Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Progressive farmers’ perspective on research-extension linkages

Progressive farmers’ perspective on research-extension linkages

In addition to cases presented by country government representatives, NGOs and the private sector, a presentation titled ‘Sustainable   Profitability in Diversified Farming with Self-research Findings’ was made by Mr. Mohinder Grewal, a progressive farmer from the state of Punjab in India, which captured perspectives of the farming community on the subject of research-extension linkages.

A number of successful examples of farmers’ self-driven research were presented, including inter-cropping of carrot with potato and improved practices/technologies for onion and garlic cultivation and harvesting. The potential of shifting from high-yielding to high-value crops to maintain soil health and productivity was also highlighted. However, it was pointed out that while progressive farmers play a vital role in agricultural research, their research findings are not well recognized by agricultural universities in most Asian countries and are not taken into account during dissemination of technologies.

As a specific case of research-extension linkage, various efforts of the Punjab Agricultural University were highlighted such as farmers’ fairs, books on packages of practices, coordination of activities by the University and the Department of Agriculture, and recognition/honour for progressive farmers. These also included leveraging ICT to promote extension through radio and television programmes for farmers, demonstration of audio and video tapes through ‘Mobile Diagnostic and Exhibition Vans’, mobile advisory services and ICT kiosks.   

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