Do Networks Matter? A retrospective on the potential applications of social network analysis
Social Network Analysis (SNA) is arguably the latest trend and buzzword among social science practitioners. With its strong theoretical and empirical rooting in sociology and graph theories, it could answer many research questions within a system. It is no secret that modern social media channels such as Facebook and LinkedIn have their theoretical backing from SNA. In this blog post, Subash S P and Sreeran V try to highlight some of the potential applications of SNA in agricultural sciences.
Demonetization and Agriculture: Lessons for Extension and Advisory Services
The recent demonetization exercise by the Indian Government has impacted farmers adversely, at least in the ‘short run’. At the same time, has it also opened up new possibilities of digitizing money handling in the agricultural value chain? Arun Balamatti explores these issues in this blog.
Branding Agriculture: Creating brands from commodities
Farmers can enhance their income if they start branding their commodities. Extension and Advisory Services should support farmers with branding their produce, argues Mandeep Pujara
Are Cell Phones Useful As Learning Tools For Students?
Students are accessing cell phones every day for several hours and even during classes. As teachers, can we use this media to enhance our teaching? Dr S Ramkumar and Mr D V Sivaji explore the issue in this blog.
DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES - Big Data and Internet of Things in Strengthening Extension & Advisory Services
Future Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) needs to strategize convergence of big data with disruptive technologies such as mobile/cloud computing, Internet of Things, location-based social networks etc. Dr Shaik N Meera presents a framework to exploit these developments to strengthen EAS provision in this blog.
Teaching in Agricultural Extension Education: Can We Improve It?
Among teaching, research and service in extension, teaching remains the most neglected. If we want to bring improvement in all these different dimensions of extension, we must pay serious attention to improving the quality of teaching in extension education, argues Dr. Mahesh Chander.
Online Strategies to Market Farm Produce
As farmers continue to struggle with increasing uncertainties in the Market, online marketing strategies have come as a blessing, argues Dr. Mandeep K Pujara.
Demand-Driven Extension: Need for Public Extension to Turnaround
“Is it not strange that agriculture in India has transformed itself, while the public extension has lost its way? The supply-driven extension, now regarded as largely inaccessible, ineffective and irrelevant, should make way for a more dynamic ‘demand driven’ extension system”, argues Dr Arun Balamatti
Commercialization of Agricultural Technologies: Innovations in Business Incubation and Start Ups
Though the Indian National Agricultural Research System has initiated several measures to support commercialisation of agricultural technologies, a lot more needs to be done to strengthen these efforts. In this blog, Dr Manoj Samuel, Dr George Ninan and Dr C N Ravishanker argue for a new framework to encourage start-up companies in agriculture.
Sample Size for Extension Research – Part 1. Quantitative Studies
Non-availability of sound guidelines for sample size estimation is the primary factor affecting the quality of extension research in the country. In this blog, Dr P Sethuraman Sivakumar presents guidelines for choosing adequate sample for extension research.
Convergence for Synergistic Effect in Dairy Development
Convergence of different entities working for synergistic effect in dairy development is the need of the hour. Dr. V. B. Dixit, Dr. Hema Tripathi, Ms. A Duhan and Dr. I J Singh share their thoughts in this regard.
Reverse Extension: Need for a Relook on the Present Extension Service
Extension needs new theories, frameworks and a shift in its current approach if it has to remain relevant. Reverse extension offers one way of reinventing its future, argues Dr. R. M. Prasad.
Agripreneurs: Who They Are and Why They Are Important?
While entrepreneurship has been talked about since many years, agripreneurship is something which we started discussing only recently. Dr Mahesh Chander explores the characteristics of Agripreneurs in this blog and he argues the need to encourage, support and promote agripreneurship by extension and advisory service providers.
Values and Competencies in Agricultural Extension
The contribution of extension could be further accentuated if the extension professionals adopt certain human positive values. A parallel investment for development of positive values through pre-service, induction, and in-service trainings is essential for the success of any agricultural extension worker. In this blog, Dr SVN Rao and Dr PVK Sasidhar emphasise these values which every extension workers must imbibe and internalise.
Farmers’ Fairs: Can We Make Them Impactful?
