6th National Extension Education Congress 2011 (6th NEEC 2011)

Venue: ICAR Research Complex, Goa, India

Location: Old Goa, Goa, India

Event Date/Time: Nov 26, 2011 End Date/Time: Nov 28, 2011
Registration Date: Nov 15, 2011
Early Registration Date: Nov 15, 2011
Abstract Submission Date: Aug 25, 2011
Paper Submission Date: Aug 25, 2011
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Description

Extension is too often merely seen as a vehicle for spreading scientific and technical progress and technology transfer. But this is a narrow and highly unsatisfactory definition. The dissemination of knowledge is not a one-way path from scientists to farmers. Farmers’ own knowledge must be collected, analysed, capitalized on, propagated and disseminated. Producers need more than just technical information. There is rarely a “one size fits all” solution to address the mix of technical, economic, commercial, social and environmental aspects that farming problems consist of. Farmers need information on markets, credit facilities and consumer demand. But simply making information more readily available is not enough to ensure that it is used effectively. On the various levels of their activities (farm, local community, industry subsector), farmers must themselves be able to analyse the constraints, seek out and test solutions, and make choices from an array of existing service providers.
The essence of agricultural extension is to facilitate interplay and nurture synergies within a total information system involving agricultural research and agricultural education. By building producers’ capacity to take individual and collective initiatives, facilitation makes available technical solutions that are more relevant to farmers’ constraints in the short-term, and in the long term provides a framework for ongoing innovation. Therefore, agricultural extension facilitates direct exchanges between farmers as a way of diagnosing problems, capitalizing on existing knowledge, exchanging experiences and disseminating proven improvements. This requires extension professionals to be “actors in” not “instruments of” extension. Trust must be established between the farmers and the facilitator. Solid technical expertise remains essential, but the abilities of extension professionals must go beyond that. They must think in terms of market opportunities, increasing producer incomes and total farm management.
A major theme in agricultural development is the gradual transition from low-productivity subsistence farming to specialized production based on comparative advantage and the trading of surpluses to the market. Small farmers must produce a sufficient range of competitively-priced outputs in the right quantity and quality at the right time. This move from subsistence to commercial farming is consumer- rather than producer-driven. Because input suppliers and produce buyers are business people, they must have their finger on the pulse of demand and offer suitable products and services. Better linkages between farmers and the private sector are essential, but the inherent biases of business must be recognised. Impartial and unbiased marketing and technical information are essential if producers are to be enabled to respond to market conditions.
India’s extension system has experienced major changes since the late 1990s in governance structures, capacity, organization and management, and advisory methods. The changes involve the decentralization of extension service provision to the local level, the adoption of pluralistic modes of extension service provision and financing, the use of participatory extension approaches, capacity training of farmers to express their demands, and capacity training of service providers to respond to the demands of farmers, among others. The reform initiatives reflect the view that improvements in agricultural productivity require demand-driven and farmer-accountable, need specific, purpose-specific, and target-specific extension services. There is no single optimal or best model for providing need specific, purpose-specific, and target-specific extension services. The ultimate choice of the agricultural extension approach depends on (1) the policy environment, (2) the capacity of potential service providers, (3) the type of farming systems and the market access of farm households, and (4) the nature of the local communities, including their ability to cooperate. Different agricultural extension approaches can work well for different sets of frame conditions. In order to use extension approaches that best fit a particular situation, the agricultural extension system has to be sufficiently flexible to accommodate the different options. To this end, the recent agricultural-sector reforms have been geared toward creating a demand driven, broad-based, and holistic agricultural extension system. This has involved the design and introduction of a multitude of integrated measures that, on the demand side, enable service users to voice their needs and hold service providers accountable, and on the supply side, influence the capacity of service providers to respond to the needs of the extension service users (that is, the farmers). To address such pertinent issues we need to develop innovative and contemporary extension models, approaches, methods which can fit in diverse agri-rural environment and help in agricultural development and livelihood security in the country. Keeping in view the above considerations the themes of the 6th National Extension Education Congress 2011 have been framed as below:
Major Themes and Sub-Themes
A. Climate change : issues and challenges
o Agricultural development under a changing climate.
o Increasing pressure on bio-diversity loss.
o Green approach for economic development.
o Environmental laws for agricultural growth.
o Role of carbon credit in agriculture.
o Challenges to face natural disasters for agriculture development.
B. Emerging Extension methods, approaches - Experiences
o Innovative Technology Development through testing, evaluation and validation
o Community led Extension, Farmers’ Organisation, Self Help Groups and Farmers’ Cooperatives, Farmer Producer Companies
o Micro finance, Market-led extension
C. ICT intervention in agricultural development
o ICT transforming agricultural extension.
o Web based decision support system.
o Harnessing ICT for improving rural household.
o Crop simulation model.
o Content Development, Knowledge Management and Information Dissemination through ICT
o E-crop management.
o E-governance for better development.
o User friendly IT model for farmers’ prosperity.
o IT for agriculture empowerment.
o Implication of Geographical Information System Technology( GIST) for social, economic and environmental development.
D. Gender perspectives in the context of agriculture development
o Gender mainstreaming in agriculture.
o Role of women in planning and development.
o Gender sensitization for sustainable rural development.
o Women empowerment through agri- based employments.
E. Changing the face of rural entrepreneurship
o Re-energizing the rural economy for better entrepreneurship.
o Agri-preneurship – key to rural economic development strategy.
o Mobilising partnership for rural entrepreneurship development.
o Agricultural growth and entrepreneurship.
o Eco-preneurship and its regulation for agricultural progress.
o Sustainability driven agro-preneurship.
F. Agriculture policies for emerging and transition economies
o Agriculture Trade policy reforms for rural poverty alleviation.
o GATT and global agriculture trade.
o Impact of globalisation on rural economy.
o Agricultural biotechnology for rural livelihood security.
o Knowledge economy and its role in agriculture.
o IPR issues related to Plant Variety protection and Farmers’ Rights

Venue

ICAR Research Complex, Ela, old Goa, India
Old Goa
Goa
India
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