Extension Education Reform : Ii-Technology

by : G.M. Wani

The technology delivery system need information on social structure and adoption procedures. An innovative change to induce more adoption has been discussed. New approaches, women empowerment, self help options, administrative bottlenecks, issues, problems and new vistas have been discussed.
Knowledge reasoning for low adoption, crop production constraints, communication links, technology use, assessment and information credibility has been reviewed. New modiums of private extension, eco-friendly agriculture, technology gaps, have been analysed and reforms identified.
New proposals for cast sharing of technology delivery, Farmer - training and knowledge upgradation, Farmers field schools have been postulated to increase use of technology on shelf. The generation of technology itself is in critical stage. The top-down system of research planning is not completely replaced with bottom-up-approaches. Even with initiation of innovative projects by ICAR like NIAP, the total involvement of researchers, extension functionaries, farmers and farming system is invisible. Thus, a total change in technology generation, adoption & refinement at farmers field is proposed. A portion of adoptive & applied research could be undertaken on farmers field by research scientists. It could be participatory research by scientists, extension educators and farmers. The failure risks can be covered under crop insurance. A Netherland model of Farmer-Scientist-participatory research on farmer's field can be applied. The delivery mechanism thus can be simple, transparent and faster. Extension & Extension educators could be trained on field to carry their functions on a large area.

We may not forget our challenges. Man in Agricultural sector has always faced them and came out successful. Roughly man as hunter 30,000 years ago feed 6 million people globally. Primitive agriculture 3000 years later helped him to feed 60 million people. Intensive agriculture 300 years ago fed 600 million bellies. Today chemical farming or industrial agriculture feeds 6000 million people. We hope our fourth paradigm shift consisting of modernization blend with sustainability shall feed twice as fed today, provided we move now to precision & intelligent agriculture as viewed in these and other documents (Wani, 2008 a,b,c). This could be possible with introduction and total facilitation of farmer empowerment. This would mean involving farmer in experimental learning, farmer to farmer exchanges, knowledge thrust, search for methods, interaction. This would mean Farmer field schools, participatory technology development and total mass involvement of research and teaching for advancement of farming. This will need a paradian shift in Extension Science reforms. This will mean a community supported agricultural extension system. We need a transparent democratic, economic, knowledge dissemination system. This could possibly be called as "Farm Business Management Venture" or system.
A change towards integrating crop, fruit, livestock, water conservation and climatic changes in our agricultural extension projects, missions and programmes is needed.(Wani, 2007).

Knowledge Reasoning for Low adoption
Adoption of Rice technology in farmers of Maharastra's Ratngiri district was influenced by family size, occupation, social participation, mass media exposure, income and other extension contacts,. Only 12.6% farmers from SC communities has high technology aware ness (Mankar et al, 2004)
Adoption of a technology needs communication, knowledge decision making power and risk guaranties. Training of Mushroom, helped farm women to earn their livelihood independently in Tamil Nadu respondents from coimbatore, Priyar districts showed women awareness and training was helpful. (Syatha & Palarisway, 2006). Mushroom training helped young women and men to have a gainful employment. (Proc. 21 EECM, SKUAST-K, 2007).
The data were gathered from 100 farmers in Maharashtra, India, through personal interview using an interview schedule. It was found that medium educated farmers with medium socioeconomic status, procured information from progressive farmers. 50% of the farmers who adopted drip irrigation had medium level of adoption of the recommended practices, 25% of the respondents had low level of adoption and 19% had high level of adoption. (Katkar & Ahive, 2006)
The impact analysis revealed that approximately 55% of the cauliflower growers adopted vermi-compost in adopted villages as well as in neighboring areas. (Singh et al, 2005)
The study was conducted to identify the constraints encountered by farmers (n=120) in adopting the recommended pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) production technology in dry land farming in Sirsa District, Haryana, India. The farmers were asked to rate the identified constraints of production as very serious, serious and not so serious. It was found that the constraints such as high price of herbicides, fungicides and other pesticides, and lack of irrigation facilities, were very serious. (Chander et al, 2006).

Crop production awareness constraints
A study was conducted to assess the constraints encountered by farmers in practicing wheat production technologies, and obtain feed back/ suggestions to minimize or eradicate the constraints. The data were gathered by administering a pre-tested questionnaire to 320 farmers from Uttar Pradesh, India during 2001-02, based on the study. The following were the constraints in implementing wheat production technologies: lack of timely funding to arrange inputs, lack of knowledge about the recent technologies, availability of technologies that are costly and requiring more inputs, and lack of proper marketing facilities. Farmers (84%) expressed that demonstration would minimize the constraints, 79% of the farmers suggested to delay sowing of drought- and blight-resistant varieties of wheat, and 80% of them favoured strengthening of cooperative facilities. (Prasad et al, 2006)
A study in J&K on maize production revealed that 82% farmers had technology awareness through radio and 62% through TV. Majority of 70% of the maize growers had medium level of awareness. (Lakshimikant et al 2005)
The use of Farm Yard Manure was restricted 27% farmers among maize growers of J&K state. The recommended practices of fertilizers was adopted by 19% (nitrogen ) 24% (Phosphorus) % 2% (Potash). Under these circumstances low levels of rainfed maize production can be increased if wholesome recommended practices are employed. (Lakshamikant and Chandagri, 2005). A low level of FYM use is the reason for low production of Saffron, rice & fruits. (Wani, 2008). Under 3000 front line demonstration in last few year, with application of production recommendation, maize production was doubled (4.3 t/h-1 Vs 2.1 t/h-1) (Wani 2008 d), (Nehvi, et al,2007).

