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Privatization of Extension

Privatization of Extension: Need of hour

Deepali Tewari


 In order to adopt the technology........

Agricultural Entrepreneurs additionally need assistance on...

  • Technological backup
  • Supply of Inputs
  • Market Information
  • Market Links and
  • Credit.

Problems in public extension system

  • Basic thinking is supply driven rather than demand driven.
  • Limitedly Focused on Farmers' Aspirations
  • Lack of location specific extension services
  • Extension services provided are general in nature
  • High cost, low impact of extension programmes,
  • Poor motivation of staff working at grass root level
  • Curative nature of extension services
  • Inadequate technical qualifications of VLW.
  • Incomplete extension services.
  • Inadequate internal organization structure
  • Inefficiency of extension personnel
  • Inappropriateness or irrelevance of extension content.
  • Dilution of impact

 What is privatization?

 Savas (1987) defined privatization as:

An act of reducing the role of government or increasing the role of private sector in an activity or in the ownership of assets.

 Private extension services are primarily of two types.

    1. The first is the entirely private type which is directly involved in farming activities through consultants, agri-business, agricultural input industries etc.
    2.  The second type consists of farmer's organizations, NGO's etc., which remain largely dependent on government subsidies

 Some successful examples of private sector initiative

 ITC's e-Chaupal

Background Information:

* Launched in June 2000,

* The largest initiative among all Internet-based interventions in rural India.

* 'e-Choupal' services today reach out to more than 3.5 million farmers growing a range of crops - soyabean, coffee, wheat, rice, pulses, shrimp.

* It is spread in over 31,000 villages through 5200 kiosks across six states (Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan)

* Future Plans: e-Choupal network will cover over 100,000 villages, representing 1/6th of rural India, and create more than 10 million e-farmers

 Who implements it?

* Implemented by CHOUPAL SANCHALAK

* Given the low levels of literacy in the rural sector,

* The role of the Choupal Sanchalak, the lead farmer of the village, is to facilitate physical interface between the computer terminal and the farmers


* ITC's extensive knowledge of agriculture.

* Effort of ITC has to retain many aspects of the existing production system.

* Company's commitment to transparency, and the respect and fairness with

* which both farmers and local partners are treated

 Mahindra Shubh Labh Company Ltd.

* The subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, has set up about 50 agri-centres.

* One-stop-shops for the farmers.

* These centers offer agri-consultancy, equipment rental and distribution and retailing of a wide range of inputs.

* The company will also facilitate crop loan disbursal through a tie up with ICICI.

* Farmer availing Mahindra Shubh Labh's package of services will thus have access to scientific farming practices, mechanised operations, a range of quality inputs including seeds and chemicals.

Tata Kisan Sansar

A chain of one-stop resource centres that provide end-to-end agri solutions for farmers.

* An upgraded set-up of the existing Tata Kisan Kendras,

* It is a unique initiative that will benefit farmers by providing them the latest techniques and modern farming concepts.

* Spanning three highly productive agricultural states, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana in first phase.

* To avail TKS services, a farmer can either become a member of "Tata Kisan Pariwar" or pay selectively for the services. Portal

* Created in 1999.

* An e-business created to bring the benefits of the Internet to India's rural population

* Partnership between Development Alternatives (DA), an NGO focused on promoting sustainable development in India, and its rural marketing arm, Technology and Action for Rural Advancement (TARA).

* The business combines a mother portal,, with a network of franchised village Internet centers, or TARA Kendras

 Relevance of Public Private Partnership (PPPs)

Ability to produce effective outcomes that would not otherwise be possible by either sector acting alone.


Pre-requisites for Successful PPPs

 * Alignment of Objectives

* Complementary Strengths

First collaboration

* Private - Public Partnership in Agricultural Extension Management",was launched bySri Digvijaya Singhji, Honorable Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh at Pawarkhed, Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh on November 5th, 2001 in the presence of 3000 farmers.

* It opened a new chapter in the history of agricultural extension in India.

* The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Director of Agriculture, Madhya Pradesh andChairman, Dhanuka Group.

* Aim was to work together in areas like

o Soil testing,

o Training, farmers tour programmes,

o Demonstrations,

o Transfer of technology through cyber dhabas,

o Agriculture fortnights,

o Establishment of markets and

o Providing credit facilities to farmers.

Steps in Implementing the P-P-P Strategy

* Conduct PRA and then develop a Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP) for each Project District

* Identify and evaluate "Success Stories"

* Determine most promising products/markets

* Organize farmers into groups i.e.Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) at village level & Farmer

* Associations (FAs) at block, district & state levels

* Farmer leaders are critical to the success of FIGs

* Exposure visits and demonstrations are used to motivate FIG members.

* Investigate markets to identify interested manufacturers or wholesale markets (i.e., avoid traders; shorten the supply chain to avoid middlemen.)

* Collaborate with research (SAU, ZRS or KVK) to develop and test production and post-harvest technologies and then train FIG members to produce to contract specifications.



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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.