- International Convention
Agricultural Marketing Management Challenges in the
The National Institute of Agricultural
Extension Management (MANAGE) organized a two day International Convention on
"Agricultural Marketing Management Challenges in the Millennium"
during August 24 –25, 2000 at Hyderabad.
The convention was inaugurated by Shri
T.R.Verma, Director General, National Institute of Agricultural Marketing Jaipur.
In his address, Shri Verma called on the academics to suggest measures to offset
surpluses in some areas/crops with the deficits in other area / crops. Dr.
Mrutyunjaya, Director, National Centre for Agricultural Economics and policy
research, New Delhi, delivering the presidential address, emphasized the need to
keep efforts for increasing productivity going, building a strong market
information system, increasing the efforts for value addition and building a
network of marketing activities to assist the small and marginal farmers. Shri
A.K.Goel, Director General, MANAGE in his address
recalled the plight of the farmers who are often encountered with problems like
lack of transport, lack of information and low prices for their commodities
while marketing their produce. Dr. K.H.Vedini, Organising Secretary welcomed the
gathering and Dr. H.S.Vijaya Kumar proposed vote of the thanks. The conference
was attended by 90 participants. Seventy-five papers were discussed during the
deliberations. Four themes were identified for the convention and each was
chaired by an eminent agricultural economist.
The session on institutional framework had 23
papers presented on the existing institutional framework for marketing of
agricultural produce. Discussions were also held on the proposals for amendments
to agricultural produce (Regulation of marketing practices) acts of different
states. Papers which evaluated the performance of farmers markets such as the
ones in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh were also discussed. Methods of improving
marketing efficiency were proposed. The problem faced by regulated market in
implementing the regulations were discussed. The session also saw the merits and
demerits of contract farming and stressed on the need to bring down the
contracts in writing to safeguard the interests of the farmers. A paper from Sri
Lanka presented the functioning of social mobilization federation and its role
in marketing of fruits and vegetables. Finally it was suggested that the
academics should be oriented towards the stipulations of WTO, paternity and
export procedures for effectively researching on commodity exports.
In the session on "Pricing
Management" the papers observed that the temporal and seasonal variations
in prices of commodities had affected farm incomes in a big way. In commodities
such as groundnut, the price priorities were not favourable to the farmers. The
speakers felt that the minimum support price programmes should cover other crops
such as tapioca. Further, it was felt that in the functioning of parastatals
like FCI, CCI etc in market intervention there is much to be desired. It was
suggested that there should be adequately trained personnel in agriculture and
business management in the regulated markets for their effective functioning.
One of the sessions discussed matters on
policies for agricultural marketing in the context of globalization. A number of
issues were thrown up for discussion. These included quality management at grass
root level, education to farmers, quality management, absence of quality in
Indian Agricultural commodities, methods of maintaining quality, ISI, AGMARKS,
ISO standards, WTO stipulations and India’s position in World Trade vis-à-vis
the future requirements. A number of case studies such as those of fruits,
medical and aromatic plants, HACP etc were discussed. Finally it was decided
that the problem encountered by Indian agriculture for exports is clear and
suggestions must be put forward to overcome them.
A session on planning and management on
agricultural product markets was held to specifically focus on commodity –
specific markets. The problems faced in marketing of specific commodities were
discussed. Emphasis was laid on livestock markets. The existing structure,
conduct and performance of commodity markets was discussed and suggestions were
given for reforms in the market structure.
- (K. Venkateshwar Rao, Nodal Officer (IT))
Ahmednagar district is located at a distance
of about 120 kms from Pune. It is one of the NATP districts chosen in India for
a pilot district implementation study. The district is made up of 14 – blocks
called talukas. To establish the intranet / internet connectivity in the entire
district extension offices as well as line departments, the existing DOT
telephone communication linkages have been utilized with modem based Multimedia
Computers at all block level offices. The linkages are not only between blocks
of the district but also with Commissioner office at Pune; ATMA center,
Ahmednagar ; SAMITI, Nagpur; NATP cell at Pune agriculture office; Bahaleshwar
KVK; MPKV Rahuri Agriculture University and other line departments. The total
number of offices covered under e-mail connectivity are about 30 within
Ahmednagar district. These offices are equipped with Internet facilities to keep
in touch with the entire world by a click of a button.
