Extension Development in the Thanjavur District

Thanjavur District is located in southeastern India and is known as the “rice bowl” of the state of Tamil Nadu. There are over 2 million people who live in the district, however only 35% of this population is urbanized. This statistic is due to the fact that the Thanjuvar District is the most fertile region in the state. The district is rich in rivers, water and natural resources.

Extension Development in the Thanjavur DistrictThe success and potential of the Agricultural sector in this district inspired ICAAP to provide extension services to services to paddy farmers in Thanjavur district. These extension services were a part of a study conducted by ICAAP in partnership with IFPRI and IFMR in 2013 to study the relationship between the availability of credit and relevant and timely advice and the productivity of farmers. The purpose of the study was to gain a deep and thorough understanding of the agricultural extension mechanism through experiential learning and also to assess the efficacy and success of the knowledge and information obtained through the Advanced Agricultural Practice Knowledge Portal (ICAAP-IFPRI-TNAU collaboration).

ICAAP provides the technical advice portion of the study by offering extension tools and mechanisms. The technology that ICAAP offered was developed by International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and had a heavy extension emphasis. The result of the study demonstrated that the information and technology offered by ICAAP made an impact as the study showed significant yields (5-10%) as a result of the use and application of the technology and technical expertise offered by ICAAP.

ICAAP did a follow up study that broke down the extension mechanisms to assess and compare different channels of extension (human, tele-extension, etc.). The results help ICAAP discover that a hybrid of manual and tele extensions prove to be the most effective and thus will continue to offer mechanisms that combine the strengths of human interaction and technological support.