Agricultural extension is crucial to enhance farm productiveness and to translate the identical into elevated earnings. Nevertheless, the agricultural extension system in India is going through a mess of challenges. The help, by way of insurance policies and promotion, acquired by the agricultural sector even earlier than the inexperienced revolution is regularly weakening. Personal extension has been unable to match the necessities of a various and smallholder-dominated Indian agricultural sector. Restructuring of the Indian agricultural extension system is important in creating the sector into a significant supply of progress within the Indian financial system.
Agricultural analysis and extension play an vital position achieve meals safety and lifting the agricultural poor out of poverty. Research have revealed the effectiveness of expenditure and funding on agricultural analysis and growth (R&D), together with extension providers, in lowering poverty as in comparison with a number of different avenues of funding (Businessline 2017; Bathla et al 2019).
A robust agricultural extension system is important in transferring the information and expertise generated by the analysis system to the varied classes of stakeholders which will result in its adoption, and additional, to translate manufacturing positive aspects into elevated worth technology. To facilitate this, many establishments have been created, primarily within the public sector. In consequence, new applied sciences developed by the analysis techniques have been disseminated extensively. This has resulted within the progress of complete issue productiveness (TFP) in agricultural sector on the fee of 1.5%–2.0% per 12 months over a time frame (Pal 2017). A number of research have indicated beneficial financial returns for elevated extension expenditure (Evenson 2001; Benin et al 2011; Birthal et al 2015). In contrast with the heyday of agricultural extension in India coinciding with the inexperienced revolution, the applied sciences and establishments working in Indian agriculture have undergone a sea change. This warrants a reoriented strategy in agricultural extension growth in India. This paper is an try in that path.
Contextualising Agricultural Extension System
Within the context of fast-changing world agriculture, the extension system must transcend from a production-centric strategy to a price chain-centric one. For this, it has to develop experience to be able to tackle the issues of all stakeholders—producers, market functionaries, retailers, and shoppers.
Nevertheless, on the coverage degree, extension expenditure has stagnated for a protracted interval (Sajesh and Suresh 2016). The explanations contain undermining the position and efficacy of the extension system in bettering farm productiveness and anticipation of the large-scale substitution of public extension system with non-public extension system, along with the termination of exterior aids to the extension system. Quick developments in info and communication applied sciences (ICTs) have strengthened this angle.
In the meantime, the agrarian financial system in India continued to grapple with a number of challenges. The Common Settlement on Tariffs and Commerce (GATT) and the ensuing coming into power of the World Commerce Group (WTO) had introduced new opportunities however posed a number of challenges as effectively. India’s bilateral and multilateral commerce agreements—together with the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) settlement—have additionally posed extra challenges (Francis 2011; Saraswath et al 2019). A number of environmental points affected Indian agriculture, akin to soil and water degradation, local weather change and chemical contamination, to say just a few. Though the TFP of Indian agriculture grew, it was with giant variations amongst crops and areas. Additional, widespread misery was reported from the hinterland.
However these hindrances, the agricultural manufacturing continued to develop at a fee greater than the inhabitants progress fee. Throughout the 1981–2017 interval, foodgrain manufacturing in India grew at a fee of two.11% per 12 months, greater than the inhabitants progress at 1.82% per 12 months. It’s projected that by 2032–33, the home demand, together with oblique use, can be to the tune of 334–349 million tonnes of foodgrains, 245 million tonnes of greens, 175 million tonnes of fruits, 221 million tonnes of milk and milk merchandise, 165 million eggs, and 25 million tonnes of fish and meat collectively, respectively (NITI Aayog  [based on actual consumption in 2011 the National Sample Survey Family Budget]). This means a requirement enhance to the tune of 21% for foodgrains, 42% for milk, 70% for meat, 33% for greens and 54% for fruits, in comparison with that of 2011–12. The provision to fulfill this elevated demand has to return from a lowered cultivable space, rising water constraints, with out including to the environmental air pollution. The position of agricultural extension shall be of paramount significance on this context. Farmers who use info are discovered to understand greater internet returns. Birthal et al (2015) peg this determine at over 12% internet returns per hectare.