The Kisan Melas or Farmers Fairs are considered as important mechanism to popularize agricultural technologies among farmers. But in recent times, the organizers of such agro fairs are finding it difficult to attract the farming communities. In this blog, Dr Tanusha and Dr Mahesh Chander suggest ways to make these fairs more effective and meaningful to farmers.
Agribusiness Incubation in India: Ways Forward
Though agribusiness incubators are important to promote entrepreneurship and commercialization of new technologies in agriculture, the incubators are yet to receive sufficient attention and funding in India. Lack of a positive ecosystem to nurture start-ups affects the functioning of agribusiness incubators, argues K Srinivas.
Informal Education Needs in Dairying and Livestock Sector
The formal extension institutions are unable to meet information and skill requirements of a vast segment of dairy and livestock farmers. Thus, there is an urgent need to think of alternate systems of information delivery to meet informal education needs of this target clientele, argue Mahesh Chander and Devesh Thakur.
Agrowbook.com: Will this address the information needs of Agricultural Stakeholders?
Agrowbook.com is an initiative of Input Agri Tech Pvt Limited incubated in a-IDEA (Technology Business Incubator) @ NAARM (National Academy of Agriculture Research and Management). Subhash Lode who founded Agrowbook.com discuss the features of this initiative here.
THE YAK-MOVING TREASURE OF HIGH HIMALAYAS
Yak farming is critical for the livelihoods of poor rural nomads in the cold northern areas of Nepal. However, this sector is yet to get the attention it deserves, argues Krishna Acharya
Can CSR Funds Strengthen Indian Livestock Sector?
Indian Animal Husbandry Sector is under-resourced. Increased investments from the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds can improve the performance of this sector, argue Mahesh Chander, Devesh Thakur and Adesh Kumar Verma
Towards Extension Education Reforms 2.0: The Realities, Expectations and Imperatives
Being an extension student is currently a matter of fate for many. We need to make this a choice through strengthening research in extension argues, Mr Sreeram Vishnu and Dr Jancy Gupta.
ARE WE GENERATING NEED BASED AND RELEVANT LIVESTOCK TECHNOLOGIES?
Dissemination of improved livestock technologies is important to enhance livestock productivity. But investigating the relevance of these technologies and the process of technology generation is equally or more important argues Prakashkumar Rathod and Mahesh Chander.
Extension for Promotion of Improved Backyard Poultry
Promotion of improved strains of backyard poultry can potentially improve nutritional status and income of rural communities, if adequate extension support could be provided. However the focus has been more on the provision of subsidies than on the knowledge and skills.
Governance: The Missing Piece in KVK Reforms
Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) do face a number of governance challenges. Addressing these issues is important to enhance the contribution and impact of KVKs argues Dr P N Ananth.
New Advances in Extension Research Methodologies-Part 1
To improve the rigour of extension research, one should use new and effective research methodologies.
Enhancing the Capacities of Farm Women
Surabhi Mittal and Vinod Hariharan explore the gender roles and decision making in wheat farming in India, based on empirical data in this blog.
The Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in India: The full potential yet to be unleashed!
A lot more needs to be done to improve the performance including the public perception on the role and contribution of KVKs, argues Dr Mahesh Chander.
Inefficient Extension Services: Livestock Owners Bear the Brunt
Today there is nothing like livestock extension in the country. Its necessity is neither recognized by the policy makers nor demanded by the livestock owners. The resultant knowledge gap has been leading to several serious consequences. argue, Dr S V N Rao and Dr K Natchimuthu.
Negotiating Reality: A pragmatic approach for conducting quality extension research
Extension scientists are often under stress due to the demotivating work environment and lack of technical guidance from the professional societies. But still one can conduct quality research in extension by following a pragmatic approach, argues, Dr P Sethuraman Sivakumar
Plantwise: Complementing diagnostic and advisory services of extension?
For decades, the farmers have no other go but the local input dealer shop to share his concern and take a solution. Plantwise, a programme that works with national plant health systems through establishing sustainable networks of local plant clinics addresses this problem effectively argues Dr. Malvika Choudhary
Social media: New generation tools for agricultural extension ?
Though Social Media applications can be effectively used by extension and advisory services, lack of awareness and skill about its use currently constrain its widespread use, argues Saravanan Raj and Suchiradipta Bhattacharjee in this blog.
India Ricecheck program: A new extension method in making?
