Extension Division endeavours towards successful implementation of Agricultural Extension activities. Through its various programmes, schemes and activities, Extension Division helps farmers to get information regarding scientific research and new knowledge in agricultural practices. It assists and encourages the State Governments in organizing, maintaining and operating professional Extension Services.
Extension Division implements SMAE (Sub Mission on Agricultural Extension), a Sub Mission of KrishonnatiYojana. The popular ATMA Scheme which supports the State Governments in their extension activities is also run by Extension Division
The Division also provides Information Support to farmers in their agricultural activities. For this, it coordinates with Prasar Bharati and All India Radio in the effective running of the DD Kisan channel and Krishi Vani programmes respectively. Kisan Call Centres have been established at 21 locations across the country covering all states and UTs where the farmers can call on a toll free number (1800-180-1551) and get information regarding their area of interest in agriculture. Extension Division also publishes four magazines – two each in Hindi and English whereby information regarding various aspects of Extension activities and new developments is provided.
Schemes of Extension Division The Sub Mission on Agricultural Extension (SMAE) focuses on awareness creation and enhanced use of appropriate technologies in agriculture & allied sectors. It has four main components, namely:
- Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms
- Mass Media Support to Agricultural Extension
- Establishment of Agri-Clinic and Agri-Business Centres by Agriculture Graduates (ACABC).
- Extension Support to Central Institution
The aforesaid components of Sub Mission on Agricultural Extension (SMAE) were run as separate schemes of the Extension Division. These were recently subsumed under the umbrella of SMAE.
Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms: As the name suggests, this scheme supports the state governments in their Extension Activities. It aims at making extension system farmers driven by way of new institutional arrangements for technology dissemination in the form of an Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) at the district level to operationalise the extension reforms. Funds are released to State Governments in accordance with the scheme guideline which is also dependent on the State Governments releasing their share of contribution.
Mass Media Support to Agricultural Extension :
- Doordarshan and All India Radio
- Print Media
- Kisan Mela
- Kisan Call Centre
- Common Services Center.
Establishment of Agri-Clinic and Agri-Business Centres by Agriculture Graduates (ACABC) : This Programme aims to tap the expertise available in the large pool of Agriculture graduates, And a 45 days specialized training is provided by selected institutes across the country.
Extension Support to Central Institutions This scheme aims towards capacity building of Extension functionaries and also, towards skill development of rural youth, farmers and farm women. The prominent institutions involved in this effort are – the Directorate of Extension (a subordinate office under the Extension Division), MANAGE, Hyderabad (an autonomous institute associated with Extension Division), four Extension Education Institutes (EEIs) at the Regional level and the State Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institutes (SAMETIs) at the State level.
The main programmes under the scheme are as under:
A. Programmes for Capacity Building:
- Extension Education Institutes (EEIs): – Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has established four Extension Education Institutes at Nilokheri (Haryana); Hyderabad (Telangana); Anand (Gujarat) and Jorhat (Assam). These EEIs cater to the training needs of middle-level field extension functionaries working under agriculture and allied departments of States/UTs of respective regions. The programmatic activities of EEIs include the organization of on-campus/off-campus training, workshops, conferences etc. in the areas of communication technology, extension methodology, training management, Agriculture Knowledge Information System (AKIS) and Information Technology.
- Model Training Courses(MTCs): – Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has established four Extension Education Institutes at Nilokheri (Haryana); Hyderabad (Telangana); Anand (Gujarat) and Jorhat (Assam). These EEIs cater to the training needs of middle-level field extension functionaries working under agriculture and allied departments of States/UTs of respective regions. The programmatic activities of EEIs include the organization of on-campus/off-campus training, workshops, conferences etc. in the areas of communication technology, extension methodology, training management, Agriculture Knowledge Information System (AKIS) and Information Technology.
B. Kisan Call Center(KCC)
- The project aims to answer farmers’ queries on a telephone call in their own dialect. Presently these call centres are working in 21 different locations covering all the States and UTs. A countrywide common eleven-digit Toll-Free Number 1800-180-1551 has been allotted for Kisan Call Center. This number is accessible through mobile phones and landlines of all telecom networks including private service providers. Replies to the farmers’ queries are available from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm on all seven days of the week.
- Kisan Call Center agents are known as Farm Tele Advisors (FTAs), who are graduates or above in agriculture or allied areas and possess excellent communication skills in their respective local languages. Queries which cannot be answered by FTAs are transferred to higher-level experts in call conferencing mode. These experts are subject matter specialists of State Agricultural Departments, ICAR & State Agricultural Universities.
- The restructured KCC has a number of unique features viz. 100% call recording; call barging; voice mail service; customized IVRs; call conferencing through the experts; playing state-specific advisories during call wait time; SMS to caller farmers giving a gist of answers given by FTAs and also, registration of farmers for receiving SMS from experts on the subject area provided by them for receiving regular updates on selected crops.
Programmes for Skill Development:
- Skill Training of Rural Youth(STRY): – The component aims at training rural youths, rural artisans (blacksmiths, carpenters etc. designing/manufacturing farm implements) including farm women across the country. The training under this component focuses on specific vocational areas in agriculture & allied sectors. Both Public and Private/Non-Governmental Institutions including Vocational Training organisations, Youth Organisations (like Nehru Yuva Kendra) are actively involved in the implementation of this programme.