Evolution of Public Sector Extension System
Throughout the post-independence interval, a number of extension programmes have been launched with the instant goal of attaining meals self-sufficiency. These embody the develop extra meals (GMF) Marketing campaign in 1947, Neighborhood Growth Programme (CDP) in 1952 and Nationwide Extension Service (NES) in 1953. Later, numerous location-specific extension actions have been initiated below a number of main programmes in the course of the pre-green revolution interval. These have been the Intensive Agricultural District Programme (IADP), Intensive Agricultural Space Programme (IAAP), and Excessive Yielding Varieties Programme (HYVP), in addition to Farmer Coaching Centre (FTC) throughout 1961–67. In the direction of imparting useful competency, a coaching and go to (T&V) programme was initiated on a pilot scale in Rajasthan in 1974, modelled on the premise of the expertise from the World Financial institution (Novice 1994). This was scaled up on the nationwide degree in 1977. The Nationwide Agricultural Extension Programme (NAEP), throughout 1984–95 and the Nationwide Agricultural Expertise Venture (NATP) launched in 1998 had parts of improvements in expertise dissemination.
The Agricultural Expertise Administration Company (ATMA), an autonomous extension company created on the district degree in 2005, was thought-about as a key intervention for reforming the extension system. Concomitantly, the Nationwide Agricultural Analysis and Extension System (NARES), led by the Indian Council of Agricultural Analysis (ICAR) additionally developed a number of programmes for efficient extension. Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), the foremost extension arm of ICAR, have been established in 1992. At present, KVKs act as the foremost technology-backstopping company for agricultural extension techniques on the district degree.
The present public agricultural extension system in India follows a three-tier construction, particularly the state degree, central degree, and the NARES). State departments (agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry, fisheries, and so on) play a key position by way of the variety of personnel engaged and beneficiaries coated of their respective states. Technological backstopping to respective state departments is offered primarily by the state agricultural universities. The ATMA capabilities as a coordinating system of all of the companies concerned in a supply of extension providers within the district (DAC 2014; Birner and Anderson 2007).
The Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare formulates and implements national-level extension programmes in agriculture and allied sectors. The Directorate of Extension is the nodal extension organ of the Division of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare: https://agricoop.nic.in/en. Below its scheme “Assist to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms” (SSEPER) initiated in 2005, it releases grants-in-aid to state governments. The scheme is operationalised by the ATMA that encourages the organisation of farmer teams and farm faculties for selling farm applied sciences.
Aside from this, a number of commodity boards just like the spices board, tea board, espresso board, rubber board, Coconut Development Board, Nationwide Dairy Growth Board, and Nationwide Fisheries Growth Board below completely different ministries, additionally present commodity-specific extension providers akin to technical recommendation inputs and subsidies, accreditation of enter suppliers, coaching, product high quality assurance and analytical testing, market promotion, and so on. Different central authorities companies just like the seeds companies and enter manufacturing corporations are additionally concerned within the provision of extension providers. A few of these schemes, akin to expertise missions on completely different crops (horticultural crops, maize, oilseeds and pulses), watershed growth programmes and the Nationwide Meals Safety Mission have their very own extension mechanism. Of late, the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), funded by the central authorities, is being applied by the state governments.
Additional, to be able to strengthen the extension system with progressive methodologies and capability constructing, the Nationwide Institute of Agricultural Extension Administration (MANAGE) was established in Hyderabad in 1987 with a mandate to plan appropriate extension methods and prepare senior extension functionaries. This was along with 4 extension training institutes (EEI) already in operation at Nilokheri, Haryana (1959); Anand, Gujarat (1962); Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh (1962); and Jorhat, Assam (1987).
