the Mr. F.L. Brayne. In 1920, Mr. Brayne
had been appointed on the post of Deputy Commissioner in Gurgaon district and he began
this project of rural upliftment in his district, which became famous as Gurgaon Project.
The main objectives of this project were: (1) To increase crop production, (2) to control extra
expenditure, (3) to improve the health, (4) to develop the feeling of women-education, and
(5) home development work.
Although this project got some success yet this scheme also could not survive more because
this project was also based upon the sentiments of F.L. Brayne and when he was transferred,
gradually this program also stopped.
4. Seva Gram: Mahatma Gandhiji was a great social worker. He knew very well that as long
as Indian people are suppressed, their society and their nation couldnt progress. For ending
this suppression, he began this welfare project SEVA GRAM, establishing his Ashram in
Vardha, in 1920. The main objective of this program was to prevent the economic and social
suppression of the people and to create the feeling of patriotism among them and they must
think that this is their own country. For fulfilling this objective, Gandhiji made a program,
which became famous as Gandhian Constructive Program. The main objectives of this
project were: (1) to use khadi clothes, (2) to introduce Health Program, (3) the program of
sanitation in the village, (4) the program of women welfare, (5) the program of economic
help, (6) to uplift the backward classes, (7) primary and adult educational programs, (8) to
improve the conditions of poor people, (9) program of social harmony, and (10) to popularise
the mother tongue and other national dialects.

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For making his program successful and effective, Gandhiji had established All India Village
Industry Association, All India Spinners Association, Hindustani Education Association and
Kasturba Gandhi Association etc. Gandhijis constructive program was not followed
completely by majority because those things, which were made by machines, were more
beautiful and low-priced, and the common people could not be impressed. The single cause
of failure of Gandhijis program was industrialization in the country.
5. Marthendom Project: This project of rural development was initiated in the village
Marthendom near Trivenduram of Kerala State by Young Men Christian Association
(Y.M.C.A) and Christian Church Association under the direction of Dr. Spencer Hatch in
1928. This village was undeveloped economically and the economic condition of the native
majority was poor. Here, people used to cultivate only paddy and coconut on some places.
For exploiting this weakness, it was thought that some developmental work should be done,
so that the Christian faith could spread. Consequently Dr. Hatch made agreement with
Y.M.C.A. and the Church for his work and initiated this project in neighboring village
Marthendom.
The objectives of this project were also made on the basis as to how the public of this area
could become Christian. The main objectives of this project were:
1. Spiritual Development
2. Mental Development
3. Physical Development
4. Social Development
5. Economic Development
6. Grow More Food Campaign: This campaign, started in 1942, was continued after getting the
independence. The main object of this campaign was to fulfil the need of food, which had been
created due to the Second World War. This campaign was the first one to be organized on a
national level. In this campaign, the new seeds and chemical fertilizers were distributed among
the farmers. Agricultural departments of state governments organized this campaign.

Achievements: (1) After spending a lot of money, some problems were tackled in the end.
(2) The crop production increased due to new seeds and chemical fertilizers provided to the
farmers. (3) From this campaign, the production of cotton and jute increased appropriately.
Limitation: (1) Its work field was limited. (2) The campaign was deemed to be temporary
hence the work was done. (3) The economic help, the distribution of good seeds and

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fertilizers could be available only on some places. Most of the agricultural fields were not
benefited from these facilities and could not get the desirable results.
8. Indian Village Service (IVS): In 1945, under the guidance of Dr. W.H. Wisher this
service began in the village Agasoli, District Aligarh in U.P. But, after the partition of the
country, the village volunteer M.V. Siddiqi Khan went to Pakistan and this centre was closed.
If we look at the background of the establishment of I.V.S. briefly, it becomes clear that the
schedule of this programme of I.V.S. was decided in 1908 when an Indian businessman B.N.
Gupta was in America. Shree Gupta observed that churches in America, work for the welfare
of villages and consider it as a duty to make the rural life prosperous. He thought that this
church system can work in India too and the country could develop amazingly. He discussed
it with American church authorities but they did not respond to him. But in 1915 Dr. William
H. Wisher came to Nainee (Allahabad) for working in the church and showed interest for the
rural development. Inspired by his interest D.I.L. Doze who had been foreign minister of
Privaterian Church of America, agreed on the help of ten thousand dollar every year for the
rural development, he also requested that an organization should be formulated with the cooperation of Indians and as well as the Christians of foreign countries who will do these
development works in India. Gradually, other organizations also assured co-operation. Then
Dr. Wisher made a committee of Indian and the Christians of foreign countries and called a
meeting in I.T.C. College, Lucknow in October 1945.
Objectives: (1) To educate the rural people in such a manner that these people could selfdiagnose their problems. (2) To inspire people to help in the development works. (3) To
provide a good chance to the citizens and other individuals to co-operate in the rural
development work. (4) To guide them for making other planning of development successful.
Programmes: (1) Health Programme (2) Home Science Programme (3) Agricultural
Development Programme (4) The programmes of Entertainment (5) The programme of
Education (6) The development of Cottage Industry (7) The Programme of Family planning
9. Firka Vikas Yojana: The government of Madras (now Tamil Nadu) decided to make
efforts for the development of villages at Firka level. The first programme began in 1946.
Among Pre-Independence project, this was the biggest project.
Objectives: (1) All-round development of rural people. (2)To develop the means of drinking
water and communication. (3) To develop the committees of panchayat and co-operatives.
(4)To develop animal husbandry, farming and irrigation facilities. (5) To introduce khadi and
cottage industry.

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Scope: (1) To select Firkas (villages) considering the possibilities for development in the
production of handloom cloth and other cottage industries and alleviating backwardness. (2)
This work was started from 34 to 84 Firkas till 1950.
Post-Independence Programs
1. Etawah Pilot Project: This is such an effective project that after witnessing its results, the
way was cleared for initiating the Community Development Project. Therefore this was
called the Pilot Project. In 1947, after Independence, the Government of India prioritised on
rural development and how this work should be managed. For this the guidance of an
experienced person was needed. The Government of India urged the U.S. government to send
Mr. Albert Mayor to India because he had enough experience of rural development
programme and was a Rural Sociologist. He also had the experience of organizing different
programmes of village upliftment. Mr. Mayor, after arriving here, surveyed throughout India
and on the basis of his experience, he concluded that it is a vast country enriched with
different resources and seasons, therefore such a field should be selected that can represent
most parts of the country. So, Mr. Mayor made his headquarters at Maheva (District Etawah
in U.P.), selected 64 villages of neighbouring area and there, in 1948, initiated the work of
development guided by the following objectives. Later this project guided Community
Development Project in India; it was called Etawah Pilot Project because literally it is the
pilot who shows the path.
Objectives: (1) Mental development of the villagers. (2) To awaken the desire of rural people
and to make them laborious. (3) The development of agriculture and animal husbandry. (4)
The development of Panchayat. (5) To develop the feeling of self-confidence, co-operation
and mass participation. (6) To seek the possibility of transferring this project elsewhere in the
country.
2. Nilokheri Project: In 1948, Shree S.K.Dey prepared this project for the purpose of
providing residence for 700 immigrants from Pakistan. He began this project using 100 acre
of swampy land spreading in the midst of Karnal and Kurukshetra. The name of this project
was Majdoor Manzil. The director of this project was Shree S.K. Dey. He went on to
become the Union Minister of Community Development in 1965.
Objectives: (1) Self-dependence in all the fields of life. (2) To arrange for professional
training and provide occupation for the people on the basis of their experience. (3) To
eliminate the middleman system.

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Scope: (1) The work was done in 100 villages near Nilokheri. (2) To establish the village
level workers, social development officer and block development officer. (3) The
development and popularization of co-operative Institutions. (4) The facility for
entertainment. (5) The effort to establish a socialist society.
3. Community Development Project (CDP): India was a prosperous country before the
British Rule. It was known as a golden bird throughout the world. Even the historians state
that there were the rivers of milk flowing in this country. At that time the main reason for the
prosperity was the rural based economy. All the villages were self-sufficient. In villages there
were cottage industries, small industries, animals were domesticated and agriculture was
done. The basic needs of that area were fulfilled by these occupations. All the villagers were
self-sufficient and due to the joint family system the members of family shared their work, so
the economic condition of the family was good and strong. When the British understood this
cause of prosperity of rural people they concluded that without uprooting the rural economy,
they cannot establish English trade and industry and they cannot rule over this country. So,
they uprooted many Indian rural industries and introduced industrialization and use of
machines in the country. With the introduction of technology in the country, the rural
individual based economy was destroyed. The British government seized over the small
industries i.e. cotton, soap, pin and manure processing. So as the social and economic system
of the country was ruined, the joint family began to separate. This tragic condition continued
till about 200-250 years in the country. In 1857, the freedom fighters initiated a long struggle
against the rulers. In the contemporary period the leaders and social reformers urged the
people to use things made in our country but their influence on the people was not powerful
enough. Lokmanya, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindra Nath Tagore, and Dr.
Keshava Rai Hedgewar etc. great personalities began this Swadeshi Movement and thus the
society became enlightened.
Basic Objectives: (i)The all-round development of the rural community. (ii) To develop the
feeling of communitarian life style among the rural people. (iii)To develop the feeling of
responsibility, to create confidence, to create inspiration for working by self decision among
the rural people and establishing local leadership and institutions that can tackle the problems
of that area.
Inspired by the success of Etawah Pilot Project and taking into consideration these basic
objects, Planning Commission influenced the Government of India. The Planning
Commission took the decision that this project should be introduced in 15 different parts of

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India with the co-operation of Ford Foundation (America), studied its wide effect and
established 4 village level worker training centre. After this experience, the Central
Government started Community Development Project on 2nd October 1952. Three famous
American specialists contributed in the formulation of this programme. They were Douglas
Ensiminger, who was the chief of Ford Foundation in India, Chester Bowls (the messenger of
U.S.A. in India at that time) and world famous sociologist Karl Tailor.
Objectives: (1) To increase the agricultural production. (2) Community and integrated
development. (3) The extension of the new scientific knowledge. (4) Development of small
and medium irrigation projects. (5) Development of co-operative organizations. (6)
Construction of roads. (7) To increase the adult education and primary education. (8) Facility
for entertainment. (9) Development and construction of primary health care centre and the
public health service.(10)To inspire the youth for the development program.
Basic Principles: The following principles had been formed to achieve the objectives and
basic philosophy of Community Development Project:
(1) The working plan of the Community Development Program will be based upon the
necessary needs of the community.
(2) The multipurpose programs will be established to fulfill the entire and balanced needs of
community development.
(3) To change the attitude of people towards the achievements, in the beginning of the
program.
(4) In the Community Development Program, participation of the local people and their
leaders should be secured. Inactive local administration should be activated.
(5) The main objective of every program should be to recognize the local leadership,
encourage and train them.
(6) In the CDP, the participation of rural youth should be secured.
(7) To provide the government aid according to the need for making the Community
Development Program effective.
(8) At national level for the implementation of C.D.P.
(9) For the Community Development Program the cooperation of local, national and
international non-government organization should be taken entirely.
(10) It is necessary to develop socio-economic conditions at the local and national level.

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Community Development Administrative Organization
Prime Minister

National level

All ministers National Development Council Planning Commissioner


(All Chief Ministers of the states)

State level
State Development Committee
(Chairman-Chief Minister)

Development Commissioner (Secretary)


District level

Block level

Village level

People

District Development Officer


Block Development Officer
Village Development officer

Community Development Under Democratic Decentralization


Zilla Panchayat
(President, Zila Parishad)

Chhetra Panchayat Samiti


(President, Block Pramukh)

Gram Panchayat
(President, Gram Pradhan)
Three Tier Panchayati Raj System
IIIrd level (Districtlevel) Zilla Panchayat

IInd Level (Block level) Chhetra Panchayat Samiti

Ist Level (Village level) Gram Panchayat

Village Development officer


4. National Extension Service (N.E.S.): In 1953, Grow More Food Committee had
submitted its report, which suggested introducing National Extension Service in the whole
country. This service was initiated on 2nd October 1953, so that within 10 years, the
development work of agriculture could properly progress in the entire country. The N.E.S.
was different from the C.D.P. in the following ways:
(1) The budget of N.E.S. is less than the budget of Community Development Programme.

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(2) The main objective of N.E.S. is the all-round development of the rural community.
(3) The N.E.S. is more permanent than C.D.P.
The work of National Extension Service is continuing even today. Before democratic
decentralization in 1953-58, the N.E.S. was working at three stages. These three stages were
the following:
(i) Pre-intensive development stage- Duration of this stage was set for three years. In these
years efforts were to be made to make the people aware of importance of agriculture and to
create interest for the development work so that they may be prepared for the next stage.
(ii) Intensive development stage- In this stage, there were kept sufficient funds for
expenditure during three years, so that every block development may be established,
construction of the office and residence could be completed and the specialists could be
appointed during this period. A large amount of money also had been kept for the
demonstration of agriculture and every block development had been aided to bear this
facility.
(iii) Post-intensive development stage- In this period, the construction of the offices and
residence were completed, after salary of the workers of Development block and other
expenditure had been deducted.
5. Intensive Agriculture Development Program (IADP): In 1959-60 Ford Foundations
Agriculture Food Production Committee had presented some firm suggestions to the
government pointing out the laxity of agriculture production programs in the report Indias
Food Crisis and Steps to Meet It. In this report arguing on the topic of food production there
was the main suggestion of community efforts by the intensive program on the crops of food
grain in selected areas. For the intensive development of agriculture there were started many
programs, i.e. I.A.D.P., I.A.A.P.
6. Intensive Agriculture District Program: According to the Intensive Agriculture
Development Program, it was emphasized that the agriculture production program should be
introduced without delay on the selected crops in selected areas. On this basis, the Central
Government introduced Intensive Agriculture District Program in 7 districts in various states
of the country in 1960-61. These districts were Tanjore (Madras, now Tamil Nadu), West
Godawari (Andhra Pradesh), Sambhalpur (Orissa), Raipur (M.P.), Ludhiana (Panjab),
Aligarh (U.P.), and Pali (Rajasthan).
Through this program, the possibility of production was developed, because the program was
given high priority, progressive fields were selected, reliability of scientific agriculture

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technology was examined and the utility to introduce it was understood The fertilizers, crop
protection, improved seeds, adoption of improved farming practices, agriculture and work of
marketing was given to private sectors. But, there were some such harmful factors due to
which the progress of program could not advance to the desirable point. There were many
reasons for this failure, the most prominent being the rapidly increasing population of the
country, detrimental water policy, lack of money, unsatisfactory administration, slow
development of agriculture technology and illegal or unfair distribution of land. These
obstacles have been removed by the efforts of new agriculture policy and a new direction was
given to agricultural development.
7. Intensive Agriculture Area Program (IAAP): Encouraged by the success of Intensive
Agriculture District Program, the Centre Government introduced Intensive Agriculture Area
Program in 114 districts of country in 1964-65. Considering the distribution area of crops,
those selected areas and crops were selected, which involved a greater possibility of
development than others. Similarly, the administrative system was encouraged to protect and
to grow the selected crops on block, district and state level. Thus it is called Intensive
Agriculture Area Program.
8. High Yielding Variety Program (HYVP): In India, this program has been initiated in
1963, when the Director, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, Mexico Dr.
N.E. Borlog visited the fields of wheat in India and sent the 4 types of dwarf seeds of wheat
for testing These seeds were tested in Delhi, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Pant Nagar, Bhuvali and
Wilington. Through these testing 4 metric tons per hectare crops was produced, while, in
comparison the production capability from Indian varieties were not more than 2.5 Metric
tones per hectare. In 1965, on the basis of the results of testing, Larmarohi and Sonalika
varieties were distributed to the farmers for cultivation and were also given for developing
crops production technology and extension methods.
In 1966, the Government of India imported 1000-ton seeds of Larmarohi and other dwarf
varieties. In the same year along with the wheat, the dwarf Paddy was also imported from
Philippines and Taiwan and hybrid maize Ganga 1,3,5, and Vijay, Jawahar Sona, Kissan,
Jyoti also were distributed and the variety of Bajara hybrid were also distributed among the
farmers. From the results of these High Yielding Varieties there emerged an astonishing
change in the total food production. In 1968, a unique production of 170 lakh tons of wheat
from 120 lakh ton, has been named Green Revolution by the scientist William God of
U.S.A.

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9. National Demonstration (ND): Among the methods of Extension, demonstration is the
most popular medium. Due to the greater impact of sense of vision, the demonstration
methods are initiated in the agricultural extension. The first Result Demonstration was
started in Texas of America in 1903, where the farmers received the knowledge of new
agricultural methods, developed instruments, seeds, and the technology related to crop
protection. Like exhibition, through demonstration the comparative study of new and old
methods of agriculture are introduced to the farmers and to attract the people to follow the
improved methods.
For the purpose of using the demonstration methods effectively and systematically, the Indian
Council of Agriculture Research (I.C.A.R.) initiated the National Demonstration Project in
1965. The subject specialists perform these demonstrations on one-acre land. By this,
scientific capability of scientists of growing more crops can be known and the farmers are
also trained to follow new methods for growing more. The details of expenditure and earning
are presented before the other farmers, so that they are encouraged to follow the new
agriculture technique. Four subject specialists were appointed in a team at district level for
National Demonstration. Among them the specialists were of different subjects i.e., soilscience, crop-protection, agricultural chemistry and agricultural engineering. The farmers
were also helped financially to encourage them to participate in this project.
10. Command Area Development Program (CADP): Including three annual projects
(1966-67), this type of program was the first one made. The main object of this project was to
utilize the available water in proper manner.
Objectives: (1) To reduce the wastage of water by over irrigation and drainage. (2) To get
more production by making such a program of crop according to water, soil and the leveling
of the fields.
Program: (1) To follow proper irrigation methods. (2) Pay special attention to the
management of land, so that the condition of land may be improved and soil erosion may be
prevented. (3) To make channels of irrigation in the field. (4) Pay attention towards the good
drainage. (5) To circulate proper crop rotation in the area. (6) To encourage night irrigation
for preventing the wastage of the water. (7) To make the leveling of the fields. (8)To build
the tube wells along with the channels.(9) Arrangements of markets, workshops and roads in
the area.(10) Consolidation of holding and making boundary wall.
11. Drought Prone Area Program (DPAP): In India, there is a very big draught prone area
where it rains sparsely. In these areas famine generally occurs. Central government had

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initiated Draught Prone Area Program for these areas in 1973-74. This program was
introduced in 947 blocks of 149 districts of 13 states. Only those areas have been involved in
this program where it rains sparsely, there is drought and there is hardly any facility of
irrigation. Including this, 746 lakh square km. area has been selected. Amount spent on this
program- its half portion was spent by the central government and the state government spent
half. On this program, in eight five-year plans, Rs.1000 crore had been spent, of which half
(500 crore) had been spent by central government. From 1973-74 to March 1995, overall
expenditure had been Rs. 1742 Crore.
Objectives: (1) Development and management of the resources of water (2) Protection of
water and land (3) Planting of the trees. (4) Development of sheep rearing along with
meadows (5) Establishment of dairy industry and animal husbandry (6) New crop rotation
and new changes in the method of agriculture.(7) Development of subsidiary industries.
Achievements: From the year 1973 to March 1995, land leveling and damp soil conservation
in 2975 thousand hectares of land, development of water resources in 946 thousands hectare
of land and aforestation had been developed on 1,776 thousand hectare land. From 1995-96
this program is carried on as Water Shed Project. The central government has fixed 125 crore
rupees for DPAP. Under this program, 4,957 Water Shed Project have been started. For the
year 1996-97 the central government has spent Rs. 125 crore on Water Shed Project.
12. Employment Prone Programs: The most burning problem of the large developing
countries is the unemployment of which the other name is poverty. The basic aim of all the
programs such as industrialization, land improvement, increment in the national growth and
five year plans, is that the people of the country may get jobs and their economic condition
may be improved. In the last 58 years, due to organized development, the production of
industry and agriculture increased and there are also greater chances of employment. But the
percentage of unemployment did not decrease as expected. The flawed economic structure
and the continuous growth of population are the responsible factors for it. The government
had organized different programs such as I.R.D.P., N.R.E.P., R.L.E.G.P., TRYSEM, J.R.Y.
to eliminate the problem of unemployment.
13. National Agriculture Research Project (NARP):
National Agriculture Research Project has been introduced for re-strengthening the Zonal
Research Centre of State Agriculture University by I.C.A.R. New Delhi, which is
economically financed by the World Bank through International Development Association
(I.D.A.) This project, had been introduced in 1988. The main objectives of this project were

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to study the agriculture related problems associated to different climates and to bring the
solution after research and above all to strengthen the Zonal Research Centres. There were
following research works under this project: (1) Research on the food grains, pulses, oil-seeds
that were mainly grown in the un-irrigated condition.(2) Research on animal husbandry (3)
Research on the agronomy methods (4) Research on the water and soil conservation
(5)Maximum Utilization of land and other natural resources from the point that it may not
leave any adverse effect on the environment.
14. National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP): To make the technology
development project a permanent feature under the National Agricultural Research Project
and National Agriculture Extension Projects and for popularizing and fulfilling the present
and necessary needs of it, the Government of India took a decision to organize a new
National Agricultural Technology Project with the financial support of the World Bank. This
project was introduced in the financial year 1995-96. Govt. of India approved this project in
November 1998 for full- scale implementation. The diverse activity of the project has been
planned under three major components:
(i) Agro-eco System Research - This component covered support to research programs. The
Project Implementation Unit (PIU) had been set up at ICAR, New Delhi.
(ii) Innovations in Technology Dissemination (ITD) - Technology Dissemination Unit (TDC)
had been established in the Directorate of Extension, Department of Agriculture and
Cooperation (DAC). The ITD proposals received from the DAC and the Division of
Extension, ICAR are being processed by the TDC and put up for the approval by the
Technology Dissemination Management Committee (TDMC). The DAC component
involved mainly setting of the Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMA).
Selected State Agriculture Management and Extension Training Institutes (SAMTIs) were
strengthened to train farmers and extension workers.
(iii) Organization and Management Systems - Under this component, following activities
were supported (a) organization and management (O & M) reform in the ICAR, (b)
strengthening of the ICAR Head Quarters, including the National Agricultural Science Centre
(NASC), (c). Directorate of Information and Publications of Agriculture (DIPA) (d)
institutionalization of priority-setting mechanism, monitoring and evaluation (PM & E); and
(e) Information System Development (ISD), covering Agriculture Research Information
Service (ARIS) and Library Information and Networking.

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15. Agro-Clinic Yojna: According to this project, the latest research knowledge of
agriculture will be given directly to the farmers. The unemployed agriculture graduates will
organize these centres. By this clinic project, many programs will be organized for the
farmers, such as the latest agriculture technology, verified or approved seeds, the knowledge
of preparing the soil for sowing different crops, the use of pesticides and insecticides, crop
diseases, and their treatment, different irrigation systems, the proper use of fertilizers and
water, the knowledge of agricultural instruments and the improvement of animals variety
etc. programs. Many programs will be introduced through Agro-clinic Yojana according to
the weathers; medicines for the treatment many diseases of animals, healthy animal breed, the
look-after of pregnant animal etc. As declared by the agriculture minister, this project will
encourage the graduates to open agro-clinic centres in rural areas, and government will
provide loan and subsidy on this loan also. This project was introduced in the financial year
2001-2002. This magnificent yojana was initiated for the first time in the country.
16. Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMA): The Department of
Agriculture and Cooperation, Govt. of India, intends to try a new model through
establishment of Agriculture Technology Management Agencies (ATMA) in selected
districts involving certain stages under the National Agricultural Technology Project
(NATP). The ATMA are expected to operate as a society at the district level, which will
ensure active integration, partnership by sharing both the resources and responsibilities
among all agencies related with agriculture and rural development. During X Plan period,
252 ATMAs were established at the district level.

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Chapter-8
Training &Vsit System
In order to realize agricultural potential and to increase agricultural yields, Indias extension
system has experienced major conceptual, structural, and institutional changes since the late
1990s. This chapter reviews existing reform programs and strategies currently existing in
agricultural extension in India. It distinguishes strategies that have been employed to
strengthen both the supply and demand sides of service provision in the area of agricultural
extension, and it reviews the effects of the demand- and supply-side strategies on the access
to and the quality of agricultural extension services. The ultimate objectives are (1) to gain a
view on what works where and why in improving the effectiveness of agricultural extension
in a decentralized environment; (2) to identify measures that strengthen and improve
agricultural extension service provision; and (3) to reveal existing knowledge gaps.
Although the range of extension reform approaches is wide, this chapter shows that an
answer to the question of what works where and why is complicated by the absence of sound
and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative impact and evaluation assessment studies.
Even evidence from the National Agricultural Technology Project and the Diversified
Agricultural Support Project of the World Bank, the women empowerment programs of the
Danish International Development Agency, the Andhra Pradesh Tribal Development Project,
and the e-Choupal program of the Indian Tobacco Company is subject to methodological and
identification problems. Conclusions regarding the importance (1) of implementing both
decentralized, participatory, adaptive, and pluralistic demand- and supply-side extension
approaches; (2) of involving the public, private, and third (civil society) sectors in extension
service provision and funding; and (3) of strengthening the capacity of and the collaboration
between farmers, researchers, and extension workers are necessarily tentative and require
further quantification. The paper seeks to inform policymakers and providers of extension
services from all sectors about the need to make performance assessments and impact
evaluations inherent components of any extension program so as to increase the effectiveness
of extension service reforms.
The Bank has supported the Training and Visit (T&V) system of agricultural extension in
India since the early 1970s. OED reviewed five of the statewide extension projects (in West
Bengal, Bihar, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu) covering more than 10 years of Bank

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support to extension and also reviewed the National Agricultural Research Project (NARP),
which provided research support.
The overall conclusion is that quite intensive technical extension services have been provided
to the farming communities. OED's audit, however, raises some concerns about aspects of the
T&V extension system used in these projects. The accomplishments of the NARP in its
initiation of research projects were impressive and the zonal research system was generally
accepted. T&V extension has been introduced in 17 major states of India through 15 Bankassisted projects. The five extension projects that OED reviewed aimed at achieving early and
sustained increases in agricultural output by reorganizing and strengthening the extension
service of the State Departments of Agriculture in line with T&V principles.

Common characteristics
The extension projects included: - appointment of full-time village extension workers
(VEWs) to work exclusively on extension, and establishment of a single line of command
between the VEWs and extension headquarters in a unified extension system;
-

Selection of Contact Farmers (CF) to disseminate information;

Establishment of a fixed, regular cycle of fortnightly visits by VEWs, and the use of
simple, practical, relevant messages concentrated on the most important crops;

Regular in-service training to extension staff at all levels;

Initiation of a system of feedback from farmers via extension staff to researchers; and

Development

of

monitoring

and

evaluation

(M&E)

procedures.

The T&V system differed from earlier approaches to agricultural extension in India
mainly in the responsibilities that were assigned to the front-line field officers in the
villages and in the organizational structure of the state's extension services. The T&V
system sought the full-time commitment of VEWs, with no responsibilities other than
disseminating technology to farmers. Organizationally, the institution of a single line
of command provided that the VEWs would be both technically and administratively
supervised through a chain of command under the extension headquarters.

