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Thursday, November 26th, 2020

Modifications in Centrally sponsored schemes “Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms”

INVC,, New Delhi,, The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs today approved the following modifications in the existing scheme “Support to State Extension Programs for Extension Reform” for implementation in all rural districts of the country during the remaining period of XI Five Year Plan: (i) Provision of specialist and functionary support at State, District, Block & Village levels; (ii) Revision in Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) Cafeteria to include some additional activities and to enhance unit costs in some cases. These include Third Party Monitoring & Evaluation, Support for Inter Departmental Working Group/State Nodal Officer, organisation of Farmer Development Workshops & Exhibitions and improved connectivity/mobility at different levels; (iii) Support to State Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institutes (SAMETIs) for creating essential infrastructure; and (iv) Delegation of powers to State Level Sanctioning Committee (SLSCs), set up under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, to approve the State Extension Work Plan (SEWP) prepared under the Extension Reforms Scheme. The total outlay of the modified scheme will be Rs.2866.02 crore, with Government of India share of Rs.2382.20 crore and State share of Rs.483.82 crore. The modified scheme shall be implemented in all the rural districts of the country except 12 districts in Assam which are presently covered under the World Bank assistance. These districts will also be covered after withdrawal of the external support. Background: In order to overcome systemic constraints being faced by the Extension system in the country with regard to the reduced capacity of public extension services and lack of decentralized and demand-driven focus, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms” was launched in the year 2005-06. The Scheme envisages providing better policy directions and funding support to States to help them revitalize their extension systems for empowering the farming community and to achieve the desired rate of growth in agriculture sector. Under the scheme, sustained efforts are being made to provide fillip to major extension reforms such as bottom-up planning, broad-based extension delivery, involvement of multi-agency extension service providers, farmer-centric extension services and main-streaming gender concerns in agriculture by introducing innovative and progressive arrangements at different levels viz. State, District and Block. However, these arrangements were found lacking in four vital areas viz. (i) absence of formal mechanism to support extension delivery below the block i.e. at village level; (ii) lack of qualified manpower support at all levels; (iii) inadequate infrastructure support at State Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institutes (SAMETIs); and (iv) lack of convergence with other schemes of Centre and State. The modifications in the scheme will address all these concerns. images115

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