Communication links with Scientists
A study was conducted to determine the communication channels and methods used by scientists to establish linkages with extension personnel. The data were gathered from 102 scientists in four districts of Karnataka, India. It was found that almost all scientist working in different centres used phone calls to link with extension personnel. The regularity of use depends on their needs. Professors, associate professors and assistant professors had regularly used written communication to provide information to extension personnel. It was also recorded that lesser professors participated in workshops, meetings, trainings, exhibitions, field visits, farmer-scientist interactions and results demonstrations, compared to associate and assistant professor (Gupta and Chandragi, 2005). The low percent of professors, Associate Directors and other research scientists interaction with farmers is responsible for knowledge gap. A proper reward system in SAU/ NARS needs to be incorporated to give due credit to professors / Associate & Asstt. Prof. for Extension innovations (wani, 2004).
A study was conducted in four districts of northern Karnataka (Dharwad, Belgaum, Gulbarga and Bellary), India, to determine the performance of scientists (n=102) in different linkage activities with extension personnel. To measure the performance of the scientists, a scale was developed by following a standardized procedure. Results showed that majority of the professors (85.71%), assistant professors (82.25%) and associate professors (69.23%) belonged to medium performance category in linking with extension personnel. Moreover, associate professors were observed to be in-charge with most of the research projects. Associate and assistant professors often participated in field days, demonstrations and other activities (Gupta and Chandargri, 2005).
We have also observed that extension delivery system in J&K is mostly by Assistant or Associate professor rather than professors. This is very critical that participation of professors in under graduate teaching and extension in minimal. The role of research is also decimal. A policy change is thus needed to stimulate research, extension and teaching among senior agricultural scientists. Perhaps research on Farmers field could be a possibility now that, we have crop insurance in vogue. (Wani, 2007).

Field results of Technology use
This study was conducted in Belgaum district of North Karnataka, , India , during the year 2004 to assess the adoption of production and post harvest technology for Tomatoes (Lycopersicon esculentum) and to identify the problems encountered by farmers (n=120) in adopting the technology. Majority of the farmers cultivated tomato hybrids, planted during June-July, followed 75-100 g per ha seed rate, adopted 60x40 cm spacing and applied 5-10 tonnes of farmyard manure per ha. Majority (86.66%) of the respondents used 5% neem seed kernel extract for fruit borer and 58.33% farmers used Bordeaux mixture for fruit rot. With respect to postharvest technology, 66.67% of the respondents sorted manually, 46.67% followed manual grading and none of the respondents had taken up processing of Tomato. Lack of technical knowledge and guidance about improved cultivation practices and postharvest technology, high fluctuation in market price and high transportation cost were the major problems, faced by the farmers in adopting the production and postharvest technology (Kumar et al, 2006)64
Mass media and visual media helped animal husbandry and related activities through scientist /farmers interaction, North -24 pargnas of West Bengal (Roy et al, 2006). A study was conducted to determine the knowledge level of dairy farmers regarding selected animal husbandry practices for profitable dairy farming. The data were gathered by administering a questionnaire to 100 dairy farmers from Nadia district, West Bengal, India . Results showed that majority of the dairy farmers had high knowledge level on artificial insemination, medium knowledge level on deworming and other animal husbandry practices, and low knowledge level on feeding animals with green fodder. It is suggested that the results of this study can be utilized in formulating, planning and implementing transfer of technology that promotes the use of scientific method in dairy farming (Islam et al, 2006)
The farmers adopted less of the recommended practices of fertilizer application, seed rate per hectare and spacing while, none of them used any plant protection measures to control pests and diseases. It is suggested that the extension agencies should take part in the implementation of various extension activities and popularizing the re commended practices of wheat in wheat growing areas so as to increase wheat production and consequently, the total agricultural production ( Waman and Ahire, 2006).
The determinants in dairy extension system perceived by Directors of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, Chief Veterinary Officers, Managing Directors, General Managers and Managers in dissemination of information were studied. The study was conducted in twenty-five states of India. The total numbers of determinant selected for the study were seven. Out of these the "facilitating adequate availability of credit to support the programme taken up for the rural poor" and resource and income generation of vulnerable section of the rural population were much required. However, "Skill formation and skill upgrading projects to provide self and wage employment among the rural poor' and increasing production and productivity of milk and milk products' were least required in dairy shared learning extension system. (Suman & Ram, 2005).
A study was done on social capital in accelerating the spread of agricultural technologies such as integrated pest management (IPM). The study was done in a village in Munoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, in response to the problem of slow diffusion of agricultural technologies. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in investigating the process of sharing and learning of IPM. Results show that social capital in terms of kin networks and spatial proximity such as found among farm neighbours are essential in the learning process and hence, diffusion of IPM among Filipino farmers. Kin networks and farm location are important considerations in snapling (Logan, 2004) participants strategically for the long season IPM farmer field schools (FFS). (Palis et al, 2005)