M&E surveys in the project areas showed that:


-

Contact Farmers in general, and others who are visited regularly by extension staff,
tended to adopt technology sooner and achieved higher yields. However, the positive
results were neither exclusively attributable to the projects nor to the T&V extension

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embodied in them because the process of CF selection favored the relatively
progressive individuals.
-

Lack of knowledge was rarely cited as a reason for non-adoption of a specific


technology. The most common reasons cited were economic considerations, climatic
factors, unavailability of inputs, and lack of irrigation. This implies that rates of
adoption were acceptable for those technologies that farmers easily perceived as
advantageous; and lower for those that either were or seemed irrelevant to farmers'
situations.

Though no clear causal connection can be drawn between incremental productivity


and incremental investments, the overall conclusion on the impact of the extension
projects is that relatively intensive technical extension services have been provided to
the farming communities in Maharashtra, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu, and only partial
coverage has been provided in West Bengal and Bihar.

Implementation
In general, each of the states tried to carry out the programs agreed to at appraisal, and to
adopt the key principles of T&V extension during the early years of the projects. But they
modified the original approach, to varying degrees, during the later years, as a result of
implementation problems:
-

Higher costs than at appraisal and restrictions on implementation resulting from the
need for large-scale recruitment of new staff. State governments were unable or
unwilling to transfer staff into extension from existing positions, as had been
envisaged.
- Strictly against T&V principles, the diversion of extension staff at all levels to duties
other than extension, such as supplying farm and non-farm inputs, and implementing
a host of specialized schemes with demanding targets. The latter took up much of the
time of Subject Matter Specialists (SMS), keeping them from acting as technical
specialists.

Few of the VEWs had agricultural qualifications and even fewer were agricultural
graduates. Training in the projects generally could not overcome the deficiencies
inherent in the unacceptably low basic education level; their low educational levels
also made it difficult to use the VEWs for a more responsive form of extension.

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-

Though the initial extension "messages" concentrated on important items for major
crops it was later agreed that all the significant technical constraints in the production
system had to be addressed.

Extension "messages", in general, did not have adequate economic focus and often
took no account of farmers' resource circumstances. Many farmers did not see them as
relevant. And because the "messages" given in their training sessions were defined for
very large areas, many SMSs could not adapt them to the local circumstances faced
by the VEWs. The poor qualifications of many SMSs inhibited communication
between them and researchers.

- Selection of contact farmers was often deficient; many of those chosen had little
influence on their neighbors. This was partly a project design problem resulting from a
failure to understand and build on the social characteristics of communities.
- M&E capability was developed in all the projects and some surveys and studies led
managers to make changes, but in general, M&E information was not adequately used.

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Chapter-9
INNOVATIONS IN AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION IN INDIA
INTRODUCTION
India is a vast country with marked regional diversities in agro-climatic environment, resource
endowment and population density. Agriculture (including cropping, animal husbandry,
forestry and agro-forestry, fisheries and agro-industries) currently accounts for 24.7 % of the
national gross domestic product (GDP) and provides employment to about 57% of the total
work force. 78% of the land holdings are small (less than two hectares) and in 1991, they
commanded only 33% of the total net-cropped area. Though the four fold increase in food
grain production (mainly from irrigated regions) during the last four decades improved the per
capita availability of food, 26.1% of the population were living below the poverty line in
1999-00. Poverty in India remains predominantly rural; three out of every four poor persons
live in rural areas. Agricultural growth would continue to be an important strategy for
increasing rural incomes. Indian agriculture face serious challenges because of everincreasing population, limited land and water availability and degradation of natural
resources. The national average yields of most commodities are low. In many areas there are
limits to achievable increase in productivity, unless appropriate institutions that can help
farmers to access information, inputs and services are strengthened, and joint action for
natural resources management, marketing and processing are promoted. New opportunities
(and threats) for trade in international markets have also added a new challenge for Indian
farmers. Agricultural extension services (in the public as well as private sector) need to play a
much larger role in assisting farmers in meeting the above challenges.
Current status
In India agriculture is a state subject and the main extension agency is the state Department of
Agriculture (DoA). All states have a separate DoA. Most of these states have a separate wing
(under DoA) or a Department for Horticulture, Soil and Water Conservation and Watershed
Development. Among the various line departments, DoA has the maximum number of field
staff for extension. The Department of Agriculture and Co-operation of the central Ministry
of Agriculture has a separate Division of Extension. Extension Division lays down major
policy guidelines on extension matters and the Directorate of Extension implements specific

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programmes and activities. The 1980s saw most of the states embracing the World Bank
funded Training and Visit (T&V) system of extension. With external support drying up, the
states began to dilute the rigour of T & V system and the 90's saw many states experimenting
with new extension approaches. Currently a number of organisations are providing extension
services. This include, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs); Commodity Boards (spices,
rubber, coconut, coffee etc); Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs); non-governmental (voluntary)
organisations (NGOs); agri-business companies (dealing with seed, fertiliser, pesticides, farm
machinery); media firms (print and video), etc.
INNOVATIONS IN EXTENSION
Post T and V innovations in extension could be broadly classified into two types:
a. Centrally driven (implications for more than one state)
b. State specific
Centrally driven changes
The Directorate of Extension of the DAC has been supporting the states for implementing
the following programmes on the following items in the IX Plan.
a. Support to NGOs and Farmer Organisations
b. Women in Agriculture
c. Farmer Scientist Interaction and State/District level R-E Interfaces
d. Exposure visit of Farmers/Extension functionaries
e. Print media/Kisan mela support to SAUs
f. Support for training for improving the technical competency of extension
functionaries
However, the most ambitious has been the Innovations in Technology Dissemination
(ITD) component of the World Bank funded National Agricultural Technology
Project (NATP).

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ITD component of NATP
The project is implemented in 7 states namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh,
Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Orissa and Punjab since November 1998. The project provides
for pilot testing the following innovations:
a. New institutional arrangement for technology dissemination at the district level
(28 districts, 4 each in 7 states) and below through establishment of Agricultural
Technology Management Agency (ATMA) as an autonomous body
b. Moving towards integrated extension delivery
c. Adopting bottom-up planning procedures for setting the researchextension agenda
d. Making technology dissemination farmer driven and farmer
accountable
e. Addressing gender concerns in agriculture and increasing use of
information technology for effective dissemination
Program interventions are based on a strategic research and extension plan prepared in a
participatory mode. Farm Information and Advisory Centres (FIAC) are created at the block
level to act as the operational arm of ATMA. A Block Technology Team (BTT), comprising
technical personnel at the block level and a Farmer Advisory Committee (FAC) comprising
all key stakeholders and farmers representatives are also constituted at the block level. Under
the project, a state level Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute
(SAMETI) has been created in all the project states to provide training to state extension
functionaries on innovative areas of project management, participatory planning, HRD and
information technology. Though the ITD component of NATP has been in implementation
since 1998, ATMAs have been established in different phases across 28 districts. As a result
the impact of the project has not been uniform in all the districts.
Agri clinics-agri-business centres
The main aim of the scheme is to provide accountable extension services to farmers through
technically trained agricultural graduates at the village level. The program is financed through
bank loans, and the central government would provide 25% of the cost as subsidy. The plan is
to establish 5,000 agri-clinics to provide testing facilities, diagnostic and control services and

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other consultancies on a fee-for service basis. The program implemented jointly through
SFAC and MANAGE has attracted a large number of unemployed agricultural graduates. By
the end of year 2002, 15609 graduates have applied for training under this scheme. 57
institutions are involved in this massive training program. 2853 graduates have either
completed or are undergoing training and by the end of December 2002, 235 agri-preneurs
have started agri-clinics or agri-business centres undertaking a variety of agripreneurial
activities in different parts of the country.
State level innovations
Most of the state level innovations emerged after the end of external funding for T & V
system. They emerged to address the limitations of the T and V approach, the reduced
funding available for extension and also in response to the changing national and state level
priorities. Broad basing extension (to include messages related to horticultural and livestock
sectors) was one of the immediate responses. However the performance on broad basing has
been highly uneven, as the DoA has no administrative control on personnel of different line
departments. Horticulture, Soil Conservation and Watershed Development wings of the DoA
became separate departments or a separate directorate in many states. States such as
Maharashtra subsequently merged these separate departments to provide a single window
system delivery. Other major innovations include: decentralization (extension planning and
control under elected bodies at the district level); contracting NGOs for some extension
activities; promotion of private extension initiatives; adoption of group approaches (instead
of the earlier individual approach); the use of para extension workers (as substitutes for DoA
field extension workers and also to increase the reach of the public sector extension system);
and setting up of multi-disciplinary SAU teams at the district level. Another trend has been
the formation of specific organizations (with less bureaucracy, more flexibility and wider
expertise) to implement special programs related to agricultural development. However, the
functioning of state DoAs exhibits more similarities than differences and these are too glaring
to leave unnoticed. This include:
i.

A strong linear hierarchy (from Commissioner/Director of agriculture at the top to


Joint Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, Agricultural Officers and
Agricultural Assistant or the Village Extension worker at the village level). Each

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extension personnel on an average cover about 2-7 villages, except in Kerala where
every village has about 3 extension personnel.
ii.

Some features of T & V still continue in the organisational structure of DoA and
implementation of extension programs. The notable among them is the mechanism of
research-extension linkages through monthly/bi-monthly workshops, fortnightly
meetings, meeting of zonal research extension advisory committee etc. States such as
Tamil Nadu still follow the permanent field visit schedule for village extension
workers.

iii.

Implementation of a large number of schemes (state schemes, central sector schemes,


centrally sponsored schemes and externally assisted schemes) with specific targets on
demonstrations, distribution of subsidized inputs and subsidies and training, leave only
little time for VEWs for assisting farmers with advice on solving specific field
problems.

iv.

DoA has a number of farms for producing seeds and other planting materials, several
training centres for training staff and farmers and labs for testing seeds, pesticides and
fertilisers. Delivery of inputs such as fertilizers is an important activity of DoA in
North-Eastern States like Tripura.

v.

Relatively few staff at operational level (district and below) to implement large
number of programs. Restrictions on fresh recruitment, reduction of cadre strength
and deputation of staff to other departments are the main reasons for this situation.
The manpower available with the Department of Horticulture in all the states is
limited, with the exception of Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

vi.

There are serious constraints on mobility of staff for implementation and monitoring
of program due to limited operational budgets

vii.

DoA staff performs a very narrow extension role, limited to technology dissemination
for increasing agricultural productivity.

Group approach
Kerala initiated the group approach to extension for rice farming in 1989 and this was
subsequently extended to other crops. This approach envisaged formation of commodity
groups to improve productivity and reduce cost of cultivation through collective purchase of
inputs and services. To strengthen this approach, extension efforts and delivery of subsidized
inputs were routed through these farmers groups. Rajasthan adopted the group approach to

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extension in 1992 and currently village extension workers operate mainly through kisan
mandals, ie. Groups of 20 farmers. Now VEO visits a revenue village and impart training to
kisan mandal farmers once in a fortnight. In Andhra Pradesh, farmer clubs are formed at each
village primarily to facilitate group extension. These clubs are expected to propagate
developmental schemes and facilitate transfer of agricultural technology among farmers in the
village. The government provides Rs.1500 to each club for its formation. VEW visit farmer
clubs once in a fortnight. Himachal Pradesh is also currently forming farmer interest groups
(FIGs) primarily to implement many schemes. The group approach is also an important
strategy for many other agricultural programs. For instance, the Central Sector Scheme on
Women in Agriculture (CSSWA) is being implemented through women SHGs promoted
through this program. Formation of FIGs is also an important objective of ITD component of
NATP.
Contact centers below the block level
One of the difficulties with the T and V system was that a farmer could meet the VEW only
once in a fortnight during his fixed village visit. The nearest office of the DoA was at the
taluka or block level, which is far away from most of the villages. In response to this
problem, Kerala created offices of the DoA (Krishi Bhavans) at each panchayat (roughly
covering 1.3 villages in Kerala) in 1987. Maharashtra established offices of DoA at each
circle level (on an average covering 44 villages) in 1998. In Karnataka, since 2000, a
permanent office called Raitu Mitra Kendras (RMKs) /Farmers Contact Centres are being
established at the hubli level. Currently there are 744 RMKs and roughly each caters to 36
villages. In Rajasthan, a Kisan Sewa Kendra has been established at every agricultural
supervisor circle where agricultural supervisor would be available every Thursday of the
week to interact with farmers. 4211 KSKs have been constituted so far (roughly one for nine
villages).

Towards more intensive trainings


The limitations of routine delivery of messages related to technologies in food grain
production became apparent in the nineties and several efforts to provide intensive training on
new technologies to large number of farmers were initiated. There are several training centres
(for staff and farmers) under the different line departments. But considering the large number
of farmers to be trained, the DoA has been trying to explore other facilities available with it

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and help of other organizations to train more number of farmers. For instance, in Andhra
Pradesh, since 2000, two farmers training and two farmer-scientist interaction meetings are
organized at each of the 286 Agricultural Market Committees every year. These training
program are held in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture/Horticulture and the
SAU. In Maharashtra, efforts are currently on to establish "agri-poly clinics" in each tehsil of
the state on government farms viz, taluk seed farms, trial cum demonstration centres and
horticultural nurseries. Out of the 352 talukas in the state, 232 talukas have government farms
and these are being converted to agro-poly clinic cum training centres. Training halls are
being constructed supported with audio-visual systems and boarding facilities. These farms
are also strengthened for demonstration of improved technologies and with facilities for water
and soil testing and diagnosing pest and diseases from samples brought by farmers.
The Department of Horticulture in Himachal Pradesh has recently established nine
developmental fruit canning units all over the State for providing community canning service
to the farmers, training of the farmers in the home scale preservation of fruits and the
utilization of unmarketable fruits through processing. Besides this, five Community Training
Centres have been established by the Department to train villagers in fruit preservation and
prepare products at the village level commercially for improving the local economy. Two
hundred sixty-one (569) Krishi Vigayan Kendras (KVKs) established with funding from
ICAR are providing skill training to farmers and vocational training for rural youth. With
NATP funding, 53 Zonal Agricultural Research Stations of the SAUs have been strengthened
to take up the additional functions of KVKs.

Increasing role of private and NGO sector


The NGOs and the private sector have started to play a greater role in extension in the last two
decades. There is an increasing realization that public extension by itself cannot meet the
specific needs of various regions and different classes of farmers and the draft Policy
Framework for Agricultural Extension of the Ministry of Agriculture also affirms that the
"policy environment will promote private and community driven extension to operate
competitively, in roles that complement, supplement, work in partnerships and even substitute
for public extension".

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The Ministry of Agriculture has initiated a scheme "Agricultural Extension through voluntary
organisations" in the year 1994-95 with a view to integrate their efforts with those of the
main extension system. Initially the scheme was implemented on pilot basis by involving 14
NGOs from 8 states. The scheme was later expanded to 50 NGOs. Under this scheme NGOs
are funded for documentation of farming systems at the micro level, audio-visual preparation
and procurement, training and demonstrations, farmers visit to research stations,
administrative support and contingencies.
The states are also encouraging the NGOs to take up extension activities. The DoA,
Rajasthan initiated agricultural extension and development programs with participation of
NGOs under the World Bank assisted Agricultural Development Project (1992). Under this
project the functioning of three assistant agricultural officers circles were handed over to
NGOs. Many NGOs were also given grants for specific projects related to heifer
development, integrated watershed development, vermi-composting etc,. These activities
have been completed in 2000. Uttaranchal is currently using the services of NGOs for
implementing a number of programs related to organic agriculture. A number of programs for
self-employment in compost making, mushroom production, poultry development and angora
rabbit wool production are also implemented by DRDAs through NGOs. In Andhra Pradesh,
farmers' organizations and NGOs are assisted to provide agricultural consultancy services to
farmers. A maximum of Rs. 36,000 is provided for this purpose to NGOs at the rate of
Rs.3000/- per month. Nineteen NGOs have availed this scheme in 2000-01 and 66 NGOs in
2001-02.
Para extension workers
The increasing inability of the DoA staff to reach more number of farmers in distant villages
became apparent in the nineties. Para extension workers (PEWs) belonging to the local
community were selected and employed to draw down advice from the DoA staff, first in
Rajasthan as part of the externally funded ADP. Rajasthan is currently continuing with this
approach to supplement field extension in those areas where the DoA posts are vacant. A
provision exists to pay a stipend of Rs.1000/- per month and over a period of time they are
expected to levy charges for their services rendered to the farmers.

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Public-private partnerships in agricultural extension in Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh became the first state in the country and perhaps the only state in India to
have a private extension policy. The policy states that the private extension would aim for
cost reduction, improving the efficiency of extension system and inculcating accountability in
extension services. This would be implemented in two phases. In the first phase, focus is on
introduction of partial private extension services through building up private-public
partnership in agricultural extension. During the second phase, which will take place
gradually in long term, the focus would be on substitution of public extension by private
extension. The first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding implementation of
public-private partnership in agriculture was signed by the DoA with Dhanuka group for
agricultural extension in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh. Dhanuka is one of India's
leading groups in crop protection business. The MoU aims to work together in areas like soil
testing, training, farmers tours, demonstrations, transfer of technology through cyber dhabas,
agriculture fortnights, establishment of markets and providing credit facilities to farmers. The
program was formally launched in November 2001. At the district level, the DDA and the
nodal officer of the group monitor and implement the programs.
The achievements till now are as follows.
a. Soil testing
i.

Handing over of the soil-testing laboratory in Hoshangabad to Dhanuka. DoA


meets the cost of chemicals and equipment and the group employs its own
staff and meets their salary costs. Government saved Rs.17 lakhs per year on
salary costs

ii.

Addition of 8 staff for field extension activities in the district by Dhanuka


group

iii.

Four fold increase in the number of samples tested

iv.

Nine dealers centers of Dhanuka acting as collection center of soil samples.

v.

Faster and timely communication of soil test results to farmers

b. Joint planning, funding and implementation of extension programs


i.

24 training programs at the district level and 107 training programs at the
block level

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ii.

Demonstrations-Kharif 7, Rabi 9

iii.

Farm visits and demonstrations- 3678

iv.

Village training- 1358

v.

Training on organic farming-21 villages

vi.

Agricultural fairs- block level - 6, district level - 2

The group considers this investment as a way of improving its corporate image. Sponsorship
or joint funding and implementation of extension program provide them an opportunity to
reach new customers. For the government, its participation with the group provides access to
funds to supplement its limited operational budget and thereby improve program coverage.
It is too early to draw major lessons from this initiative. However, there are two important
observations. a. There is a need to educate the public sector staff at the district and block
levels on the importance of partnerships and b. More serious attempts to honor the
commitments in the MoU and initiate implementation of all items by both parties are also
required.
In Madhya Pradesh, one or two members and chairman of the permanent agricultural
committee are declared as "kisan bandhus" and are trained to perform the role of master
trainers. They are expected to train other farmers in the village. There are about 50,000 kisan
bandhus in Madhya Pradesh.
Women in Agriculture
Since the 1980s, special programs to address the information and technological needs of
women farmers were initiated through the DoA in several states. These include:
a. Danish assisted programs in Karnataka (WYTEP, since 1982); Tamil Nadu
(TANWA, 1986 to 2003); Orissa (TEWA, 1998 to 2003); Madhya Pradesh
(MAPWA, 1993-2002)
b. Dutch assisted programs in Gujarat (TWA, 1989 to 2003); and Andhra Pradesh
(ANTWA, 1994- 2007)
c. Central Sector Scheme for Women in Agriculture (CSSWA) in one district each in
15 States (1992-2003)

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University role in extension
State Agricultural Universities in India have been playing only a limited role in field
extension activities. The Directorate of Extension (of SAUs) implements and co-ordinate
extension activities through its three major units, namely, Training Unit, Communication
Centre and Farm Advisory services. Activities of KVKs under the SAU are also co-ordinated
by the Directorate of Extension. A single window facility "Agricultural Technology
Information Centre" (ATIC) is currently established in 25 SAUs with NATP funds for
delivery of research products, information and other services.
But two SAUs, one in Punjab (PAU) and the other in Andhra Pradesh (ANGRAU) have
expanded their extension activities to provide more comprehensive services to farmers.
Punjab Agricultural University employs its own multi-disciplinary extension team in each
district, engaged in adaptive research, training and consultancy. ANGRAU has established a
District Agricultural Advisory and Transfer of Technology Center (DAATTC) in all the
districts, (comprising a team of 2-4 scientists of various disciplines) to refine technology,
make diagnostic visits and organize field programs in collaboration with DoA and other line
departments.
Accountability to farmers
Efforts to make the extension system farmer driven and farmer accountable were initiated in
several states. The constitutional amendments that strengthened the Panchayat Raj Institutions
(PRI) have further accelerated this trend. Many states such as Maharashtra and Madhya
Pradesh have a separate wing for agriculture development at Zilla Parishad and block levels.
Their role is mainly planning and implementation of schemes for agriculture primarily funded
through district governments or Zilla Parishad. Priorities for the development of agriculture
in respective villages have to be approved by the gram sabha (village assembly).
Administrative control of DoA staff rests with the gram panchayat or block panchayats in
those states that have implemented democratic decentralization more seriously (West Bengal,
Madhya Pradhesh, Kerala). In Madhya Pradesh, there is a permanent agricultural committee
at the village level. In Maharashtra, the Agricultural Development Officer at the Zilla
Parishad is Secretary to the Agricultural Committee of the district.

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Agricultural Development Committees (karshika vikasana samithi) comprising farmers and
elected representatives of people are constituted at the panchayat and district levels in Kerala
to advise farmers on issues related to agricultural development. In Rajasthan a Krishi
Salahkar Samiti has been constituted at the Assistant Agricultural Officer level to guide,
monitor and evaluate the working of kisan mandals. It also scrutinizes the various proposals
received from kisan mandals for funding by DoA. In ATMA districts, the Farmer Advisory
Committee (FAC) comprising key stakeholders and farmer representatives exert
considerable influence in the preparation and scrutiny of block action plans.
Information Technology and Media
The widespread availability and convergence of information and communication
technologies (ICTs) - computers, digital networks, telecommunication, television etc in India
in recent years have led to unprecedented capacity for dissemination of knowledge and
information to the rural population. The village knowledge centres initiated by the MS
Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Pondicherry aims at building a model for the
use of ICTs in meeting the knowledge and information requirement of rural families. Value
addition to the raw information, use of local language (Tamil) and multi-media (to facilitate
illiterate user participation) and participation of local people from the beginning are the
noteworthy features of the project.
ITC has established e-chaupals, which are village Internet kiosks that enable access to
information on weather, market prices and scientific farm practices. Launched in June 2000,
the company has so far established 1200 e-chaupals across four states (Madhya Pradesh,
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh). A local farmer (sanchalak), selected from the
village and provided with short training runs each kiosk. Agricultural Market Committees in
various states are computerized and networked at present to provide up-to-date and reliable
market information to farmers. Karnataka plan to provide Internet facilities to all RMKs to
help the staff and farmers in accessing useful farm information. Maharashtra has a more
ambitious plan to set up a "virtual university for agrarian prosperity" to consolidate, process
and disseminate information on various aspects of agriculture using advances in information
technology.
DoA in Madhya Pradesh is currently utilizing the SATCOM centres in 350 blocks to telecast
live agricultural programs every monday (3-5 PM). The system works on a one-way video-

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two way audio mode and farmers' queries are addressed by the experts during the program.
Teja TV in Andhra Pradesh telecasts an on-line (live) phone in program in collaboration with
DoA and ANGRAU to answer farmers' questions every day. E-TV also telecast agricultural
programs in Telegu, Kannada and Marathi languages every day.
CENTRAL GOVERNMENT SUPPORT TO STATE EXTENSION

During the Xth Plan, (2002-2007), the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation of the
Ministry of Agriculture, propose to implement a restructured centrally sponsored scheme to
support extension programs of states (Box 3). This new scheme is an instrument to
operationalise the reforms as conceived in the Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension.
The salient features of the program are as follows.
Box 3: Central government support to extension in X Plan

Each state prepares a state extension work plan (SEWP), comprising a mix of
ongoing extension programs from the IX plan and a set of new initiatives.

SEWP is an annual proposal of extension strategies, activities and investments


prepared by the state centering around reforms envisaged in the PFAE

The expenditure for implementing the programs in the SEWP would be shared
between the centre and the state in the ratio of 90: 10.

No funds would be provided for vehicle, major civil works and staff salary. Funding
for core establishment and infrastructure (for ATMA like model) has to be borne by
the states

SEWPs to have three important aspects

Public sector reforms

Promotion of private sector initiatives

Promotion of media and IT applications

Public extension system would be re-organized in a new structure (ATMA model),


which facilitates a participatory mode of extension delivery, which is farmer driven
and farmer accountable.

Size of funding would be proportionate to reforms proposed, its coverage and state's
commitment.

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LESSONS
Following lessons could be learnt from an analysis of these innovations.
1. DoA and other line departments still face several constraints in providing adequate
extension support to farmers.
2. Implementation of a large number of central and state sector schemes with specific
targets to achieve, consume a major share of block and village level officials' time.
Very little attention could therefore be paid for diagnostic field visits, advice on
technological options and strengthening the capacity of farmers (mobilization of
farmers and supporting farmers groups).
3. Technology dissemination continues to be understood as the main extension role
and other support needs of farmers that became very important in the last one
decade remain unattended.
4. To provide this wide range of support, DoA needs to partner with other
organizations in the public and private sector having this expertise. But line
departments such as DoA generally work in isolation and partnerships are rare.
5. The centralized planning and implementation of extension programs and the
associated bureaucratic procedures leave practically very little flexibility to the block
and village level functionaries to modify programs based on farmers' needs.
6. ATMA could successfully solve these problems as it is free from many bureaucratic
and time consuming procedures and this provided ATMAs the much-needed
flexibility to quickly respond to demands from the field. Mechanisms such as SREP,
FAC and block action plans supported with adequate funds contributed to making
ATMA demand driven. But performance of ATMA varies widely across states and
districts and the reasons behind this differential impact need to be understood.
7. The DoA poorly serves tribal and remote areas and special efforts are needed to fill
vacancies in these areas. Special and innovative extension programs need to be
developed with participation of farmers for these areas.

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8. Group approach has a number of advantages. But FIGs/SHGs of farmers need
institutional support (be if from NGOs, financial institutions, agribusiness firms,
market committees, or government technical agencies) and they also need to be
provided with opportunities to enhance their capacity to address management, legal
and social issues. How the DoA would support SHGs/ FIGs in these aspects is not
yet clear.
9. There is an increasing attention to the potential role of para extension workers. How
successfully these PEWs transfer the skill to other farmers is not clear. PEWs
representing SHG/FIGs of farmers may perhaps be more accountable to fellow
farmers than those selected by a few farmers in a village or nominated by the
government.
10. Farmers are generally willing to pay for quality extension services provided they are
convinced of the benefits. Private extension delivered as part of a wide range of
services is attracting more farmers at the moment.
11. Technology backstopping provided as part of a wider basket of agricultural
production and marketing assistance is more efficient.
12. Though ICTs offer many options for improving extension efficiency, organizations
in the public sector are yet to exploit its potential. With infrastructural and hardware
deficiencies getting sorted out, the challenge seems to be in producing content
relevant to specific locations in the regional language, value addition to raw
information and in developing systems at local level that ensure access to all
farmers.
13. The Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension of the Ministry of Agriculture
suggests ways for improving the performance of extension. Though the broad
contours of policy changes suggested are well considered and relevant, the PFAE
underplays crucial implementation problems of introducing reforms. Some of the
reforms have been a part of the extension practice for about a decade. There is a
need to learn lessons from the implementation of these reforms, to guide policy
changes at the national and state levels.