The NARES—comprising the ICAR and state agricultural universities (SAUs)—contributes to Indian agriculture by way of creating location-specific cutting-edge applied sciences to help the nationwide agri-food system. ICAR reaches out to farmers primarily by KVKs, that are mandated to conduct on-farm trials (OFTs), front-line demonstrations (FLDs) and capability growth programmes (CDPs). ICAR, with an unlimited community of 716 KVKs all around the nation, offers vocational coaching to major producers and extension personnel. The actions are monitored zonally by the Agricultural Expertise Utility Analysis Institute (ATARI), and there are at the moment 11 ATARIs. The ICAR has additionally began Agricultural Expertise Data Centres (ATIC) since 2000 in chosen ICAR institutes and SAUs to perform as a single window system, showcasing or promoting applied sciences and merchandise developed within the institute or college. The SAUs and ICAR institutes additionally perform extension actions immediately, however in a restricted method, primarily confined to the areas of their neighborhood. In latest occasions, the general public sector extension companies have more and more utilised developments in ICTs. For instance, mKISAN is a mobile-based software that allows central and state companies to supply info to particular stakeholders in vernacular languages by SMS. Additional, the idea of building agribusiness incubation (ABI) centres on the institute degree gave a significant thrust to public extension providers for the commercialisation of agriculture by start-ups.
Personal Sector Agriculture Extension System
The non-public sector extension is gaining momentum because it encourages an environment friendly enter supply system and need-based farm advisory providers. The non-public sector has the potential to supply context-specific providers. In consequence, the embedded providers, public–non-public partnerships (PPPs) and speak to farming preparations are thought-about vital for agricultural extension (Ferroni and Zhou 2011). There are about 0.3 million agro-input sellers—coping with seeds, fertilisers, pesticides and agro-machinery—throughout the nation. In comparison with this, there are solely roughly 0.15 million sanctioned posts of extension staff within the nation, of which greater than 30% stay vacant (DAC 2014). Nevertheless, one problem on this context is the standard of data provided. A profile of the non-public extension system in India is printed in Desk 1.
Aside from enter provision, a lot of corporations have launched outreach actions in their very own capability or in affiliation with different actors within the public or civil society sector. The initiatives launched by ITC, like e-Choupal, Chaupal Sagar, and Chaupal Pradarsan Khet (CPK), present farmers with entry to details about climate and progressive farming practices, assortment and storage amenities, and expertise demonstrations, respectively. Additional, many corporations present funding by their company social accountability (CSR) coverage.
NGO/Civil Society Extension System
In India, there are greater than 3 million registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs), of which 15,000–20,000 are actively concerned within the growth of rural areas and oriented in direction of land-based livelihoods (Gulati et al 2018). Some distinguished ones are Skilled Help for Growth Motion (PRADAN), Bharatiya Agro-Industries Federation (BAIF), Syngenta Basis, Motion for Meals Manufacturing (AFPRO), and Self Employed Girls’s Affiliation (SEWA), amongst many others.
Over time, commodity-based farmers’ organisations, farmers’ curiosity teams (FIGs), self-help teams (SHGs), and cooperatives utilising social capital have emerged as a significant power to reckon with to generate earnings and scale back poverty (Swanson and Samy 2006). The examples embody the Maharashtra State Grape Growers’ Affiliation, Younger Farmers Affiliation Punjab, Natural Farming Affiliation of India (OFAI), and lots of extra. Out of the 5.8 lakh useful cooperatives unfold throughout India, about 3.75 lakh are agricultural cooperatives, with 280 million member farmers. There exist many profitable cooperatives in numerous sectors. AMUL in Gujarat, Mom Dairy in North India, OMFED in Odisha, and MILMA in Kerala—all within the milk sector—in addition to Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Restricted within the fertiliser sector, Nationwide Agricultural Cooperative Advertising and marketing Federation of India within the advertising and marketing sector, and so on, have proved their important presence.
Points and Challenges
The extension system has to reply to a number of points and challenges that the agricultural sector faces. A few of the rising challenges within the sector are the dominance of ever-increasing smallholders together with the fragmentation of holdings; diversification of the agricultural sector to high-value crops and enterprises; reorientation of the goal of agricultural R&D from productiveness enchancment to earnings enchancment; evolving establishments that may exploit economies of scale in agricultural operations; unsustainability in agricultural sector with respect to soil, water and biodiversity; inclusiveness points; elevated demand for worth added merchandise; emergence of farm collectives; imparting resilience in opposition to local weather change; and efficient utilization of ICTs. Along with these generic challenges in Indian agriculture, the Indian extension system is confronted with some particular challenges.
