DESIGN OF THE STUDY
In a country like India, where majority of people depend on agriculture for their livelihood, technological advancement in agriculture must surely permeate this agrarian society. The focus of the XIIth five year plan is largely on agricultural development in terms of extension of technologies and human resource development. Human capital in India is in abundance. To exploit this human resource potential, we need to educate, train and propel this human resource towards achieving higher agricultural productivity and equitable distribution of wealth. Over the years, agriculture has emerged as one of the top most priorities of the Central and State Governments. Keeping this in mind, various schemes have been launched by Governments to improve farm productivity and the standard of living of millions of farmers who work to feed the nation. Agricultural practices are changing everyday with the development of new techniques. To make the best of emerging technologies, it is vital that agriculturalists and also farmers receive continuous education and training. This training is provided on topics such as pesticide management, use of better seeds, irrigation techniques and use of fertilizers among many others. Both the Central and State Governments have made major contributions in this area. It is very important to disseminate information about new technologies so that the farmer is able to make use of the latest agricultural developments. There always exists a gap between research findings and the needs of farmers. For technology to be successful, it is important that it should serve a useful purpose to the end user. The institution that bridges the gap between farmers and agricultural research scientists is the Agricultural Extension institutions. This service works through both by central government and state governments. The Agricultural Universities are major partners in the growth and development of agricultural research and education under the national agricultural research system. Currently, there are 41 State Agricultural Universities in India. These agricultural universities are responsible for research, training and dissemination of agriculture related information in the State. They generate new technologies to increase production, provide degree and certificate programmes in agriculture and help in the transfer of technology by participating in farmer training classes organised by local agricultural bodies. The State Agricultural Universities carry out research programmes to tackle location specific problems of different agro-climatic zones. The research programmes and activities are constantly and critically reviewed and the research activities are mainly focused on thrust areas identified. Research, to constantly improve and generate technologies for increasing production in agriculture, animal husbandry, home science and allied sectors is one of the major mandates of these universities. The Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) is a society of key stakeholders who carry out agricultural activities for sustainable agricultural growth of a district. It involves a combination of research and extension activities, so that new agricultural technologies are distributed over a district. This allows it to receive and spend project finances, enter into contracts and maintain revolving accounts. These revolving accounts are utilized for collecting fees and thereby recovering operating costs. ATMA Centres have links with local line departments, research organizations, non-governmental organizations and agencies associated with agricultural development in the district. Research and Extension units within the project districts, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, and the departments of agriculture, animal husbandry, horticulture and fisheries are constituent members of ATMA. Programmes and...
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