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14. Keeping in view the wide diversity in terms of agro-climatic conditions, socioeconomic conditions of rural producers and infrastructure for agricultural
development, a country-wide model for agricultural extension would be counter
productive. HRD efforts should concentrate on enhancing the capacity of officials
and peoples representatives at the block, district and state levels in developing
innovative extension strategies appropriate to local conditions.
15. In 28 ATMA districts (4 districts each in 7 states, namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar,
Jharkahnd, Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Jahrkhand) several innovations promoted
under ITD component of ATMA are being tried, It include, SREP, integration of
functioning of line departments, Block technology teams, farmers advisory
committee, FIGs etc
16. This classification excludes the initiatives of private sector, NGOs, farmers
organisations, media and agri-business firms.

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Chapter-10
Participatory Approaches in Agricultural Extension
Introduction
Participation is a dynamic group process in which all members of a group contribute, share
and are influenced by the interchange of ideas and activities toward problem-solving or
decision making, an empowering process which enables local people to do their own
analysis, to take command, to gain in confidence, to make their own decisions, plan and take
action. Participatory management has been defined as a process whereby those with
legitimate interests in a project both influence decisions which affect them and receive a
proportion of any benefits which may accrue (ODA, 1996). It is now widely accepted that to
enhance and sustain the productivity of natural resources, those engaged in and affected by
managing the resource at the most basic level, its users must participate in planning its
rehabilitation and management. Their participation will generate a stake in the process and
enhance the prospects of both institutional and ecological sustainability. A participatory
approach therefore, implies a major, but not exclusive role for local populations in allocating
rights and responsibilities over resources. It may involve partnerships with other interest
groups at micro and macro levels, such as district level agencies. Understanding the process
of participatory management would help the extension functionaries to encourage
participation at field level and to play an effective role in sustainable development of
agriculture as a facilitator and catalyst.
Perspectives of participatory extension: Sen indicates that Peoples participation is a
central feature of contemporary rural development and extension efforts throughout the
developing countries across the world. There appears to be an increasing consensus that
participation is essential for sustenance of all development initiatives. Present concerns with
participation are rooted in a complex historical context. Peoples participation has been a
constant theme since the beginning of rural development in all the Asian and African
countries; those have emerged free from the colonial powers. In case of organizing extension
efforts, though it primarily took the form of state-run centralized outreach activities, asking
people to participate, with the passage of time, decentralization of extension in various forms
started emerging across the developing world. A critical examination of the history of

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extension in these countries reveals three major policy directions behind such
decentralization attempts:
1. Decentralization of the burden of extension costs through fiscal system redesign that
provides for greater local government participation in financing and managing extension.
2. Decentralization of extension through structural reform with the goal of improving
institutional responsiveness and account-ability; and
3. Decentralization of the management of extension through farmers participatory
involvement in decision making and responsibility of extension programs He further
explains that Peoples participation in extension, in a broader sense, means the
involvement of people in the programs of directed social change, initiated by the
development agencies by way of analyzing the situations, deciding on the problems to be
tackled, fixing up of priorities, drawing plans of action, taking initiative in implement-ing
activities of the project as partners through contributing their ideas, materials, resources,
labour and time, etc. and finally evaluating the results thus accrued to themselves.
Rationale of Peoples Participation: Sen reiterates that in the ultimate sense, the whole
purpose and process of peoples participation in the context of directed social change is
human resource development the development of human and inner material resources, with
stimulus and support external to the community. The process of peoples participation in rural
development involves transfer of administrative and financial powers to have-nots and
sharing of technical and legal information with the local people, whose participation is
sought. Drawing upon the experiences, some of the rationale for participatory extension visa-vis rural development can be identified as follows:
Reduction in development cost to the government and other development agencies.
Enhancing the capacity of the rural communities to deal with their problems.
Correction of mistakes made by project authority in designing and implementing the
programs of action.
Increase in the level of political awareness of the people.
Reaching the programs benefits to all the legitimate claimants.
Decrease in perpetual dependence of people on government and thereby making the
program self-sustaining and local people self-reliant.
Gaining access to and control of resources
Easier mobilization of local resources

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Gradual empowerment of socially and economically disadvantaged people in the
community.
Types/ Continuum of participation: Basu and Goswami clarify that the critical issue to bear
in mind is that peoples participation in development is concerned with two things i)
structural relation-ships and the importance of developing peoples capacities and skills to
negotiate and to seek the resources and changes which they require in order to improve their
lives; and (ii) the methods and techniques whereby local people can be brought to play a part
and to develop a stake in development programs and projects. Both purposes are of equal
importance; the former seeks to secure a longer term and sustainable development for poor
people, the latter is crucial in providing immediate access to the benefits of development.
Another way of distinguishing between different forms of participation is to think in terms of
levels or degrees of participation. These can be understood along a continuum and can range
from participation as essentially an act of manipulation to a degree of participation in which
stakeholders become partners in the development initiative and begin to assume full
responsibility for its management:
i.

Manipulation: The lowest rung applies to situations of non-participation, where


participation is contrived as the opportunity to indoctrinate.

ii.

Information: When stakeholders are informed about their rights, responsibilities, and
options, the first important step towards genuine participation takes place. The main
drawback at this stage is that emphasis is placed on one-way communication, with
neither channel for feedback nor power for negotiation.

iii.

Consultation: This level entails two-way communication, where stakeholders have


the opportunity to express suggestions and concerns, but no assurance that their input
will be used at all or as they intended. Therefore, it could be said that at this level
stakeholders are participating in participation. The most frequent approaches to
consultation are chaired meetings where stakeholders do not contribute to the agenda,
public hearings, and surveys.

iv.

Consensus building: Here stakeholders interact in order to understand each other and
arrive at negotiated positions, which are tolerable to the entire group. A common
drawback is that vulnerable individuals and groups tend to remain silent.

v.

Decision-making: When consensus is acted upon through collective decisions, this


marks the initiation of shared responsibilities for outcomes that may result. Negotiations
at this stage reflect different degrees of leverage exercised by individuals and groups.

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vi.

Risk sharing: This level builds upon the preceding one but expands beyond decisions
to encompass the effects of their results, a mix of beneficial, harmful and natural
consequences. Things being constantly in flux, there is always the element of risk, where
even the best intended decisions might yield the least desired results. Hence
accountability is fundamental at this level, especially when those with the greatest
leverage may be the ones with the least at risk.

vii.

Partnership: This relationship entails exchange among equals working towards a


mutual goal. Note that equal as applied here is not in terms of form, structure, or function
but in terms of balance of respect. Since partnership builds upon the proceeding levels, it
assumes mutual responsibility and risk sharing. Pretty and Vodouh present A typology
of participation: how people participate in development programs and projects.

Typology Characteristics of Each Type


1. Passive Participation: People participate by being told what is going to happen
or has already happened. It is a unilateral announcement by an administration or
project management without any listening to peoples responses. The information
being shared belongs only to external professionals.
2. Participation in Information Giving: People participate by answering questions
posed by extractive researches using questionnaire surveys or similar approaches.
People do not have the opportunity to influence proceedings, as the findings of
the research are neither shared nor checked for accuracy.
3. Participation by Consultation: People participates by being consulted, and
external agents listen to views. These external agents define both problems and
solutions and may modify these in the light of peoples responses. Such a
consultative process does not concede any share in decision-making, and
professionals are under no obligation to take on board peoples views.
4. Participation for Material Incentive: People participate by providing resources,
for example labour, in return for food, cash, or other material incentives. Much
on-farm research falls in this category, as farmers provide the fields but are not
involved in the experimentation or the process of learning. It is very common to
see this called participation, yet people have no stake in prolonging activities
when the incentives end.
5. Functional Participation: People participate by forming groups to meet
predetermined objectives related to the project, which can involve the

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development or promotion of externally initiated social organization. Such
involvement does not tend to be at early stages of project cycles or planning, but
rather after major decisions have been made. These instructions tend to be
dependent on external initiators and facilitators, but may become self-dependent.
6. Interactive Participation: People participate in joint analysis, which leads to
action plans and the formation of new local institutions or the strengthening of
existing ones. It tends to involve interdisciplinary methodologies that seek
multiple perspectives and make use of systemic and structured learning processes.
These groups take control over local decisions, and so people have a stake in
maintaining structures or practices.
7. Self-Mobilization: People participate by taking initiative independent of external
institution to change systems. They develop contacts with external institutions for
resources and technical advice they need, but retain control over how resources
are used. Such self-initiated mobilization and collective action may or may not
challenge existing inequitable distribution of wealth and power. Source: Pretty
(1994), adapted from Adnan et al (1992).
Stages of Participatory Management: Uphoff (1991) states that putting people first in
developmental projects comes down to tailoring the design and implementation of projects to
the needs and capabilities of people who are supposed to benefit from them. No longer should
people be identified as target groups. The probabilities gaining momentum, rather than losing
it in the course of carrying out projects should be greater to the extent that the mode of design
and implementation reflects a learning process approach. This should enlist the participation
of intended beneficiaries as much as feasible in all aspects of project operations. Participatory
management is a process that consists of diagnosis of issues and understanding the resources
base, planning the interventions, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes
and processes. There should be a logical sequence of actions and events, which is an
important feature of participatory development. Post
Generating information on the resource situations and issues concerned
Planning
Implementation
Monitoring and evaluation
Impact assessment

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Information Generation Information that is realistic and fact-based serves as the basis for
remaining stages of participatory management. Hence local people and the development
agency jointly need to understand the resource situation of the areas, the problems associated
with the communities and the resources; and the opportunities to sustain and build the
resources. Uphoff (1991) viewed that officials may readily concede that socio-economic
information from rural people is useful in project planning and operation, but will be
reluctant to engage farmers in discussions of technical nature, assuming that poorly educated
persons have little to contribute in this sphere. Villagers may offers insights of merit even on
matters as technical as where to locate a dam or whether a method of construction would be
adequate.
Participatory Planning: Sarkar opines that in management, planning is the crucial function
that involves determination of both ends and means with rationalization and fair thought.
Planning is looking at the future with todays eyes. So, looking ahead and preparing for
future are the main functions of planning. Adhoc decision and random activities may lead to
confusion and chaos with waste of time, money, material and energy, and disturbance in
priorities. Planning, therefore, determines the objective; and decisions pertaining to it, for
achievement of objectives. It needs to anticipate environment, assumptions and predictions
about factors affecting the plan under consideration and alternative assumptions to meet the
objectives. Participatory planning must attach due value to local peoples knowledge and
skills and the purpose of planning needs to be understood by the local people. Results/outputs
of planning must be documented to serve as a tool for direction for development and needs to
be made readily available for all the primary stakeholders.
Benefits of planning: Sarkar clarifies that Planning helps
To anticipate and offset changes.
To focus attention on objectives.
To give direction to administration.
To reduce overlapping and wasteful activities.
To lay foundation for successful operations.
To identify potential opportunities and risks.
To set standards or criteria against which performance may be evaluated for
facilitating control.

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Steps in participatory planning
Understanding the existing condition and Situation analysis
Setting objectives
Community Organization
Analysis of problems and constraints
Conflict resolution
Definition of options and interventions
Preparation of action plan
Understanding the existing condition and situation analysis: The first phase of
participatory management i.e. Information generation serves as a basis for this step, which is
done by employing a combination of visual diagrams followed by discussions. Understanding
the existing condition of local people, their resource base is a necessary condition to proceed
further to analyse the needs and problems of local people and suggest interventions for
development. Situation analysis helps to dovetail/ fusion the local peoples knowledge and
experts advise. This phase helps the local people to develop more insights about the existing
condition, design the interventions to strike at the problems. It requires series of meetings and
discussions to evolve local peoples perspectives and their way of reasoning.
This phase calls for some meetings and discussions involving the whole village as a unit and
primary stakeholders group as a unit for different purposes.
Setting Objectives: Definition of objectives intended to be achieved SMART objectives
need to be set for the project SMART stands for
Specific: the objective should specify what intends to be achieved.
Measurable: standards need to be defined so that achievement of objectives can be judged
Achievable: At the field situation, the set objectives should be achievable and realistic
Relevant: objectives need to be relevant to the needs of local people
Time Bound: Time dimension needs to be defined for achieving the objectives should be set
in such a manner that they should overtly define why the project needs doing, whom it is
meant for and what is the benefit at the completion of the project. Extension agency should
have clarity that concerns of marginalized poor need to be addressed while setting the
objectives.
Community Organization: Community needs to be organized into cohesive groups so that
they serve as mechanisms to take command over the management of their resources. Potential
stakeholders need to be identified around each problem as their needs would be addressed

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and thereby increase the chances of success. Stakeholders participation is required to infuse
feeling of ownership of the project. Around a problem solving, there could be gainers as well
as losers by the proposed interventions. Extension agency must be cautious in facilitating
both the gainers and losers participation into the interventions. Stakeholders participations
help for understanding, analyzing and controlling the development interventions, ensuring
that objectives are relevant and to build partnerships and commitment towards the project.
Above all, when organized, it provides a platform for the primary stakeholders to voice their
demands and to access the required information, credit and market for both inputs and
outputs.
Analysis of Problems and Constraints: The phases of information generation and situation
analysis provide information on the existing conditions of resources and local people and the
associated problems. These problems need to be analyzed for their history, duration, intensity
and causes. Subsequently, they need to be prioritized depending on the urgency and resources
required for addressing the problems. For example, shortage of fodder may be a problem.
Aspects like when is the lean season, intensity and severity of shortage, who are facing the
shortage, what are the current coping mechanisms and short and long term implications need
to be discussed. Seasonal diagrams to understand the peak and lean seasons of fodder
availability and matrix ranking for choosing options to address the shortage may be used.
Conflict Resolution: Developmental interventions facilitated by an external agency are
likely to create imbalances in the existing power structure. In addition, local people may get
positively or negatively affected by a development intervention, which further creates
conflicts among the gainers and the losers. Extension agency should facilitate the process of
negotiation between both the parties and if required mediate to arrive at win-win solutions.
Definition of options / interventions required: For each of the prioritized problems,
different options may be worked out to address them. This would combine both the
exogenous technologies that are generated by the research organizations and indigenous
technologies developed by farmers themselves. Stakeholders may be taken to exposure visits
to successful examples on the field; awareness camps and trainings may be organized to
equip them with the required knowledge to explore different options. The options may then
be prioritized and translated into interventions to be carried out to solve the problems. Some
indicators for selecting the interventions are:
Low cost and Local made
Ease of adopting by the stakeholders

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Low cost of maintenance
Should take care of problem of displacement of labour
Should not add to drudgery
Should be able to address every primary stakeholder
Preparation of Action Plan: An action plan may consist of clear definition of activities,
funds, time schedules and areas. Action plan should explicitly answer the seven questions viz
why, what, when, where, how, who and which regarding each intervention. The plan should
clearly mention about the list of activities to be implemented, which would implement,
where, when and in what sequence it would be implemented and how it would be
implemented. During the phase of maintenance of the results of the projects, clarity regarding
funds, who will do which activity, etc need to be worked out and mentioned in the plan
document. Similarly, detailed written agreement needs to be designed for sharing the
benefits. All the phases and steps of the participatory planning must be carried out jointly by
the developmental agency and the stakeholders.
Participatory Implementation: The stakeholders and the development agency develop good
understanding of the project, the directions they have to take, activities to be carried out in the
time schedules, etc by the time they complete the process of participatory planning. Putting
the developed plan into action by the stakeholders is participatory implementation.
Benefits of implementation
Most local people are committed to continue the activities even after withdrawal of external
support.
Active participation during implementation helps develop skills and confidence among the
stakeholders Greater sense of ownership and agreement of the process to achieve
commonly designed objectives
Efforts of local people and inputs are more likely to be targeted at the identified needs to
get useful outputs.
Inputs and activities are more likely to result in outputs in time, of good quality and within
the specified budgets when local knowledge and skills are tapped into the project
As most stakeholders participate in implementation, transparency and accountability are
ensured. Steps in implementation:
Orientation of the stakeholders/ groups about the operational modalities of activities
to be carried out.
implementing the activities
Capacity building of stakeholders in the required areas of expertise

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Concurrent planning wherever required
Periodic meetings of stakeholders and development agency staff to review the
progress.
Participatory Monitoring
Monitoring: A continuous / periodic review and surveillance by management at every level
of the implementation of an activity to ensure that input deliveries, work schedules, targeted
outputs and other required actions are proceeding according to plan. Resources are INPUTS
and results are OUTCOMES. Input is Good, FUNDS, SERVICES, MANPOWER,
TECHNOLOGY and other resources provided with the expectation of OUTPUTS. Results
are grouped into three Broad categories
i) Output: Specific products or services which activity is expected to produce from its
inputs in order to achieve the set objectives. (increased irrigation, fertilizer use, health
facility etc.)
ii) Effects: Outcomes of the use of Project inputs (incremental yields, income, etc.) iii)
Impact: Outcome of Project Effects (Standard of living and reducing poverty both at
individual and community level) Aspects concerned in Monitoring: Operation,
Performance and Impacts of programme / project is carried out in terms of
Whether the tasks are carried out according to schedule?
Whether the results are laid to realization of project objectives?
Whether the objectives / targets / execution needs adjustments?
Process Monitoring: Process monitoring aims to assess how results are being attained, i.e.,
the efficiency with which an activity is being implemented by monitoring the delivery
system.
Application: Process monitoring is applied during the implementation phase of the project
cycle. It comprises performance, cooperation and learning monitoring.
A.

Key features: Critical tendencies assessed in the course of a program / project usually
include:
i)

Typical performance issues: division of tasks within a project / program


clarification of roles between its staff and stakeholders

ii)

Typical Cooperation issues: modes of cooperation / coordination of staff


/ project units dynamism of relations (agreement on objectives, contract
abiding, trust, communication, conflicts)

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iii)

Typical Learning issues: dealing with resistance (recognizing it,


understanding it etc.)

B. Expected Results: Continuing appraisal of project progress enables continuously


learning and the application of corrective measures when appropriate.
C. Putting Process Monitoring into Practice: Process monitoring yields rich data, insights
and lessons which can be used to enhance impact and minimize negative spin-offs of
innovation; to advance the science of scaling up and institutional change; and to
understand how research can better influence policy. This occurs by inserting strategic
observations into a development or change process at local, district or institutional level,
as follows;
a) Targeting interventions (specifying the objectives of the interventions, and the approach
to be utilized)
b) Implementation
c) Reflection (documenting what went well and did not go well, findings or what was learnt,
resolutions or decision made by participants, and insights about the approach) and
d) Re-planning to integrate newly acquired knowledge into the implementation approach. A
case study on an intervention aimed at improving natural resource governance through
participatory byelaw reforms helps to clarify what process documentation looks like in
practice.
Participatory monitoring: Participatory Monitoring is the systematic recording and
periodic analysis of information that has been chosen and recorded by insiders with the help
of outsiders. The main purpose Participatory Monitoring is to provide information during the
life of the project, so that adjustments and modifications can be made if necessary.
The benefits of Participatory Monitoring:
Provides an ongoing picture: Participatory Monitoring provides an ongoing picture that
allows the community to determine whether activities are progressing as planned. It may also
show when activities are not leading to objectives, so that early adjustments can be made.
Problems are identified and solutions sought early: Participatory Monitoring provides an
early warning which identifies problems at an early stage. Solutions can then be sought
before the problems get out of hand. This is especially important with new technologies that
may have negative effects after introduction.
Good standards are maintained: Continuous feedback throughout the life of the activities
ensures that the quality of the activities is sufficient to provide good result. For example,

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seedling survival surveys in the first few months after seedlings are out planted can indicate
whether the quality of nursery stock and/or planting and stock handling are good. Survival
surveys done when the most critical limit to survival of seedlings has passed, can indicate
whether the protection and management are sufficient.
Resources are used effectively: Participatory Monitoring can show the resources that are
required to produce a certain effect, or how necessary resources can be distributed differently
to get a better effect.
Complete picture of project is produced: When insiders are in control of monitoring, the
results are examined relative to past experience. This broader picture enhances all other
benefits of monitoring.
Information base for future evaluations: Both insiders and outsiders can benefit from the
information base provided by Participatory Monitoring, which can provide realistic
information while also showing trends. Participatory Monitoring provides information for
decision makers Keeping track of activities by recording information on daily, weekly,
monthly or seasonal basis, and taking the time to stop and analyze the information monitored
can provide important immediate feedback, and can be used in the future for Participatory
Evaluations.
For example, community charcoal marketing cooperative might monitor monthly sales over a
year. This might show that sales were low over a three-month period. They would realize that
this three-month period is the rainy season, when transportation is a problem. Using this
information, the community might decide to transport and store charcoal close to the market
before the rainy season. Information is periodically analyzed Participatory Monitoring is not
only keeping records. It is also stopping at set times to analyze (add up, discuss, integrate)
information. The time to stop and analyze will vary according to the nature and / or
seasonality of activities. For example, projects with small forest based enterprise activities
may have daily recording of cash, and monthly balancing of the records. Reforestation
activities may only require record keeping during nursery production and planting periods,
with an analysis at the end of each planting season. Insiders choose the terms of measurement
When the terms of measurement, (kilos, grams, guntas, sacks, cans, pounds, bundles, etc.) are
chosen by insiders, the information is better understood. The chances of the monitoring
continuing in the future are more likely. If this kind of information is required by outsiders,
they can translate the insiders terms of measurement into terms that they use. For example,
guntas, bags and bundles can be translated into kilograms or pounds.

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Steps in Monitoring: Take time to prepare and plan monitoring. It helps everyone why they
are monitoring, and how it will be done.
1) to plan for monitoring can include all those directly involved in the activities as well as
other interested groups. But it will be concentrated on those directly involved or those
selected by the groups who will be responsible for monitoring. Planning for monitoring can
use a framework much like those used for Participatory Baselines. Participatory Monitoring
framework is explained in the following steps:
1. Discuss reasons for monitoring: Review the benefits and purpose of monitoring, so
that insiders can decide for themselves whether monitoring will help them.
2. Review objectives and activities: If PAMA has been continually used, the insider
objectives and activities will have been established during the Participatory
Assessment. If insiders have not previously been involved, the objectives and
activities as established by outsiders can be reviewed and discussed by insiders. A
Participatory Assessment may be necessary if insider and outsider objectives are very
different.
3. Develop monitoring questions: After objectives and activities are reviewed, discuss
the information needed to help know if activities are going well. Focus on the
questions What do we want to know? and What do we monitor that will tell us
this?. The facilitator can write (or draw), on large sheets of paper or a blackboard,
monitoring questions generated around each objective and activity. There should be
agreement by the group on each monitoring question. If many questions are generated
they can be ranked in order of importance.
4. Establish direct and indirect indicators: For each monitoring question, determine
direct and/or indirect indicators that will answer the monitoring question.
5. Decide which information gathering tools are needed: For each indicator or
monitoring question, the most appropriate information-gathering tool must be chosen.
Remember one tool can gather information that answers many monitoring questions.
6. Decide who will do the monitoring: Monitoring may require people with specific
skills such as bookkeeping or mathematics. It will also require a certain amount of
labour (time) from people. Those with the skills and the time can be identified. They
may have to be compensated for the task of monitoring.
7. Analyze and present results: It is important that information monitored be analyzed
at specific times throughout the activities. The analysis can be discussed at

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community meetings, posted or put in community newsletters. The community will
then know whether or not activities are progressing as planned or if changes or
modifications are required.

