There is an urgent need to accelerate agricultural growth to address issues on food security, nutritional adequacy, and rural income generation, Employment and poverty. Despite higher promotion per capital availability of food over time has not increased significantly. The urban and rural divide and regional disparities are on the increase.
Based on this fact, the Agro-Ecological Situation (AES) approach evolved under National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP). This participatory approach is crucial here not only to increase the relevancy of a programmed but also to make best use of available indigenous knowledge. The qualitative difference as compared to other existing projects lies in the fact that NATP is based exclusively upon bottom-up approach. Under NATP, Jharkhand state covering 22 districts fairly representing Agro-Climate Zone (ACZ), have been selected where Agricultural Technology management Agency (ATMA) as an autonomous body at the district level has been established for new institutional arrangements. These aim towards integrated extension delivery, adopting bottom up planning procedure, establishment of linkage among research-extension-farmer-NGO’s / Corporate sector market, making the technology dissemination farmer driven and farmer accountable, ensure women participation in agriculture and create information connectivity to all blocks with district level ATMA with an ultimate aim of economic emancipation of the farming community.
According to some experts, higher degree of efficiency, quick decision, starting of activities without delay are some of the positive aspects of planning from Top. They also see certain disadvantages in the participatory planning process, viz., it is time consuming, discussion and decision-making process within large and heterogeneous group on different levels is difficult and complicated. The negative side of planning from above is low social acceptance as transparency is not ensured and people are less willing to participate in the implementation process. The long tradition of development planning from ‘outside’ and from ‘above’ is in itself not too impressive. People’s involvement in planning is now being recognized by all as essential for rural development. The true essence of participatory planning and participatory monitoring & Evaluation (PM & E), lies in total involvement and decision-making by people at every stage of Project Formulation, Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation. The objective of ITD Component are to increase quality of technology being disseminated by the existing extension system to become more demand driven and responsive to solving farmers problems, Strengthen research extension farmer linkage, increase the financial sustainability of the public extension system more towards shared ownership of the agriculture technology system and generate replicable experience that can be documents, analyzed and used in other areas.
For achieving the objectives of the ITD component under institutional arrangements and operational changes Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) registered society under Societies Registration Act 1860 has been established in Giridih district in March 2008 it serves as the local paint for integrating research and extension activities and for decentralizing and extension units with the each district including KVK, Key line departments and farmers representatives would become constituent member of the ATMA. ATMA would have linkage with all the line departments of the government and research organization and other non-Government organization (NGOs) and agencies associated with agricultural development in the district for the ATMA ha to develop driven situation specific multi act oriented strategic research extension plan in the project district .The SREP is the basic document which not only decides the development activities that need to be carried out but also in which manner and by whom it is to be done.
A number of Management tools have been developed which are helpful in facilitating farmers involvement in an effective manner. Based upon these tools, participatory methodology has been worked out for preparing the Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP). The present document has emerged through application of such tools in a limited number of villages by selected Multi-disciplinary team of Giridih district. The SREP has two sections i.e. diagnostic section and strategy section. In the diagnostic section, information about the district and different Agro-ecological situations along with analysis of participatory data at the selected villages