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In-depth Study of the Pluralistic Agricultural Extension System in India

Singh, K.M. and Meena, M.S. and Swanson, B.E. and Reddy, M.N. and Bahal, R. (2014): In-depth Study of the Pluralistic Agricultural Extension System in India.

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This In-Depth Study of the Pluralistic Agricultural Extension System in India is a full analysis of the pluralistic extension system in India, how it has changed over many years and the direction it is currently moving.

Chapter-1 outlines the Evolution of the Pluralistic Agricultural Extension System in India and the changes that have occurred since about 1871, including the establishment of the Department of Agriculture in 1882. Following independence in 1947, many changes have happened as outlined in this first chapter, including the Community Development Program (CDP), the Intensive Agricultural District Program (IADP), including dissemination of high-yielding varieties during the Green Revolution, the Training and Visit (T&V) approach and then the move to the decentralized, farmer-led and market driven approach influenced by the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) model.

Chapter-2 gives an Overview of the Public Extension System within the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), the State Departments of Agriculture and then provides more detailed information about the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and the public extension system in India. It starts with an overview of the organizational structure at the national level, including the Department of Agricultural Research and Extension (DARE), then into the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation (DAC) and Directorate of Extension within DAC. Then, it moves into the KVKs, which are a critical linkage at the district level between research, extension and farmers. In short, KVKs focus on the specific agro-ecological conditions within each district and then, after conducting research on these different crops, livestock and other farming systems. Then it moves into the development of the ATMA model through two World Bank projects, which is now expand across all Indian districts.

Chapter-3 outlines the Directorates of Extension Education within each State Agricultural Universities (SAUs). India is unique in having Extension units established within each SAU, since this extension approach was first introduced by selected US Land Grant Universities into these SAUs in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This chapter outlines the historical development of the extension within each SAU and then outlines the mandate, organizational structure, human resources and methods used within these SAUs and their relationship with the public extension system.

Chapter-4 outlines the Private Sector Advisory Services being provided in India, especially in the provision of good advisory services through private Agri-Business Companies through the sale of inputs to farmers. In India, there are over 280,000 input supply firms, but many do not have sufficient knowledge and experience in providing good advisory services to farmers. At first, the public and private sector did not want to work together but through the ATMA approach, the public and private sector started working together and then, in 2004, the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) started training and giving diplomas to the participants from these private sector firms, especially in Andhra Pradesh (see: http://www.manage.gov.in/daesi/daesi.htm).

Chapter-5 summarizes the role and activities of the different Commodity Boards currently operating in India, including: Central Silk Board (CSB), Coconut Development Board (CDB), Coffee Board, Coir Board, Rubber Board, Spices Board, Tea Board, Tobacco Board, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), National Horticulture Board (NHB), Cashew Export Promotion Council (CEPC), National Jute Board (NJB), and the National Federation of Cooperative Sugar Factories (NFCSF) and how each of these boards carry out extension and advisory services to the farmers being served.

Chapter-6 outlines the Institutional Mechanism for Capacity Building to strengthen the pluralistic extension system in India. This chapter starts with an overview of the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), which is an autonomous organization that has had the most impact on strengthening the extension system in India. Next, it discusses the paradigm shift within the National Institute of Agricultural Marketing (NAIM) in India; and then outlines the role of the Extension Education Institutes (EEIs). Finally, it moves to outline the role and structure of the State Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institutes (SAMETIs), especially in strengthening the ATMA model in India.

Chapter-7 is the conclusion chapter that outlines the Strengths and Weaknesses of India’s Pluralistic Extension System. It starts by outlining the Policy Framework and Reforms for strengthening the pluralistic extension system in India. Next, it outlines how to strengthen research-extension linkages as well as capacity building among extension workers. Next, it addresses how to empower farmers, including women farmers. It also outlines the use of Information Technology (IT) and how to strengthen it through different approaches. This chapter also outlines the changing role of government in extension and how the ATMA model can be strengthened following very specific details. The other issue is how to strengthen the SAMETIs, since they still need to be strengthened in providing service to district and block level extension workers. This chapter ends with a brief summary the key role that the public extension system can play in India.

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