Participatory Evaluation:
i) Insiders take the lead in participatory evaluation: A Participatory Evaluation is an
opportunity for both outsiders and insiders to stop and reflect on the past in order to make
decisions about the future. Insiders are encouraged and supported by outsiders to take
responsibility and control of: planning what is to be evaluated how the evaluation will be
done. carrying out the evaluation analyzing information and presenting evaluation results.
Insiders already intuitively and informally evaluate in the light of their own individual and/or
group objectives. This is because: Development activities often require involvement and
inputs from insiders it is ultimately insiders who reap the benefits and bear many of the
costs of the project insiders choose whether to continue or discontinue activities when the
outsiders leave. Thus, it makes sense for outsiders to help insiders conduct an effective
evaluation. With the results of evaluation, insiders may choose to continue activities, modify
all or some, change the strategy, change the objectives or discontinue activities. ii) Outsiders
facilitate Participatory evaluation: Outsiders assist insiders in planning and conducting the
evaluation. They lead but do not direct. They can provide the focus, the idea, and some help,
intervening when assistance is required.
Participatory Evaluations are not conducted for the purpose of answering the questions that
outsiders need answered. However, in many instances, insider and outsider evaluation
questions may be the same and both may be answered through Participatory Evaluation.
Governments and donors may want very specific information, but both will need for to know
if the activities are relevant to the problems perceived by insiders and if they are likely to
continue when the outsiders withdraw support. iii) Information to guide management
decisions. A Participatory Evaluation should not be thought of as a final judgement on
whether activities are successful or unsuccessful. The information should encourage changes
and adjustments either during the life span of the activities, for future phases of the activities,
or for future new activities. In a Participatory Evaluation, people learn more about the things
that have worked well, and why they worked. They also learn more about the things that have
not worked well, and why they did not. When the people involved go through the process of
examining, it is more likely that corrective measures will be implemented in the future

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because they are discovered and understood by the community. For example, a Participatory
Evaluation mid-way through the activities might reveal that fuel-efficient stoves were only
helpful to those who must pay for fuelwood. This information might be used in the next
phase of activities, to offer those who collect fuelwood as a free good a less expensive
alternative, such as construction of mud walls around the traditional three-stone fire. iv) Both
objectives and activities are considered: In a Participatory Evaluation, the overall and
immediate objectives, their continued relevance, and the effectiveness of the activities are all
taken into account. For example, the overall objective might be to conserve existing forest
resources, and the immediate objective to reduce household fuelwood consumption. The
activities have tried to meet these objectives by introducing fuel efficient stoves. An
evaluation can provide information such as the number of stoves currently being used, and
the fuelwood saved. This information will let people know if their objective, to reduce
household fuelwood consumption, has been achieved. v) Other methods contribute to
participatory evaluation: Much of the information from Participatory Assessments,
Participatory Baselines, and Participatory Monitoring can be used in Participatory
Evaluation. For example, information from Participatory Assessments can be used to identify
the original overall and immediate objectives, re-acquainting the community with their
original analysis of the problems. Information from Participatory Baselines can provide
information (such as average household fuel wood consumption before fuel efficient stoves
were introduced) that is useful for comparison. Information from Participatory Monitoring
will give progressive trends.
Why Participatory Evaluation? Participatory Evaluation may be done: For set times
throughout the life of the activities. These can be mid-way through the activities, or after
each cycle of activities, depending on when the community decides it needs to stop and
examine past performance. Because there is a crisis: Participatory Evaluation can help to
avoid a potential crisis, providing a chance to discuss important issues. For example, suppose
an area of common land had traditionally been used by the landless group to collect fuelwood
and graze their animals. Without consulting this landless group, the activities implemented
by other community members have fenced and planted trees on this communal land. The
landless group have vandalized the fence, and allowed their animals to graze, destroying the
newly planted trees. Bringing people together to discuss and mediate a solution can be done
by using a Participatory Evaluation. Because a problem has become apparent: Problems, such
as a general lack of community interest in the activities may be realized. Participatory

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Monitoring may provide more information that can help people determine why there is a
problem and/or how to remedy. If participation is new: A Participatory Evaluation may shed
some understanding on why a project is not working well. The results of a Participatory
Evaluation may be the entry point for a more participatory approach. If participation has not
been a feature of the project, outsiders who are experienced in Participatory Evaluation
approach may be very useful, as they can sensitize and train field staff in this approach,
facilitating the evaluation.
Benefits of Participatory Evaluation:
Better decision-making by insiders: Participatory Evaluations, by examining the activities
individually and relative to objectives, give insiders relevant and useful information. Helping
them decide whether the objectives and/or activities should stay the same or change. Insiders
develop evaluation skills: Participatory Evaluation reveals community skills that were
undervalued, and/or develops analytical skills needed to make good decisions. It helps
insiders better organize and express their concerns and interests in ways outsiders can
understand. This strengthens two-way communication. Outsiders have better understanding
of insiders: Outsiders benefit from Participatory Evaluation as it complements and enriches
their own evaluations. This is especially so when the outsiders objectives are self-help and
sustainability.
A Participatory Evaluation will let them know whether or not the community is likely to
continue the activities when outsiders have left. Participatory Evaluations also benefit field
staff by providing support for the participatory approach. The insider perspective can by-pass
any filters of self-interest that might be present and reach high level decision makers,
providing them with the communitys perspective, and encouraging a deeper understanding
of community development. Insider to insider communication is strengthened: Participatory
Evaluation can be used for local extension, with results presented to other communities who
are experiencing the same kinds of problems. In this way insiders learn from insiders.
Information is useful for ongoing management of project: Information from Participatory
Evaluations can be used by insiders and outsiders to identify strong and weak points of
activities. If activities are to be continued, or phased over to insiders, information can be used
to modify activities, and make them more effectively meet the objective, and better respond
to real community needs and priorities. Entry point for the participatory approach: In a
community where participation has not been a feature, Participatory Evaluation may be the
beginning of a participatory approach. It may be that including school children in the process

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not only helps the community gather information, but also helps the children develop
analytical skills and experience.
Steps to Participatory Evaluation: The time taken to carefully prepare and plan a
Participatory Evaluation is time well spent. It helps everyone know why they are evaluating
and how they are going to do it. The first meeting to prepare and plan the evaluation should
be open to all interested groups. This meeting could include beneficiaries, others in the
community, as well as groups from outside the community who have an interest in the
project. If a great number of people are interested in the evaluation, some of the,
responsibilities of the evaluation can be delegated to a small group, a community evaluation
team. But the larger interest group, at this first meeting, must first discuss why they are doing
an evaluation and what they wish to know, in order to provide guidance to the community
evaluation team. i) Review objectives and activities: The larger group, as described above,
decides why an evaluation is necessary. The communitys long-term and immediate
objectives and the activities they have chosen to meet these objectives can be reviewed at this
meeting. If PAME has been used, the objectives and activities established during the
Participatory Assessment can be reviewed. If the activities have not been participatory, the
objectives, as established by outsiders, can be reviewed. ii) Review reasons for evaluation:
After objectives and activities are reviewed, discussion can focus on the following questions:
Why are we doing an evaluation? What do we want to know? iii) Develop evaluation
questions: The facilitator can write (or draw), the evaluation questions on large sheets of
paper or a blackboard. The group should agree on each question. If many questions are
generated around each objective and activity, they can be ranked in order of importance. iv)
Decide who will do the evaluation: In the larger group meeting, decide who will do the
evaluation, and who will want to know the results. It may be decided to include the whole
community (especially if it is small), or only the beneficiaries, or delegate the responsibility
for the evaluation to an evaluation team.
The composition of the evaluation team should be decided by the larger group at this first
meeting. If it is known that some minority groups will not be represented, the facilitator may
encourage the participation of spokespersons from these groups on the evaluation team. The
evaluation team may include beneficiaries, those who may be disadvantaged by an activity,
community members and other affected groups. The larger group also decides who needs the
results of evaluation, and when he results should be ready. v) Identify direct and indirect
indicators: Taking the evaluation questions that were generated in the first meeting, direct and

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indirect indicators are chosen for evaluation questions. vi) Identify the information sources
for evaluation questions: For each evaluation question and indicator that is chosen, the
evaluation team identifies where the information is available, or if it is not available, how it
will be obtained. Some information may be available in an unanalyzed form, and require
some effort to analyze. Other information may not be readily available, and will have to be
gathered. The information that is required may be available from Participatory Assessment,
Participatory Baselines, and/or Participatory Monitoring. If information is not readily
available, it must be decided which information gathering tool will be used to obtain
information. Remember it is possible to use one tool to gather information for a number of
indicators. Some of the information gathering tools useful in Participatory Evaluations are:
Community Case Studies; Semi-structured Interviews; Ranking, Rating and Sorting;
Community Environmental Assessment; Farmers Own Record, Community Financial
Accounts; SWOT Analysis. The choice of tools will depend on the kind of information
needed. If information-gathering tool has been used before, it may be used again to update
the information and show change. vii) Determine the skills and labour that are required to
obtain information: The assistance of people with specific skills, such as interviewing, group
mobilization and leadership art and/or drama, as well as a certain amount of labour (time)
will be required. The evaluation team must decide which skills and resources are available to
them. They might ask the questions: What resources do we need? What resources do we
have, or can we develop? What other resources do we need to get? viii) Determine when
information gathering and analysis can be done: It is important to assure that information will
be gathered and analyzed within the time frame that is given to the evaluation team, so that
the results can reach decision makers on time. The timing of the evaluations must take into
account factors such as: seasonal constraints (planting and harvesting times); religious
holidays; field staff availability; and community labour demands. For each tool that is used,
the evaluation team decides approximately how long each task will take, and when it will be
done. ix) Determine who will gather information: When the specific dates, the required time
and skills are known, then the tasks can be delegated to individuals or small working groups.
x) Analyze and present results: When all the tasks have been completed, it will be necessary
to analyze and synthesize information for presentation. Some of the information may have
already been analyzed. It will simply have to be put in its place in the presentation. Many of
the information gathering tools, such as case studies or popular dramas, lend themselves to
certain types of presentation. The evaluation team can decide what will be the best way to

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present results, given the audience for whom the results are intended, and the resources and
time available.
Roles of Extension Managers: With the paradigm shift from top down to bottom-up
approach, extension managers may be forced to undergo a transition and change their mindset
to involve farmers and local communities in different phases of management. In the changing
perspective, extension mangers are envisaged to play the following roles:
Facilitation: In participatory management, local people including the primary stakeholders
require guidance and support from extension agency which would help them to learn how to
understand, analyze, plan and to take action. Extension agency will be required to play the
role of facilitator or catalyst helping people to take charge and command of the situation. In
brief, it is help people help themselves.
Community organization: participation of local people becomes a vague term unless they
are organized into groups of similar interest/problem. These groups act as means and
mechanisms to work with people and help them develop to become self-mobilized groups.
Negotiation and Mediation: When conflicts arise in the community due to introduction of a
development initiative, extension manager must help the conflicting groups/ individuals to
negotiate with each other. When negotiation doesnt work, he should not shy away from
mediation to resolve the conflicts.
Human Resource Development: Stakeholders may require additional knowledge and skills
to perform different activities during the implementation phase and to take decisions during
the planning phase. Extension manager should explore the possibilities of capacity building
by way of training, exposure visits, study tours, etc. finally, Extension manager should
encourage people to understand their potentialities to explore different opportunities to
develop themselves and become self mobilized individuals which promotes ownership of the
whole management process.
Let us sum up any planned participatory development process should be founded on some
clearly perceived justification and related principles of behaviour and work. Most
fundamentally, participatory development should be considered as At heart a philosophy,
embedding the belief that it is the right way to conduct oneself with other human beings. An
essential feature of this philosophy is profound respect for other people. This is closely
connected to humility regarding individual, persons perception of factors that contribute to
shape their own lives, regarding development priorities that different people may have, and
regarding knowledge and skills that participant may possess. Understanding these principles

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is also the practical consideration that people may be reluctant to share their ideas and
knowledge and to contribute comprehensively and constructively if they dont sense such
respect and humility from planners, facilitator and other persons in key positions.
Participatory management is not a panacea for all the field problems. Changing the mindset
towards participation unravels many different feasible alternatives to resolve the problems.
Participation is an essential underlying principle in all stages of participation management
viz information generation, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The
benefits and sequence of each of these phases are explained to help develop understanding
of extension managers. A changed mindset on the part of extension managers is a
prerequisite to bring about stakeholders participation in the development initiatives.
Key Words
Participation: Participation is a dynamic group process in which all members of a group
contribute, share and are influenced by the interchange of ideas and activities toward
problem solving or decision making, an empowering process which enables local people to
do their own analysis, to take command, to gain in confidence, to make their own decisions,
plan and tale action.
Situation analysis: is process of generating information, understanding the local context
and resources and needs of local people.
Monitoring: is the systematic recording and periodic analysis of information that has been
chosen and recorded by insiders with the help of outsiders.
Evaluation: an opportunity for both outsiders and insiders to stop and reflect on the past in
order to make decisions about the future Empowerment: is the process of increasing the
capacity of individuals or groups to make choices and to transform those choices into
desired actions and outcomes.
Introduction PTD: Agricultural technology needs to be developed keeping the farmers
livelihoods at the center of the innovation process. In order to be useful to the farmers, the
technology needs to be rooted in their natural, social and cultural reality. Scientists,
extensionists and other NGOs are outsiders to a community; hence there is need for
involvement of farmers in the process of technology development. Farrington opined that
stronger participation by farmers in agricultural research and extension is fuelled by the
realization that the socio--economic and agro-ecological conditions of (especially low income) farmers are complex, diverse and risk prone. Conventional approaches, based on
research station trials followed by unidirectional technology transfer, are unlikely to be

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fruitful. Close engagement with farmers is needed throughout the cycle of diagnosis,
experimentation and technology dissemination. This increases the understanding of the
opportunities and constraints farmers face, and of their own technical knowledge. This in turn
enhances the prospects that externally promoted technologies will be adoptable, and
environmentally and institutionally sustainable. The approach may thus, enhance the
efficiency of the technology development processes. Gonsalves, etal, 2005 illustrated the
focus of PTD as the development of agricultural technology to increase productivity. This
centers on the identification, development or adaptation, and use of technologies specifically
tailored to meet the needs of small, resource-poor farmers. A basic tenet of this approach is
that agricultural technology must emerge from the farmers needs as they identify them.
Farmers conduct experiments and evaluate the appropriateness of a technology on the basis
of their own criteria. In classical research the control is with the professional researcher,
whereas in participatory research the control of research is jointly shared by the researcher
and other stakeholders (in our case farmers, and to some extent extension agents) in the
problem situation. In participatory research, the emphasis is on knowledge of common
people. Different proponents of the approach have called participatory technology
development approach as farmer-back-to-farmer research, farmer-first-and-last research, and
Farmer participatory research. These terms are being used interchangeably in this unit.
Elements of Participatory Technology Development Farmers experiments are generally one
of three types (Rhoades and Bebbington 1991 as described by FAO):
Curiosity experiments - i.e. trying out a new idea purely out of curiosity, such as planting a
few rows of a crop variety acquired during a visit to another area to see how it performs and
tastes;
Problem-solving experiments - i.e. testing possible solutions to old and new problems, such
as tie-ridging a small part of the field as an experiment to conserve moisture and improve
yields; and
Adaptation experiments - i.e. testing a new technology or modifying an existing one to see
if it works within the known environment of their farm household system, eg, trying out a
new crop variety or farming practice promoted by the local extension service. Scientists and
extensionists need to recognize that the farmers experiment, as agriculture is their profession
through many generations and rooted in long history. Farmers experiments have strengths
like the research is directly relevant to their needs, develop deeper understanding on the
issues under study and are directed at improving the use of available resources. At the same

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time, farmers research suffers from limitations like limited theoretical and scientific
understanding of their environment and processes and replication of trials may be difficult.
Rationale for Participatory Technology Development: Salas etal, 2002 described that
Generations of scientists and practitioners in rural development are concerned with the
serious limitations of conventional research and extension approaches linked to the
industrialized agricultural systems of Western societies, known also as top-down Transfer of
Technology (TOT). These limitations include:
Detrimental impacts on the environment, and contamination of soil, water, air and food due
to use of chemicals and declining fertility
Decreasing biodiversity due to the impositions of hybrid and genetically mod-ified seeds for
cash cropping which are reducing the in situ stock of land races and reduction of natural
habitat containing wild ancestral stocks of domesticated species
The growing dependency of farmers upon external agro-technologies and agro-technicians,
reducing their confidence in their own skills and abilities to manage their resources
Reduction of farmers into passive users of solutions who are not consulted over application
of technologies to local conditions due to the imperative character of the technology transfer
approaches In reaction to the top-down approach, several circles of scientists and
practitioners who have come to recognize their position as outsiders to rural life are
assuming the following values:
Emphasis of creative interactions within rural communities so that traditional, indigenous,
local, or popular knowledge and experiences become the driving force of development
Acknowledgment that their own knowledge is a product of research centers, universities and
development agencies known as technical, scientific or mod-em knowledge and experiences
and thus their knowledge assumes very different contexts, values and conditions from those
of farmers
Enhancement of dialogue between the two different knowledge systems, those of
outsiders and locals, in order to find joint solutions to rural issues while taking full
advantage of local resources.(natural, social or cultural).

Participatory Technology Development (PTD) offers a way forward, through active,


involvement of farmers in decision-making and in every stage of technology development
right from the beginning i.e. identifying their problems. The situation of resource poor
farmers is complex in terms of biological, physical, socioeconomic terms and resources and

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hence we require a special focus: Technological Requirements of Resource-Poor Farmers as
presented by Gonsalves, etal, 2005
Innovation Characteristics
Criteria for Developing Important to Poor Farmers
Technology for Poor Farmers
Input saving and cost reducing
Based on indigenous knowledge or rationale
Risk reducing
Economically-viable, accessible and based on local resources
Expanding toward marginal-fragile lands
Environmentally-sound, socially and culturally sensitive
Congruent with peasant farming systems
Risk averse, adapted to farmer circumstances
Nutrient, health and environment Enhance total farm productivity and stability improving
Meaning and definition of PTD: Salas et al,2002 explained that Participatory Technology
Development can be briefly described as
Participatory: involving and therefore empowering local people
Technology: based on local peoples knowledge and practical methods of experimentation
Development: people-centered sustainable agricultural development based on technological
generation from within PTD is a long-term interaction between outsiders and local people,
with the aim of generating innovations based on indigenous knowledge and cultures to
develop sustainable livelihood systems. It involves and links the power and capacities of
agricultural research with the interests and knowledge of local communities. More broadly,
PTD deals with natural resources management by strengthening the local indigenous
specialists and their communities to carry out experiments in becoming more sustainable and
self reliant through drawing on their local resources. Since PTD is closely related to
community development, the role of outsiders consists in facilitating self-learning processes
and serving as technicians and managers of development institutions together with local
people. These outsiders also facilitate the organization of a network of village specialists to
intensify communication over local innovations and encourage their persistence through
ongoing experimentation in self-sustained agricultural innovations and local resource
management. The term participation needs to be understood in its proper perspective.
Some aspects are fundamental to the participatory processes:

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Consultation and access to information for the local people about the intentions of outsiders
in a village or region regarding the exchange of knowledge to foster innovations.
Freedom of choice for local people to engage in a process of innovation.
Empowerment through redistribution of power on the basis of equity and compatibility.
Outsiders and local farmers interact according to their capacity to experiment and innovate,
recognizing various expectations, needs and responsibilities.
Mutual trust and respect resulting in a process in which both parties feel encouraged to
continue a relationship and maintain a long-term process of community development on the
basis of self-reliant resource management.
Distribution of benefits to partners equally. Local people should be able to perceive how
this experience will improve and sustain their livelihoods.
Adaptability and flexibility of outside institutions to changing and sometimes unforeseen
circumstances.
The meaning of technology in PTD Technology has to do with the ways and means with
which humans apply them-selves to their environment to obtain sustenance and create a way
of life. Each culture has its own particular means developed through long engagement with
the local social and natural environments, and until the mid-twentieth century large numbers
of indigenous peoples relied on their own locally developed technologies and knowledge of
how to make and use this technology to sustain themselves and their communities.
The Meaning of Development in PTD the concept of development in the context of PTD
emphasizes the creativity of local people, their imagination to carry out self-defined paths in
the future. It recognizes that local people in their communities have ways of dealing with
their problems and their own initiatives that we as outsiders can support as facilitators.
Bechstedt stated that the term participatory technology development has been applied to the
process and methodology by which various partners cooperate in technology development. It
is a process in which the knowledge and research capacities of farmers are joined with those
of scientific institutions; while at the same time strengthening local capacities to experiment
and innovate. Farmers are encouraged to generate and evaluate indigenous technologies, and
to choose and adapt external ones on the basis of their own knowledge and value system.
History of PTD: Conroy and Sutherland, 2004 mentioned that during the 1970s and 1980s
there was growing recognition that agricultural research had primarily benefited resource-rich
farmers, and that the main reason why resource-poor farmers (RPFs) had been slow or unable
to adopt recommendations was that the technologies were not appropriate for them. This

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recognition contributed to the emergence of the Farming Systems Research (FSR) movement
in the 1970s. This was soon followed, and to some extent paralleled, by the growth of Farmer
Participatory Research (FPR) and Participatory Technology Development (PTD) during the
1980s and 1990s.
Characteristics of participatory technology development: Salas et. al 2002, enlisted the
following differences between PTD and Conventional top down approaches TOT Approach
PTD-Alternative Approach Why? Generalizes predetermined solutions across wide areas,
beyond the farming system. Gives more attention to local validity of farmers solutions to
empower local farmers knowledge. Who? The experts are based in their agencies or
offices. Their professional status keeps them away from fieldwork and contact with farmers.
A socio-cultural gap separates them from local people. Their reports target the scientific
community. Outsiders such as research scientists and extension staff, as well as local leaders
and farmers, work in mutual respect for rural life. They are willing to reflect about their field
activities and share them as meaningful PTD experiences through several channels and
addressing different audiences.
Characteristics of Farmer Participatory Research/PTD According to Gonsalves, etal 2005, the
characteristics of the PTD are:
The main goal of farmer participatory research is to develop appropriate agricultural
technology to meet the production needs of the small, resource-poor farmers.
Farmers participate actively in the entire farmer participatory research process.
Both farmers and researchers knowledge are crucial in coming up with technologies that
fit local environment and circumstances.
Research is conducted in farmers fields.
The scientist is an investigator, colleague and advisor.
Farmer participatory research is based on a systems perspective. A farm is a system
composed of interacting subsystems that include land, labor, capital, crop and animal
production, off farm income, social and economic components, physical and biological
components, etc. What? Each expert looks through the lens of his or her own disciplinary
diagnosis, informed mainly by laboratories and experimental stations. Outsiders support or
facilitate local people to identify their own problems, needs and opportunities. How? Experts
send students or young researchers to collect quantitative data from the field or experimental
stations using surveys and pre--structured questionnaires. They integrate and apply
information relying only on their expertise. Outsiders learn from local knowledge,

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experiences and practices. Their professional skills rely on a range of participatory methods
to collect qualitative data (for example, semi structured interviews, mapping, diagrams,
matrixes) for generating reliable results among farmers. Outsiders organize a favorable
setting for dialogue involving many different partners. When? According to office project
planning. A long-term interaction, at frequent intervals, following a project cycle and process.
Farmer participatory researchers emphasize the importance of understanding the entire
system. The research effort focuses on solving an agricultural technology problem in order to
benefit the farm as a whole.
Farmer participatory research requires interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers
and farmers.
Farmer participatory research promotes innovative methodologies and flexibility.
Participatory research promotes low cost technologies and a minimum of external inputs by
using locally available resources and strengthening the farmers experimental capacity. These
features aim at sustainable and environmentally sound development. Because this approach is
broad, flexible and adaptive, scientists and farmers must be in continuous contact to agree on
research procedures, monitor trials and respond to unexpected changes along the way.
Because initial assumptions, hypotheses, needs and local conditions may change over time,
flexibility facilitates adaptation to new circumstances.
Receiving a request to start collaboration, or selecting communities with which
collaboration will be sought;
Gathering and analyzing existing secondary data;
making an inventory of existing organizations;
clarifying ones own agenda and possibilities for follow-up after situation analysis;
building a relationship with the local people and coming to a basic agreement on the form
of future collaboration.
a clear perspective and protocols for collaboration;
a preliminary understanding of the socio-cultural and agro-ecological situation of the
community or communities;
a core network of individuals and organizations that could play an important role in future
PTD work. Understanding problems and opportunities. The strongest driving force of a
participatory program is the farmers realization that it really addresses their particular
concerns. A joint understanding of these concerns must
Sharing impressions of trends and problems in local farming;

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Supporting farmers in identifying and analyzing their problems and the cause-effect
relationships involved;
Shared insight into local agricultural potentials and constraints;
Improved skills of farmers to diagnose and analyze problems; Clusters Rationale Elements
Expected Outcomes be developed. At the same time, ideas for innovation already present
among the farmers may provide good opportunities for commencing PTD.
clarifying whose problems have been identified;
Discussing the context of the problems (e.g. wider agro-ecological systems, socio-political
changes) and analyzing driving/ restraining forces;
Making an inventory of opportunities and potential resources, including human resources
and good ideas. The PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal) toolbox is an important source of
methods and techniques for these activities.
Increased self-confidence and a better organizational basis for systematic experimentation
by farmers. Looking for things to try Research and extension agencies are not the sole source
of innovations to solve the problems or tap the opportunities identified. Also farmers and
artisans in the community or
Gathering information for detailed analysis of the identified concerns and priority
problems; identifying promising solutions from local experience, farmer experts and
sources outside the community;
Overview of possibly relevant technologies; agreement on the most interesting option(s)
to be tried out;
Improved linkages between farmers and sources of innovations. Clusters Rationale
Elements Expected Outcomes elsewhere can provide interesting ideas to follow up. The
various ideas are screened systematically by the farmers and PTD facilitators, and a joint
agenda for experimentation is developed.
making a critical review of the options by establishing criteria for selecting initial activities
and assessing advantages and disadvantages;
clarifying expected effects of the options on different sub-groups within the community
and the area;
developing an understanding of the need to experiment with the options selected;
agreeing on what exactly is to be found out by doing the experiment (formulating the
hypothesis to be tested). Experimentation The focus is on experiments that farmers can

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manage and evaluate themselves and that give results on which the farmers can base sound
decisions. Through involvement in these activities,
reviewing farmers existing experimental practices;
designing selected experiments;
defining evaluation criteria and choosing monitoring and evaluation tools;
insight into the functioning and value of innovations, gained through experiments planned,
implemented and assessed by farmers;
development of technology adaptations that are relevant locally; Clusters Rationale
Elements Expected Outcomes farmers improve their capacity to adapt their agricultural
practices. This is achieved through skill development, group building, and strengthening
exchange and supportive linkages with other communities and organizations.
Training farmer experimenters;
Establishing and managing the experiments;
Monitoring by the farmer-experimenters supported by PTD facilitators;
Evaluating results, both during the course and at the end of the experiments, to decide if the
option is suitable locally, to develop possible technical guidelines for applying it and/or to
identify any need for further experiments;
Reviewing the experience of collaboration and experimentation with a view to improving
the PTD process.
Improved capacity and skills of farmers in experimentation;
Increased understanding of PTD processes. Clusters Rationale Elements Expected
Outcomes Sharing the results: farmerbased extension Many of the above activities involve
farmers learning from other farmers - while discussing problems and opportunities, seeking
good ideas and analyzing results of experiments. PTD also encourages wider sharing of
results among other farmers, using the networks developed during earlier PTD activities. Not
only are the locally developed technologies disseminated, but attention is also given to
sharing the methodological aspects of learning through experiences of farmer organization
and experimentation.
Studying the existing patterns and channels of farmer- to - farmer exchange and learning;
Strengthening farmer-to-farmer exchange: visits, farmer-to-farmer training through
learning-by doing; developing manuals and audiovisuals by and for farmers;
training farmers as grassroots extensionists/ promoters.
Enhanced farmer-to farmer diffusion of ideas and technologies;

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Building up an intercommunity PTD network;
Involvement of an increasing number of communities in systematic technology
development;
Establishment of a farmer-managed system of inter-community training and
communication. Clusters Rationale Elements Expected Outcomes Sustaining the PTD
process The ultimate aim is to leave communities with a capacity to implement an effective
process of change. PTD programs are therefore concerned with organizational development
and the creation of favorable conditions for on going experimentation and development of
sustainable agro-ecological systems. The role of outside PTD facilitators gradually changes.
Their attention begins to shift to other communities and areas. They gradually phase out their
support at one site, in order to be able to promote PTD on a wider scale.
Stimulating group development and linking groups with farmers organizations;
Providing training in fields related to management;
Strengthening linkages between (groups of) farmers and service organizations;
Consolidating institutional and policy support to PTD processes;
Documenting the process and methods of experimentation and diffusion;
Supporting evaluation of the impacts of technologies and the PTD process on the livelihood
system.
Consolidated community networks or organizations for agricultural self management; a
more supportive institutional environment;
Documented and operationalized PTD approach and resource materials;
Relevant services and input supply. This approach greatly reduces the time spent between
problem identification and development of applicable solutions, especially for problems that
can and should be tackled at the farmers level. Results from site-specific, farmer-led
research and innovation in one locality can rarely be replicated exactly elsewhere but can
serve as sources of ideas for farmers in other areas. Benefits Resulting from Participation by
Farmers in the Process of Technology Development Gonsalves et. al, 2005, enlisted the
following benefits resulting from participation by farmers in the process of Technology
Development
Improved understanding by scientists of the needs of small farmers, leading to better
identification of problems appropriate for adaptive, on-farm research
Improved feedback on farmers needs and objectives to guide applied research in research
stations accelerated transfer and adoption of improved technology by small farmers

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efficient, cost-effective use of scarce resources in on-farm research through better linkages
among farmers, researchers and extensions
Development of organizational models, professional skills and values appropriate for
demand driven, problem-oriented technology design Outcomes of using participatory
research The major outcomes expected from using participatory research are related to
behavioral change, resulting benefits and finally impact. Research more responsive to
farmer needs and adjustment of the research agenda to being more relevant:
First-hand appreciation of the diversity of farmer problems;
Incorporation of farmers criteria into technology design and technology evaluation; multidisciplinary teams increase appreciation of socioeconomic factors by biophysical scientists;
Identification and use of information technology knowledge (ITK) and appreciation for
farmer innovation adds value;
Expanding the integrated application of technologies through farmers adaptation and use of
system improvement principles;
Generation of win-win technologies (those that improve food, feed, income and
environment) using farmer-led experimentation; and
Collaborative activities and synergies between farmers, development partners and
researchers have improved chances for change. Challenges Valdhuizen etal put forth the
challenges of PTD as follows: Many development agents lack the confidence to enter into this
open-ended approach because of possible sanctions for not meeting expectations in
transferring technologies from research stations. Development agents are restricted in
encouraging farmers to try things on their own terms on a small scale. Situations must be
created that lead to attitudinal change of development agents and their superiors towards
accepting that farmers knowledge and innovation are complementary to their knowledge and
skills. Substantial time is needed to support PTD training, with brief learning sessions being
interspersed with longer implementation periods. Learning sessions should include real cases
of farmer or community-led experimentation, and design of follow-up assignments by the
trainees themselves. At the end of each implementation period, trainees should reflect jointly
on their experiences. Creativity is needed to capture both the innovations and the process of
participatory innovation development in written, audio and visual forms for sharing. Good
documentation helps farmers and development agents deal with formal researchers and
policymakers in demanding policy support for PTD.

