Journal of Extension Systems

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1986, Volume 2(2), December

O. S. Verma, Editorial

  1. Verma, O. S.  Communication Quotient: A Scale Devised to Measure Personal Influence.
  2. Lionberger, H. F. Functional Requirements for Agricultural Research-Extension Systems: A Mix of RD & D and IPPS Sub-systems.
  3. Singh, L. & R. K. Sharma. Rice Production Systems: Neck-deep of Constraints Causing Concern to Paddy Growers.
  4. Reddy, K. P. Extension Systems Interaction with Research and Client Systems: An Inter-System Analysis.
  5. Rani, A. & A. Malaviya. Media Mix Systems: Low Cost Nutritious Recipes Communication: Method Demonstration-cum-Flip-Chart the Best.
  6. Kakoty, H. N. & T. S. Sohal. Cross-Breeding Systems and Management Inputs: A Valency of Incentives to Small Dairy Farmers.
  7. Chowdhary, M., H. Nand & Makhija, V. K. Contact Farmers Under T & V System: Conformity to the Roles Expected.
  8. Pathak, S. & A. K. Majumdar. Communicators' Attributes: Determinants of Communication Fidelity.
  9. Singh, G. & J. Kaur. Farm Advisory Services: A Beacon of Land Grant Universities—Haryana Agricultural University: A Case in Point.
  10. Karami, E. Agricultural Extension in Development Theory: Some Conceptual and Empirical Considerations.
  11. De, D. & G. S. Bangarva. Wheat Production Technology: Cost-Incentive Dormant Technical Knowhow.
  12. Verma, O. S. & V. V. Bhaskar. Scientists' Productivity: A Sum Total of Research, Teaching, Extension and Miscellaneous Activities-Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment Systems.

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For the last several decades, we have been heavily relying on Sociometry for identification of opinion leaders in our societies. Although O.S. Verma in his paper entitled "Communication Quotient" has devised a new scale to locate influential leaders in village societies, he too initially used Sociometric Technique in raw data collection. He has claimed that his CQ-scale can be used in a wide variety of group situations under certain assumptions. It can be a political party, a club, an association, a society, a village, and even a town. The impetus to this kind of research is indeed the land-mark in interpersonal interactions.

In his article, Prof. Lionberger has focussed squarely on functional requisites of information systems, their importance and implications for research-extension system planning. His RD & D and IPPS sub-systems mix is basically an information generating, transforming, and disseminating-use system and not Extension as a whole. His functional model is, therefore, a part of the series. Need still exists to develop: (1) Structural Management Model of Extension Systems, (2) Academic Discipline model, (3) Resources model, (4) Knowledge systems model, and (5) Administrative Control systems model. Some body has to put his weight on this challenge.

In rice production systems, Labh Singh and R.K. Sharma found several very important constraints that are faced by majority of Indian farmers. They have chiefly reported that the high cost of production inputs, inadequacy of supplementary factors, non-provision of regulated markets, and lack of technical guidance have been the major constraints which have adversely affected the rice production potential of Paddy growers. Almost similar findings have also been reported by Dipak De and G.S. Bangarva in their "Wheat Production Technology" article. They found that 75 per cent gap in wheat technology utilization is mainly attributed not only to high cost of production factors like fertilizers, herbicides, and agro-chemicals but also to dormant technical know-how of the farmers. These findings, therefore, only suggest that the cost reduction mechanism and strengthening of extension agencies network, a two-pronged strategy, need to be geared or constraint-tree wheat and rice production systems.

Inter-systems analysis carried out by Pandarinath Reddy indicates that practically all the methods and media that provide access to the latest research developments in the field of science and technology have been extremely low on the part of extension personnel. In his paper Dr. Reddy has, therefore, suggested that organising frequent seminars and workshops for extension personnel especially for the village level functionaries, to exchange ideas with the scientists, is a need of the hour. He has further suggested that the potential sources of communicative interactions like field days, exhibitions, cattle fairs, film shows, and publications should frequently provide a platform to extension workers so as to get them into the mainstream of technology diffusion process.

