GLIMPSE OF SUPPORT TO STATE EXTENSION REFORMS PROGRAMMES (ATMA)
A number of extension programmes have been implemented over the years during both pre- and post-Indian Independence for the delivery or transfer of agricultural technology to the farmers through non-formal education some of which include the Gurgaon project, Marthandam project, Sriniketan project, NES, CDP, IADP, Training and Visit Extension Programme etc. These projects have ensured all round holistic development of the rural populace.
The Training and Visit Programme saw much success. However, owing to certain drawbacks of this programme , the Government of India through the Ministry of Agriculture and the assistance of MANAGE, Hyderabad designed a new Extension Pilot Project correcting these limitations and adding some more reforms. Thus, with much success achieved through this pilot project, the GoI officially launched the new Centrally Sponsored Scheme called “Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension reforms” and started setting up of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in 588 rural districts in India in 2005 to implement this scheme.
ATMA in Nagaland was set up in 2005 first in three districts- Kohima, Dimapur and Mokokchung and later replicated in all the rest districts by 2008.
Characteristics of ATMA Programme.
- Set up to support existing extension programmes in the state.
- Is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme.
- Managed at the Centre by Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Agriculture, Co-operation and Farmers’ Welfare (DACFW), GoI.
- Implemented through the State Department of Agriculture through Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) across the districts.
What is ATMA?
- Is a registered society registered under Societies Registration Act of 1860.
- Is a non-governmental Organization
- Is an autonomous body responsible for delivering Agriculture and Allied extension services to the farmers.
- Is the extension arm for all Agri and Allied departments.
The Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) aims to facilitate and strengthen extension delivery system in the state through gap filling mode so as to ensure effective and all round location specific technology transfer to the farmers through participatory approach thereby making extension system farmer driven and farmer accountable.
- To ensure an integrated, broad-based extension delivery mechanism consistent with farming system approach with a focus on bottom up planning process.
- To adopt group approach to extension
- To facilitate convergence of farmer centric programmes in planning, execution and implementation.
- Encourage multi-agency extension strategies involving public/private extension service providers.
- Address gender needs and concerns.
- Adopt Decentralized Decision making in planning through bottom up approach.
- Integrate with line departments, research centres and SAUs.
- Formation of farmers’ groups-CIGs/FIGs/FSGs and FPOs.
- Public-private Extension Partnership.
- It is ensured that at least 50 % and 30% reservation is given for small and marginal farmers and women farmers to participate in all the ATMA programmes.
ATMA at the district level functions in convergence with all AGri and Allied departments under the umbrella of ATMA Governing Board and ATMA Management Committee with the Deputy Commissioner and the District Agriculture Officer as the Chairman respectively. The agency at the block level operates under the Block Technology Team with a BTT Convener as the head and a set of extension functionaries from Agri and Allied departments and ATMA Support staff. The team is also supported by the Block Farmers’ Advisory Committee (BFAC) alongwith Farmer friends (FFs) for identification, planning and execution of all farmers’ extension programmes.
ATMA Mokokchung operates to implement all its programmes to cover all the blocks of the district viz- Changtongya, Chuhcuyimlang, Kobulong, Mangkolemba, Longchem, Ongpangkong North, Ongpangkong South, Tsurangkong and Tuli blocks.
ATMA Works With
- All line departments
- Research institutions and Agriculture Universities.
- NGOs and Private Extension Agencies
- Other stakeholders dealing with agriculture extension in the district
CAFETERIA OF ACTIVITIES
- Preparation of Five Yearly Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP) and Annual District Agriculture Action Plans (DAAPS) through participatory Rural Appraisal.
- Training of farmers- Inter- State, Within- State and Block Level Farmers’ trainings.
- Demonstrations- Hands on method demonstrations and result demonstrations
- Farmers’ Exposure Visits- Inter- Sate, Within State and Block level Exposure Visits.
- Mobilization of farmers into groups, capacity building and provision of seed money
- Recognition and Felicitation of Individual farmers and Farmers’ groups with cash awards and citations.
- District Level Exhibitions/Kisan Melas
- Farm Information Dissemination through different media
- Field Days and kisan gosthis
- Joint visits of extension functionaries with KVK experts to farmers’ fileds
- Assessment, refinement, Validation and Adoption of Technologies and Short Term research Trials.
- Capacity Building and Skill Development Programmes for Extension Functionaries
- District Level innovative activities
- Setting Up and Operationalization of Farm Schools
- Linkage of Farmers’ Groups with financial institutions
- Active Involvement of ATMA Support Staff in Implementation of various Agri and Allied schemes including MOVCDNER, PMKSY, RKVY, FOCUS, UNDP programmes.