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Participatory extension is a continuous, progressive and iterative learning process for the
extension worker and the farmer. The rural appraisal is considered the starting point of this
process and is aimed at the identification of problems and possible solutions (from the
farmer's perspective). The extension activities to orient and support this process are the
execution of a participatory appraisal and the promotion of alternatives

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Chapter-11

Participatory Rural Appraisal


Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is an approach used by non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) and other agencies involved in international development. The
approach aims to incorporate the knowledge and opinions of rural people in the planning and
management of development projects and programmes.
Origins of participatory rural appraisal
The roots of PRA techniques can be traced to the activist adult education methods of Paulo
Freire and the study clubs of the Antigonish Movement. In this view, an actively involved
and empowered local population is essential to successful rural community development.
Robert Chambers, a key exponent of PRA, argues that the approach owes much to "the
Freirian theme, that poor and exploited people can and should be enabled to analyze their
own reality.". By the early 1980s, there was growing dissatisfaction among development
experts with both the reductionism of formal surveys, and the biases of typical field visits. In
1983, Robert Chambers, a Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (UK), used the
term Rapid Rural Appraisal to describe techniques that could bring about a 'reversal of
learning'. Two years later, the first international conference to share experiences relating to
RRA was held in Thailand. This was followed by a rapid growth in the development of
methods that involved rural people in examining their own problems, setting their own goals,
and monitoring their own achievements. By the mid 1990s, the term RRA had been replaced
by a number of other terms including Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and
Participatory Learning and Action (PLA).
Overview of PRA techniques
Hundreds of participatory techniques and tools have been described in a variety of books and
newsletters, or taught at training courses around the world. These techniques can be divided
into four categories:

Group dynamics, e.g. learning contracts, role reversals, feedback sessions

Sampling, e.g. transect walks, wealth ranking, social mapping

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Interviewing, e.g. focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, triangulation

Visualization e.g. venn diagrams, matrix scoring, timelines

To ensure that people are not excluded from participation, these techniques avoid writing
wherever possible, relying instead on the tools of oral communication like pictures, symbols,
physical objects and group memory. Efforts are made in many projects, however, to build a
bridge to formal literacy; for example by teaching people how to sign their names or
recognize their signatures.
A 'new professionalism' for development
A key idea that has accompanied the development of PRA techniques is that of a new
professionalism. Robert Chambers has explained this as follows:
The central thrusts of the [new] paradigm are decentralization and empowerment.
Decentralization means that resources and discretion are devolved, turning back the inward
and upward flows of resources and people. Empowerment means that people, especially
poorer people, are enabled to take more control over their lives, and secure a better livelihood
with ownership and control of productive assets as one key element. Decentralization and
empowerment enable local people to exploit the diverse complexities of their own conditions,
and to adapt to rapid change. To be an external agent of change within this discipline
implies two-way learning. Development agents learn to both appreciate and lever the power
of oral culture and the transformations that are possible within it. Walter J. Ong has argued
that many of the contrasts often made between western and other views seem reducible to
contrasts between deeply interiorized literacy and more or less residually oral states of
consciousness.
The limits of PRA
There are those who see limits to PRA. This is on a range of grounds - for example that it
doesn't work, that it reveals the secrets of rural communities to be managed by development
agencies, or that it is a tool of coopration into neo-liberal development agendas. These were
summarized

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Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)
Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) comprises a set of techniques aimed at shared learning
between local people and outsiders. The term itself is misleading because more and more
PRA is being used not only in rural settings, and not only for project appraisal, but
throughout the project cycle, as well as for research studies. Indeed, the term PRA is one of
many labels for similar participatory assessment approaches, the methodologies of which
overlap considerably. It is probably more useful to consider the key principles behind PRA
and its associated techniques, rather than the name per se, when assessing its appropriateness
to a particular situation. There are five key principles that form the basis of any PRA activity
no matter what the objectives or setting:
Participation. PRA relies heavily on participation by the communities, as the method is
designed to enable local people to be involved, not only as sources of information, but as
partners with the PRA team in gathering and analyzing the information.
Flexibility. The combination of techniques that is appropriate in a particular development
context will be determined by such variables as the size and skill mix of the PRA team, the
time and resources available, and the topic and location of the work.
Teamwork. Generally, a PRA is best conducted by a local team (speaking the local
languages) with a few outsiders present, a significant representation of women, and a mix of
sector specialists and social scientists, according to the topic.
Optimal ignorance. To be efficient in terms of both time and money, PRA work intends to
gather just enough information to make the necessary recommendations and decisions.
Systematic. As PRA-generated data in their original form are seldom conducive to statistical
analysis (given its largely qualitative nature and relatively small sample size), alternative
ways have been developed to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings. These include
sampling based on approximate stratification of the community by geographic location or
relative wealth, and cross-checking, that is using a number of techniques to investigate views
on a single topic (including through a final community meeting to discuss the findings and
correct inconsistencies). A new version of PRA comprises quantification of qualitative data
so that at program level, statistical analysis becomes possible. PRA makes use of a basket of

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techniques through which from which those most appropriate for the project context can be
selected. The central part of any PRA is semi-structured interviewing. While sensitive topics
are often better addressed in interviews with individuals, other topics of more general concern
are amenable to focus group discussions and community meetings. During these interviews
and discussions, several diagrammatic techniques are frequently used to stimulate debate and
record the results. Many of these visuals are not drawn on paper but on the ground with
sticks, stones, seeds, and other local materials, and then transferred to paper for a permanent
record.
Some of the key PRA diagrammatic techniques are:
Mapping techniques
Ranking exercises
Trend analysis
Visual-based techniques are important tools for enhancing a shared understanding between
outsiders and insiders, but may hide important differences of opinion and perspective when
drawn in group settings, and may not reveal cultural-based information and beliefs
adequately. They therefore need to be complemented by other techniques, such as careful
interviewing and observation, to crosscheck and supplement the results of diagramming. PRA
involve some risks and limitations. Many of them are not unique to this method but are
inherent in any research method that aims to investigate local conditions. One of the main
problems is the risk of raising expectations. This may be impossible to avoid, but can be
minimized with careful and repeated clarification of the purpose of the PRA and the role of
the team in relation to the project, or government, at the start of every interview and meeting.
Trying to use PRA as a standard survey to gather primarily quantitative data, using large
sample sizes, and a questionnaire approach could greatly compromise the quality of the work
and the insights produced. And, if the PRA team is not adequately trained in the methodology
before the work begins, there is often a tendency to use too many different techniques, some
of which are not relevant to the topic at hand. In general, when a training element is involved,
there will be a trade-off between the long-term objective of building the capacity of the PRA
team and getting good quality results in their first experience of using the methodology.
Furthermore, one common problem is that insufficient time is allowed for the team to relax

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with the local people, to listen to them, and to learn about the more sensitive issues under
consideration. Rushing will also often mean missing the views of the poorest and least
articulate members of the communities visited. The translation of PRA results into a standard
evaluation report poses considerable challenges, and individuals unfamiliar with participatory
research methods may raise questions about the credibility of the PRA findings
Participatory Rural Appraisal

Collaborative Decision Making: Community-Based Method


Contents of this section:

Key Tenets of PRA

PRA Tools

Organizing PRA

Sequence of Techniques

References

Natural Resource Management in Burkina Faso

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) is a label given to a growing family of participatory


approaches and methods that emphasize local knowledge and enable local people to make
their own appraisal, analysis, and plans. PRA uses group animation and exercises to facilitate
information sharing, analysis, and action among stakeholders. Although originally developed
for use in rural areas, PRA has been employed successfully in a variety of settings. The
purpose of PRA is to enable development practitioners, government officials, and local people
to work together to plan context appropriate programs. Participatory rural appraisal evolved
from rapid rural appraisal-a set of informal techniques used by development practitioners in
rural areas to collect and analyze data. Rapid rural appraisal developed in the 1970s and 1980s
in response to the perceived problems of outsiders missing or miscommunication with local
people in the context of development work. In PRA, data collection and analysis are
undertaken by local people, with outsiders facilitating rather than controlling. PRA is an
approach for shared learning between local people and outsiders, but the term is somewhat
misleading. PRA techniques are equally applicable in urban settings and are not limited to

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assessment only. The same approach can be employed at every stage of the project cycle and
in country economic and sector work.
Key Tenets of PRA
1. Participation. Local people's input into PRA activities is essential to its value as a research
and planning method and as a means for diffusing the participatory approach to
development.
2. Teamwork. To the extent that the validity of PRA data relies on informal interaction and
brainstorming among those involved, it is best done by a team that includes local people
with perspective and knowledge of the area's conditions, traditions, and social structure
and either nationals or expatriates with a complementary mix of disciplinary backgrounds
and experience. A well-balanced team will represent the diversity of socioeconomic,
cultural, gender, and generational perspectives.
3. Flexibility. PRA does not provide blueprints for its practitioners. The combination of
techniques that is appropriate in a particular development context will be determined by
such variables as the size and skill mix of the PRA team, the time and resources available,
and the topic and location of the work.
4. Optimal ignorance. To be efficient in terms of both time and money, PRA work intends to
gather just enough information to make the necessary recommendations and decisions.
5. Triangulation. PRA works with qualitative data. To ensure that information is valid and
reliable, PRA teams follow the rule of thumb that at least three sources must be consulted
or techniques must be used to investigate the same topics.
PRA Tools
PRA is an exercise in communication and transfer of knowledge. Regardless of whether it is
carried out as part of project identification or appraisal or as part of country economic and
sector work, the learning by doing and teamwork spirit of PRA requires transparent
procedures. For that reason, a series of open meetings (an initial open meeting, final meeting,
and follow-up meeting) generally frame the sequence of PRA activities. Other tools common
in PRA are:

Semi structured interviewing

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Focus group discussions

Preference ranking

Mapping and modeling

Seasonal and historical diagramming.

Organizing PRA
A typical PRA activity involves a team of people working for two to three weeks on
workshop discussions, analyses, and fieldwork. Several organizational aspects should
be considered:
1. Logistical arrangements should consider nearby accommodations, arrangements for
lunch for fieldwork days, sufficient vehicles, portable computers, funds to purchase
refreshments for community meetings during the PRA, and supplies such as flip chart
paper and markers.
2. Training of team members may be required, particularly if the PRA has the second
objective of training in addition to data collection.
3. PRA results are influenced by the length of time allowed to conduct the exercise,
scheduling and assignment of report writing, and critical analysis of all data,
conclusions, and recommendations.
4. A PRA covering relatively few topics in a small area (perhaps two to four
communities) should take between ten days and four weeks, but a PRA with a wider
scope over a larger area can take several months. Allow five days for an introductory
workshop if training is involved.
5. Reports are best written immediately after the fieldwork period, based on notes from
PRA team members. A preliminary report should be available within a week or so of
the fieldwork, and the final report should be made available to all participants and the
local institutions that were involved.
Sequence of Techniques
PRA techniques can be combined in a number of different ways, depending on the topic
under investigation. Some general rules of thumb, however, are useful. Mapping and
modeling are good techniques to start with because they involve several people, stimulate
much discussion and enthusiasm, provide the PRA team with an overview of the area, and

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deal with non-controversial information. Maps and models may lead to transect walks,
perhaps accompanied by some of the people who have constructed the map. Wealth ranking
is best done later in a PRA, once a degree of rapport has been established, given the relative
sensitivity of this information. The current situation can be shown using maps and models,
but subsequent seasonal and historical diagramming exercises can reveal changes and trends,
throughout a single year or over several years. Preference ranking is a good icebreaker at the
beginning of a group interview and helps focus the discussion. Later, individual interviews
can follow up on the different preferences among the group members and the reasons for
these differences.
Natural Resource Management in Burkina Faso
Prior to appraisal of this environmental management project, twenty pilot operations tested
the PRA approach to determine which techniques suited the project's resources, topic, and
location. Best practices were distilled without blueprint designs. The result is a project based
on a multitiered process in which communities design management plans with the help of
multidisciplinary teams of technicians. This approach starts with awareness raising and trust
building and proceeds to collaborative diagnosis, community organization, and plan design.
Local government agreement, implementation, and participatory monitoring and evaluation
follow. Central and regional governments have come on board with this approach, endorsing
administrative decentralization and reorganization and working for revisions of ambiguous
land tenure laws. Both of these steps encourage local solutions to local problems and work
for empowering people to manage natural resources in a sustainable way.
Participatory Rural Appraisal
Introduction
This module is aimed at providing the participants with a better understanding of
participatory rural appraisal and the characteristics of a good PRA facilitator. The participants
learn some practical guidelines and procedures for planning and conducting a participatory
rural appraisal.
Understanding participatory rural appraisal- In this lesson, the participants learn about
participatory rural appraisal and its differences with rapid rural appraisal.
Guidelines and procedures for planning and conducting

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Participatory rural appraisal- The participants are provided with the knowledge and skills in
planning and conducting participatory rural appraisal
Characteristics of a good PRA facilitator- The participants acquire better understanding of
the characteristics of a good PRA facilitator.
Understanding participatory rural appraisal (PRA)
Objectives
At the end of the lesson, the participants should be able to
1. describe participatory rural appraisal; and
2. differentiate participatory rural appraisal with rapid rural appraisal.
1. Ask the participants to discuss their own understanding of participatory rural appraisal and
the difference between PRA and rapid rural appraisal. List the outputs of the discussion on a
large brown sheet of paper.
2. Summarize the output of the discussion and fill the gaps in participants understanding by
giving a brief lecture using the learning notes.
Learning notes
What is participatory rural appraisal?
Appraisal The finding out of information about problems, needs, and potential in a village.
It is the first stage in any project.
Participatory Means that people are involved in the process a bottom-up approach that
requires good communication skills and attitude of state forestry staff.
Rural The techniques can be used in any situation, urban or rural, with both literate and
illiterate people.
PRA is intended to enable local communities to conduct their own analysis and to plan and
take action (Chambers R. 1992). PRA involves state forestry staff learning together with
villagers about the village. The aim of PRA is to help strengthen the capacity of villagers to
plan, make decisions, and to take action towards improving their own situation.
What are the differences between PRA and RRA?
Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)
Learning rapidly and directly from Villagers State forestry staff learn and obtain information,
take it away, and analyze it. It is extractive (information is gathered and used according to the
needs of the state forestry staff). Learning with villagers Facilitate local capacity to analyze,
plan, make decisions, take action, resolve conflicts, monitor, and evaluate according to the
needs of the villagers.

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What are the guidelines in planning and conducting PRA?
Learning with villagers Where they live, face to face. Learning physical, social, and
technical knowledge.
Learning rapidly and progressively Explore, be flexible, look for opportunities, and
improvise.
Be aware of biases Be relaxed. Do not rush. Ask questions and listen. Be humble and
respectful. Look for opportunities for representations from the poorest, women, and
powerless.
Get enough information but not too much which is unnecessary.
Crosscheck by using different methods (triangulation).
Facilitation is the outsiders role Help villagers to do the investigation, analysis,
presentation, and learning, themselves. As an outsider, start the process and then stand back,
and letting the villagers get on with it. Do not interrupt.
Critical self-awareness and responsibility As a facilitator keep examining your
behavior and try to do this work of encouraging and strengthening villagers better.
Sharing Of information and ideas between villagers themselves, villagers and
facilitators, and amongst facilitators.
What are the procedures in conducting participatory rural appraisal?
Step 1 The state forestry staff prepares the necessary materials in conducting PRA work in
the village.
Step 2 The state forestry staff meets with the village administration, VFCG, and key villagers
to discuss the objectives, Expected outcome, processes, and requirements (e.g. organizing
village PRA teams) in conducting joint PRA work in the village. The state forestry staff also
explains how the PRA results can be used in planning, implementing, and managing initial
village forestry activities in the village.
Step 3 The state forestry staff discusses with the village administration and VFCG the criteria
for organizing a PRA composite team made up of VFCG, state forestry staff, and key
villagers including women. The roles of the villagers (lead the PRA process) and state
forestry staff (provide technical assistance and facilitates the PRA process) are discussed and
agreed upon.
Step 4 The composite PRA team meets to discuss the procedures, requirements, and
Expected outcomes from the PRA work.
Step 5 The composite PRA team plans and prepares for the conduct of PRA work.

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Step 6 The composite PRA team undertakes the PRA exercises.
Step 7 The composite PRA team reviews the processes and outputs of the PRA exercises and
discusses how it can be used in planning, implementing, and managing initial village forestry
activities in the village.
Step 8 The composite PRA team reports the PRA results to the village administration and
village assembly.
What are the characteristics of a good PRA facilitator?
Appropriate behavior and attitude of a facilitator is the key to a successful PRA. A good PRA
facilitator is characterized by a behavior and attitude that:

Build rapport with men and women, rich and poor, young and old, and people with
different ethnic or social group backgrounds.

Being friendly, interested, culturally sensitive, relaxed and open, avoiding making
people feel uncomfortable.

Listening and probing, and leaving time in conversation for additional comments.

Selecting PRA tools that suit local conditions and recognizing that not all PRA tools
are suited to all situations or social groups.

Engaging in conversations that have a two-way exchange of information.

Being patient but proceeding at a moderate pace.

Seeking views of the weaker, less influential people or groups.

Sharing information.

Giving people enough time to communicate and consider ideas.

Being self-aware and self-critical, using own judgment, avoiding personal biases.

Learning from people, not lecturing.

Checking and rechecking the validity of information using different sources.

Frequently reflecting on what information has been gained and where the gaps are.

Identifying and testing assumptions.

Admitting error and learning from mistakes.

Trying to ensure that villagers expectations are not raised too early, and avoiding
making promises that cannot be fulfilled.

Asking questions that invite explanations or viewpoints rather than yes or no.

Scheduling PRA activities so that they fit in as much as possible with seasonal and
daily routines of villagers.

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Using selected PRA methods and tools


Introduction
The module is aimed at providing the participants with knowledge and skills in using selected
PRA methods and tools (i.e. semi-structured interview, time chart or seasonal calendar, pairwise ranking, Venn diagram, village profiling, social mapping, census mapping, and wealth
ranking) in village forestry work
What is a semi-structured interview?
A semi-structured interview is a PRA method that engages villagers in a conversation
through a series of guide questions (not structured questionnaire) relevant to the villagers.
Important information is generated by talking with villagers about topics that interest them.
SSI can be used with individuals, key informants, interest groups or other small groups of
villagers (i.e. womens groups).
What are the procedures in using a semi-structure interview (SSI)?
Step 1 Prepare a checklist of topics and guide questions for discussion and record these in a
notebook.
Step 2 Select individuals, key informants, interest groups, or other small groups of villagers
to interview. Get a good representation of the villagers- spatial, gender, wealth class, etc.
Step 3 Select time and location where the conduct of SSI cannot be disturbed or disrupted.
Step 4 Observe proper interviewing techniques.
Step 5 Use the checklist of topics and guide questions (see sample) but allow flexibility in the
conversation so that issues can be explored as they arise.
Step 6 Probe (use relevant follow up questions as needed).
Step 7 Ask questions that is relevant to the villagers being interviewed (individual or group).
Step 8 Use open-ended questions (not answerable by yes or no).
Step 9 Record the important points in each interview in a notebook.
Step 10 Modify the checklist of topics and guide questions as new issues arise during the
conversation.

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Farmer

Extension worker

Extension objective

Assessment and

Participatory appraisal and promotion of Widening horizon of

solutions

alternatives through field visits plenary

analysis and awareness of

meetings/workshops

possible solutions

Follow up results previous phase;


Decision-making

planning workshops
Action plan

Execution

Training: demonstration, technical


assistance, training workshops;

Local capacity building

Evaluation: field visits and evaluation


Evaluation

workshops
Validation

Figure: Participatory extension approach

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Chapter-12
ICT Initiatives in INDIA
ICTs are increasingly considered to include a converging spectrum of technologies that
consist primarily of telecommunications, computing and broadcasting. The Internet is the
latest in the range of ICTs available. The collapsing boundaries between these different kinds
of communication technologies have made it possible no only to collect information that
went once largely unrecorded, but also to make it relatively easy to store, analyze and retrieve
in various ways. The role of ICTs in poverty alleviation needs to be examined in the context
of extreme deprivation and poverty in which a majority of people live, not only in India but in
the entire developing world. The World Bank in its annual report on 'Global Economic
Prospects' has highlighted that the population of the poor living on less than one dollar per
day has increased from 474.4 million in 1987 to 552 million in the year 2000. Needless to say
a dollar a day is a measure of extreme poverty. It may be worthwhile to note that the increase
in the poverty in the developing world is happening in the backdrop of increasing global
economic competition, fundamental transformation in the nature of the national economies as
well as that of global economy itself, and falling agricultural and industrial returns coupled
with downside agricultural, industrial and services work environments.
This fundamental economic transformation has had the greatest impact on the poor. In the
name of globalization and free trade, developing countries are being increasingly pushed to a
noncompetitive situation. The World Bank in its above cited annual report ridiculed the
double standards of industrialized countries, which keep exports of developing countries
down by charging tariffs as high as 550 per cent for the developing countries. The Bank
points out that the QUAD countries (the US, the European Union, Japan and Canada) trade
among themselves at tariffs ranging from 4.3 per cent in Japan to 8.3 per cent in Canada; and
only 1.2 per cent of tariff lines are subject to NTB (non-tariff barriers); however most of the
NTBs are found in the agriculture, textiles and clothing where developing countries have a
comparative advantage. Products with high tariffs in QUAD countries include major
agricultural staple food products, such as meat, sugar, milk, dairy products and chocolate, for
which tariff rates frequently exceed 100 per cent; tobacco and some alcoholic beverages;
fruits and vegetables and textiles, clothing and footwear. In the US, only 311 of 500 tariff
lines are above 15 per cent. Yet 15 per cent of exports from the least developed countries to
the US face these tariffs. There might be considerable potential for the least developed

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countries to increase their exports if US tariffs were reduced. For example, almost $26 billion
of exports from developing countries in 1999 to the world were products that would have
faced tariffs above 50 per cent in the QUAD countries. Only about $ 5 million of the $ 26
billion was actually exported to the QUAD countries. On the other hand, the QUAD countries
imported about $ 50 billion of the same goods, most of it from industrialized countries. The
knowledge economy does not offer permanent jobs nor permanent specialization because
related skills need to be constantly upgraded and improved to be able to compete. Yet
increasingly ICTs could help bring the poor closer to opportunities for economic growth,
even though merely 0.25 per cent of Indians are net enabled. The problem lies with the nature
of the policies to promote ICT development and use. The Indian Government's IT task force
and the National Working Group on "Taking IT to the Masses" have focused on how the
profitability of the Indian IT Industry can be increased-something that hardly needs any
significant focus considering India exported software and services to 95 countries around the
world during 1999-2000 amounting to over US$ 8 billion. But they have yet to visualize how
ICTs can fulfill the needs of the rural poor, nor have they examined creative ways in which
the communication technologies, perhaps sequenced with some of the old ones, can help
accelerate poverty eradication. Nor are the policy-makers seriously examining ways to
generate employment in the IT industry, which could be done by integrating ICTs into local
level development planning and work. Despite these lacunae at the policy level, there have
been some heartening developments at the local level, as well as few success stories, which
should be noted:
The Gunawad success story: Nobody in Kal Singh's village of Gunawad in the central
Indian state of Madhya Pradesh could afford to buy his Jersey cow. He took the problem to
the local net kiosk where a net-enabled software called Gram Haat (Village Market) he
advertised his cow. The entrant connected 32 villages and after some e-haggling, he got a
buyer from the village Dilwara for Rs.3,000 ($75) The Gram Haat is one of the applications
of Gyandoot, a rural e-governance project that is panchayat-funded (funded at the level of the
village) but privately managed through kiosks in Madhya Pradesh.
The Ujjas innovation: The National Foundation of India, a nonprofit foundation in India
initially offered the village women from the Western state of Gujarat's underdeveloped region
called Kutch (same area that has been devastated by the recent earthquake) to bring out their
own newsletter called Ujjas (which means the 'LIGHT') with the help of Kutch Mahila Vikas

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Sangathan, a district level NGO. The newsletter was very successful amongst the women to
help fight social exploitation as well as issues such as dowry, female infanticide, drunkenness
amongst the men folk, enabled them to trade and do business amongst themselves as well as
share knowledge amongst themselves. The success of Ujjas attracted other funding agencies
including the Ministry of Rural Development to support a 105-episode community radio
program also called the UJJAS that is broadcast by the All India Radio Bhuj station. The
program allows the women to voice their concerns, learn from each other and interact with
the rest of the world. The impact of Ujjas in one of the remotest corners of India is a
testimony to the fundamental belief that the innovative use of communication technologies
can be a powerful tool in the hands of the poor, particularly women and the children.
The impact of e-governance in Punjab and Madhya Pradesh: When brothers Kartar Singh
and Naib Singh from Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab, one of the richest and most developed states
from Northern India, decided to apply for a loan of Rs. 50,000 (approx. US$1200) to buy new
farm equipment, they knew it would take at least a week of legwork to get a mortgage deed
registered. Amazingly, the revenue official at the district HQ told them to deposit Rs. 10
(approx. US 25 cents) and instantly gave them a copy of the record of the rights. It then took
less than 10 minutes for the District Revenue office to verify the brother's ownership, put the
fraud-proof computer generated photographs of them and the two witnesses on the revenue
stamp paper and hand over the signed deed. Old style governance would have typically taken
the Singh brothers a few days of pleading and bribing to get the record of rights out of the
District Revenue Office. If a property had to be registered the owner could forget about the
documents once he handed them over to the registration office. For example, in India's one of
the most underdeveloped states Bihar, the backlog of property registration goes back to as
much as 30 years; however it is nonexistent in Fatehgarh. In Mafipura, a tiny village of 39
families in Dhar district of the central Indian state Madhya Pradesh, e-governance covers
very basic needs. A broken hand pump meant the village lost its only source of water and
with the block development officer (BDO is the official appointed by the state government
responsible for a cluster of villages) absent as usual, there was no one to complaint to.
Tentative residents went to the village cyberdhaba (Internet kiosk) to e-mail their complaint
to the collector at the district HQ. Two days later an engineer turned up, e-mail printed in
hand!! Mafipura is part of an Internet called Gyandoot, a rural development project that won
the State Government Madhya Pradesh an award last year. The Internet is administered

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through 32 kiosks and it has nullified the role of the lower rungs of the bureaucracy. The
District Health Centers are now proposed to be linked to the district hospital something,
which will hopefully make an impact in the lives of the villagers. One story making rounds in
Dhar district is of Mohan Patidar, a 40-year old soyabean farmer from Tirla in Dhar, who
sold his last crop at the district mandi directly for Rs.700/-Rs.600/-per quintal (US$16-$15
for 100 kgs.) After checking the rates in different markets on the Internet at his village cyber
kiosk; paying less than 4.5 cents for the service. However, earlier things were extremely
difficult for him; as he would have spent Rs. 10/-(35 cents) on bus fare and endure a 30minute backbreaking journey to Dhar just to find out the crop prices in the wholesale market.
Then the middleman who picked up his crop would pay at least Rs. 50 (US$ 1.20) less per
quintal. Now Patedar wants to rent a truck and ferry his crop to Baroda mandi (market), more
than 300 km. away, because he has accessed the highest price-a cool Rs. 900/-(US$21) per
quintal-from his village kiosk. Incidentally, Dhar project in Madhya Pradesh; which is
possibly the best digital empowerment project in India currently; was awarded the prestigious
Stockholm Challenge Award. In the same district 18 "headstart" schools impart computer
education in dirt-poor villages where more than 70 per cent people are illiterate and 74 per
cent people live below the poverty line. Needless to say the children are very excited about
the interactive learning and many walk barefoot up to 15 km. for their share of interactive
learning. People are paying for their children's interactive learning gradually - an affordable
40 cents every month.
ICT's role in the elimination of corruption: Wherever the zealous converts to e-governance
have made determined efforts towards e-governance they have been successful. The Western
State of Gujarat implemented the computerized check post project at the 10 octroi (an entry
tax every trucker is supposed to pay to the Government depending on the material it is
ferrying) posts on Gujarat borders. The moment a truck enters Gujarat, its weight gets
recorded on a computer and the vehicle, number plate are video-graphed. The audiovisual
information is instantly accessible at the central control room in the state's capital
Ahmedabad. No longer it is possible for local officials to cut their own deals and record a
lower weight against a bribe. While octroi receipts have quadrupled over the past year, the
downside has been that the number of trucks entering Gujarat has reduced by 25 per cent.