While everyone would like to see impact of new technologies at a wider scale, very few appreciate the need for adapting new technologies to meet the varied requirements of different socio-economic, bio-physical, organisational and institutional settings. Argues Dr Shaik N Meera...
Scientific publishing in extension: Are we doing enough and are we doing well?
Enhancing the quality of extension research is a pre-requisite for improving the quality of academic publishing in extension. Much needs to be done on strengthening drafting skills and improving the quality of peer review too.
Extension Research: Random thoughts from a Well Wisher
Are we serious in undertaking research in Extension? Do we have a research agenda?
Quantity Vs Quality: The great dilemma of livestock research
Extension is not merely about promoting research based knowledge among farmers. Providing feedback on knowledge use and raising new and relevant research questions are equally important.
Actors, Programmes and Policies: SRI in Tripura
Harnessing the potential of other actors, programme and policies should be an important strategy for extension and advisory services, argues, Ms. Suchiradipta Bhattacharjee and Dr. R. Saravanan
Skills, Scale and Speed: Harnessing MOOCs for Large Scale Capacity Development
In this blog, Dr V Balaji shares his experience of using Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in the area of Mobiles for Development.
What is wrong with our forestry education?
New courses related to socio-economic faculties including extension needs to be developed and promoted in forestry education, argues Dr Binoo P Boney.
Producer Organisations and Extension: Performance and Sustainability
Producer Organisations often need continuous hand holding support to emerge as viable and effective organizations and quite often this kind of support is not available,argues Dr Utpal Barman
Fostering entrepreneurship through Agribusiness Incubation: Role of extension professionals
Dr P Sethuraman Sivakumar and Mr I Sivaraman discuss the importance of agribusiness incubators and how extension professionals can support the incubation process in this blog.
Livestock extension-need for a paradigm change
While basics of extension remain the same, livestock extension needs different treatment. It is time to relook at livestock extension and bring about a paradigm change, argues Dr D V Rangnekar.
Enhancing the potential of quality videos for farmers
Dr Paul Van Mele and Dr Jeffery Bentley share their experience with use of videos in agriculture and how “Access Agriculture” is making a difference in this area.
A seminar on seminars?
These days everywhere you turn, you see and hear about seminars, conferences and workshops. But very few of these add value by contributing to improving the quality of debate, programme implementation or the policy process, argues Shri Suresh Kumar.
Extension Research and Technology Development
Senior extension scientists, Dr M J Chandra Gowda, Dr Sreenath Dixit, Dr R Roy Burman and Dr P N Ananth reflect on how extension research can better contribute to technology development.
Reforming Governance to improve extension service delivery
Administrative, structural and legal reforms in extension governance are long overdue argues Dr R M Prasad.
Extensionpedia: A mechanism for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of National Extension Discourse
We need an “Extensionpedia” to guide the extension discourse in more useful and policy relevant ways, argues Suresh Kumar
Developing critical systems of learning competence: Is this the way out?
Critical systems of learning and innovation competence is equally or more important than mere technological competence, argues Laxmi Prasad Pant.
It is time to influence the 13th Plan
Policy discourses conducted without taking note of the Plan document often fails to yield results, argues Shri Suresh Kumar.
Beyond technology dissemination: Why extension should also focus on policy change?
Diagnosing the institutional and policy challenges that constrain adoption of new knowledge and technology should be the priority of extension, argue Dr S V N Rao, Dr K Natchimuthu and Dr S Ramkumar.
Isn`t it time to set up an Indian Institute of organic Agriculture?
Demand for organic food is increasing at 20-22% per annum in India. Its time India invests in organic research and education to develop specialized human resources trained to further the organic movement in the country, argues Sabyasachi Roy
How Can Technologies Make An Impact ? Innovativeness, Improved Delivery And Institutional Mechanisms
Agricultural research rarely goes beyond production of new technologies and its pilot testing in few select villages. Promoting wider application of the new knowledge it has produced is considered as someone else’s responsibility.
Youth: Potential Target For Agricultural Extension
Agricultural extension services should tap the energy and creativity of rural youth to transform agricultural sector, argues Dr Mahesh Chander.
