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Survey on reach of agropedia services among both the stakeholders: farmers and KVK experts @ KVK Varanasi from 2 to 4 May 2012

Survey on reach of agropedia services among both the stakeholders:

farmers and KVK experts @ KVK Varanasi from 2 to 4 May 2012

Members with KVK Experts

IIMC social science team along with IIT K team member visited Varanasi KVK was in the aftermath of harvesting from 2nd to 4th May.

This KVK is under the purview of NDUA & T, Faizabad (Indian Institute of Vegetable Research).

Main Crop in this region consists of Rice and Wheat though a little amount of Pulses are also cultivated for the sake of soil health. Horticulture crops are significant.

Observations

  • Farmer visits to the KVK are seasonal, for example, before sowing time to collect seeds and for knowhow of technology.
  • Both in campus and off campus Front Line Demonstrations are conducted by KVK experts.
  • PC Dr. M.P. Singh recently took charge from Ambedkar Nagar KVK so his no. was not registered as a result prior to 2nd May no message was sent by him. IITK member registered his number during the session and soon after he sent message to the farmers. Mr. Dubey's suggestion to save the SMSs senders no. 0512 as "KVK Varanasi" was enthusiastically accepted and implemented.
  • Electricity is available 12 hrs per day at alternate timings (either daytime/night time) on a weekly basis and power fluctuation is rampant.
  • Prior to theft of the VSat setup and computers (during November 2011) online reporting was done by computer programmer now they need to use cyber café or personal internet accessing devices.
  • KVK experts were in the favour of arranging continuous training sessions. So far they have received only one training and moreover at present due to the absence of the setup trained knowledge is not in use. Experts don't remember the passwords they had set when registering.
  • The experts use only voice message and prefer the same over SMS due to lack of system and internet connectivity. Even if the setup is in place they said voice message will be extensively used due to ease of access. Again literacy of respondents is a cause to favour voice message.
  • 3-4 messages per week were the suggestion given by the KVK experts. According to them all the farmers should receive SMSs and VMs about all the topics instead of grouping farmers as per crop.
  • According to the KVK Experts: Newsletter or press report is most accepted form of information for the farmers of this region.
  • The subject of the messages varied depending on the expertise area of the KVK expert like horticulture, soil, livestock etc.
  • IFFCO and Airtel are the private players operating in this area.
  • Women respondents were also present but they didn't have much information regarding cost of cultivation. They are involved in social welfare activities.
  • According to KVK expert Dr.B.B. Singh, even after repeated training on Phosphate Solubilizing Bacteria (PSB) culture, pesticide usage is not under check due to lack of awareness and low adaptability among farmers.
  • Due to proximity to the city land use conversion and rise in non farm employment is observed.
  • Ground water is the major source of irrigation. In some region lowering of the water table is experienced. According to expert-Dr.B.B. Singh mulching is a feasible alternative which is yet not adapted by the farmers of the region.
  • Labor scarcity is prominent in this region also, the expert holds MNREGA responsible for the same.
  • Though efforts were made to invite only the registered farmers some of those who attended still fell under the unregistered category. Also, some of the farmers changed their phone numbers without intimating the same to the KVK and thus could not be contacted. Some family members came to attend the programme in place of the actual registered farmer receiving the service which diluted the importance of their responses.

                     

                                                                                                                                                  Farmers @ KVK Varanasi

Farmers' responses

  • Predominance of middlemen is found when trying to sell grains.
  • According to one of the respondents banking services are poor and corruption is rampant.
  • Mostly farmers are unwilling to pay Rs.15-30 for the service.
  • Farmers want to receive information related to credit, animal husbandry, latest farming techniques, various government schemes, qualititative seeds, fertilizer etc from the KVKs.
  • Cooperation from the KVK scientists facilitated smooth progress of the survey. Also, the farmers were quite enthusiastic in providing information. A report was published about the survey in Dainik Jagaran (Varanasi) which can be seen by clicking on the link below:

http://in.jagran.yahoo.com/epaper/index.php?location=40&edition=2012-05-05&pageno=9#id=111739696871176760_40_2012-05-05