Presence of a number of companies focusing on identical purchasers: The draft report on Doubling Farmers’ Revenue (DFI) exhibits 107 classes of private and non-private extension service suppliers (GoI 2017). These companies span throughout Ministries of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Commerce and Industries, Meals Processing, Textiles, Water Assets and Ganga Rejuvenation, Finance, Science and Expertise, Rural Growth, and Data and Broadcasting. Apart from, state governments and intergovernmental establishments additionally undertake extension providers. As well as, non-public gamers like agripreuners, farmer collectives, ICTs, enter sellers, agribusiness corporations, and so on, are additionally concerned in service provision. Whereas the range of actors helps to handle various extension priorities of farming communities and complement one another’s efforts, it additionally raises the opportunity of redundancy in actions, competitors amongst companies, and provision of contradicting info. There’s a have to combine or converge them to be able to present a one-stop resolution to farmers’ issues on the village degree by leveraging the sources, efforts and improvements extra successfully and meaningfully.
Sample of funding for agricultural extension: Agricultural extension is funded majorly by state and central governments collectively. An evaluation revealed that through the years, the expenditure on agricultural extension has elevated, however with excessive diploma of variability (Determine 1) (fixed costs based mostly on wholesale value index of 2004–05, triennial ending common; Chand et al 2011). This expenditure suffered a dip in the course of the latter half of the Nineties. The initiation of the ATMA and NMAET helped to reverse the development subsequently.
When expenditure in extension actions was analysed in a disaggregate method, it was revealed that actual extension expenditure through the years has not elevated a lot in absolute phrases (Desk 2). In reality, in the course of the instant post-liberalisation interval (between 1995–96 and 2004–05), a damaging progress in complete expenditure is noticed. The constructive progress in livestock and fisheries sectors could possibly be attributable to low base values (Sajesh and Suresh 2016).
Pal (2017) famous that as on the triennium ending 2011, the funding from state governments constituted virtually three-fourths of the entire funding. A comparatively new knowledge set exhibits that the share of state governments has elevated considerably, when calculated just for crop-based extension system. This determine could possibly be for the direct extension system, however might not mirror the funding for numerous extension actions applied by a mess of programmes and establishments. The share of agricultural extension as a share of agricultural gross home product (GDP) on the nationwide degree has proven an enchancment since 1970, primarily on account of the T&V programme, however this slowed down until 2004–05. Solely 0.54% of agricultural gross home product (GDPA) was spent for analysis and extension throughout 2014–15 (Gulati et al 2018).
The funding is skewed in direction of crop husbandry, ignoring the allied sectors like livestock and fisheries, regardless of their important contributions in direction of nationwide GDPA and farmers’ livelihood safety. This contrasts sharply with the necessity of the sector, the place livestock is rising as a significant element of farm earnings, and fisheries being thought-about as a dawn sector.
Fairly than absolutely the figures of expenditure, its motion relative to GDPA, operational holding and variety of farmers would offer better analytical insights. The extension expenditure as a share of GDPA stood at 0.18% in 2011–13 (common), exhibiting huge variation throughout states (Pal 2017). That is in concordance with priorities for agricultural sector, within the type of newer schemes and programmes in state and central governments. Following a dip in the course of the post-liberalisation interval, the depth ratio has proven an upward development from 2004–05 onwards. Nevertheless, lately, there’s a dithering on this development.
Regional disparity in extension expenditure: Regional variation in extension expenditure is a matter of concern. Pal (2017) confirmed that dry areas, accounting for about 60% of the entire agricultural land, acquired solely 23% of the entire funding as of 2013. However, the irrigated areas accounted for about 24% of the agricultural land, and have been allotted 35% of the extension finances. Additional, a comparability with the variety of farming households as a substitute of the operational holdings revealed a unique image. As a coverage guideline, expenditure allocation ought to contemplate each the variety of holdings and cultivators. Whereas it’s worthwhile to say that there’s inadequacy of funding for dry land areas, the upper measurement of operational holding in dry lands additionally must be acknowledged. A comparability of the states by way of extension expenditure for crops, for the previous decade for which knowledge is offered, is offered in Desk 3 (p 41).
