About ATMA

Indian agriculture has made spectacular progress in the last few decades.Adoption of high yielding varieties, use of fertilizers and chemicals during a phase termed Green Revolution had increased food production from 58.0 mt in 1950 to 200.0 mt in 1998-99. The achievement of green revolution has so far been limited to food crops only and that too to a limited extent in Jharkhand. Green revolution could have been a reality only if it satisfied the multiple needs of the rural economy.

The present system of planning and implementation of agriculture and allied development programme is centralized and mainly top-down in nature which is done in isolation and not done with the involvement of end users and benificiaries.The problem in agriculture and allied sector differ strikingly from situation to situation.

Broadening the agriculture extension system in technology dissemination involving the stakeholders, farmers in programme planning and implementation is considered to be very essential. Sharing responsibility of agriculture extension by NGOs and private sector is to be initiated and strengthened. It is becoming increasingly evident that public extension by itself can no longer respond to the multifarious demands of farming systems. There is a need for appraisal of the existing agriculture extension systems to address effectively, contemporary and future needs of the farming community.

Previous research and extension planning of the Government no doubt made an important contribution to agriculture development, but it needed to be overhauled to meet the technological needs of farmers during the 21st century.

The changing economic scenario in India and Jharkhand like the need for appropriate agricultural technologies and agro-management practices to respond to food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation, diversifying market demand, export opportunities and environmental concerns are posing new challenges to the technology dissemination system. It is expected that future agricultural growth would largely accrue from improvements in productivity of diversified farming systems with regional specialization and sustainable management of natural resources, especially land and water. Effective linkages of production system with marketing and agro-processing; and developing an army of trained Private Extension Service Providers, and other value added activities would play an increasing role in the diversification of agriculture.

The agro-climatic planning approach was intended to take an integrated view of the agricultural economy in relation to resource base and linkages with other sectors implying future agricultural development specific to agro-eco regions with a multi disciplinary approach. Several key system constraints of previous extension system such as multiplicity of technology transfer system, narrow focus on agricultural extension lack of farmers focus and feedback, inadequate technical capacity within extension system, lack of local capacity to validate and refine technology, limited research-extension linkage, poor communication capacity, inadequate operating resources for extension etc. were identified.

Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) a registered society under Societies Registration Act 1860 has been established in Khunti district in 2008. Its serves as the focal point for integrating research and extension activities and for decentralizing day to day management of the public agricultural technology system. All research and extension units within the each pilot district including KVK, ZRS, BAU or sub-stations, key line departments and farmersí representatives would become constituent members of the ATMA. ATMA would have linkages with all the departments of the government and research organization and other non-government organizations (NGOs) and agencies associated with agricultural development in the district. For this ATMA has to develop demand-driven, situation specific, multi actor oriented Strategic Research 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 SREP. The present document has emerged through application of such tools in limited number of villages by selected multi-disciplinary team of Khunti district. The SREP has two sections i.e. diagnostic section and strategic section. In the diagnostic section, information about the district and different agro-ecological situations along with analysis of participatory data at the selected villages and SWOT analysis of the existing farming systems are covered. In the strategy section the proposed research and extension strategies and various activities under each strategy are explained. The modalities and operational guidelines are also indicated in the SREP.