The Internet facility is provided by VSNL at
all offices in Ahmednagar district with TCP/IP connectivity scheme of 500 Hours
subscription from Ahmednagar itself. The district service provider has the local
server at Ahmednagar itself. Hence the dialing number to use INTERNET as dial-up
connectivity comes under local phone billing. Hence extra investment for
telephone billing does not arise at all. This becomes an added advantage for
budget as well as speed of Internet browsing within the district.
An IT facilitator has been placed at the
district ATMA office to conduct training on computer applications, Internet
etc., trouble shooting any problems related to hard-ware as well as software for
all offices located in Ahmednagar district.
The Ahmednagar district e-mail yellow pages
are under publication in Marathi as well as in English which would serve each
and every district extension functionary as a regular contact communication
channel. This will be distributed to all the extension functionaries as well as
the line departments and allied coordinating department functionaries. This is
the info-revolution at hand.
The stages at which the final e-mail connectivity is going to
be established is as follows:
Phase I: All the district level units
and departments along with sub-district units connected with TCP/IP Dial-up
Phase II: Publishing and distribution of
the Ahmendnagar e-mail Yellow Pages of the extension functionaries and allied
coordinating agencies within as well as outside district.
Phase III: These centers are going to be
integrated virtually by Hosting a Multi-lingual Web Page with SMTP e-mail
connections as a single domain for inter-agency transmission of e-mail /
Phase–I and phase-II are in completion
stage. The implementation of the final stage i.e. Phase-III is under execution.
Once this is completed the total district will be in touch with the entire
extension community not only within the district but with the entire country as
well as the whole world.
- Greening Institutional Land
An earlier issue of the MANAGE Bulletin focussed on how
Institutional Greening at MANAGE was achieved through watershed strategy. This
is a story of an attempt at Greening NIAM, Jaipur.
In April, 1997 when the National Institute of Agricultural
Marketing was shifted to the new campus, it wore a desolate, barren and
veritable desert look. The area of 32 acres was pastureland, with wild bushes
and weeds. The undulating land, sandy soil, infested with termites did not
provide any scope for vegetative growth. Scanty rainfall, highly alkaline soil
pH, absence of silt and clay particles, poor organic matter with poor water
retention intake posed a big challenge for any plantation programme in the
campus. Plantation activity in this type of barren and sandy soil was therefore
a Herculian task. In our endeavour, however, to provide the Institute a lush
green environment, with lot of plantation and development of lawn area, the
following strategy was adopted to launch a massive plantation programme in the
Sturdy Plants of Gulmohar, Neem and
Amaltas, capable of
surviving even under adverse conditions were identified for plantation. The soil
texture was improved by mixing of black cotton soil with green manure to
increase the water holding capacity. Every basin with size of 2 to 2.5 feet
periphery with a mixture of 8 to 10 kg. Silt, clay, soil and compost manure was
mixed to improve fertility of soil and growth of plants. Verrmi compost and
compost manure once in every three months was added for growth of plants.
Plantation of 600 trees was undertaken in the month of May,
1997. All the pits were covered, after watering the plants with leafy cover of
banana leaves, with a view to retain moisture and to control the soil
temperature beneath the root zone. Regular watering was done to increase humus
leading to speedy growth of the plants. All the trees survived the oppressive
and sultry climate touching temperatures of 400C to 500C
in summer in Rajasthan.
To undertake massive plantation in rainy season the
undulating land was leveled in the month of May and June, 1997 and digging of
pits were completed in the entire area of the Campus, to take optimal advantage
of the ensuing Monsoon.
Massive plantation was started on 8th August, 1997
coinciding with the beginning of the ninth year of the inception of the
Institute. In making further area for plantation a legume crop Dhaincha was also
sown and at the flowering stage trampled in soil as a green manure use. Soil
Nitrogen thereby increased and it contributed supply of essential nutrients in
the fallow land.
About 6,000 trees were planted consisting of 100 species. As
a measure of development of plantation the rainwater was substantially utilized.
The development of plantation areas had mani-fold benefits such as decreasing
the water flow, containing soil erosion. Full absorption of water in the soil
led to increase in the ground water level and temperature decrease in the soil,
creating congenial humus conditions for plant growth as well as improving soil
quality. Deposition of silt, clay particles and retention of organic matter
tremendously helped in reducing the watering requirements. The addition of black
cotton soil in substantive quantity in almost all pits, lawn area paved way for
qualitative improvement in the sub-soil.