Human useful resource availability for public extension: The entire workforce, at numerous ranges in public extension system in India below the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, is estimated to be round 0.14 million for a internet cropped space of 141 million hectares, unfold throughout 158 million operational holdings, and leaves virtually 0.09 million posts vacant (Gulati et al 2018). On a median, the accessible extension providers of the division attain solely 6.8% of farmers (GFRAS 2012). One extension officer has to serve 1,162 operational holdings on the nationwide degree, as in opposition to the really useful 750 (GoI 2017). The best ratio of extension staff to the operational holdings in numerous areas is 1:400 in hilly areas, 1:750 in irrigated areas, and 1:1,000 in rainfed areas (Gulati et al 2018). The variety of operational holdings per extension personnel is as excessive as 3,162 in Andhra Pradesh, 2,428 in Karnataka, and reveals huge variation throughout states (Sajesh and Suresh 2016). By way of internet crop space per extension personnel, it was as excessive as 3,194 in Rajasthan, 3,154 in Karnataka and a couple of,982 in Punjab. Normally, farmers require a one-on-one interplay with the extension particular person, and subsequently, it will be prudent to look at the depth of issues contemplating the variety of cultivators as effectively. The rise in paperwork and documentation squeezes the time accessible for extension work. Nevertheless, recruitment just isn’t commensurate with the elevated actions and tasks, or with the vacancies arising within the system.
Entry to info sources: The Nationwide Pattern Survey Organisation (NSSO 2005) throws mild on entry to info by completely different stakeholders. The proportion of farmers who accessed info from any supply, for giant, medium, and smallholders, is 54%, 51% and 38%, respectively. Additionally it is famous that the small farmers and socially backward farmers have entry to fewer info sources in comparison with their counterparts (Birthal et al 2015). Smallholder farmers rely primarily on native sources of data akin to progressive farmers (16%) and enter sellers (12.6%), together with radio (12.4%). Solely 4.8% of smallholders thought-about extension staff as a major supply of data, in comparison with 9.8% within the case of medium farmers and 12.4% within the case of enormous farmers (Adhiguru et al 2009). The NSSO (2014) additionally offers info on entry of farmers to completely different supply of data (Determine 2). The low share of extension personnel could possibly be partly attributable to their inadequate quantity, and attributable to them being overloaded with paperwork required for official record-keeping.
The Nationwide Statistical Workplace (NSO 2021) reviews that the share of agricultural households accessing technical recommendation is simply about 48.7% throughout July 2019–December 2019 and 42.2% throughout January 2020–June 2020. About 90% of those that accessed technical recommendation adopted the recommendation. Progressive farmers and enter sellers have been the foremost sources of data (Desk 4, p 41).
Aside from landholding measurement, problems with inclusiveness additionally come up with respect to deprived areas, crops and marginalised sections of society. That is significantly so within the instances of non-timber forest produce in tribal areas, small ruminants in case of livestock (sheep and goat) and dry land crops. In distant and deprived areas, contact with extension brokers and farmers is much less. Holistic livelihood growth interventions are wanted for such areas.
Extension for allied sectors of agriculture: The livestock and fisheries sectors play a major position in augmenting farm earnings, imparting resilience to rural earnings stream and assembly the meals and dietary safety. Nevertheless, Indian extension expenditure largely focused on crop sector (Determine 1). Solely 5.1% of the households have been in a position to entry info on animal husbandry as in opposition to 40.4% households accessing info on trendy expertise for crop farming (NSSO 2005). Equally, the fisheries sector, with two distinct subsectors—seize (marine and inland) and tradition (marine cage and inland)—faces completely different points and challenges. Fisheries extension is but to obtain enough coverage help in relation to its extent of contribution to financial progress. The challenges confronted by marine and inland sectors are fairly completely different and subsequently calls for completely different extension methods, particularly within the context of the envisaged blue financial progress.
Reforming agriculture extension—the best way ahead in bettering convergence in extension system: The convergence of a number of actors within the analysis, extension and group domains helps in mobilisation of farmers; validation of context-specific info; enhance in effectivity of service supply techniques; and growth of the capacities of varied companies on the precept of leveraging the actions, investments and sources from completely different companies, leading to greater productiveness and sustainable meals safety. An appropriate platform could also be initiated for efficient convergence amongst numerous companies.
