Research Studies

Social Benefits of Agri-Clinics and Agri-Business Centers (AC&ABC) Scheme

The impacts of agricultural extension programs are usually measured in terms of increase in yield and income of the farmers, and enhancement of knowledge, skills and change in attitude of both extension workers and farmers. However, resultant social benefits, which really impact the living standards of the farmer’s family, are not part of the impact studies though such social benefits are very important. The AC&ABC scheme is not an exception. Several studies conducted on impact of the scheme have been restricted to quantifiable parameters only.

However, informal feedback from the field indicates social benefits such as reduction in rural-urban migration, attracting qualified professionals to rural areas, gender empowerment, health and education awareness and perceiving agriculture as a respectable profession. It has been ten years since the scheme was launched, and it is high time now to examine the benefits accrued at the entrepreneur level and at the farmer level. In the light of this background, this study has been initiated to measure the tangible and intangible benefits accrued to the agripreneurs and farmers and to document the case studies on social benefits.

This study is being carried out in five states viz., Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Assam representing various regions of the country, based on the number of agriventures established under the scheme during the period April 2002 to December, 2009. The same criteria are used for the selection of districts in each state. The districts are – Varanasi, Patna, Bangalore, Pune and Kamrup.

It is observed from the secondary data that about 7000 agriventures were established in 32 different activities. A sample of 160 agripreneurs will be selected among the five states, based on the proportionate share in total number of agriventures established, at the rate of five agripreneurs for each of the 32 activities. A total of 480 farmers at the rate of three farmers receiving the services from each agripreneur will be selected randomly from these five states for the study.