Success Story on Farm Schools of
Promotion of Farmer to Farmer extension, the most effective and fastest in transfer of any agricultural technology, is the idea of opening Farm School in the farm and Village level under the extension reforms policy, is now working well in the District. This venture is also to support agri & allied departments efforts in changing agricultural development scenario in the State.
The present system of extension service delivery to the farmers in the village level is only through Public extension functionaries like Agril. Field Assistant(AFA) earlier called AFA/VFA/SCA/HEA. There is no other public servants in the village level to deliver extension service. Due to widespread coverage of villages by each field staff assigned to cover 5/6 villages each in an average, coverage of each and needy farmers at farm level by field staff becomes next to impossible. More over, the timing of farmers needs during critical stages of crops and cropping season varies, and also need of technology either of improved package practices or introduction of HYV and demonstrations or optimum time of sowing/planting or IPM/INM etc has to take place in the field itself. And extension functionaries to cover each farmers field in every village is impossible. On the other hand even in the same village some farmers have already adopted technology whereas the same technology is not transferring to other farmer’s field. As a result failure in adoption of technology by mass farmers resulting inability to attain commercialization and reflecting poor performance of agri & allieds departments. In reality the agri & allieds departments have done so well to an extent of recognition, but due to lack of documentation and contrast assessment of the past and present and also lack of such extension system that reflects negatively to the success of the departments.
Therefore, as per the guidelines of the central Ministry under extension reforms policy to establish Farm Schools on any commodity or enterprise where farmers have successfully achieved and need transfer of that technology, it is Farmer himself to be the Teacher for other Farmers of his/ her village or farmers from other village within the same District or from other District.
The advantage of Farmer to Farmer extension is due to language convenient, free in conversation, based on his/her own success- easy to believe and adopt meeting any time being in the same village, having the same agro-eco situations and same socio-economic status.
ATMA- Kohima have already established 5 farm schools covering all the 4 blocks/BTT in the Ditsrict. The progress of each farm schools resulting promising extension system in the Village / farm level is therefore, given as below:
Extension by way of teaching by showing, learning by seeing, transfer of farmers success on such farming systems/ way of cultivation on sustainable manner to other farmers by interactions, meeting personally, visiting the farms/fields together, these activities carried out by each Farm Schools during the year 2009-10 up to the reporting period of May’09 to September’2009 are as below :-
The performance of each Farm school is monitored and supervised by each BTT supported by FAC members and the external teachers are some time from BTT members of Agri & allied departments or from the AMC members or others. The progress report is being regularly furnished to the PD (ATMA) as per format for further submission. All the Farm Schools were successfully launched by BTT conveners on time.
Inferences :- The above extension service performance through Farm School approach further shows minimum expenditure giving maximum output in compare with the existing top down public servant extension system. Public functionaries to contact/train that much farmers within 5 months is impossible. Bottom up and village level system of teaching farmers at farm level seems to be very promising.
The performance of Farm Schools working under ATMA Kohima initiative and supervision is therefore a big Success Story to tell.