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ICT for identifying water-resources: In India's drought-prone state Rajasthan, innovative
software called "Jal Chitra" (The Water Picture) is being used by the villagers to identify
water-resources in the desert.
Craftswomen use ICT to sell handicrafts: Another success story exists in the Northern
state Uttar Pradesh's Jhansi where women have been relying extensively on the Internet to
generate business inquiries from interested customers based worldwide in their handicrafts.
They are able to use the Net to negotiate a fair pricing for their products without an
intermediary; and also get repeat business from the buyers. Earlier these craftswomen were
exploited by the middlemen who used to retain bulk of the sale proceeds from the crafts;
giving the women a small share. Now they have started using the Internet for sourcing a new
variety of crafts that they are unable to make and in which their buyers are interested. There
has been an improvement in their living standards and lifestyle for the last over two years
now. Another success story of women's involvement in ICTs exists in Pondicherry's
Embalam village in East Coast India where 50 per cent of volunteers are women.
ICT empowering blind boy: When the authorities in Dhar District of Madhya Pradesh
announced a contest for any school-going boy or girl who managed to woo 10 villagers to a
cyber kiosk and get them interested in the Internet; would be entitled to appear for a general
knowledge exam that would fetch the topper a Rs. 1,000 (US$ 23.25) a month-scholarship for
the next five year; an 18-year old blind student Arpit Jain did not waste a minute. He coaxed
11 villagers to cyber kiosks and took the test in Braille with 175 kids. He topped scoring 72
out of 75 marks and is now learning computers on a very fast track.
Cyber extension Cyber extension is an effective and viable tool of dissemination of
information not only for farmers but also for students, extension personnel, scientists, policy
makers, planners and other stake holders. It is an integration of various technologies using
network and the process of communicating the desired and the needy information to the
target clients for making them more participative and independent in their decision making.
Cyber extension is cheap, often updated and can reach maximum number of targets at a
minimum time and more importantly it is an interactive media. Cyber extension will bring
new information services to the rural areas which farmers, as users will have much greater
control over current information channels. Several approaches like 'Warana Wired Village

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Project (Maharashtra)', 'Cyber Grammen (Swarna Bharat Trust)', E-Chaupal (ITC), I-Kisan
(Nagarjuna Gorup of Companies) etc have been tested and doing well.
The cyber extension tools and techniques affect the whole extension system in a big way as it
reduces the dependency for personal advice to a great extent. In most case cyber extension
will not even replace the traditional extension. Rather it will add more interactivity and adds
to two way communication. Cyber is the most flexible medium of communication currently
available. Kisan Call Centers: Toll Free Telephone Number 1551 considering the impressive
telecom network in the country, Kisan Call Center scheme started by the Govt. of India,
Ministry of Agriculture, which is based on extension service delivering knowledge and
information exactly as per the requirements of the farming community by using telecom
network. The scheme has been functioning from 2nd January 2004. The call centers can be
accessed by farmers all over the country on common Toll Free Telephone Number 1551
which can be dialed from anywhere in the country, the location is immaterial as the call can
originate from any village to land at a specific call centers
The study conducted in Samastipur district of Bihar for seeking the opinion of progressive
farmers about its accessibility. The study revealed that 95 % respondents did not know about
the number 1551 and no access to the call centers so far. Only 5 % respondents accessed the
call centers and were satisfied partially with the answer. The information agencies therefore,
need to make intensive efforts for popularization of kisan call centers as awareness
programme. In addition, there is also need to strengthen telecom network for effectiveness of
knowledge and information delivery to the farming community.
Knowledge Management Knowledge plays a very important role in agricultural
development in present days. Without imparting proper knowledge to farmers on crop
diversification, use of land according to land capability class, balanced fertilization, improved
seed replacement rate, integrated pest management, improved processing, marketing of
products, storage facilities and coverage for risk and uncertainties, the dream of achieving the
second green revolution will be futile. The future role of extension agent should be
knowledge manager in order to make farmers competent for enhanced production and
increased income. Information technology offers immense potential in enhancing the
efficiency and effectiveness of agriculture extension programmes and dissemination of the
best practices. However, it is to be taken care that we have very low internet penetration and

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as a matter of fact the rural internet penetration is restricted to only a few states and regions.
In this regard MSSRF has proposed the unique HUB and SPOKES model for information
dissemination.
The idea of an online grid of extension and educational materials by ICRISAT in
collaboration with the State Agricultural Universities and National Agriculture Research
System (NARS), the integrated use of internet and the community FM radio as promoted by
the National Alliance for Mission 2007, are some extra ordinary steps ahead. However, when
we look into the statistics of the internet society of the internet society magazine, it was found
that barely 7 % of the rural information used in the ICT based centers was for actual
agricultural practices. With the launch of advanced satellites,

it is now possible to share

the research data and disseminate information to every nook and corner of the country. In the
existing system knowledge management in rural communities still continue to have difficulty
in accessing crucial information and understand easily without dissemination loss. A wide
gap between the researcher/experts and farmers, exists. It is true that India possess a valuable
agricultural knowldeg and expertise but it is not in structured electronic form that can be
easily accessed. Web services can provide solution to rural masses such as e-chaupal and IKisan. I-Kisan is being developed as a comprehensive Agri Portal to address the information,
knowledge and business requirement. Certainly the powerful and speedy electronic medium
like internet has revolutionized the information availability, acquisition, processing and
utilization but what sounds alertness is the likely emergence of digital divide in society. The
wide disparities among farming communities with respect to socio-economic conditions,
infrastructure base and physical accessibility may lead to differential gain and resulting in
imbalance growth. Application of ICT needs a closer examination to identify and analyse the
constraints. Illiteracy, unpreparedness of farmers for virtual learning, physical inaccessibility
to ICT, lack of skilled ICT professionals to manage ICT Kiosks in rural areas, poor
infrastructure base like computer and computer network and power supply, cultural barriers
etc. There is lack of opportunity for skill development of farmers in utilizing internet
facilities and retrieving information from larger pool. Though there were several initiatives
from public and private sectors for promoting ICT application, lack of capacity building
programme and insufficient budgetary provision for installing ICT infrastructure facilities at
village level remain a challenging impediment. Development of appropriate content for

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agriculture is a Herculean task as the technology and information need to be location specific.
Thus, the Govt. of India started a latest NAIP project to bridge these socio-cultural gaps.
Change is the law of nature and change for better is always desirable. India has witnessed and
experienced many changes in the approach before independence as well as after
independence for rural development in general and agriculture development in particular.
Before independence, only sporadic attempts by individuals, political leaders and social
leaders were made in different parts of the country. Some of the significant efforts were made
by Rabindranath Tagore at Shriniketan (1921), Spancers Hatch's work at Marthandam (1921),
Firka Development scheme in Madras state (1946), Indian Village service (1948), in Bombay
etc. though these projects were aimed at rural development and were locale specific yet they
lacked in government support and involvement of the people. These were around individual
philosophy towards rural development and gradually disappeared with time.
Reforms in Agricultural Extension: After Independence Immediately after independence,
India faced two major problems on economic fronts namely, the grain bowls of west Punjab
and East Bengal went to Pakistan. The situation was aggravated further by mass-exodus of
people from across the boarder. The government of India realized the gravity of the situation
and lodged a programme known as 'Grow More Food Campaign'. The first approach of
agricultural development was community development followed with the national extension
service. Though the focus of CD programme was to bring overall development of the rural
community with the community participation but not many positive results were seen. In
sixties, the agriculture production situation was so critical that intensification of agriculture
with the use of high yielding varieties become must and agricultural development became the
sole indicator and measure of rural development. The programmes such as IADP (Integrated
Agriculture Development Programme), IAAP (Intensive Agriculture Area Programme), ND
(National Demonstration) and HYVP (High Yielding Variety Programme) gained
momentum. At this point, the sole purpose was of increasing crop yields by using modern
means of production. This approach though paid good dividend, generally failed to help
especially the poor farm households and reduce inequality. The emphasis was broadened
from agricultural development to rural development and various programmes like SFDA
(Small Farmers Development Agency), MFAL (Marginal farmers and Agricultural labor
Development Agency). DPAP (Drought Prone Area Programme), IRDP (Integrated Rural
Development Programme) etc. were launched during seventies. Income and employment

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generation in agriculture and allied areas through credit and extension support was mainly
emphasized.
Transfer of Technology Approach in T&V

The most significant development was the

introduction of Training and Visit (T&V) extension management, starting in the mid-1970s.
the emphasis was on the role of extension in technology transfer to encourage utilization of
research results. The T&V approach was somewhat like a campaign approach and succeeded
to some extent where the client's need and technology potential matched. The system was
found to be too narrow in its approach and not suitable for small farmers and rain-fed areas.
In between the ICAR launched its FLD programmes namely Operatioal research Project
(ORP), krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs), Lab to Land and National demonstraion (ND) with the
same objectives in mind. All these programmes were later merged under the programme of
KVK. The need for technology appraisal, refinement and transfer was felt and IVLP
(Institutional Village Linkage Programme) based on participatory methodology was launched
in selected locations in the country.
ITD Component of NATP The project was implemented in seven states since November,
1998. The major shift was from top-to-bottom to bottom up approach. New institutional
arrangements for technology dissemination through establishment of ATMA, moving
towards integrated extension delivery and addressing gender concerns in agriculture. Under
the project, a state level Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute
(SAMETI)

has been created in all the project states to provide training to state extension

functionaries. The Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) approach of ITD


component of NATP has created significant impact on yields and incomes of farmers. It was
scaled up to 252 districts under extension reforms in the country. The impact of the project
has not been uniform in all the districts. However, the project suffers from weak process
documentation and internal monitoring and evaluation.
Agri-Clinics-Agri-Business centers The entry of agricultural graduates has revolutionized
the extension process. The main aim of the scheme is to provide accountable extension
services to the farmers through technically trained agricultural graduates at the village level.
The programme implemented jointly through SFAC and MANAGE has attracted a large
number of unemployed agricultural graduates. Thus the extension has come up with a new
role of agri-preneurs.

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ICT-enabled knowledge sharing in support of extension: addressing the agrarian
challenges of the developing world threatened by climate change, with a case study from
India
V. Balaji, Shaik N.Meera, and Sreenath Dixit
The need for improved agricultural extension throughout the developing world has never been
greater. Agricultural and rural development and hence rural extension continue to be in a phase of
transition in this part of the world. The vulnerability of farming in the developing world to
climate change, to changes in natural resources quality (including desertification over large
tracts),and lack of coping and adaptation strategies at micro and macro levels of decision making
are all well documented, while globalization of commodity trade offers a mix of opportunities as
well as challenges. The role of extension and support systems in this background is undergoing
profound changes while no unified alternative framework has emerged (Eicher, 2007). In this
paper, we offer some suggestions on building new and more effective linkages between research
and extension sub systems in agricultural knowledge systems, with a range of information and
communication technologies offering platforms and mediation services. The focus is on assessing
the effect of improved information access and development of human capacity in supporting
extension processes at the micro-level.

ICTs in the Context of Extension:


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is an umbrella term that includes
computer hardware and software, digital broadcast and telecommunications technologies as
well as digital information repositories online or offline (Selwyn, 2002), and includes
contemporary social networking aspects, read/write interfaces on the web besides file sharing
systems online. It represents a broad and continually evolving range of elements that further
includes the television (TV), radio, mobile phones and the policies and laws that govern the
widespread use of these media and devices. The term is often used here in its plural sense
(ICTs) to mean a range of technologies instead of a single technology. From the perspective
of agricultural knowledge and information systems (AKIs), ICTs can be seen as useful in
improving linkages between the research and the extension sub systems. The experience of
rural telecenters in the developing world shows that ICT can help in enabling rural
development workers to gather, store, retrieve, adapt, localise and disseminate a broad range
of information needed by rural families (Davison et al 2005). The ICTs in extension can lead
to the emergence of knowledge workers that will result in the realisation of a bottom-up,

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demand-driven paradigm for technology generation, assessment, refinement and transfer
(Meera, 2003; Meera et al 2004).
ICTs and Extension in the Context of Climate Change:
The linkages between agriculture and climate are pronounced and often complex. Crops and
livestock are sensitive to climate change in both positive and negative ways. Agricultural
systems are most sensitive to extreme climatic events such as droughts, floods and
hailstorms, and to seasonal variability and changing rainfall patterns. Against this backdrop,
farmer adaptations are influenced by many factors, including agricultural policy, prices,
technology research and development, and agricultural extension services (Kajfez-Bogataj,
2005). The poor often bear a disproportionate burden of direct damage from catastrophes and
climate change as concluded by most studies in developing countries (IPCC, 2001). The role
of inadequate institutional support is frequently cited in the literature as a hindrance to
adaptation. For example, Adger and Kelly (1999) and Huq et al (1999) show how
institutional constraints and deficiencies affected managerial capacities to cope with
anticipated natural events. Many observers of rural development in recent times have
commented on the frequent manifestations of unsatisfactory extension performance (e.g.,
Rivera et al 2001). Feder et al (2001) have suggested interrelated characteristics of extension
systems in the developing world that jointly result in deficient performance, namely low staff
morale, reduced efficiency and financial stress etc. One more such key factor is the number
of clients and the vast spectrum of information/services needed to be covered by extension
systems. Policy makers in the developing world have reacted to this with the deployment of
more extension personnel, which has continued the emphasis on a more centralized,
hierarchical and top-down management systems. The requirement for combining a bottom up
approach with the conventional extension process is yet to be fulfilled and the limitations on
the extension process to influence issues such as credit availability, input supplies, market
linkages and logistics facilitation continue without change. In effect, there has been no visible
impact due to such changes within the extension system in many parts of the developing
world. Sulaiman and Hall (2006) have described a range of extension initiatives from the
public and private sectors that explain the way extension agenda is expanding as embodied in
the concept of extension plus and have pleaded for new experiments in extension.
Pluralistic institutional arrangements are emerging and are finding wider acceptance and this
is mainly because developing countries have realized the need for extension to engage in a
wider range of issues beyond merely disseminating production-oriented technologies.

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Extension pluralism is at the core of farmer adaptation strategies and ICTs can offer new
advantages in enabling reliable and rapid access to expert information support, which is much
needed in the realization of adaptation strategies on a large scale.
ICT-infused extension projects: what do we learn from them?
Leaders in extension research have pointed out the importance of learning from the
deployment of contemporary ICTs in extension (Van den Ban and Samanta, 2006). A
number of pilot projects in applying ICT in rural development are in progress in many parts
of the world (Davison et al 2005). Only a small number of these have a bearing on
agricultural information sharing and extension. Some of the projects that have relevance in
agricultural extension have been analysed a group of scholars facilitated by Keniston et al
(http://www.iiitb.ac.in/research_egovernance.htm). For the purposes, some of the inferences
are summarize below
There is prevalence of top-down approaches with few attempts to reflect the end users
preferences and needs;
Production advisory services and market information access do not go together in all such
efforts;
In almost all the projects, the participation of agricultural education and research institutions
appears to be marginal;
Localization and customizability of content are still not practiced on a significant scale.
We shall now present the results from an ongoing project of ICRISAT that combines the ICT
aspect of extension communication with the instructional paradigm based on the practices of
open and distance learning. What emerges is a collection of inferences that can help integrate
the requirements of extension pluralism with the advantages that contemporary ICT can
bring, namely, improved access to information in the right place and in the right time and
enhanced capacity to make use of it in a local context.
VASAT: Implications for Extension
The experiments on VASAT in field locations in India offer some clues for the development
of new linkages between the research and extension sub systems. It is clear that new
intermediaries in rural locations to support ongoing, conventional extension processes are
needed in view of the near-impossibility of tackling the scale and demands for services
required of extension personnel. The challenges of climate uncertainty require even faster
response times than originally envisioned. The results emerging from the VASAT field
studies show that when creatively deployed, ICT-based support systems can provide more in

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terms of quality information services that are accurate as well as timely. It is also possible to
formulate newer linkages with different components of the extension system provided the
extension workers have access to online information systems however limited is the
connectivity. The challenges addressed in the VASAT activities that have implications for
extension practices are:
Agricultural information support services offered with ICT infusion should be part of a
wider range of general information services.
Involvement of credible individuals from the locality as facilitators or intermediaries is
essential to the sustenance of the information service as whole.
Such facilitators need to have their capacities newly developed in the essentials of practical
agriculture so that they are in a position to relate to extension personnel online or offline. The
approach should be based on building science literacy.
Methods derived from the open learning paradigm, especially those that ingrain the
practices of teaching those with very limited classroom exposure should be adapted in
designing the capacity strengthening activities.
Content needs to be aggregated by experts from different sources but it needs to be stored in
granular format for rapid adaptation for local use
Vulnerability analysis with contemporary tools needs to be scaled sufficiently to a microlevel so that potentially affected people can apprise them and make use of them
Services availability in terms of input supply and testing need to be integrated with
information and advisory services for greater impact
Strong linkages with national and local organizations responsible for extension and research
are necessary for rural organizations to sustain their information services.

Conversely, national and local extension organizations need to develop their capacity for
online services management in order to make effective use of ICT-based channels that are
increasingly becoming available with local and community-based organizations. It is clear
that further experiments on a much larger scale are necessary to assess the usefulness of ICTmediated information services in supporting extension in general and in improving the coping
strategies for coping with drought. It is also clear that expert-based and expert-derived
information services can be easily aggregated into a digital knowledge organization that can
combine different types of sources. For more effective extension support, new information
delivery and exchange services covering both digital and non-digital channels need to be

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developed for reach as well as impact. ICRISAT has recently formed a consortium of state
agricultural universities and India-based institutions of higher learning in ICT for developing
such a knowledge organization in agriculture, which proposes to build new linkages in the
education-research-extension continuum. The activities of this consortium are expected
involve at least 30000 farmers in three different regions of dry-land India over a period of
two years. The aim is to generate results on a scale that can be useful in building a model for
the effective infusion of ICT-mediated services in support of extension that is oriented
towards farmer adaptation. Capacity development and learning opportunities on a mass scale
are viewed as the glue that will bind the new linkages over a long term.
ICT Management: Managing Information Communication Technology (ICT) will enable
organizations to get more out of their current equipment and also to make better decisions
around the purchase of new equipment and ICT developments. This article walks you through
some of the resources available on the knowledgebase to help get you started.
Why managing ICT is important: Understanding how to manage is key for organizations
of all sizes undertaking a number of different roles? Small organizations with one computer
still need to manage their ICT as it is likely to be used for important tasks, such as:

writing documents more efficiently

managing accounting and budgeting so that you have better information about your
financial situation

recording contact with clients more accurately and in more detail

improving communications within the organisation and with others.

Larger organization may use ICT to carry out increasingly complex functions, which may
include complicated software solutions and hardware set-up. Increasingly ICT is vital in the
work of organizations so an understanding of how to manage this important and potentially
expensive resource needs to be developed. It is essential for organizations to focus on what
they want to gain using their ICT and then put in place systems to help them achieve this.
Your organizations goals must come first. In the same way that organizations recognize the
need to manage their premises, accounting and other office equipment, it is essential that
managing ICT is recognized as fundamental to the development of the organization. ICT is
too important to be ignored, even by people and organizations who feel they don't know
much about it. Careful management of ICT will not only help organizations meet their aims
and objectives, it will also prevent organizations making possibly expensive mistakes. A

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good starting point for thinking about this issue is the knowledge base article. A variety of
fairly straightforward rural ICT interventions may have greater impact on agricultural
production and post-harvest activities then those that are strictly focused on agriculture. This
is especially true of ICT interventions focused on extension of various financial services,
provision of basic telephone access, and improved multi-stakeholder dialogue and louder
rural/agricultural voices in the national policy and program context.
If extensionists equip themselves with analysis and arguments to bolster the case for
agricultural extension playing a broader role in helping harness ICTs, they will be better able
to harness information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve rural livelihoods.

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Chapter-13
National Agricultural Technology Project
The National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) was launched by the ICAR on June
30, 1998, with the support of the World Bank, to strengthen and complement the existing
resources and to augment the output of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) .
The NATP implemented its objectives through strategies for Organization and Management
Reforms and Research. The Research comprised various modes of objective-based funding,
namely, Teams of Excellence (ToE), Mission Mode (MM), Production Systems Research
(PSR), Institution Village Linking Program (IVLP) and Competitive Grants Program (CGP).
Another important component, which was funded under NATP, was Innovations in
Technology Disseminations (ITD). Projects under ITD were executed by the Department of
Agriculture and Co-operation (DAC), Government of India, and the ICAR. Production
Systems Research (PSR) Mode of funding was divided Agro-ecological-Zone-wise into five
sub-modes, namely, Rainfed, Irrigated, Arid, Coastal, and Hill & Mountain. All five submodes were recognized as respective Agro-ecosystem Directorates and were empowered to
source funds and administer & monitor the progress of the projects.
NATP initiated in India with the financial assistance from World Bank by the Govt. of India
during November, 1998. It consists of three main components. The first is to improve the
efficiency of the organizational and management system of the Indian Council of Agricultural
Research (ICAR). Second one is to enhance the performance and effectiveness of research
programs and scientists in responding to location specific needs of farmers. Third one is to
pilot testing innovations to improve management of technology dissemination activities with
greater accountability to and participation by the farming community. The first two
components are to be implemented by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) in
India with the financial provision of Rs 736.94 crores. The third component is to be
implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India in 28 districts of seven states (4
districts in each state i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab and
Himachal Pradesh) with the financial provision of Rs 124.37 crores. In Himachal Pradesh
Shimla district was selected during 1st phase Hamirpur in 2nd, Kangra in 3rd and Bilaspur in
4th phase. As a crucial requirement of this component the concept of Agricultural
Technology Management Agency (ATMA) at district level has been introduced, as an
autonomous organization by providing flexible environment with an objective of integrating

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efforts of Research, Extension and all other stakeholders to support farmer needs through an
integrated approach of strategic plan.
NATP Glimpses:

NATP was the world's biggest World Bank assisted agriculture project worth Rs. 992
crores developed and executed by NARS

NATP lifespan was seven years, starting from June 30, 1998 to June 30, 2005

NATP was the first project in NARS to shift the focus from discipline oriented
research to production system research

NATP was the first project in NARS to involve competitive funding, & have
pluralistic approach to involve & fund partners from outside NARS

NATP successfully completed a whopping total of 852 projects

NATP THRUST AREAS

Shift from commodity/discipline oriented research to program/production system


research
o

Team-working among institutions in Mission Mode, Teams of Excellence,


Production Systems Research

On-farm development and assessment of technologies

Commercialization of technologies and promoting global competitiveness

Utilization of National capabilities and Promotion of pluralism-Indian Council


of Agricultural Research, State Agricultural Universities, General Universities,
Non-Governmental Organizations, Private Sector

To improve the efficiency of agricultural research and improve its relevance to


farmers and agribusiness

Reforms in Organization and Management Systems to promote efficiency in public


sector

Strengthening Research-Extension-Farmer linkages

Key policy and institutional reforms

Decentralization and devolution

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OBJECTIVES OF NATP
The main objective of the project is to address key constraints that currently limit, and which
if not addressed would in future increasingly restrict, the efficient use of the public resources,
which India devotes to the generation, assessment, and transfer of agricultural technology.
Thereby, it will improve the relevance of technology generation, refinement, and assessment
and transfer programs to the changing needs of farmers and processors, and thus the
contributions made by improved agricultural technology to key national objectives of food
security, economic growth, equity, the alleviation of rural poverty and the conservation of
natural resources.

STRATEGIES OF NATP

Improving the efficiency of public research and technology assessment and


dissemination institutions by strengthening management tools and procedures and
raising human skills, stressing improvements in priority-setting and resource
allocation, stronger links and cooperation with external sources of expertise in
agricultural sciences, the improvement of staff incentives and accountability, and
concurrent monitoring and impact evaluation;

Adapting the organization and management, staff skills, modes of operation and
programs of public research and technology assessment and transfer services to make
them more relevant to current and upcoming needs, especially for location-specific
inter-disciplinary programs of production systems research and development focused
on technologies in the public goods category;

Wherever appropriate, facilitating the entry of further private actors or producers


themselves into research and extension activities which give privately appropriable
benefits, or for which costs can be recovered directly from users;

The accumulation of replicable experience to guide further change.

PROJECT COMPONENTS

Organization and Management System: ICAR felt the need for further improving its
capabilities, to deal with new issues and challenges to improve the quality of the technology
generation as well as to enhance its accountability to an increasingly varied group of
stakeholders, funding agencies and beneficiaries. Therefore, ICAR, through NATP, addressed

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second-generation problems relating to agricultural research organization, management,
policy-making and priority setting.
1. Strengthening ICAR Headquarters
2.

O&M Reforms in ICAR

3.

