Inculcate Scientific Skills among medium and Small Farmers for Agricultural Growth R P Singh, Associate Director Extension G B Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, PantnagarImproved management holds the key to getting the best return from all inputs.The human factor obviously is the most important one for bringing about a largerreturn from modest inputs like new technology, infrastructure, bio physicalconditions and socio economic factors. Agriculture being an extensive andcomplex sector of economy, its management can not be construed in therestricted sense of merely a pattern of official machinery. It cannot also bestudied in isolation of other sectors which influence agricultural development,directly or indirectly. We have seen that, since Nineteenth Century, gradualrefinement has come in identifying the functional areas or process ofmanagement. But the buck does not stop here. One can see that there are sevenmore functional areas have been added in basic management processes(POSTCoRB; Planning, Organization, Staffing, Directing, Co ordination, Reportingand Budgeting.) viz. Monitoring, Evaluation, Decision- making, , Human relations,Linkage (R&D), Communication and supervision. Any organization can be studiedon these processes which are relevant for the management of individual affairs.Likely, it is the time to include skill development in the agricultural extensionmanagement by which the efficiency of use of resources could be improved andmake it judicious. In the 12th Five Year Plan, Government of India has initiated along sighted scheme of Skill Development Initiative Programme for 50 millionpeople in plan period and 9 million people for 2013-14 annual budgets for labourunder National Skill Development Corporation. Like this scheme, any new schemecan revolutionalize the agriculture sector in copping the second green revolution. In the past we have talked of three functional areas in agriculture almostlike a slogan, viz. Teaching, Research and Extension of agricultural institution. Wehave ignored perhaps unwittingly a basic function called ‘Training’. Training isdifferent from education or Extension- A very political area for the humanresources development. Training is the professional or practical side of educationoriented to specific jobs, projects, skills, actions and results. Through variedtraining courses and programmes at all levels from the farmer to politicians, wecould reach the masses, whereas the arena of education we deal with it’s mostlyclasses- the elites. Therefore training should be recognized as fourth functionalarea as a policy and should be adequately supported in terms of investments andinfrastructures.
If one look at the expenditure on Agriculture in annual budget ofGovernment of India, 2013-14, a decisive shift to high-value agriculture isindicating. Provision is made for 22% hike in the planned budgetary allocation andallotted Rs. 27049 Crore. But in complete budget there is no budget allocation foragricultural farmers/labours for their skill development. Now a days, it is requiredessentially for the boost of agriculture as agriculture is scientific and high-tech. Krishi Vigyan Kendras Skills and knowledge are the driving forces of economic growth and socialdevelopment for any country. Countries with higher and better levels of skillsadjust more effectively to the challenges and opportunities of world of work. TheSecond Education Commission (1964-66) under the chairmanship of Dr. D. S.Kothari, recommended for the establishment of agricultural polytechnics toprovide vocational education in agriculture to school dropouts and other ruralyouths. After careful deliberation by the Ministry of Education, Ministry ofAgriculture and the Planning Commission and as a follow up of therecommendation, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) appointed acommittee under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mohan Singh Mehta of Seva Mandir,Udaypur in 1973 for formulating the institutional design of Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVK) for providing vocational training in agriculture.The basic principles enunciated by the Mehta Committee (1973) include: 1. The Kendra will impart learning through work-experience and hence will be concerned with technical literacy, the acquisition of which does not necessarily require the ability to read and write. 2. The Kendra will impart training only to those extension workers who are employed and to the practising farmers and fishermen. In other words, the Kendra will cater to the needs of those who are already employed or those who wish to be self-employed. 3. There will be no uniform syllabus for the Kendras. The syllabus and programme of each Kendra will be flexible in nature and tailored according to the felt needs, natural resources and potential for agricultural growth in that particular area.Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Farm Science Centre), an innovative science basedinstitutions, were thus established mainly to impart vocational training to thefarmers and field level extension workers. The concept of vocational training in
agriculture through KVK grew substantially due to greater demand for improvedagricultural technology by the farmers. They not only required knowledge andunderstanding of the intricacy of technologies, but also progressively more andmore skills in various complex agricultural operations for adoption on their farms.The effectiveness of the KVK was further enhanced by adding the activitiesrelated to on-farm testing and Front-Line Demonstration on major agriculturaltechnologies in order to make the training of farmers location specific, needbased and resource-oriented.The training programmes were designed to impart the latest knowledge to thefarmers through work experience by applying the principles of ‘Teaching byDoing’ and ‘Learning by Doing’. The prime goal of KVK is to impart training as perneeds and requirements in agriculture and allied enterprises to all farmers, farmwomen and farm youths including school drop-outs in the rural area. No formalcertificate or diploma is awarded, irrespective of duration of the courses to avoidthe rush for jobs instead of self employment. While designing the courses, theconcept of farming system as well as farming situation are taken into account toensure that the enterprises in which they are trained are commercially andecologically viable, sustainable and profitable. Such vocational trainings help themto sustain themselves through self-employment and to make them self-relianteconomically and thus discourages them to migrate to the urban areas.KVKs provide training not only in agriculture and allied vocations but also in otherincome-generating activities that may supplement the income of farm families.The methods employed in training could be formal and non-formal or acombination of both, depending upon the needs but emphasis remains to be onwork-experience, as suggested by Mohan Singh Mehta Committee Report that“the programme should be operated as a plan of continuing education both in thetechnical and general sense.” But the specialized skill oriented trainings are not being conducted toprepare group of trained people for particular areas. There are severaltechnological available for the enhancement of agriculture production andmaking it high-tech. there is time’s requirement to identify skills for scientificagriculture production of specialized commercial crops.