Technology Assessment
The assessment of recommended water-management technologies was performed after their documentation from different organizations working in the field of water management in two eastern India states viz. Orissa and West Bengal. The perception of 30 members of the research system regarding the feasibility of these technologies elucidated that out of 86 documented recommended water -management technologies , 40 were having feasibility scores of 4.0. Eight technologies with score of 3.0 and the rest of the 38 technologies with a score between 3.0 and 4.0 on a feasibility continuum range from 1.0 (not feasible) to 5.0 (highly feasible). Out of 40 recommended technologies( already assessed as highly feasible by the research personnel), extension personnel have perceived 16 and 10 technologies as highly appropriate and feasible, respectively. While six and four technologies were found to be less appropriate and feasible (Souvik et al, 2005). The gap in research extension perception need remedial measures by link research to farmers fields or allowing KVK's to have adoptive research in districts. Remodeling of extension - Research linkage is needed.
This study was conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of different communication media for transfer of cotton production technology within cotton growers (n=120) selected from four village of Hisar district, Haryana, India , during 1999. The farmers were given training on cotton production technology through four selected communication media namely, lecture plus discussion, printed material plus discussion, audio plus discussion and visual plus discussion. The study revealed that farmers gained maximum knowledge (18.67%) when the improved cotton production technology was communicated through visuals plus discussion and gained minimum through lecture plus discussion (9.47%). In the study, visuals plus discussion was found most effective, followed by printed material plus discussion, audio aids plus discussion, and lecture plus discussion teaching methods. (Kumar et al, 2005).

Farm Information Credibility
The study aims to ascertain the relative credibility of sources of farm information as perceived by the televiewer and non-viewer farmers residing under the penetration range of Muzaffarpur Doordarshan Kendra of Bihar state, India. A sample of 120 televiewer and 80 non televiewer farmers were randomly drawn from eight villages under the same viewing jurisdiction and data were collected through a pre-tested interview schedule. The findings suggest that demonstration, progressive farmers, agricultural scientists, television and village level workers were recognized as the most credible sources of farm information among televiwer farmers. Progressive farmers, demonstration, friends, relatives and agricultural scientists were considered as the credible sources of farm information among non-viewer farming groups. The study further revealed that the viewers perceived television as the fourth most credible source whereas non-viewers considered it as the sixth most credible source of farm information. The implications of the results are also discussed in view of an effective communication strategy for the transfer of technology (Ansari and Singh, 2005).
A study was conducted to(a) examine the personal, social, economic and psychological characteristics of fig (Ficus carica) growers; (b) identify the sources of information used by the fig growers; and (iii) obtain the suggestions of the respondents to overcome the problems. The data were gathered by interviewing 200 fig growers in 20 villages in Pune District, Maharashtra, India, during January 2005. Results showed that most of the fig growers are middle-aged and are educated upto the 10th grade. Most of them have medium- sized families with medium level of experience on fig cultivation. All the respondents suggested that they need more information regarding effective and efficient marketing and credit system. They also recognized their need for information on prices during harvesting, subsidy for drip irrigation and use of low cost technology for processing figs and cold storage (Khalache and Khaire, 2007) .
Farmers Training needs
This study was conducted to;(i) examine the characteristics of paddy farmers; (ii) assess the knowledge level of paddy farmers regarding integrated management practices in paddy cultivation; and (iii) explore the relationship between characteristics of paddy farmers and their knowledge level. Data were gathered from 120 paddy farmers in Maharashtra, India. Results of the study indicated that the respondents have medium knowledge level regarding various integrated management practices. Thus, the farmers, should be made aware of the availability and benefits of integrated management practices through television, radio, newspapers and extension literature. It is suggested that training programmes may be organized for farmers regarding scientific use of fertilizer, plant protection through biological control measures and water management (Ahire and Kiran, 2007). A detailed training reforms have been reported (Wani, 2003).

Private Extension
A study was conducted to determine the types of agricultural extension services suitable for privatization as perceived by agricultural scientists (n=15) and officers (n=20) of the department of agriculture and horticulture of Andhra Pradesh, India. Majority of the agricultural scientists preferred the privatization of technological services: Soil analysis, irrigation water analysis, providing information on value addition techniques/ production of products for export, supply of weedicides, transportation facilities, provision of credit facilities from cooperative banks, farmers' association, distribution of farm literature, and dairy services. Moreover, officers of the department of agriculture and horticulture also recognized the need for private services on the following technological services: providing information on growth regulators; plant protection measures on IPM; supply of fertilizers, manures and pesticides; supply of agricultural implements and other equipment; transportation facilities; and the conduct of field visits/tours and dairy services (Kumar and Reddy 2006).