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In VFPCK, the extension
approach is marked with features like office-less extension, frequent farm and
home visits by professionally qualified extension personnel and mass awareness
programmes like campaigns, demonstrations etc. The extension officers of VFPCK
include Managers, Deputy Managers and Assistant Managers who operate based on
a preset schedule and are always accessible to the farmers. They regularly visit
fields, give farmers the necessary technical advice and other supports. This helps
farmers to appraise their problems and solve them. Unlike the traditional system
of agricultural extension, VFPCK functions through the dissemination of information
which is routed through the Master Farmers and transfer of technology at farmers'
door steps. The highlights of extension are as under:
Pest and disease surveillance and early warning system
Pest and disease surveillance and forecasting system provides advanced information
on the possible occurrences of pest and diseases so that the farmers can take
adequate precautionary measures against pest and disease attack. Plots of major
crops will be selected for pest and disease surveillance in each district. The
professionally qualified field staff will regularly monitor the plot and the
information will be recorded in the observation cards regularly. Accordingly,
the message including pest and disease management practices will be communicated
to the farmers.
Farmer Field Schools (FFS)
Farmer Field Schools are conducted for the purpose of helping farmers to discover
and learn about field ecology, agronomy and to adopt integrated pest management.
The discussions are carried out in the fields, which can be called the ‘class
room without walls’.
Demonstration is a very effective extension method to disseminate new technology.
VFPCK demonstrates proven technologies to farmers to convince them about the
feasibility and applicability of new practices. Scientifically proven practices
such as ‘Box Method’ of vermi composting, preparation of organic
pesticides like Neem oil emulsion, Neem oil-castor oil emulsion, safe handling
of pesticides, high yielding varieties, improved production technologies etc.
are demonstrated to farmers. SHG farmers visit the demonstration plots to have
a first hand experience of the techniques. In addition to this, the outcome
of the demonstrations is discussed in SHG meetings.
VFPCK organises campaigns to create mass awareness and invoke collective action.
Through campaigns, extension messages reach maximum number of people at the
shortest possible time. Need based campaigns are organised on the following
- Vermi composting,
- Organic farming,
- Straight fertilizer use,
- Control of diseases like Kokkan and Pseudostem borer in banana.
- Credit repayment.