Assessment of e-Readiness of Extension Functionaries of Southern States of India in Agricultural Technology Dissemination

K. Bhagya Lakshmi, K.S. Purnima and B. Jamuna Rani

Abstract


The world has witnessed the birth of a new era –The Information communication era, which has changed considerably
the way people live and communicate. The scope and potential of application of ICT tools in technology
dissemination in agricultural and allied sectors is well recognized. Agricultural extension functionaries in India
have an important role in dissemination of agricultural technologies to enhance the productivity of the farming
community. But to implement e-extension initiatives into effectual function, an extension officer must be e- ready to
adopt new initiatives for quicker dissemination. A congenial eco system for e-extension is need to be created for
effective implementation of ICT enabled extension. The study investigated the preparedness of the extension
professionals and extension organizations to implement ICT enabled extension services for farming community. In
this study, e-readiness is defined in terms of Awareness, Knowledge, Accessibility, Perception and Extent of utilization
of ICT tools by extension personnel in agricultural extension system. The present study was conducted in five
southern states of India to measure the e-readiness of the public sector agricultural extension functionaries towards
use of ICTs. A total number of 500 officers of agriculture and allied departments from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh,
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Union Territories of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Puducherry and
Lakshadweep were selected randomly for the study. The data was collected from development officers using structured
Interview schedules, questionnaires and check lists. The study also focused on identification of gaps and constraints
involved in the implementation of e extension initiatives in agriculture and allied sectors in the dissemination of
technologies can be assessed so as to streamline the policies accordingly. The findings of the study showed that
more than 60 per cent of officers perceived positively on the usage of ICT tools for dissemination of farm information

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