AgriLORE- An Innovative Content Management System
Open and distance learning systems of education can potentially help farmers and extension staff in accessing new knowledge provided good quality learning materials are made available, argues B.S Hansra and P.K Jain
Co-Developed Content Through Agropedia - Experience So Far
While India witnessed rapid improvements in its ICT infrastructure, it continues to face serious challenges with respect to provision of relevant content. Initiatives such as “agropedia” evolved mainly to address this challenge in the field of agriculture.argues Kiran Yadav and N T Yaduraju.
Delivering Agro-advisories Through Mobile phones-reality Check?
Though mobile phones promise new opportunities for reaching farmers with agricultural information, its potential remains unutilised due to several institutional and infrastructural constraints, argues, Surabhi Mittal and Mamta Mehar.
Is Horticultural Extension Getting the Priority it Deserves?
Though public extension has played a key role in transferring technologies in agricultural crops, its role in promotion of horticultural technologies in India has been limited. While horticultural development got comprehensive policy and budgetary support during the XIth Plan, it hasn’t made any difference to horticultural
Extension, ICTs and Knowledge Management: The 10 difficult questions
ICT enabled extension offers new opportunities for bridging the knowledge gap in Indian agriculture. But several critical challenges still remain. Instead of asking “what ICTs can do for extension", it is time to ask how "how extension can harness ICTs in existing contexts, argues Dr Shaik N Meera.
Skill development in Veterinary Education
Skill development is not merely meant for farmers and entrepreneurs. It is also about having the needed skills among field practitioners. For instance, the main purpose of veterinary education is development of appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes among veterinarians.
Producer Organizations (POs) and extension: The road ahead
Farmers are organizing their own support systems including extension delivery through forming their own organizations to access information, advice and support on production and marketing.
Skill Development for a new Rural Resurgence
Recent initiatives such as the National Skill Development Corporation have begun to address some of the needs related to skill development in various sectors. However, the needs of the rural areas, and those of agriculture/allied sectors are yet largely unaddressed. In this blog, Mr Girish
Extension and Participatory Irrigation Management: Can it complement each other ?
Participatory Irrigation Management could be an effective model of community based extension, if extension engages more effectively with water user associations opines, Dr. Souvik Ghosh.
Redeeming the public extension system: Can rural democratization offer plausible alternatives?
Even while critical debates on the relevance of public extension systems are on- with propositions that argue for more privatised extension services dominating the scene- the significance of public extension systems is only increasing.
Institutional Shift: From Extension to Entrepreneurship
Unless the entrepreneurship competencies are added to the extension capabilities, the application of extension may not bear expected results, argues Dr S. Ramkumar
Skilling the farm sector – Need for a focused approach
The focus of skill development in India by default is oriented towards industry and micro enterprises. Skill development in the farm sector is yet to receive due attention in the skill development efforts of the Government. A shift towards skilling the farm sector is long overdue, argues Dr .R. M. Prasad.
Why fisheries sector needs an extension framework?
Though a large percentage of rural population in South Asia depend on capture fisheries and aquaculture, lack of an appropriate extension framework constrains this sector from optimizing its performance, argues, Dr S N Ojha.
Why Collaboration Matters for Livestock Development?
Livestock sector`s growth in India is constrained not due to lack of organizations or programs, but due to inability of organizations to collaborate with each other, argues Professor S V N Rao.
Research in Extension: It is time to introspect
Though the field of extension globally has moved beyond technology transfer to facilitation, learning, organising and building networks, extension research in India is still stuck in studying technology transfer, per se.
Research in Extension: New tools to reinvent its future
While research tools and techniques in core disciplines from which extension borrowed its research methods have evolved significantly, extension research still depends heavily on many of the outdated tools.
Institutional Change and Adaptation to Climate Change
Agricultural extension system has been slow to adapt and communicate climate science to farmers, as there is still limited institutional priority accorded in processing and communicating the scientific knowledge, opines Dr Hemant R Ojha.
Competence Development through Education and Capacity Development through Extension
While the concept of capacity development is much discussed in extension literature, little attention is given to competence development, argues Dr Laxmi Prasad Pant. In a recent paper (see Pant, 2012), we argued that the fields of ‘competence development’ and ‘capacity development’ remain
Beyond treatment and breed improvement
The focus of livestock development in India should shift from breed improvement and disease management to strengthening knowledge provision to livestock keepers, argues Dr.Mahesh Chander