Agriculture Extension in India
Agricultural extension is the application of scientific research and new knowledge to agricultural practices through farmer education. The field of 'extension' now encompasses a wider range of communication and learning activities organized for rural people by educators from different disciplines, including agriculture, agricultural marketing, health, and business studies. Extension practitioners can be found throughout the world, usually working for government agencies. They are represented by several professional organizations, networks and extension journals. Agricultural extension agencies in developing countries receive large amounts of support from international development organizations such as the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Recognising the fact that agriculture extension services is the weakest link in terms of transferring technology and techniques to farmers, the central government has decided to recruit, in the next one year, more than 2100 farm graduates dedicated to extension services across the country. The workers, whose jobs primarily would be to integrate research and extension activities for farmers in every district, would be attached to the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), a society of stakeholders in each district working towards sustainable agricultural development. As an extension worker, one of your key tasks would be to spread awareness and facilitate soil testing facility to check the nutrient deficiency in a farmer’s field. Every farmer would be issued a soil-health card much like a ration card. The card will be used card as a guide for nutrient application. Presently this service is available in Delhi and in agriculture universities in some states. The Union Agriculture Ministry has asked state governments to make this facility available at the district level within a year.