Information System Development

4. Agro-ecosystem Research:
ICAR has focused research Programs under NATP on the production system research (PSR)
dividing the country broadly into five agro-ecosystems:
1. Irrigated
2. Rainfed
3. Arid
4. Coastal
5. Hill & Mountain
Innovation in Technology Dissemination: This mode was administered by Department of
Agriculture and Co-operation (DAC), Ministry of Agriculture and ICAR. DAC program
brought innovations by decentralizing decision-making to district level through creation of
28 Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMAs). Under the ICAR component,
44 Agricultural Technology Information Centers (ATICs) were established as a "singlewindow" support system linking the various units of a research institution with the
intermediary, end-user and farmers indecision-making and problem solving exercises. 53
Zonal Agricultural Research Stations (ZARS) were remandated to take-up the functions of
KVKs. And Zonal Coordinating Units (ZCUs) & Directorate of Extension of SAUs were
strengthened
1. Production Systems Research (PSR): The main objective was to raise the efficiency,
responsiveness and relevance of agro-ecosystem research. The PSR, therefore, focused on
sustainability issues while responding to farmers needs, improved research, planning &
management, and capacity building at the local level to monitor and addressed research
priority setting, production and sustainability issues. The main departure was the involvement
of farmers and including PRA and other rural diagnostic techniques and on-farm and farmerparticipatory evaluation of research outputs. Additionally, Technology Assessment &
Refinement had also been included with Institute Village Linkage Program (IVLP) so as to

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not only reduce the time gap in technology dissemination but also involve beneficiaries in
identifying constraints and evaluation.
2. Mission Mode (MM): Mission mode research is designed for generation of critical outputs
needed to complement PSR programs in one or more production systems. These programs
have in-built continuous Monitoring & Evaluation and on-course corrections so as to bring
visibility and impact. It addition these program are result oriented, tightly targeted, time
bound and multi institutional.
3. Team of Excellence (ToE) Mode: Under this mode programs include strategic upstream
support to location-specific PSR programs, research in frontier areas or socio-economic
sciences and Development of specialized Human Resource Development. In addition, ToEs
also address emerging constraints to agricultural production, processing, export and
promotion of networking in the areas concerned.
4. Competitive Grants Program (CGP): Under this category, support has been provided for
research in frontier sciences and basic research with partnership from NARS, general
universities, other public research institutions, NGOs, etc. In addition, support has been built
for research involving productivity and sustainability of production systems, especially of the
marginal farmers, women and other disadvantaged groups. It also has provision for precommercial technology development, pilot manufacturing, market research, and development
of products/processes.
S.No.

Program Mode

1.

Production Systems Research


....Rainfed
....Irrigated
....Arid
....Coastal
....Hill & Mountain
Mission Mode
Teams of Excellence
Competitive Grants Programme
TAR/IVLP
Organization & Management

2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

No. of Projects
264
103
065
027
039
030
043
031
442
070
002

The Innovations in Technology Dissemination (ITD) Component of the National Agricultural


Technology Project (NATP) is being implemented with the World Bank assistance by

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Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The ITD component is being implemented in
28 districts of 7 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand,
Maharashtra, Orissa and Punjab over a period of five years The basic objective of the ITD
component is to reorient extension systems to be demand-driven, farmer centered, and well
integrated with research with a farming system focus leading towards self-sustainability. In
line with this requirement, the strategic thrust is on developing farmer centered decisionmaking mechanisms for agricultural extension planning at block and district level. MANAGE
has been given the major responsibility of providing the concept and guidance, facilitate in
the development of Strategic Research and Extension Plans (SREPs), Organization and
Management (O & M) Plans and Investment Plans, developing operational guidelines,
developing State Agriculture Management & Extension Training Institutes (SAMETIs) in 7
States, assessing training needs and develop training modules, training of project
functionaries through SAMETIs, providing I.T. connectivity, installation and training support
through process documentation. The main thrust of the MANAGE during the year is to
operationalize the ATMA concept upto village level, through promoting Farmers Interest
Groups (FIGs), Commodity Interest Groups (CIGs) and Farmers Organizations (FOs).
Institutionalization of ATMA interventions in the first phase districts while working out the
options for sustainability, networking of Farm Information and Advisory Centers (FIACs)
with all the stakeholders including research and marketing, operationalising SAMETIs,
capacity building of SAMETI faculty in all States, I.T. establishment up to block level by
installing equipment and ensuring connectivity.
The various activities are proposed under program for the year 2002-03. The National
Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) is a dynamic instrument of introducing major
changes in the Agricultural Research and Extension systems of the country, besides
developing their capabilities to meet future challenges. The project was initiated by Ministry
of Agriculture, Govt. of India with the financial assistance of World Bank and would be
implemented with the assistance of MANAGE in 28 districts covering 7 states, viz. Andhra
Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa and Punjab over a period
of 5 years (1998-2003). The World Bank assisted National Agricultural Technology Project
(NATP) aims at improving research and extension services. The Research component of
NATP is being implemented by the Indian council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the
Extension component by the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation. The different

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Project Implementing Agencies (PIAs) involved in implementation of the ITD component of
NATP are:
(i) Directorate of Extension (DOE)
(ii) National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE)
(iii) NATP cell at State Head Quarters
(iv) State Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI)
(v) District Level Agricultural Technology Management Agencies (ATMAs)
The Extension component termed as "Innovations in Technology Dissemination"(ITD)
envisages an integrated extension delivery at district level and is being pilot tested in seven
participating states, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra,
Orissa, Punjab. The purpose of this component is to test new approaches to technology
transfer, new organizational arrangements, and operational procedures. One of the goal is to
decentralize decision making to the district level through the creation of Agricultural
Technology Management Agency (ATMA) as a registered society. The second goal is to
increase farmer input into program planning and resource allocation especially at the block
level and increase accountability to stakeholders. The third goal is to increase program
coordination and integration. Funds would be provided to 28 pilot districts in seven states to
create Agricultural Technology Management Agency which will bring together researchers,
extensionists, farmers and other stakeholders (including NGOs and the corporate sector) to
make, on the basis of joint diagnostic studies, district Extension Plans and recommendations
for expanded adaptive research to introduce innovations in technology dissemination matched
to local needs and characteristics. Four districts in each of the seven participating states are
identified for pilot testing as detailed below.
Andhra Pradesh: Kurnool, Prakasam, Adilabad and Chittoor
Bihar: Muzaffarpur, Madhubani, Munger, Patna Rural
Jharkhand : Dumka, Jamtara,Palamau,Chaibara
Himachal Pradesh: Shimla,Hamirpur,Kangra,Bilaspur
Maharashtra: Ahmednagar, Amaravati, Aurangabad, and Ratnagiri
Orissa: Khurda, Koraput, Ganjam, Sambhalpur
Punjab: Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Sangrur and Faridkot
In each of the pilot districts, an Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA)
would be established as a registered society for integrating research and extension activities.

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Chapter-14
How to Make Agricultural Extension Demand-Driven?
By: Dr. Rasheed Sulaiman, Director, CRISP
1. INTRODUCTION
In recent years, many developing countries have reaffirmed the essential role that agricultural
extension can play in agricultural development (Birner et al. 2006; Anderson 2007). This
renewed interest in extension is linked to the rediscovery of the role that agriculture needs to
play in reducing persistent rural poverty (World Bank 2007b). Yet negative experiences with
extension in the past have sparked considerable debate worldwide about the best way to
provide and finance agricultural extension. What are the roles of the public sector, the private
sector, and the third sector-non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and farmer-based
organizations in providing and financing extension? How will the agricultural sector meet
new challenges, such as helping smallholders access global markets and meet their standards?
How can farmers cope with environmental degradation and climate change and respond to
health challenges such as livestock pandemics? How can extension address the needs of
women farmers and disadvantaged groups? What are the best uses of new information and
communication technologies? All these questions are highly relevant for agricultural
development in India (see, e.g., Vyas 2003). In addition, agricultural extension faces the
challenge of establishing a well-managed, effective, and accountable system that meets the
needs of hundreds of thousands of farmers engaged in diverse and complex farming systems;
the associated problems of monitoring and evaluating extension services and assessing their
impacts; the dependence of extension on the performance of the agricultural research system
and its feedback linkages; and the inherent problems of ensuring political commitment and
fiscal accountability for agricultural extension (Feder, Willett, and Zijp 2001).
The way in which agricultural extension has been organized and provided to meet these
challenges has changed over time, with remarkably similar trends across the globe. These
changes have been linked to general trends in development thinking and practice. A strong
belief in the role of the state as the major actor of development characterized the economic
policies of many developing nations after they reached their independence. The establishment
of public sector extension services fitted well into this paradigm. The Training and Visit
(T&V) system, promoted by the World Bank in more than 50 countries, became a major

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model for providing and managing extension (Purcell and Anderson, 1997; Anderson, Feder,
and Ganguly 2006). The disenchantment with the role of the state in development reflected in
the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s and 1990s led to a downsizing of agricultural
extension in many countries. The T&V system was finally abandoned in the late 1990s. The
question remains whether the major reason was the lack of fiscal sustainability, the
inadequacy of the model for many situations in which it was promoted, or its inconsistency
with the growing emphasis on the role of the state as a facilitator rather than a provider of
public services. In the post-T&V era, thinking and practice about extension has moved
toward pluralistic modes of providing and financing extension (Neuchtel Group 2000;
Birner et al. 2006). Major reform trends around the world include decentralization,
contracting, privatization, cost recovery, and the involvement of NGOs and farmer-based
organizations (Rivera and Alex 2005). Emphasis is now placed on making advisory services
demand-driven (Neuchtel Group 2006). The emphasis on demand-driven extension has to be
seen in the context of changing domestic and external environments for agriculture, which
change the information needs of farmers. In addition to information on new technologies,
advice on marketing, product quality, and environmental challenges has become increasingly
important (Sulaiman and Hall 2002).
The concept of demand-driven services is also linked to a paradigm shift in public sector
reform toward responsive governance (UN/AF 2005). This paradigm emphasizes the need to
make service provision accountable to users and to promote transparency and empowerment
as essential conditions for increasing the effectiveness of public service provision. Thus, the
focus on demand-driven service provision is not limited to agricultural extension: A similar
emphasis can be observed in many other sectors. Efforts to make health care, education, and
community water supplies demand-driven are also under way. These general trends in
agricultural extension can be observed in India. The T&V system played an important role in
the Green Revolution. However, it was not well suited for the diverse farming system of
rainfed areas and proved incapable of meeting the challenges of the postGreen Revolution
period, including improving the sustainability of Indias farming systems, promoting
agricultural diversification, and integrating farmers into dynamic markets (Vyas 2003). As in
other countries, many new approaches to providing and financing extension have been tried
in Indias post-T&V era (e.g., Sulaiman 2003).
In 2000, the Extension Division of the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation of the
Ministry of Agriculture developed a draft of its Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension,

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which aimed for a major reform and reorientation of Indias entire agricultural extension
system. In line with the shifting international paradigm, the framework emphasizes pluralistic
agricultural extension and the promotion of demand-driven and farmer-accountable
extension (Government of India 2000, sec. 3.3.1.5). It served as a basis for consultations
with state governments and private sector organizations such as the Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Sulaiman and Hall 2006). Market failures, state
failures, and community failures are widespread in agricultural extension. Various
approaches address these failures, but they too are subject to challenges. In other words, there
is no free lunch in reforming agricultural extension. We review Indias Policy Framework
for Agricultural Extension with regard to the strategies it identifies to make extension
demand-driven, and we examine the provisions the framework makes to overcome market,
state, and community failures. We also consider evidence from the 2003 Situation
Assessment Survey of Farmers conducted by Indias National Sample Survey Organization
(2005) and other data to identify the extent to which the framework actually addresses the
problems revealed by the survey. Because other public services are also attempting to become
more demand-driven, the relevance of our findings goes beyond agricultural extension
services.

2. CONCEPT OF DEMAND-DRIVEN SERVICES


The term demand-driven refers to the economic concepts of supply and demand. In economic
theory, demand refers to the amount of good or service that a consumer is willing and able to
buy at a given price. As discussed later in this essay, agricultural extension is characterized
by various market failures that affect both the supply side and the demand side of advisory
services. In view of these market failures, the public sector and the third sector have
traditionally played a major role in financing and providing extension services. In this paper,
the third sector is defined as comprising civil society organizations, including farmer-based
organizations and NGOs. Among the NGOs, non-profit providers of extension services are of
particular interest. In the absence of the market mechanism, public and third sector extension
providers face considerable challenges to ensuring that the services they supply meet the
needs and the priorities of their clients. The term supply driven captures the criticism that this
challenge has not been met. The T&V system, for example, is typically described as a supplydriven or top-down model. The concept of demand-driven extension emphasizes the need to
provide services that meet the needs and priorities of farmers, even if the market mechanism

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Adam Smiths famous invisible hand fails to make sure that extension services are supplied
in the quantity and quality expected by farmers. The term farmer-driven or farmer-led
extension might better address the goal of making these services meet the needs and priorities
of farmers, even if they are not able to exercise demand, as the term is defined in economics.
Because agricultural extension is a major area of donor funding and demand-driven public
services are high on the international agenda, it is not surprising that the Neuchtel Group an
international donor coordination forum on agricultural extension has published guidelines on
demand driven agricultural advisory services (Neuchtel Group 2006). The groups
publication recommends strategies to facilitate the emergence of a market for extension
services and strategies to increase the voice of farmers when the public sector is financing
and/or providing extension services.
The publication also highlights the need to strengthen the capacity of farmers to articulate
demand, as well as the capacity of service providers to respond to farmers demands. To
establish demand-driven advisory services, it is useful to begin by identifying the extent to
which market failures or other obstacles prevent the emergence of private sector extension
services, which use the market mechanism to make services demand-driven. If an advisory
service had no market failures and the market led to a socially desirable outcome, creating an
environment in which the private or third sector could provide these services would be
sufficient to make extension demand-driven. However, market failures in agricultural
services are widespread. Hence, the question arises as to how demand-driven, or farmerdriven, advisory services can be established when the market mechanism fails to make these
services demand-driven. To identify strategies for making agricultural extension demanddriven, it is useful to consider the range of institutional options by which these services can
be provided and financed, taking into account that organizations of the public, private, and
third sectors can collaborate in various combinations.

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3. ASSESSMENT SURVEY OF FARMERS

Before discussing the provisions of Indias Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension, a
brief overview of extension in India would be useful. Extension played an important role in
promoting Green Revolution technologies, and the T&V system proved effective in the areas
of India affected by the Green Revolution. However, it was less effective in the rainfed areas.
There is a general perception that, after T&V was phased out in the 1990s, the existing
extension system deteriorated, even though a variety of new approaches to provide and
finance extension emerged (Sulaiman 2003; Sulaiman and Van den Ban 2001).
These approaches included decentralization; contracting; group extension; provision of
extension by para-extension workers, producer cooperatives, or farmer-based organizations;
the establishment of agro-clinics by private entrepreneurs with initial government support;
public-private partnerships in financing and providing extension; and the establishment of
Internet-based extension though village kiosks (e-Choupals) set up by the private sector. As
detailed later in the essay, the Agricultural Technology Management Agency developed a
model that embodies several of these reform elements. In view of low agricultural growth
rates and a vigorous political debate about agrarian distress, the political attention to
agricultural extension also was renewed. As one of the major thrust areas in agriculture,
Indias 10th Five-Year Plan (20022007) emphasizes the need for revamping and
modernizing the extension systems and encouraging the private sector to take up extension
services (Government of India 2002, 528).
As indicated earlier, the national Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension was
developed in 2000 to serve as the basis for the central governments support to the states. In
Indias federal system, the states have the major responsibility for agriculture, including
agricultural extension. The 59th round of the Situation Assessment Survey of Farmers carried
out by the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) in 2003 provides important
information on the prevailing situation when the framework and the 10th plan were
developed (NSSO 2005). Data for the survey, which is representative at the state level, were
collected from 51,770 households in 6,638 villages. Farmers were asked to identify which, if
any, of the sources they had accessed during the past 365 days to obtain information on
modern agricultural technology. Nearly 60 percent of the farmers had not accessed any
sources. When farmers did use sources, the input dealer was the second-most-used source
after other progressive farmers.

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4. APPROACHES TO MAKING AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION DEMAND-DRIVEN

The provisions made in the Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension is then examined
from this perspective. To identify the reasons for market failures, this section mainly draws
on economic theory, while the broader agricultural extension literature is used as a basis for
discussing the challenges and failures of the public and third sectors. The essay acknowledges
that the analysis of demand-driven services is best approached from a multidisciplinary
perspective. In particular, management sciences and the innovation systems literature, which
focus on organizational learning, knowledge management, partnerships, and institutional
change, can provide important analytical insights for approaches to make extension demanddriven.
Reasons for market failures
Market failure can be defined as the inability of a market production system to provide a
good or service either at all or at a level that is optimal from the societys perspective.
Imperfections in the market mechanism can be caused by the nature of the goods to be
provided or by positive and negative externalities. Market failures can affect both the supply
side and the demand side of service provision (Umali and Schwartz, 1994; Bennett, 1995;
Anderson and Feder 2007). One reason for market failures in extension is that some types of
information are public goods. Knowledge that is not farm specific, such as information about
prices, is considered a public good, especially if it is distributed using a non-excludable
technology, such as the radio. Information provided through the Internet can be made
excludable more easily for example, by requiring that farmers become members of a group to
access password-protected Web sites.
This problem is aggravated when the benefits of extension are perceived as uncertain and
farmers are risk averse. While the nature of public goods leads to market failures on the
supply side, the character of extension as a merit good leads to market failures on the demand
side. Externalities are another reason for market failures. Extension is associated with
positive externalities if the benefits of extension accrue partly to the society as a whole. An
example is the use of extension for reaching national goals such as food security. Extension
services also have positive externalities when they contribute to reducing the negative
environmental effects of agricultural production.
This can also be seen as the use of extension to reduce the negative externalities of
agricultural production. Educating farmers about the negative environmental effects of
production and promoting technologies that help avoid those effects will not necessarily lead

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to a full internalization of negative externalities (Pannell 2006; Pannell et al. 2006). The
impact of education depends on the farmers environmental preferences, the differences
between public and private costs, and the benefits of agricultural production systems that
differ in their environmental impacts. The positive and negative externalities described here
prevent market mechanisms alone from leading to a socially optimal provision of extension
services because the private demand for them is insufficient. The characteristics of
smallholder agriculture in developing countries may also lead to market failures. Because
provision of extension is subject to economies of scale, providing extension services may be
profitable for private entrepreneurs only if they can reach a sufficiently large number of
farmers.
Agricultural producers are more spatially dispersed than urban populations, and they often
have a more limited access to transportation infrastructure. Moreover, they are often not
organized in groups. As a result, the transaction costs of providing extension to smallholders
in less-developed areas are typically high, and private sector organizations may not find it
profitable to provide those services. In early phases of agricultural development, the same
factors (spatial dispersion, lack of coordination, high transaction costs) also give rise to
market failures in other agrarian institutions, such as agricultural credit and marketing
(Binswanger and McIntire, 1987; Dorward et al. 2004). These market failures may lead to
associate market failures in extension. For example, farmers may not have access to credit to
pay for extension services. These problems are usually reduced in the course of economic
development, thus creating scope for market-based extension services to arise. In contrast, the
market failures resulting from externalities and public goods are not dependent on the stage
of economic development.
Strategies to overcome market failures
The market failures related to extension outlined in the previous section can be addressed
through public sector intervention and collective action. Market failures are not the only
justification for the public sector to intervene in agricultural extension. As discussed in
section 4.2, the state may choose to finance agricultural extension as a component of a
poverty alleviation strategy. Institutions such as contract farming that primarily address
market failures in agriculture other than those specific to extension may also provide a
solution for extension. Extension services can be embedded in contracts that integrate farmers
into value chains. It is not clear from the NSSO data presented in section 3 how widespread
this option was in India in 2003, because the survey did not specify under which type of

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contractual arrangements farmers received advice from input dealers or output buyers.
Whether embedded advisory services are demand-driven depends on the degree to which the
farmers interests are aligned with the interests of the company offering the contract.

Provisions in the Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension


The framework acknowledges the relevance of market failures in agricultural extension by
pointing out that pure public goods, economically backward regions, small, marginal
farmers and landless labourers will not attract the for-profit private sector. Public Extension
will therefore continue to play a central role in technology dissemination. At the same time,
the framework emphasizes the need for withdrawal of the public sector from areas where
agro-services can be effectively and competitively provided by the private sector to make
sure that public sector provision of extension does not crowd out private extension providers.
However, given that less than 6 percent of farmers used public sector extension agents as
sources of information , it is doubtful that crowding out played a role in the low prevalence of
private sector extension. Unlike in other policy areas, such as agricultural marketing, India
has no government regulations preventing private extension providers from operating. The
framework mentions artificial insemination services, soil testing, fertilizer advice, farm
improvement plans, and breeding plans as examples of private goods for which competitive
markets exist. Moreover, the framework recommends using contract farming wherever
feasible, particularly in the area of high-value and export-oriented agriculture.
Public Sector Extension
In view of the market failures described in section 3, the public sector has traditionally played
an important role in agricultural extension. Option 1 in Table 1 represents the pure case of
public sector extension, which is financed by the state and provided by the staff of a public
sector extension agency. This option corresponds to the extension worker category
included in Table 2 and 3, as well as government demonstration plots and Krishi Vigayan
Kendras (Farmer Information and Advisory Centres). Public sector interventions are subject
to state failures, which are discussed from a theoretical perspective in the following section.
State Failures in Agricultural Extension: Theoretical Considerations
Reasons for state failures
State failures in agricultural extension occur because of problems related to information,
incentives, capacity, political interests, and bureaucratic procedures and attitudes. Although
these problems are not specific to agricultural extension, the complexity of smallholder

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agriculture aggravates some of the typical public sector problems. From the perspective of the
new institutional economics, agricultural extension is transaction intensive. Moreover,
moving from the delivery of standardized messages to demand-driven advice makes
extension more discretionary and specific. Public services that are both transaction intensive
and discretionary are particularly difficult to provide (Pritchett and Woolcock 2004). Two
types of information problems lead to state failures in agricultural extension. First, in the
absence of a market mechanism, public sector extension providers have trouble determining
the types of knowledge and advice farmers actually need. Making this determination is at the
heart of making public sector extension demand-driven. An information problem that
extension managers often face is the inability to determine what extension agents actually do
in the field and to supervise them.
Considerable information asymmetries exist between extension agents and their managers
because of the spatially dispersed nature of agriculture and because an agricultural outcome,
such as crop yields, are influenced by many factors, other than extension. Incentive problems
also lead to state failures. Public sector agencies can use various instruments to create
incentives, such as merit-based promotion. However, when public budgets do not keep pace
with inflation and general improvements in standard of living, as is often the case, the
possibilities to use a differentiated system of promotion associated with salary incentives
deteriorate. In addition, extension agents often have a lower social status than many other
public sector employees and a lower rank in the civil service system, which affect their
morale. Another factor affecting agents morale is that they do not have the operational funds
they need to get to the field and work effectively. The incentive problems inherent in public
sector extension agencies are closely linked with capacity problems. Public sector agencies
often lack the incentives to invest in the capacity of their extension staff so as to keep their
knowledge up-to-date.
Another failure inherent in public sector extension is political interest capture. Because large
scale farmers often have more political influence than smallholders, politicians have an
incentive to induce the public administration to serve large-scale farmers and to concentrate
on extension issues that are more relevant to them. Often the only government agents able to
interact with a considerable part of the rural population, extension agents may be misused for
political purposes, such as campaigning for the ruling parties in elections. Public sector
extension agents are also often burdened with other activities that are outside the mandate of
agricultural extension. For example, extension agents have frequently been involved in

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organizing the supply of subsidized inputs and implementing credit schemes. They may also
be asked to get involved in implementing public health programs and other government
schemes unrelated to agriculture. Corruption is not a typical problem in extension because
knowledge services do not offer much scope for corruption.
However, the more extension agents are involved in the distribution of inputs and credit or in
the enforcement of laws, the greater is the opportunity for corruption. Bureaucratic
procedures make it difficult for extension agents to respond flexibly to local demands,
especially in highly centralized systems. Bureaucratic culture is a typical obstacle to the
reform of public sector agencies. Encouraging processes of institutional learning and change
is a major challenge in public sector agencies. Likewise, bureaucratic structures often
discourage the coordination of agricultural extension with other departments. Even links to
the agricultural research system are often weak in spite of their obvious importance. Farmers
may also suffer from attitudinal problems that are often widespread in traditional public
sector agencies. Rather than treating farmers as clients, customers, or citizens, extension
agents too often consider them state subjects. Typically, farmers who are poor, female, or part
of some socially excluded group are particularly affected by attitudinal problems. A culture
of mistrust (often on all sides) developed from attitudinal problems can also be an obstacle to
building partnerships with the private sector and civil society organizations. Financial
sustainability is another problem of public sector extension, especially if cost recovery is not
pursued. After donor-funded programs end, extension agencies are often left with an
increased number of agents. Because staff numbers are difficult to reduce in public sector
agencies, budget reductions limit the resources available to extension agents to do their jobs
effectively, such as transport facilities and training. These problems lead to negative
feedback. Without sufficient resources public sector extension services become ineffective,
and their image of being ineffective leads finance ministries to deny requests for more
resources. Last but not least, public sector extension providers can cause the crowding out of
private and third sector extension providers. This problem occurs when government agencies
provide extension free of charge even though no market failure has occurred. Governments
may also establish regulatory or bureaucratic barriers that prevent private sector extension
agencies from emerging. This type of problem, however, seems more prevalent in the areas
of government-supported input supply and marketing than in the actual provision of
extension services. Hence, this type of government failure is more likely to affect extension

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services provided by input dealers and output buyers or processors than those provided by
private extension agencies.

Strategies to overcome state failures


Institutional design Decentralization is an important strategy to make public agencies more
responsive to local needs. It can take two forms: devolution, or making public agencies
accountable to locally elected governments, and deconcentration, or transferring authority to
offices at lower levels of government but retaining accountability within the line agency
(Rondinelli 1981). Decentralization involves its own challenges (Bardhan and Mookherjee
2006; Anderson 2007). Problems of political interest capture and incentives to burden
extension agents with other tasks may increase after decentralization. If funding
responsibilities are transferred to local governments, extension may no longer be a priority,
especially when basic needs, such as water, education, and health, are not being met (Faguet
2004). The institutional design of public sector extension agencies can help overcome some
of the state failures discussed earlier. Increased autonomy for extension agencies can be an
important approach to reducing political interest capture and limiting opportunities to burden
extension agents with tasks outside their mandate. The challenge of increased autonomy is
delegatee drift (Voigt and Salzberger 2002): A more autonomous agency may not
necessarily pursue the public goals that policymakers intended in setting up the agency.
Contracting is an important strategy to address state failures by institutional design (Rivera
and Zijp 2002). In this case, the state continues to finance extension, thus addressing the
market failures, but it can in principle overcome some of the state failures, such as the
problem of bureaucratic rules and attitudes. Importantly, if contracting is done through
competitive bidding, the competition mechanism can be used to address some incentive
problems. However, contracting involves considerable challenges, because the public sector
needs to manage the contracting process, which involves all the problems inherent in
procurement, including corruption. Whether the public sector is better able to overcome the
state failures inherent in managing its own extension agents than the state failures inherent in
procurement is an empirical question.
Funding mechanisms
The way funding is provided to public sector agencies can affect incentive problems. A
mechanism widely used in agricultural research, but less so in agricultural extension, is the
competitive grant. An important strategy to improve both financial sustainability and demand

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orientation is cost recovery or example, by charging a fee for participation in extension
activities. It may be politically difficult to move to a fee-for-extension scheme. The
willingness or ability to pay, especially among poor farmers, may be constrained by market
failures. While having to pay a fee increases farmers incentive to hold extension providers
accountable, it is not necessarily a mechanism that makes extension providers accountable to
the farmers. In the absence of a market mechanism, it is necessary to establish institutional
channels by which farmers demands are translated into management decisions. As long as
farmer-toagent ratios are more than 1,000:1, establishing such mechanisms necessarily
involves farmer-based organizations rather than individual farmers.
Management approaches
The public sector can use a range of managerial approaches to address the problem of weak
incentives. As indicated earlier, merit-based recruitment and promotion is one of the most
important strategies in this regard. Other instruments include performance contracts and other
managing for results approaches, seeking feedback through client satisfaction surveys,
establishing professional standards, and other efforts to promote a mission-oriented service.
The new public management approach aims at introducing a range of private sector
management techniques to public administration. Because public sector extension is typically
part of the general public administration, the opportunities to use such instruments are often
constrained by formal civil service rules and by an informal bureaucratic culture. Changing
such formal and informal rules for extension in isolation from the rest of the bureaucracy is
likely to be difficult. The creation of semiautonomous agencies is one strategy to increase the
scope for applying management approaches that aim to resolve incentive problems. All these
strategies can be considered supply-side approaches.
Extension methods
Extension methods differ widely with regard to the scope they create for allowing farmers to
articulate demand. On one end of the spectrum are transfer-of-technology methods that aim at
disseminating new technologies developed in research stations, such as lectures and
instructions, demonstration plots, and information dissemination via radio. Such methods
which were used, for example, in the T&V system leave limited room for the articulation of
farmers demands. On the other end of the spectrum are participatory extension methods,
including participatory technology development and the Farmers Field School approach,
which create more space to tailor extension to the demands of farmers (Tripp, Wijeratne, and
Piyadasa 2005; Davis 2006; Anderson 2007; Van den Berg and Jiggins 2007). One challenge

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often faced by public sector extension agents is that the use of participatory extension
methods requires the development of specific skills, such as group facilitation. Without
investing in training for extension agents to develop such skills, it is difficult for the public
sector as for any other extension provider to use the potential inherent in participatory
methods.
Provisions in the Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension
The framework does not include a systematic description of the state failures the framework
seeks to address. However, it mentions a range of problems. The challenge of financial
sustainability and limited operational funds is explicitly mentioned: States have barely been
able to pay the salaries of extension personnel. Less than 10 percent of the budget is available
for operational expenses, which has practically immobilized the service with scarcely any
technology dissemination in the field. In reviewing earlier extension approaches, the
framework criticizes the top-down nature of the Training and Visit System and observes
farmer driven and farmer accountable feedback systems were not adequately developed .
The framework also acknowledges capacity problems, dedicating an entire section to it. On
the problem of crowding out, the framework states, If the public sector continues to
subsidize the services, this will prevent a level playing field to the private sector, which will
ultimately get crowded out. The framework also stipulates a re-examination of existing
Rules, Regulations & Acts to abolish provisions, which constrain private investment in
delivery of agro-services. The following sections discuss the provisions of the framework in
the areas of institutional design, funding, management, and extension methods.

