M.L. Roy and K.S. Kadian
Mixed farming systems are central to the livelihood and nutritional security of small, marginal and landless farmers in India and other developing countries of the tropics. Intense knowledge in this area is prerequisite for majority of Indian farmers to sustain themselves in the changing environment. In the present study, an attempt was taken to develop and standardize a knowledge test on mixed farming for farmers. Knowledge in mixed farming was operationalized as the totality of understood information possessed by the farmers about concept of mixed farming; mixed farming vis-Ã -vis different farming practices which included crop cultivation, animal husbandry and other miscellaneous practices in the form of duck-cum-fish culture and paddy-cum-fish culture; mixed farming vis-Ã -vis Low External Input Agriculture (LEIA); organic farming; Integrated Nutrient Management (INM); Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and sustainable agriculture; and mixed farming vis-Ã -vis farm management decisions. The knowledge items were collected based on mixed farming systems prevalent in the state of West Bengal. The steps viz. selection of items; item analysis and pre-testing; calculation of difficulty and discrimination index; final selection of items; and testing of reliability and validity; were followed to develop and standardize the test. The final knowledge test contained 55 items which were retained out of 99 items. The test was found to be highly stable and reliable which was indicated by highly significant value of reliability co-efficient. It can help the extension personnel to explore the strong and weak areas of knowledge of farmers about mixed farming.
Keyword: Knowledge test; Difficulty index; Discrimination index; Mixed farming