Anecdotal evidences level out that farmers’ organisations like producer organisations, cooperatives, SHGs, and so on, may be simpler as a platform for convergence of varied schemes, programmes and companies. A well-discussed case is of Mahagrapes—an affiliation of 16 grape growers’ cooperative societies in Maharashtra—which facilitates all of the actions in numerous nodes of the worth chain, from enter provision to logistics and certification (Birthal et al 2007).
Farmer-led extension: Greater than 80% of Indian farmers are small and marginal holders. Small farmers face excessive unit transaction prices in virtually all non-labour transactions, together with non-labour enter markets, credit score providers and output markets. Excessive transaction prices constrain the smallholder farmers from reaping the advantages of distant city markets (Birthal and Joshi 2007; Pingali et al 2019). The thought of farmer producer organisations (FPOs) is gaining floor on this context. The FPOs can organise smallholders for from side to side linkages for inputs, manufacturing, processing and advertising and marketing (Mondal 2010).
Strengthening public extension: Public extension, being the arm of the federal government, has to steer within the growth of communication content material and its validation (in addition to prevention of contradictory info provision). Additional, it might probably play a significant position for involvement of all stakeholders within the course of to converge their actions throughout the worth chain. Additional, the problems confronted by the agricultural sector warrant collective adoption of administration measures, akin to in instances of pest and illness administration in crop, livestock and fisheries (for instance, foot and mouth illness of livestock); water high quality points; adaptive mechanisms in opposition to local weather variability; market forces (value and market intelligence), agronomic necessities, and so on. The administration can be simpler upon wider adoption. Due to this fact, attributes like rivalry and exclusion—the foremost traits of personal sources—are usually not facilitative on this context, and warrant presence of a public extension system.
The staffing sample for public agricultural extension appears to revolve round minimising the scale of the organisation, for a very long time, utilized to the bureaucratic system typically with insufficient appreciation of the context and case-to-case wants. The idea that Indian public administration is over-staffed falls flat in mild of empirical evidences. Swami (2012) famous that India has solely a fifth as many public servants as the USA (US), relative to its inhabitants: 1,623 public servants per 1,00,000 residents in India in comparison with 7,681 for the US. In India, the entire variety of public agricultural extension staff, as of 2012, is 0.12 million for 119 million cultivators (that’s, 101 per 1,00,000 cultivators) and 263 million agricultural staff—cultivators plus agricultural labourers—(that’s, 46 per 1,00,000 complete staff) (Sajesh and Suresh 2016; DAC&FW 2015). That is a lot lower than the worth of 1,623 reported for normal forms relative to complete residents.
Personal sector involvement in constructing partnership: The enter and repair suppliers within the non-public sector must be made a part of efficient extension mechanism. One of many rising devices of personal sector involvement is thru CSR. Nevertheless, the CSR funding to agriculture and rural growth sector doesn’t depict an encouraging development (Desk 5). Whereas non-public extension providers discovered a spot significantly for high-value industrial crops, livestock and fisheries, it didn’t substitute the demand for public extension providers.
Strengthening the linkage between analysis, extension and farmers require transparency, accountability and coordination amongst completely different companies concerned within the extension system. ICAR analysis institutes and SAUs are thought-about as “idea nurseries and suppose tanks,” along with their regular position in extension. Researchable points recognised by the ATMA by deliberation with farmer and state extension functionaries should feed these analysis institutes and SAUs, to result in technological growth on the premise of various field-level issues. The pan-India presence of KVKs could also be leveraged for expertise evaluation by OFTs followed by validation by FLDs, previous to expertise switch to farmers by state extension functionaries.
Progressive Extension Approaches
The reforms within the Indian extension system must issue within the current structural downside in supply of analysis and extension providers, attributable to (i) a hierarchical, classical top-down, one-way communication system, and (ii) a one-size-fits-all analysis and extension strategy, utilized no matter applied sciences, establishments, agroclimatic variations, and socio-economic circumstances of stakeholders. Glendenning et al (2010), by an analytical framework, counsel an progressive extension strategy with a give attention to governance construction, capability constructing and administration, nature of native communities, and consequent efficiency and influence. Some such approaches are: asset based mostly group growth (ABCD), rural advisory providers (RAS), mannequin village system of extension (MVSE), and commodity based mostly village growth (CBVD) (Mohanty et al 2020).
