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Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA): A Study of its Impact in Pilot Districts in Bihar, India

Singh, K.M. and Meena, M.S. and Singh, R.K.P. and Kumar, Abhay and Kumar, Ujjwal (2009): Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA): A Study of its Impact in Pilot Districts in Bihar, India.

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During the mid-1990s, the Government of India and the World Bank began exploring new approaches to extension that would address these system problems and constraints. The result was a new, decentralized extension approach, which would focus more directly on agricultural diversification and increasing farm income and rural employment. The central institutional innovation that emerged to address these system problems was the Agricultural Technology Management Agency or “ATMA” model that was introduced at the district level. This model was pilot-tested through the Innovations for Technology Dissemination (ITD) component of a World Bank-funded, National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) that became effective in 1998 and concluded in June 2005. As a follow up on the success of ATMA model under ITD component of NATP the Govt. of India has initiated a new Centrally Sponsored Scheme on Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms, and had funded the setting up of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in all 588 rural districts in India. The ATMAs are expected to support the state extension system by making it more broad-based and participatory for planning, implementing and monitoring the extension activities of a district. The purpose of this component was to test new approaches to technology transfer, new organizational arrangements, and operational procedures. For evaluation of field level impact of ATMA model, beneficiaries (target farmers) were compared with themselves across the pre-intervention and post-intervention scenarios. To facilitate such temporal comparison of agro-economic situations facing the target farmers, baseline and impact assessment surveys were conducted to reflect upon pre-intervention and post-intervention scenarios respectively. Further, in order to provide reflections upon ‘with project’ and ‘without project’ situations inclusion of out-of-project area farmers in the sample was necessary, and accordingly sample farmers from control districts were also covered under the study.

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