R. Roy Burman, Sujit Sarkar, V. Sangeetha, S. K. Dubey, J. P. Sharma, Ishwari Singh, K. Vijayaragavan and H. S. Gupta
Public-sector extension continues to be the main source of information to a majority of the farmers in our country. With widening ratio of extension worker to the farmer in the country, it has become essential to look for alternative extension approaches that can enable speedy reach of the improved agricultural technologies to the farmers living in the remotest places across the country, largely through the best utilization of the existing infrastructure and manpower resources. Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) recently developed IARI-Post Office Linkage Extension Model using village post masters as change agents for information sharing and technology dissemination to the farmers. The project started with two blocks Sidhauli and Kasmanda in Sitapur district of Uttar Pradesh state in India since rabi (winter) season 2009. Seven village post offices from five clusters of villages were identified for the study. Majority of the respondents (45.5%) perceived that IARI-Post office linked extension model impacted very highly to increase awareness about IARI varieties. More than half of the farmers (56%) introduction of new variety of major crops had high impact in their area as it changed the seed replacement rate of the area and also the crop diversity of the area. â€œCovering distant small and marginal farmersâ€ was judged as the major strength of this model and major perceived opportunity was â€œestablishing linkages with KVKs, NGOs and University or research institute (16%)â€. Findings of the above study indicate the scope for developing post offices as the means of agricultural technology transfer in India. Research institutions may identify technologies and in collaboration with postal department for dissemination of technologies and providing agro-advisory services all over the country.
Keyword: Post office; Linkage; Ext