Entrepreneurship growth: Extension must determine the potential for entrepreneurship growth throughout the worth chain and assist forge ahead and backward linkages. Assessing the entrepreneurial intention of farmers and capability constructing for entrepreneurship growth have to be undertaken.
Potential of data expertise: The unprecedented progress of data applied sciences current many alternatives for agriculture, typically, and agricultural extension, specifically. Improvements like block chain expertise, synthetic intelligence, cloud computing, and geographical info techniques must be manoeuvred for bettering manufacturing, productiveness and returns in a sustainable method. You will need to develop the capability of extension personnel within the aforesaid elements. Harnessing the potential of social media for extension and ICT-based information administration are the areas that have to be emphasised.
Capability growth of extension personnel: The capametropolis growth of agricultural extension professionals on technical and collaboration elements is likely one of the vital problems with the continued extension reforms to serve the farming group effectively and successfully. Mastery over related applied sciences, insurance policies and rules in agriculture (together with allied sectors) and pure useful resource administration is a sine qua non for brand spanking new extensionists (Sulaiman and Davis 2012). This additionally contains consciousness relating to the markets, finance and insurance coverage, rising applied sciences, insurance policies, requirements, enter supply and pure useful resource administration (Sulaiman and Davis 2012).
Extension for high-value agriculture: Birthal et al (2007) have noticed that the rising demand for high-value meals commodities affords alternatives, but additionally poses a number of challenges, significantly for smallholders. Customised extension methods are wanted to advertise such initiatives, and improve the earnings of producers. Institutional improvements like growers’ associations, cooperatives, and contract farming are thought-about to handle some points of selling, dangers administration and transaction prices (Eaton and Shepherd 2001). Gulati et al (2018) have identified that agricultural extension providers for HVA sectors stay weak and disorganised, and prompt organising of group farm faculties with helpful demonstrations, to impart information on diversification in direction of different high-value crops.
Elevated precedence for livestock and fishery extension: As per the 2019 livestock census, India has about 536 million livestock and 852 million poultry together with 193 million cattle, 103 million buffaloes, 74 million sheep and 149 million goats (GoI 2019a). Rising farm earnings and imparting resilience to it requires additional promotion of livestock and adopting improved administration methods. Veterinary extension faces a number of challenges, together with low personpower. The Planning Fee (2012) famous that the livestock sector accounts for under about 12% of complete public expenditure on agriculture and allied sectors. The most important arms of veterinary extension are the state veterinary departments and veterinary universities. Nevertheless, the variety of veterinary clinics and dispensaries are solely about 37,647 and should cater to such a big inhabitants of livestock (GoI 2019a).
The fisheries sector has additionally registered excessive progress in latest intervals and has emerged as a dawn sector. The federal government, within the 2020 Union Finances, has proposed rising fish manufacturing to twenty million tonnes by 2023–24 from 3.8 million tonnes (in 2020) and to extend the exports to `1 lakh crore by 2025–26 (from `47,000 crore in 2020). Nevertheless, the extension amenities for fisheries is kind of belowdeveloped with a low degree of funding, and requires general revamping (Sajesh et al 2018).
Augmenting the environmental orientation: Augmenting the environmental orientation in agricultural extension, particularly within the context of sustainability points, local weather change-related dangers and pure disasters, is vital. A declining useful resource base results in enhance in the price of manufacturing and discount within the profitability. It has been extensively acknowledged that solely eco-sensitive practises shall be sustainable within the future. Equally, it’s crucial to boost the resilience capability of farmers within the context of local weather change-related points like drought, flood and different disasters. Extension is essential in attaining general environmental high quality and power effectivity by higher practices.
Engendering extension providers: Worldwide, extension providers stay dominated by males, and the wants of ladies farmers, in addition to households headed by girls, are excluded systematically from accessing many extension providers (Beevi et al 2018). The Financial Survey 2017–18 revealed that the feminisation of agriculture and ladies’s position as cultivators, entrepreneurs and labourers is rising day-to-day. Additionally, you will need to sensitise the extension brokers on gender elements and the necessity for reaching out to farmers no matter their gender.