Although in their study on Media-mix systems, Asha Rani and A. Malaviya have reported that Flip-Chart and Flash-Cards when mixed with Method Demonstration are the most effective systems in increasing knowledge and knowledge retention, doubts still persist as to whether the knowledge gain and retention is a permanent feature month after month and year after year. It is also to be seen whether this finding is true in different settings with different technologies on different clientele.

The only Dairy stream paper comes from H.N. Kakoty and T.S. Sohal on "Cross-Breeding Systems and Management Inputs". Authors have reported that the cross-bred catle is the largest single incentive force which has aroused desire in small farmers to own a dairy farm. It is further claimed that with modern management inputs the cross-bred cattle farming systems can give a fillip to India's dairy development programmer. These two gamuts are found to have caused adoption of modern farm technology to the extent of 85 per cent and are, therefore, a valency of incentives to small dairy farmers.

These days, a lot has been talked about T & V System. The study conducted by Chowdhary, Hiranand, and Makhija on "Contact Farmers Conformity to the Roles Expected" has been a stepping stone in the right perspective. However, it could have been a befitting reference had the authors read luminous material on T&V System published by a seeded Rural Sociologist, Dr. Michael M. Cernea of World Bank. His volumes notably: (1) Agricultural Extension by Training and Visit System—The Asian Experience, (2) Research-Extension-Farmer—A Two-way Continuum, and (3) Putting People First—-Sociological Variables in Rural Development: are really domain in the field of extension systems practice. I have all praise for Dr. Cernea for these valuable publications.

In order to make extension personnel more effective in their communication pursuits, it is imperative to improve their communication skill, develop in them a desirable attitude, and advance their knowledge base. In their paper, S. Pathak and A. K. Mazumdar have found that these three attributes together can predict communicator's fidelity to the extent of 63 per cent. Their suggestion that these traits can be enhanced through T & V system appears to be quite relevant. However, developing twin virtues like need achievement and need to promote common good are equally significant systems to achieve improvements in communication behaviour.

Farm Advisory Service has been an integral component of Land Grant University System. In their article, Gian Singh and Jasbir Kaur have reported that Haryana Agricultural University is a beacon of Land Grant Universities. The HAU Farm Advisory Service has been delivering farm goods at the door-steps of 3 lakh farmers every year through eleven Krishi Gyan Kendras spread over eleven district headquarters. The lab to land programme is said to have doubled the farm yield of poor farm families. These are indeed staggering achievements.

Several development theories are now available in literature. Agricultural Extension has a number of Systems working at present on one or the other dimensions of these theories. It, however, still could not make any head-way impact on rural development. This view is argued by Ezatollah Karami in his article "Agricultural Extension in Development Theory". He commented that this failure is largely attributed to the questionable validity of Extension Organisations. In addition, he partly blamed Diffusionists as they too could not provide us the suitable theoretical background for building Agricultural Extension Systems. He has, therefore, suggested that derivation of some alternative concepts together with their empirical base is a necessity for extension model building. He worked along these lines and found that Integrated Rural Development approach adopted by the Rural Service Centres in Iran did not take several independent variables (like land-man ratio, village development parameters, and wheat production per household etc.) into account while planning and implementing extension programmes. This is where we have to devise our Agricultural Extension approach in rural development.

It will not be an exaggeration if we confer the title "Academic Excellence" on the PAS-Scale developed by O.S. Verma and V.V. Bhaskar for assessing scientist’s productivity. In the present day crisis of Confidential Report Systems, particularly in research-based organizations, the PAS-Scale can really bring a sigh of relief to a number of scientists who have been the victims of subjective assessment. This Scale will perhaps have world-wide implications, at least in methodological terms. However, I feel, further research is still called for in two dimensions: (1) Time allocation to various research steps delineated in Table 3, and (2) Fixation of Norms on number of papers/articles a scientist should publish every year. The PERTICPM technique can work out the time allocation and Delphi technique can offer solutions to the norm fixation problem.

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Verma, O. S.  Communication Quotient: A Scale Devised to Measure Personal Influence, 10-20.