The development of the lawn area provided excellent support
for improvement of humidity and moisture retention. The incidence of shifting of
sand dunes and erosion of top soil was stopped leading to soil fertility and
As a measure of environment friendly input a unit of compost
and verrmicompost production was set up in the nursery to produce good quality
manure. The Institute is producing about 100 tonne vermicast manure every year.
The Institute has thus taken care of available vegetative residue on the Campus,
which is being used for mulching of soil and basins. Through this technique
available vegetative residues are being recycled producing quality manure. With
increased availability of vermicast and green manure intensive and extensive
plantation was undertaken during spring of 1998.
In 1998 during the rainy season, the saturation stage was
reached in the Campus with the plantation of 8,000 additional trees. The entire
staff, faculty and the trainees were also actively involved in the activities.
To effectively monitor the development of horticultural activity the entire area
has been divided in 7 blocks.
The activities of watering,
manuring, hoeing and weeding etc.
is being meticulously monitored on day-to-day basis in terms of the activities
taking place in all the 7 blocks. The monitoring schedule has been devised by
computersing the day-to-day activities. The computerized monitoring gives an
overview of the activities of watering, manuring and maintenance in plantation
area and lawn area.
The application of fertilizers, Ammonium
Phosphate and Potassium Sulphate mixture supplying to each tree is also proposed
for speedy growth, termite control, addition of manure. Neem application which
is environment friendly has also been proposed.
The Campus now has wealth of about 16,000 plants consisting
of 140 species. Some plant species especially acclimatized in the campus are
from different areas with different climatic conditions. These plants have been
given special attention in regard to hoeing/weeding and have sustained in the
difficult climatic condition of the campus. A combination of water conservation,
improved soil fertility and improved horticultural practices have transformed
the hitherto desert in to a blooming garden. The programme of beautification of
campus by horticultural and gardening development activity has been executed
successfully thus encompassing the activities of plantation, orchard development
in the campus within a short span one and half years viz. April 1997 to December
1998. The campus has become the visiting place of all Institutions keen to
replicate the successful efforts of plantation and horticultural activities in
their institutional areas. The Jaipur Municipal Council and the Jaipur
Development Authority are initiating the programme of greening Jaipur on the
lines of development activities executed by NIAM. The place is also being
frequently visited by tourists and those engaged in environmental improvement
The strategy adopted by NIAM, in terms of intensive and
extensive plantation in time bound manner if replicated in all other
institutional land would go a long way in our endeavor to greening the
institutional land as well as to endow it with wealth for posterity.
Trade Organization (WTO): and its implications on Indian Agriculture
MANAGE conducted a two-day seminar on "World Trade
Organization (WTO) and its implications on Indian Agriculture on July 18th
and 19th, 2000. The seminar was organized to discuss various issues
that may have a direct bearing on the farming community.
Sri A.K.Goel, IAS. Director General, MANAGE sensitized the
Govt. Officials, planners and policy makers about WTO and its implications on
Indian Agriculture. Prof. Samar K.Datta, IIM, Ahmedabad and Prof. Vijay Sardana,
Vice President, Agri-Net Solutions, New Delhi, were involved in conducting the
Sri Ramulu, a farmer from Chevella
Mandal, was invited for
inaugurating the seminar.
There were around forty participants including government
officials, administrators, planners, policy makers, agriculture scientist. The
participants exchanged their thoughts and ideas and made suggestions for
preparing the Indian economy in the light of International players entering into
the domestic market, as WTO is instrumental in engineering the trade in all
sectors in general and agriculture in particular.
The speakers of the seminar opined that as we have joined the
bandwagon by signing the agreement, we should stretch ourselves to see to it
that it should not hamper our interests. The seminar discussed matters relating
to General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade (GATT); strengthening the
competitive Edge of the Indian Food Industry; WTO Frame work for Indian
Sri Vadde Shobhanadreeswara Rao, Hon’ble Minister for
Agriculture presided over the second day session. He took an active role in
analyzing the various aspects of the WTO and its implications on Indian
Agriculture. He congratulated MANAGE for organizing a two day seminar on the
issue, which is of greater importance in the present day Indian context.
He indicated that he had a detailed discussion with Sri
Nitish Kumar, Hon’ble Union Minister for Agriculture regarding convening of
the meeting with line departments of different states to discuss about the WTO
& its implications on Indian economy with special reference to the
He said that the first and foremost thing was to educate the
farmer, who is the focal point in the context. Every possible help can be
extended to the farmers if the government had a strong view to do
"something good to the farmers",
In this regard he highlighted the innovative schemes of Govt.
of A.P. By using KU Band Information Technology, the state govt. is going to
start 4 separate channels out of which one channel will be exclusively for the
agriculture sector. Finally he requested the organizers of the seminar to "
come out with an executive summary which may be useful for making the policy in
black and white".