- Diploma in Agricultural Extension Services for Input Dealers (DAESI): -Agri-Input Dealers in the country are a prime source of farm information to the farming community, besides the supply of inputs and credit. However, the majority of these dealers do not have formal agricultural education. In order to build their technical competency in agriculture and to facilitate them to serve the farmers better and to act as Para–Extension professionals, a self-financed “One-year Diploma in Agricultural Extension Services for Input Dealers (DAESI) Program” has been launched during the year 2003 with a course fee of Rs.20000/- to the input dealers. The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) is the nodal agency to run this program.
Benefits Of The Scheme
- To supplement efforts of public extension by necessarily providing extension and other services to the farmers on a payment basis or free of cost as per the business model of agri-preneur, local needs and affordability of the target group of farmers.
- To support agricultural development
- To create gainful self-employment opportunities for unemployed agricultural graduates, agricultural diploma holders, intermediate in agriculture and biological science graduates, with PG in agri-related courses
Eligibility Criteria For Candidates
The scheme is open to the following categories of candidates of the age group of 18 to 60 years.
- Graduates in agriculture and allied subjects like Horticulture, Sericulture, Dairy, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Home/ Community Sciences, Biotechnology, Agricultural Engineering, Forestry, Food Technology, Food Nutrition, and Dietetics, etc, from SAUs/ Central Agricultural Universities/ Universities and graduates in Environmental Science, Botany, Zoology and Chemistry recognized by ICAR/ UGC. Degrees in Agriculture and allied subjects offered by other agencies are also considered subject to the approval of the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Government of India on the recommendation of the State Government.
- Diploma (with at least 50% marks)/ Post Graduate Diploma holders in Agriculture and allied subjects (as in para 3.1) from State Agricultural Universities, State Agriculture and Allied Departments and the State Department of Technical Education. Diplomas in Agriculture and allied subjects offered by other agencies (autonomous bodies, UGC affiliated universities, etc.) are also considered subject to the approval of the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Government of India on the recommendation of the State Government.
- Post Graduation in Agriculture & allied subjects.
- Degree courses recognized by UGC have more than 60 percent of the course content in Agriculture and allied subjects 3.5.
- Diploma/ Post-graduate Diploma courses with more than 60 percent of course content in Agriculture and allied subjects after B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from recognized colleges and universities,
- Agriculture-related courses at the intermediate (i.e. plus two) level, with at least 55% marks,
- The scheme covers full financial support for training and handholding, provision of loans, and credit-linked back-ended composite subsidy.
Process of Selection of Candidates
- Call for applications from eligible candidates: Advertisements in local newspapers will be issued under intimation to local employment exchanges separately by the NTI. The NTIs may also give publicity to the scheme through Doordarshan, AIR, Private Television and Radio channels, ATMAs, Agricultural Universities, ICAR Institutions, KVKs, Banks, Agriculture Graduate Associations, Agri-Business Companies, Agriculture and allied departments, a network of trained/established Agri-preneurs, posters, leaflets etc. Besides, NTIs may adopt any innovative method for giving publicity about the scheme. Advertisements will be uploaded on the website of NTIs as well as MANAGE. MANAGE will provide credentials to NTIs for uploading the advertisements to the AC&ABC website (www.agriclinics.net).
- Applications for training will be accepted only through the online portal https://acabcmis.gov.in/ApplicantReg.aspx
- An individual eligible to receive the benefits under the scheme is required to furnish proof of possession of an Aadhaar Number or undergo Aadhaar registration. If an individual is eligible but do not possess an Aadhaar number she/he can get enrolled by visiting the Aadhaar enrolment centre. MANAGE, Hyderabad is required to provide enrolment facilities at a convenient location(s) in coordination with the Registrars of UIDAI or by becoming an UIDAI Registrar. The beneficiaries of the Agri-Clinics & Agri-Business Centres (AC&ABC) scheme may register their request for enrolment by giving their name, address, mobile number and other details. Till such time as Aadhaar is assigned to an individual, she/he can avail of the benefit of the scheme on the production of the following documents Aadhaar enrolment ID slip/ Copy of request for Aadhaar enrolment and Voter Identity Card/ PAN/ Passport/ Ration Card/ Employee Government ID/ Passbook of Bank or Post Office/ MGNREGS Card/ Kisan Photo Passport/ Driving Licences/ any other document as specified by State/ UT.
- Aadhaar details need to be linked through a web-based registration process. The assistance if given in cash, needs to be transferred to the bank account of the beneficiary and in case it is given in terms of kind through Companies, the intimation be conveyed as SMS to the beneficiary mobile phone with details of assistance. It should be ensured, that no eligible beneficiary suffers for want of Aadhaar and it would be the responsibility of the implementing agency to ensure that Aadhaar enrolment of such beneficiaries is carried out on priority.
List of Documents
- Aadhar enrollment ID slip/ Copy of request for Aadhaar enrolment.
- Voter Identity Card.
- Ration Card.
- Employee Government ID.
- Passbook of Bank or Post Office.
- Driving Licences.
- Any other document as specified by State/ UT.