In all groups, large or small, personal influence has been largely vested in a few hands who are always sought after in almost all arena of group activities. Those hands are called as Key-communicators (Singh, 1965 and Shankeriah, 1969), Polymorphic Opinion Leaders (Merton, 1949), Opinion Leaders (Rogers, 1964), and Multiple Area Communicators (Verma, 1970). For quite long, identification of these influentials has been a matter of controversy as no two studies have adopted a single approach. In this paper, attempts are made to devise a unified single instrument to locate influential persons in a society.

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Lionberger, H. F. Functional Requirements for Agricultural Research-Extension Systems: A Mix of RD & D and IPPS Sub-systems, 21-31.

Functions that must be performed by any system to service the specialty informational needs of people are abstracted from: (1) the 100 year land grant (people service) university experience, (2) research on how such systems operate, and (3) on how people arrive at "thought out" adoption decisions. These functional requisites are presented as basic referents for assessing the adequacy of any system to supply science based specialty information to people. The functional sequences are regarded as universal musts. The two sub-systems together, the RD & D and the associated IPPS, are able to address about any kind of information generation use problem that arises (Lionberger and Gwin, 1983). Neither sub-system alone will suffice as experiences clearly show. Failure to properly address information generation problems of user clienteles is likely to be a governance not a system adequacy problem.

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Singh, L. & R. K. Sharma. Rice Production Systems: Neck-deep of Constraints Causing Concern to Paddy Growers, 32-35.

Almost 80 per cent paddy growers in Kurukshetra district of Haryana State are buried neck-deep with several constraints which have badly affected their rice production potential. Production inputs are beyond their reach simply because the cost of these inputs is exorbitant. Supplementary factors like electricity for running tube-wells, diesel for engines, and labour for farm operations are all not only costly but also scarce. Marketing of their produce has been exploited by the traders and the farmers have not been provided with technical guidance as to how to get rid of this exploitation. These findings, therefore, apparently suggest that there is an urgent need of a constraint free tactical planning for paddy growers so as to tap up their rice production potential. Technology break-through alone is not enough unless it matches with the farmers utilization systems.

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Reddy, K. P. Extension Systems Interaction with Research and Client Systems: An Inter-System Analysis, 36-42.

In India, extension personnel in general and para-veterinary village level functionaries in particular have almost no access to modern methods of research communication systems. This fact is corroborated by the findings of this study carried out in Andhra Pradesh Department of Animal Husbandry. The methods and media that provide access to the latest developments in the field of Science and Technology are poorly exposed to extension personnel right from district level headquarters to grassroot village level structure. Their interaction with farmers via farmer-oriented communication systems, however, is tolerable, The three media: (1) Farm and Home visits, (2) Office calls, and (3) Meetings are found to be quite effective for EP-FC interactions.

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Rani, A. & A. Malaviya. Media Mix Systems: Low Cost Nutritious Recipes Communication: Method Demonstration-cum-Flip-Chart the Best, 43-45.

Comprehension power of Indian illiterate rural women is not disappointing especially when compared with Indian School going youths of today. A sizeable 10 per cent young rural women in Hisar district of Haryana State have shown a complete 100 per cent retention of technical know-how on low-cost nutritious food recipes technology when communicated through Method Demonstration -cum-Flip -Chart. By any standard, this is a remarkable performance Data presented in Table 1 on relative effectiveness of different media-mix systems show that besides Flip-chart, the Flashcards mixed with Method Demonstration has also been equally effective in technology introduction programmes. These findings, therefore, suggest that the village extension workers should invariably make use of Flip-chart and Flash-cards in their technology communication pursuits particularly when dealing with rural women.

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Kakoty, H. N. & T. S. Sohal. Cross-Breeding Systems and Management Inputs: A Valency of Incentives to Small Dairy Farmers, 46-49.

In order to give a fillip to India's dairy development programmes, it is imperative to increase the valence of cross-breeding systems with modern management inputs. This is so because majority of small farmers have perceived cattle breeding a single external force which has aroused in them a desire to adopt dairy farming. This is a largest single factor which has consequential effect on the adoption of all other subsequent factors of production. It is evident by the fact that 85 per cent of the total variation in technology adoption is explained by this factor alone.