The seminar generated lot of enthusiasm among the
participants. The issues like benefits of neem cake, patent structure for
Basmati Rice Production, poultry industry, dairy & rice which are of greater
importance & relevance to the country in general & A.P. in specific were
discussed. Dr.K.H.Vedini, Programme Officer, MANAGE, coordinated the seminar.
for Information exchange
MANAGE is in the process of networking with agricultural extension training
and research institutions through IT connectivity. This is envisaged to emerge
as a network of agricultural research-extension institutions across the country.
The objective of establishing this network is to facilitate sharing of
information and help in capacity building of some of the institutions to enable
them to participate as equal members in the creation, sharing, and dissemination
of information. The idea is to
Enable exchange of ideas, and information, discuss new
To provide access to products and services of these institutions to a world
Create a platform for experience sharing by individual experts, NGOs, other
To provide access to institutional resources in terms of technology, advice
To facilitate a two way flow of information
This information network will provide access to National and international
literature ; In- house databases; Technological databases (Package of
practices); Statistical databases; Project information; Personnel database;
Library OPACs using the web as a platform.
In order to facilitate such a network at the local level, in Hyderabad to
start with, linkages are being established currently with Regional level
institutions e.g. Extension Education Institutes (EEI); National institutions
like DOR, and other Institutions of the Indian Agricultural Research system. The
plan is to include the Voluntary sector and also research stations spread over
different agro-climatic zones which will provide agro-ecological situation
specific data to extension managers , researchers at district and sub district
MANAGE has facilitated the process in DOR and the four Extension Educstion
Institutes (EEI) at Rajendranagar, Nilokheri, Anand and Jorhat. Extension
Education Institutes (EEI) at Rajendranagar and Anand and DOR are currently
accessible on the Internet and give access to information about the Institute;
Faculty; Training programmes; Research Projects; Education programmes and
The role of MANAGE has been to facilitate these institutions in Capacity
building of Trainers, researchers who are the users of such
a network, documentation specialists, and librarians to improve
information handling and management; preparing web-based content (e.g., a
home page); Digitizing relevant full text of the institution and making
such information available on the virtual platform. MANAGE would also be
facilitating institutions in Development of databases for wider access to
others; and to adopt standards and guidelines for information management.
1) Management Issues in Rainfed Agriculture India
(Editor - K.H. Vedini) Rs.250
The book emphasizes the importance of dryland to meet the needs of the
future. It is a comprehensive representation of the papers presented at the
National Symposium conducted on Rainfed Agriculture at MANAGE during 7-9, June,
2000. This book is a synthesis of twenty papers representing the original
research findings on various aspects of rainfed farming and its management. A
few are concept papers trying to project some of the issues associate with
prevailing scenario in rainfed economy.
2) FLORICULTURE : From Theory to Practice by
This book presents a detailed understanding of the management of floral
industry in Netherlands mainly emphasizing on pre-production market linkages and
post-production market linkages, which broadly includes raw material industry
and the product market. The present study explores the management aspects of the
Netherlands floral industry emphasizing on the auction platform, which is unique
to the study area.It focuses on three important aspects in general of the Dutch
floral industry .Firstly it explores the production and trade structure of the
study area, secondly the distribution pattern and networks and thirdly the
environmental issues. This gives an understanding that the environmental concern
is not only limited to health but also gaining importance in the ornamental
Strategic Research and Extension Plans
3) Strategic Research and Extension Plan of Ahmednagar
4) Strategic Research and Extension Plan of Dumka
As a part of the Innovations in Technology Dissemination component under the
NATP, two thrust areas are being tested out: introduction of decentralised
strategic planning and active participation of farmers through group approach in
the preparation of these plans. The first two of the Strategic Research and
Extension plans are ready for Ahmednagar and Dumka districts. These cover some
background information about the district, extension and developmental schemes
in the districts, identification and analysis of different enterprises
commodities within each agro-ecological situation, proposed research and
extension strategy. Based on the strategies an activity plan has also been
worked out as to guide the field personnel in their field programmes and also to
help the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) realise the potential
A journey through watersheds : Focus is on Watershed Development in Andhra
Pradesh: Indo-German Projects;Ralegaon Experience;Vanarai and MRRADA