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Assessment, Refinement and Dissemination of Crops Production Technologies
Dr. Banarsi Lal and Dr. Pawan Sharma10/20/2018 10:13:24 PM
The Indian agriculture has made significant strides in the past five decades. The total food grain production has increased from 50.82 million tonnes in 1950-51 to 283.83 million tonnes in 2017-18.The dream of self-sufficiency has come true because of technology back through in technology development and complemented by technology transfer. The state agricultural universities are fully involved in generation of location specific technologies. Although rigorous efforts have been made in the dissemination of agricultural technologies but still the desired results are not achieved. So, there is need of assessment and refinement of agricultural technologies. Suitable models of agricultural technologies should be developed to enhance the knowledge and adoption of the technologies by the farmers. On Farm Testing and Front Line Demonstrations(FLDs) should be carried out with need based components of location specific technologies, making availability of seeds and other inputs in their locality. There is dire need to strengthen the relationship between Scientists-Extension Personnel and farmers.
Technology is a systematic knowledge action applicable to any recurrent activity. Technology involves application of science and knowledge to practical use which enable man to live more comfortably. Technology development is a process consisting of all the decisions and activities which a scientist does from recognisation of a need with planning, testing, conducting research, verification and dissemination. During this period some problems on the technology may get back to the scientist for solution thus resulting the refinement of the same. Technology development is a continuous process. Agriculture continues to be an occupation and way of life for more than half of the Indian population. The agriculture, which is an engine of growth and development and a significant contributor to the national economy, has been greatly influenced by the process of globalisation. There is a matter great concern about imbalance of total production, the urban-rural divide, national food security and economic access to food. The agricultural strategy in the country seeks to bridge the product and production gaps. The policy envisages promotion of sustainable agriculture through a regionally differentiated approach, improvement in the input use efficiency, development and transfer of technology. There is a need to focus on technology generation and its application in agro-ecological or social circumstances.
The green revolution gave a sudden boost to the production and productivity of major cereals. Yet, there are several challenges and downstream consequences being faced by the Indian farmers. The impact of green revolution remained confined to the assured irrigated areas. The agricultural research has success to selected crops. There is a great difference between the actual and potential yields. Deterioration of soil health, ground water depletion, gap between rich and poor, regional imbalance, environmental pollution etc. are the consequences of intensive agriculture following green revolution. There is need to rectify the regional disparities, technological empowerment, food insecurity, fatigued green revolution, malnutrition etc.
Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) work on the location specific technology assessment, refinement and demonstrations. KVKs also serve as knowledge and resource centres of agricultural technologies which support to public, private and voluntary sector for improving the agricultural economy of any district and are linking the National Agricultural Research System (NARS) system with the extension system and farmers. KVKs are also producing quality technological products such as seed, planting material, bio-agents, livestock, fish fingerlings etc. and make them available to the farmers. The KVKs also organise frontline extension activities, identify and document selected farm innovations and converge with the different schemes and programmes ongoing in different areas. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has also developed a portal named as KVK Knowledge Network for the farmers and other stakeholders. Various activities of the KVK are uploaded by the KVKs scientists for rapid dissemination of the technologies in the rural areas. This portal is continuously updated by the KVK scientists and information of different events, status of Front Line Demonstrations (FLDs), Monthly Progress Reports (MPRs), package of practices is regularly uploaded.
Technology choice have a critical impact on many aspects of agricultural development, especially the way we choose it, the way we innovate and design them and the way we deliver them to masses. Technology must be carefully chosen to enable local people to acquire and imbibe knowledge according to their needs and environment. The technologies should be made in such a way that they upgrade their traditional skills and capabilities, minimize fatigue ,reduce drudgery, be innovative ,assured added value to existing methods of operation, generate employment, use local resources in both men and materials, need low capital investment ,low cost, be capable of replication and adoption, blend harmoniously with existing eco-systems leading to tangible improvements in the living conditions and self-sustained development of the farmers. It is necessary to develop and introduce appropriate technologies coupled with sound delivery systems which ensure economic and ecological sustainability and optimum use of local resources emphasizing on capacity building and technological empowerment, particularly small and marginal farmers. New agricultural technologies are of limited value if they are not adopted by the farmers due to their unsuitability to particular socio-economic and agro-climatic conditions. Many of improved agricultural technologies are partially adopted by the farmers or totally rejected by them. Main reasons of low adoption of technologies are: economically not viable, unavailability, not matching with the farmers needs and not compatible with their farming system. Mostly the agricultural technologies are not appropriate for small and marginal farmers. In conventional researches, there was negligible involvement of the farmers. These factors compel the extension personnel and researchers to shift to more farmer-oriented, holistic and interdisciplinary approach for technology development and its dissemination. There is need to involve the farmers for assessment and refinement of technology. In order to implement the technology assessment and refinement, one village or a cluster of villages can be identified. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) technique can be used to analyse the agro-ecosystem and socio-economic status of the farmers of the particular areas. Problems in food grain crops, horticulture, animal husbandry, mushroom, sericulture, apiculture etc. need to be identified by the extension functionaries. To implement the technological interventions, an action plan is made by consulting farmers, extension personnel and scientists. The field trials have to be laid out for testing of research information. The farmers are expected to manage the field trials with the guidance of research scientists and extension personnel. Required inputs and training should be provided to the beneficiaries during implementation of technological interventions. The data like technical parameters, economic factors and farmers' feedback are necessary to be taken. The scientists and farmers can judge the suitability of the technology in a particular location and further refinement can be done in varied agro-ecological conditions.
The ICAR has started a project on Technology Assessment and Refinement (TAR) through Institution Village Linkage Programme (IVLP). In case of technology assessment and refinement, the research, extension and farmers develop the strong links. It is mandatory for Krishi Vigyan Kendra's (KVKs) of State Agricultural Universities to assess and refine the location specific technologies. By assessing and refining of technologies, research becomes need based and problem solving. It ensures scientists and farmers strong linkages. It helps to develop modules for different farming situations. As the farmers are fully involved in technology assessment and refinement, they develop confidence to adopt the technology. The experience of the farmers should be considered in research planning. The technology development and dissemination is a unique tool for greater interaction between the scientists and farmers.
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