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Chowdhary, M., H. Nand & Makhija, V. K. Contact Farmers Under T & V System: Conformity to the Roles Expected, 50-54.

Under T & V System of Extension, some farmers are conferred a status of Contact Farmers who are expected to play certain roles. In this study, five such roles are identified as presented in the Table. The data show that almost in all these five roles, well over 70 per cent contact farmers turned up to be what they were expected of: (1) opinion leadership, (2) real farmership, (3) farmers representative, (4) demonstrating willingness, and (5) diffused influence. Conformity to the roles expected of the contact farmers is, therefore, kept as high as 70 per cent. It appears a sizeable 30 per cent contact farmers were wrongly chosen as they did not conform to any of these five roles they were expected of.

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Pathak, S. & A. K. Majumdar. Communicators' Attributes: Determinants of Communication Fidelity, 55-59.

The effectiveness of extension personnel largely depends upon the quality of their own attributes like communication skill, knowledge level, and attitude orientation. This study carried out on 30 extension workers in West Bengal has found that these three attributes together predicted communicator's fidelity to the extent of 63 per cent. Extension workers who are poorly equipped with the encoding- decoding skills, acquired sub-standard knowledge, and carried indifferent attitude turned up less effective in their communication pursuits. Perhaps these traits can be enhanced through T&V systems.

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Singh, G. & J. Kaur. Farm Advisory Services: A Beacon of Land Grant Universities—Haryana Agricultural University: A Case in Point, 58-60.

The ICAR Lab-to-Land programme has resulted in doubling the farm yield of 1400 poor families adopted by the Haryana Agricultural University in just one year. The University-run KGKs located at 11 district headquarters are delivering farm good to 3.04 lakh farmers every year through various farm advisory services. This has induced farm skill acquisition in 45.7 per cent of them. Modernization in Farm technology utilization, however, has been dismal at only 15 per cent.

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Karami, E. Agricultural Extension in Development Theory: Some Conceptual and Empirical Considerations, 61-69.

Agricultural Extension has not made the head-way impact on rural development as expected in many under-developed countries. This failure can be largely attributed to the questionable validity of Extension organisations. It can partly be questioned as diffusionists approach as they have not provided the suitable theoretical ground for building Agricultural Extension Systems. Derivation of alternative concepts therefore, is a necessity for understanding planning, implementation and evaluation of Extension Systems and rural development programmes. In this article, attempts are made to suggest some empirical base for such extension model building.

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De, D. & G. S. Bangarva. Wheat Production Technology: Cost-Incentive Dormant Technical Knowhow, 70-73.

Wheat production technologies appear to have not generated goods to the expected of average Indian farmers. It is evident by the findings of this study carried out in Jaipur district of Rajasthan which reveals that despite two decades of green revolution more than 75 per cent gap in technology utilization is still existing on the farms of 75 per cent farmers. This gap is mainly because the production factors like fertilizers, herbicides, and agro-chemicals are not only costly in relation to the returns but also because the technical know-how are still deficient on the part of farmers. This obviously draws attention of agricultural scientists towards the fact that location specific adaptive research is very much need of the hour. Similarly, in order to furnish the farmers with the latest technical know how, extension agencies need to gear up their specialty informational systems.

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Verma, O. S. & V. V. Bhaskar. Scientists' Productivity: A Sum Total of Research, Teaching, Extension and Miscellaneous Activities-Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment Systems, 74-89.

Assessment systems of Scientists' productivity has been a subjective exercise in the past. The subjectivity element superseded objectivity merely because there was perhaps no ready-made mathematical formula available which could have been applied for appraising the scientists' performance. In this paper, attempts are made to construct such formula based on actual work done by the scientists in their research, teaching, extension, and miscellaneous assignments. The formula so developed called as PAS Scale takes fifty-fifty per cent care of quantity and quality aspects of scientists achievements. Productivity is viewed as a ratio between the marks a scientist makes in his research + teaching + extension + miscellaneous activities (Outputs) during a given period of time and the Maximum Marks he has the probability to achieve (Inputs). Research productivity is a function of Research Project Score and Publications Marks obtained in a particular period.

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