Anithakumari.P, Muralidharan.K and S.Kalavathi
This paper describes the community extension approach evolved for bio management of rhinoceros beetle, the major pest of coconut. The diffusion and adoption of the bio control technologies were below 5 per cent in a study conducted in 2012. Hence alternate extension approach evolved as participatory action research programme during 2010 â€“ 2013. The approach identified the potential adopters or critical adopters as focal points in achieving area wide technology efficiency. The critical adopters were the livestock farmers, vermiculture units, coir processing centers and locations with decayed coconut logs and they were mapped for implementing the strategies. The variables age, education status, farm experience were not significantly correlated with knowledge of farmers showing positive effect of the approach in overcoming individual barriers. Farm size, number of bearing and nonbearing palms, intensity of intercropping, trainings attended, social participation, extension contact, extension participation and mass media exposure were significantly correlated with farmersâ€™ knowledge. Project interventions included community level awareness & actions, convergence of group efforts, linkage with extension agencies, decentralized production of bio agents, participatory monitoring and federating women farmers groups for improved technology access. The impact on improvement in knowledge, research/extension linkage, extension contact, extension participation, trainings attended was statistically significant after the extension interventions. The study also put forward the need for technology / crop/ community based appropriate extension approaches for better technology utilization.
Keyword: Critical adopters; Impact