Conclusions and Implications
Agricultural extension performs a crucial position in attaining meals and dietary safety of the nation as effectively bettering farmers’ incomes. In the direction of this, your complete sector has seen a number of initiatives in India, starting within the pre-independence interval. The extension programmes obtained an additional fillip with the ushering in of the inexperienced revolution, primarily with public funding. The position of the extension initiatives is extra pronounced in latest occasions, as a result of shift in focus to enhance farmers’ incomes quite than farm productiveness; rising worth chain idea, emergence of varied challenges on the farm entrance and want for entrepreneurship growth. Consequently, the extension system has to constantly innovate to cater to the evolving state of affairs.
On the coverage degree, a number of points are to be addressed. The most important one is fulfilling the requirement of inclusive progress and last-mile connectivity with the farmers. Whereas the rising position of the non-public sector in extension is to be acknowledged, it’s to be famous that the non-public sector can’t match the demand of India’s numerous agricultural sector by way of geographical protection and scale. Thus, public agricultural extension must obtain enough coverage help by way of funds, human useful resource and avenues for ability upgradation, significantly within the context of the general public useful resource nature of agricultural info, and the necessity to extensively undertake agricultural applied sciences and scientific practices.
Bringing convergence of the extension system to cater to the localised info for farmers is one other requirement. All stakeholders, together with the private and non-private sector (in addition to NGOs) must be a part of the broad platform. The ATMA, SAMAETI, KVK techniques and the road departments of the state governments must evolve an institutional mechanism to fulfil the extension necessities. The variety of the data necessities for a farming system, together with farm costs, is to be recognised. The extension system should tackle the wants of the predominantly smallholders, marginalised areas, and marginalised part of the society. This highlights the significance of decentralised extension system. An institutional set-up that may gather real-time info on farming points, pool them centrally and disseminate them domestically must be devised. In such a system, ICTs on the village degree can play a significant position. Integrating enter sellers into the rising extension panorama by their capability constructing and high quality assurance is the necessity of the hour.
Reorienting the extension system to handle the present wants and focus of the nation by way of earnings enchancment is a difficult job. Diversification, commercialisation, productiveness enchancment and worth addition are important steps in direction of this finish. Addressing the wants of the allied sectors like livestock and fisheries is crucial to enhance farm earnings and dietary requirement (protein, specifically) of the nation. Talent enchancment is an important step on this regard. The ppp mannequin may be promoted, by which public funds may be offered to personal events, together with NGOs, to coach farmers. With a vibrant monitoring and analysis system, this technique may yield wealthy dividends.
Efficient utilization of ICTs and real-time governance (RTG) can tackle the quite a few points in agriculture extension and governance, particularly with regard to agronomic practices, crop safety actions—together with administration of pest and illnesses—dissemination of data on costs and administration practices for animal husbandry and fisheries. Social media generally is a great tool for extension, though its utilization to advertise the identical has not been widespread in India. Synthetic intelligence and machine studying are newer expertise choices to handle many challenges of crop, livestock and fisheries administration. Such expertise platforms, mixed with RTG, may be an efficient mechanism to disseminate info. Coverage must evolve mechanisms to coach extension personnel in rising ICT-based functions, together with e-NAM, futures commerce, on-line transactions in addition to trendy ICT utilization. Nevertheless, the notion that trendy ICTs can substitute the human intermediation in extension is quite far-fetched. Fairly, these applied sciences perform as an extension help (Sulaiman et al 2012). The extension coverage must see a paradigm shift by way of methods and focus. Efficient utilisation of farmers’ collectives is a crucial technique to leverage economies of scale and to cut back transaction prices. Profitable examples of farmers’ collectives together with FPOs are rising from the hinterland. Pure useful resource administration and earnings technology wants better focus.
Thus, the extension system must be futuristic and evolve methods to swimsuit rising expertise platforms. On this context, each the private and non-private sectors have to be promoted by completely different institutional mechanisms, in order to realize inclusiveness and geographical protection.
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