Institutional design
Decentralization
The framework places strong emphasis on decentralization, in the form of both
deconcentration and devolution. The Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA)
model is proposed as the key concept for decentralizing decision making to the local level.
However, the framework itself does not provide further specifications of the ATMA model,
which was originally introduced under an agricultural technology project funded by the
World Bank. The explanations presented here are based on project documents and other
publications (Singh, Swanson, and Singh 2006). The Farmer Advisory Block Technology
Team comprises personnel with extension functions from various departments. The Farmer
Advisory Block Technology Committee plays a key role in ensuring bottom-up planning. It is

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composed of the head of the Farmer Interest Groups, which are typically organized around
specific crops.
Farm Information and Advisory Centres provide a single-window delivery mechanism for
extension. Owing to this setup, the ATMA promotes both coordination among government
agencies and coordination among the public, private, and third sectors. In its original design,
the ATMA may be considered a model of deconcentration rather than devolution because, at
least in its original implementation, elected local government leaders was not part of its
governance structure. However, the framework acknowledges that local governments
specifically, Indias three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions - have started to play a role in
extension. As stated in the framework, Some states have also delegated suitable
administrative and financial powers to the institutions. In these states, the extension personnel
are placed under the administrative control of the local governments (panchayats), whereas
for technical guidance they remain under the control of their respective technical line
departments. Accordingly, the framework encourages the development of linkages between
the ATMA units at village, block, and district levels and the evolving Panchayati Raj
Institutions. Moreover, as part of the ongoing decentralization process, the Ministry of
Agriculture expects to discontinue 27 centrally funded programs and reallocate those funds
directly to the ATMA districts (Swanson 2006).
Increased autonomy
The framework suggests the strategy of increased autonomy discussed earlier. The ATMA
model ensures a considerable degree of independence from the general public administration:
The ATMA is a registered society, which has much flexibility, for example, to enter into
partnership with private sector entities. The framework also promotes the principle of
increased autonomy for the State Agricultural Management Extension Training Institutes by
making such autonomy a precondition of support from the central level.
Contracting
The framework envisages contracting out of extension services to private-sector,
community-based organizations or NGOs in selected geographical areas (e.g., a village,
cluster of villages, Block). The framework acknowledges the need for a transparent, laid
out procedure and for a strict monitoring and evaluation process. Additionally, the
framework points out that extension support services, such as security, mobility, and
computer and secretarial services should be contracted wherever possible. In particular,
participatory planning should be contracted to NGOs; staff training, to universities or

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institutes; and monitoring, to farmer-based organizations, the Indian Institute of Management,
and other institutions. Moreover, the framework states that, in contracting arrangements
among governments, extension services, and farmers, the farmers could play the role of
beneficiaries, provider or co-financier of extension services. Related to contracting and the
increased roles of the private sector, the media, and information technology, the framework
stipulates that the public extension service should be made leaner and professional. It is
envisaged that the approximately 100,000 public extension functionaries will be gradually
reduced to be supported by the other two arms of services providers .
Funding mechanisms
The framework suggests both the establishment of competitive grants and cost recovery
mechanisms. It envisions a Competitive Agriculture Extension Grant Fund (CAEGF) and
suggests that public extension agencies compete with private extension agencies for
operational funds under such a grant. An independent impact evaluation is suggested to
assess performance as a basis for subsequent eligibility to compete for funds. The
Competitive Agriculture Research Grant Fund set up in the Indian Council of Agricultural
Research and several states is mentioned as a model for the proposed CAEGF. The
framework encourages cost recovery: Wherever farmers have the capacity to pay for public
services, which are in the nature of private goods, realistic cost of such services should be
recovered. However, provision is made for targeted subsidies to protect the vulnerable class
of users. Likewise, the framework states that the private extension providers should charge
for extension services or, in case of contract farming, recover the costs out of their profit
margins. Innovations in financial institutions, such as revolving funds, and linking farmers
with credit institutions are also encouraged by the framework. The framework addresses the
problem of financial sustainability by suggesting cost-cutting mechanisms for extension
services: Cost effectiveness may be improved by relying on fewer but better qualified
(graduate or post-graduate) field advisers who interact directly with researchers for subject
matter advice and then multiply their impact in the field by working with farmer groups
rather than individual contact farmers.
Management approaches
The framework creates the conditions for using incentive-oriented management approaches
by increasing the autonomy of the extension agencies through the ATMA model, as indicated
earlier. It also encourages the states to develop human resource development (HRD) policies
and action plans by making them a precondition for central funding. According to the

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framework, HRD policies would also build in an effective system of rewards and incentives
for public extension functionaries. However, improving merit-based recruitment and
promotion and adjusting the pay scale of public sector extension agents to create incentives
are not specified in the framework. Neither does the framework refer to the option of linking
HRD reform efforts in extension to those in general public administrations. The framework
does, however, emphasize capacity strengthening. It stipulates increasing the professional
qualification of extension staff by suggesting a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture as
the minimum educational requirement for farm advisors. DOA's extension field staff would
be restructured and upgraded to create a professional cadre of Farm Advisors. In the process,
the village extension worker (VEW) cadre would be incrementally phased out through
reassignment and normal attrition. To improve the skills of the extension agents who will
remain in the public sector, the framework advocates a massive campaign comprising a
skill gap analysis and compulsory training in the form of foundation courses and a
professional course.
Extension methods
The framework strongly recommends participatory extension approaches by encouraging
participation in working out the system description, problem diagnosis, search for
appropriate technology, designing the process of implementation, monitoring and evaluation,
and feedback. Likewise, the framework stresses the role of indigenous knowledge and
partnership, highlighting that the extension agent is no longer seen as the expert who has all
the useful information and technical solutions; the indigenous technical knowledge of farmers
and their ingenuity, individually and collectively, are recognized as a major source; and
solutions to local problems are to be developed in partnership between the extension agent
and farmers. The framework also suggests the use of group extension as a mechanism to
make extension demand-driven. Farmer interest groups should first generate a demand for
information, technology and management techniques. The need for capacity building to
enable extension agents to use such methods is fully recognized in the framework:
Extension workers therefore need new skills of negotiation, conflict resolution and
mobilizing and nurturing community organizations.
4.3. Third Sector Extension
As Table 1 indicates, it is useful to distinguish two types of third sector organizations that can
be involved in agricultural extension: NGOs, especially non-profit service providers, and
farmer-based organizations (FBOs), which are membership organizations formed by farmers.

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Whereas NGOs are accountable to their funding agencies, FBOs are accountable to their
members. Table 1 shows the wide range of options for NGOs and FBOs to be involved in the
financing and provision of extension. Their involvement can play an important role for
overcoming the problems of market and state failures.
Potentials of NGO Extension
One of the major advantages of NGOs is their flexibility. Because they are not part of the
public administration, they are not constrained by civil service rules and are usually less
confined by bureaucratic procedures and cultures. Therefore, they can use a range of
managerial approaches to create incentives for their staff, such as merit-based and
competitive payment, which are often not available to the public sector. Depending on its
type, an NGO may be in a better position to attract staff members who are intrinsically
motivated and dedicated to its cause. Moreover, an NGO is not usually subject to the problem
of political interest capture and is typically less likely to be under pressure to assume
responsibilities outside the mandate of agricultural extension. NGOs have often played a
pioneering role in introducing group-based and participatory extension methods. In
contracting systems, NGOs may compete among themselves or with for-profit private sector
providers, which may create additional incentives for improved service provision.
Reasons for NGO failures
When NGOs work in the absence of a market mechanism, they are, in principle, subject to
the same types of information problems as the public sector. They are usually small
compared with public sector agencies. Although their size contributes to their flexibility, it
also reduces their outreach. In fact, the percentage of farmers who are reached by NGO
extension is often small. As indicated in Figure 1, NGOs constituted an information source
for less than 1 percent of Indian farmers. Some NGOs have grown to a considerable size,
such as BRAC in Bangladesh.3 However, the larger an NGO becomes, the more likely it will
become subject to the same problems of bureaucracy faced by public sector agencies.
Moreover, NGOs are subject to accountability problems (Ebrahim 2003). In principle, public
sector agencies can be made accountable to farmers through political channels. NGOs are
only accountable to their funding agencies. They often face problems of financial
sustainability and have to cope with considerable fluctuations in funding. Moreover, NGOs
are not immune to problems of mismanagement and misuse of funding. Neither are they
immune to attitudinal problems. While NGO staff would not treat farmers as state subjects,
they might become patronizing toward those they serve. Additionally, they can have

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incentives to combine extension with other goals, including promoting the worldview or
religion with which the NGO is associated. Frequently, NGOs do not have their own
extension staff but use public sector extension agents. If this fact is neglected, their
contribution to increasing the supply of extension services is easily overestimated.
Strategies to overcome NGO failures
To overcome the challenges they face, NGOs can to some extent use the same strategies
discussed earlier for public sector agencies. For example, NGOs can use participatory
extension methods and involve FBOs in extension management to solve information
problems. Likewise, they can use the same types of managerial approaches mentioned earlier
for the public sector, such as making use of client satisfaction surveys and focusing on
results-based management. NGOs also can use cost-recovery methods, such as fee-based
extension, to improve financial sustainability and increase farmers incentives to demand
accountability.
NGO extension
The framework foresees an important role for NGOs. It highlights their ability to mobilize
communities

into

Farmers

Organizations/Farmer

Interest

Groups/Watershed

Associations/Market Associations as a major strength. According to the framework, NGOs


can either complement public sector extension by focusing on community mobilization or
substitute for public extension through contracting approaches. The central government is
also accorded a role in partnering with NGOs. As the framework states, of the then 261
Farmer Information and Advisory Centres in the country, 86 were operated by NGOs. The
framework also proposes the use of public funding for capacity building of NGOs: A
systematic training, capacity building and technical backstopping mechanism, supported
through public funds is to be developed for NGOs involved in providing extension services .
Apart from acknowledging the need to provide training, however, the framework does not
refer to the challenges involved in NGO extension or to strategies to deal with those
challenges.
FBO extension
The framework identifies FBOs as a major mechanism to make extension services demanddriven. It defines several types of FBOs, including self-help groups, farmer interest groups,
and commodity associations. The framework emphasizes that FBOs can provide an effective
channel for both the dissemination of technology to large numbers of small and marginal
farmers, and feedback to research and extension and points out that they are especially

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important for high value commodities and resource poor farmers. Based on the ATMA
model, FBOs play a key role in this extension approach. The question of how to promote the
formation of FBOs is addressed in the framework in various ways. First, the framework
points out that government services can help identify and strengthen existing associations or
cooperatives of farmers. Likewise, as mentioned earlier, NGOs support in the formation and
mobilization of FBOs is encouraged. The framework also foresees the use of public funds to
support the formation of FBOs and their involvement in extension planning, implementation,
and monitoring. Linking FBOs to local governments through existing institutions such as
land management committees and federating FBOs at higher levels is also encouraged by the
framework.

DISCUSSION
Making Agricultural Extension Demand-Driven
Section 4 identified various strategies to make extension demand-driven. Before discussing
the relevance of the strategies to Indias agricultural extension policies, it may be useful to
summarize them. Three types of extension were distinguished: private sector (market based),
public sector, and third sector. In private sector extension systems, it is the market
mechanism that fosters demand-driven services. If a market for extension does not exist
because government interventions have crowded out private extension providers, reducing
such crowding out and creating a favorable investment climate for private providers is one
strategy to make extension more demand-driven. To what extent crowding out, rather than
other types of market failures, prevents the emergence of a market for extension is an
empirical question. Besides the pure type of market-based extension where private sector
organizations provide extension services and farmers pay for them, other market-based
approaches include agricultural advice provided with the sale of inputs or purchase of
products and advice provided in a contract-farming relationship.
How demand-driven these approaches are depends largely on the bargaining power of the
farmers in these relations. Public sector extension is often not responsive to farmers demands
owing to a range of government failures. Strategies to make public sector extension more
responsive to farmers demands include decentralization of extension agencies, increased
autonomy of extension agencies, contracting extension services and involving farmers in
awarding the contracts, using funding mechanisms such as cost recovery to encourage
farmers to express their demands, using management techniques such as new public

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management to emphasize responsiveness to clients, and using participatory extension
methods. Extension services provided by NGOs and FBOs (third sector extension) are not
necessarily demand-driven either, because they are subject to various failures, too.
The strategies to make NGO based extension more responsive to farmers demands are
similar to those that the public sector can use. Strategies to make FBO-based extension more
demand-driven include strengthening management capacity and the internal accountability
mechanisms of FBOs, with a specific focus on overcoming problems of elite capture and
social exclusion. Because FBOs can play an important role in making other types of
extension more demand-driven and accountable, strengthening the capacity of FBOs to
articulate farmers demands is an important crosscutting strategy. Each available strategy to
make agricultural extension more demand-driven has its own challenges. In view of these
challenges, the choice of strategies depends on underlying assumptions and value judgments,
or paradigms, regarding the roles that the public sector, the private sector, and civil society
should play in agricultural development and, more broadly, in economic development.
The Policy Framework for Agricultural Extension represents the paradigm of public sector
reform that emerged in the postWashington Consensus era (Williamson 2000). This
paradigm acknowledges the role of the state in overcoming market failure, but it envisions a
facilitating and enabling role for the state (Wolfensohn and Bourguignon 2004). When
privatization is not possible, outsourcing is considered a major solution, and cost-recovery is
a central element of the paradigm outlined in the framework. Other core elements are user
participation, accountability, and demand-driven services. Subsidies are accepted but only if
targeted to the poor and to marginalized groups. Reforms within the public sector receive
comparatively little attention the paradigm, based on an implicit scepticism regarding the
ability of the public sector to reinvent itself.
The spirit and the language used in the framework are remarkably similar to international
documents that reflect this paradigm. For example, the 2004 World Development Report on
public service provision promotes similar strategies of contracting, cost recovery, client
empowerment, and avoiding the crowding out of nongovernmental providers (World Bank
2004). Because the framework has not been translated into laws at the state level, it remains
unknown, however, whether it would have been approved by elected political decision
makers in this form, and which of the different elements would have been contested by
different political parties. However, the framework can certainly be considered a bold
approach to reforming extension services in India.

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CONCLUDING REMARKS
Agricultural extension is back on the global development agenda, and reform measures are
being actively pursued in many parts of the developing world. India is an important case to
watch because of its longstanding commitment to supporting the vital role of extension in
agricultural development. Moreover, India is a major reformer, with many exciting
innovations fostering improved service provision and agricultural outcomes. But the process
is thus far incomplete, not only in implementation but also in policy analysis. We have
endeavored to identify some important gaps in analysis and some key issues that still need to
be addressed. This is a time for agricultural policymakers to reflect afresh on the unmet
demands, implicit and explicit, for provision of agricultural extension services to all of
Indias deserving farmers.

Farmer Field Schools: (FFS) is a unique way to educate farmers and is an effective
platform for sharing of experiences and collectively solving agriculture related problems. The
first FFS were designed and managed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in
Indonesia in 1989. Since then more than two million farmers across Asia have participated in
this type of learning. During the 1970s it became increasingly apparent that pest resistance
and resurgence caused by the indiscriminate use of insecticides posed an immediate threat to
the gains of the Green Revolution. At the same time, new researches demonstrated the
viability of biological control of major rice pests. However, gaps still existed between the
science generated in research institutions and common farmer practices, conditioned by years
of aggressive promotion of pesticide use. Over the ensuing years, a number of approaches
were tried to bring integrated pest management (IPM) to small farmers - particularly rice
farmers - in Asia, with mixed results. Some experts claimed that the principles of IPM were
too complex for small farmers to master, and that centrally designed messages were still the
only way to convince farmers to change their practices. By the end of the 1980s, a new
approach to farmer training emerged in Indonesia called the Farmer Field School (FFS).
These field schools were designed basically to address the problem of lack of knowledge
among Asian farmers relating to agro ecology, particularly the relationship between insect
pests and beneficial insects. The Farmer Field School brings together concepts and methods
from agro ecology, experiential education and community development. These FFS were
initiated based on two premises. Firstly, although farming itself is done mainly on individual

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farms, the rural community plays an essential role in farmers strategies for survival and
development. Farmers like to get together to share information and other forms of mutual
support with others whom they trust. Secondly, farmers have a tradition of developing and
applying technologies and refining it through experiences. They learn tacitly learning by
doing.
In this regard Dr. Shiraj A Wajih, President of Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group and
member of State Agriculture Committee of Uttar Pradesh said, The FFS approach is built
around these two premises. It responds directly to the information needs of the small
marginal woman farmers who have been largely neglected in conventional extension systems.
The FFS offers farmers the opportunity to learn by sharing, by being involved in
experimentation, discussion and decision-making. This strengthens the sense of ownership of
rural communities in technological packages and evolving new knowledge and skills.
In the FFS process, village meetings are conducted and a seasonal action plan is prepared at
the beginning of the year. A fortnight before the FFS day, problem cards are distributed to the
farmers wherein they enter the problems encountered by them in their fields. The problem
cards are collected and distributed to the Master Trainers, who are specialists in their fields,
for providing remedial solutions to the problem and for identifying appropriate resource
persons. Very often, farmers also invite resource persons and experts from agriculture
universities, government departments, etc. to provide valuable inputs and remedial solutions
to problems. On the FFS day, participants gather at a common place and the session
continues for 4-6 hours. Follow-up session of preceding months FFS day is also conducted.
Participants visit demonstration farm site to observe encouraging changes brought on by the
application of suggested remedies. The Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group has been
running 12 such farmer schools in two blocks of Gorakhpur district since the last five years.

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Chapter-15
Mass Media Support to Agricultural Extension
The public extension system is constrained to meet the expectations of farmers in terms of
quality advisory services and their timeliness.

The private extension services have got the

inherent limitation of not covering all the farmers for all the crops in all the regions.

Given

the scenario, it is imperative to find newer ways of reaching out to the farmers to provide
quality advisory services at a low cost. With the above in mind, Ministry of Agriculture,
Govt. of India has taken up an initiative to use Mass Media for Agricultural Extension. To
implement this initiative, MANAGE is assigned with the responsibility of capacity building
of personnel from agriculture and development departments, scientists from SAUs and ICAR
and functionaries from Doordarshan and All India Radio in the use of mass media to create
and deliver the agricultural programs for farming community.
The Central Sector Scheme Mass Media Support to Agriculture Extension has been
launched during the Xth Plan Period with a view to contribute to revamping the extension
services in the country by using electronic media for transfer of technology/information to the
farmers. Under the scheme the existing infrastructure of Doordarshan and All India Radio is
being utilized to produce and transmit programs covering a wide spectrum of topics in
agriculture and allied field for bringing the latest information and knowledge to the farming
community. Apart from telecast/broadcast in Hindi, the scheme also aims at disseminating
programs in regional languages and local dialects for the specific needs of different regions
covered under the scheme. Details of the Scheme are given below:
A. DOORDARSHAN PROGRAMMES:
1. Doordarshan through its countrywide network of transmitters is the only agency in the
country which is presently running the terrestrial transmission at National and Regional levels
and has facility to narrowcast locality-specific programs for the farming community through
its various high and low power transmitters (HPTs/LPTs). The overall outreach of
Doordarshan is to 89% of the population of the country and out of 38.7 million rural TV
homes, 25.4 million can see only Doordarshan for various regions. Doordarshan also covers
most regional languages of the country, which is highly significant for the use Mass Medial
facilities in agriculture.

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2.

With the availability of Narrowcasting it is possible to provide extension services that

meet the needs of that particular agro climatic zone. Further specific problems of the
agriculturist residing in that area can be addressed in a specific manner by taking help of the
local and nearest available agriculture research station, as each transmitter operates as a stand
alone station, there is thus need to create content for each of these transmitter locations.
3.

Under the scheme half an hour of program is to be telecast by 180 HPTs/LPTs of

Doordarshan, five days a week, with five transmitters, on an average, sharing the same
program. Thus, w.e.f. 1.4.2005, under the Scheme, 36 DD Stations are producing one hour
fresh program every week and taking remaining from the stock, are transmitting these
programs through various transmitters covered under respective narrow casting clusters. The
total approved outlay for this component is Rs. 115.34 crore.
4.

The Scheme also envisages providing 30 minutes of regional agricultural programs five

days a week, back to back with Krishi Darshan program of Doordarshan, through the
eighteen Regional Kendras of Doordarshan. These programs are repeated during the next
morning through respective Regional Satellite Channels of Doordarshan. Further, a 30 min.
national agricultural program for 6 days a week is telecast on DD National Channel in the
morning. This approach has several advantages. The programs are telecast in terrestrial
mode. The regional programs are in local languages. The National/Regional channels of
Doordarshan are mandatory for cable operators. These are also being carried on the Directto-Home (DTH) platform of Doordarshan. Thus, this approach provides the maximum
outreach to the farming community. Production and transmission of regional programs has
commenced from 2 nd May, 2005 and that of the National Program through CPC of
Doordarshan from 16th May, 2005. The total approved outlay for this component is
Rs.110.36 crore.
B. ALL INDIA RADIO PROGRAMMES:
1. Till now All India Radio has been using the existing MW and SW network for
broadcasting agriculture-based programs. The emerging technology is in the form of the FM
transmitters. This has the capacity to provide high quality output and also deliver local
content in the area of its range. As the infrastructure for the FM transmission is widely
available with the All India Radio, the locality-specific agricultural programs can reach to

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farmers in rural area in their local language/dialect through FM Radio transmission by the
Stations covering rural areas without much capital cost.
2. At present 96 FM stations of All India Radio are catering to the rural areas. The Scheme
envisages that all 96 FM transmitters will produce separate locality-specific programs for the
farming community. W.e.f. 1st April, 2005 the Kisanvani programs from 96 Rural Area FM
Stations are of half an hour duration daily, 6 days a week, with each station producing a
separate program, half fresh and half from the stock. The approved outlay for this component
is Rs. 59.38 crore.
Mass media Support to Agricultural Extension.
1. Name of the Scheme : -

Mass Media Support to Agricultural Extension.

2. Brief history / back ground and objectives of the scheme: The agriculture extension machinery and information support to most states seemed to have
become outmoded. The staff created under World Bank assisted Training & Visit (T&V)
program did not have much mobility. The need to revamp the extension services in the
country by using print and electronic media and information technology along with the
involvement of the private sector was felt increasingly. The private sector specially the
input agencies and traders, were one of the main sources of information for the farmers.
Radio, Television and the print media had become powerful means of education and
technology dissemination. The farmers were now need technology, investment, better
quality inputs and most of all the latest know-how for sustaining commercial agriculture.
As this happened a major shift in the methodology of delivering knowledge to the farm
had to take place. The traditional system of extension would not be able to meet the needs
of a diversified Indian Agriculture. At this juncture, it was felt that by judicious using of
the mass media, the problem of educating and informing the vast mass of agricultural
workers, farmers and public at large could be addressed. The Central Sector Scheme
Mass Media Support to Agriculture Extension has been launched during the Xth Plan
Period with a view to contribute to revamping the extension services in the country by
using electronic media for transfer of technology/information to the farmers. The EFC
approval of the scheme was obtained on 05.01.2004 and later on the CCEA approval of the
revised scheme was obtained and 24.02.2005. This is a new scheme for 10 th five-year
plan.

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Scope and Objectives of the scheme:
The primary objective of the Scheme is to use Television and Radio with their massive
penetration as a vehicle that could be exploited for the purpose of extension. They have
the advantage of reaching a wide audience at a very low cost. The electronic media will
therefore, need to be made a part of the strategy being adopted for delivering farm level
extension services. The Scheme Mass Media Support to Agricultural Extension aims to
fulfill the following specific objectives:
Broadcasting programs covering a wide spectrum of topics in agriculture and allied fields
to cover the entire country, with special focus on isolated areas and marginalized population.
Repeat broadcasts at different time slots to suit the viewers convenience of different
segments of population.
Disseminate programs in regional languages and local dialects for the specific needs of
different regions.
Promote live programming with phone-in feature, so that the viewers may interact and
participate in the on going broadcasts.
Undertake capacity building and training programs to help upgrade the knowledge and
expertise of program executives, extension workers, field-level officials and other
functionaries.

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References: Books, articles, reports, papers, proceedings, guides and others consulted
for preparation of this reading material

1. Extension Education- By Dr. Ranjit Singh


2. Extension Education and Communication- By Dr. O.P. Dhama
3. Participatory Rural Appraisal- By Dr. Neela Mukherjee
4. Agribusiness and Extension Management-By Dr. B.S. Hansra and K.Vijayraghavan
5. FAO Marketing Extension Guides
6. Extension Research Review- By: MANAGE, Hyderabad
7. Private Extension in India-By: Dr. P. Chandra Shekara, MANAGE,
8. Recommendations of Working Group on Agricultural Extension for formulations of
Eleventh Five Year Plan
9. Guidelines for strengthening of Agricultural Extension System in India
10. Various research papers- By Dr. Rasheed Sulaiman, Director, CRISP
11. Ministry websites and portal and others
12. World Bank Report on Extension

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