The division is looking after training and extension activities of the institute apart from doing research on popularity of IIHR technologies, conducting demonstrations, communication of technologies through innovative extension methodologies etc. The division had a Trainers Training Center of the Indian Council and Agricultural Research (1976-1997) and an Advanced Training Center of the Directorate of Extension Government of India (1997-2003).
With the formation of the Horticultural Mission there is lot of demand from the state department of various states as well as farmers and private entrepreneurs for acquiring training on various aspects of horticulture. Hence, tailor made training programmes are now being conducted on the various aspects of horticulture for the varied clientele on payment basis.
It is the endeavour of the division to keep in tune with the technological requirements in horticulture and the latest developments in the field of information technology and accordingly various training programmes are being regularly conducted in the division.
The earlier heads of the division were Dr. A. B. Pal, Dr. T.R. Rao, Dr. Prabhu Kumar, Dr. Prasanna Kumar, Dr. M.R. Hegde.
To disseminate improved horticultural technologies through use of different extension methodologies.
To provide training to the farmers and horticultural officials in improved horticultural technologies.
To undertake research on socio-economic issues of horticultural farmers.
To conduct studies on gender mainstreaming in horticulture.
Research was conducted to identify technological gaps through PRA for the varieties and technologies developed by the Institute. Based on the feedback new projects have been initiated to bridge the gap.
The division has undertaken impact analysis of various horticultural technologies like foliar nutrition in banana, production technology of mushroom, IPM in vegetable crops, varieties and hybrids of various fruit, vegetable and ornamental crops, Fruit fly management in mango etc.
Documentation of innovative horticultural technologies under real farm situations is being undertaken.
In order to improve the efficacy and impact of training and to cater to the needs of the clientele continuous improvement are being done in training content and methodology though evaluation of training programmes.
Transfer of technology is being promoted through on farm participatory demonstrations for ensuring faster adoption of technologies.
The division is constantly in the lookout for application of Innovative Extension, Information and communication methodologies for transfer of Technology in Horticulture.
Study on gender mainstreaming in horticulture is a thrust area of the division.
Training of Trainers: The TTC at Hessaraghatta was established by the ICAR for imparting generalised field based skill oriented training programmes on various aspects of horticulture to different levels of extension/development functionaries in horticulture of the State Departments of Agriculture/Horticulture.
Technology Assessment and Refinement through Institute Village Linkage Programme (TAR- IVLP)
Technology Assessment and Refinement through Institute Village Linkage Programme (TAR- IVLP) was used as an effective programme for TOT programme of the institute. Many modules were implemented under rainfed ecosystem for a period of seven years (1997-2004) for achieving the quality production, enhancing the production and productivity and for saving of resources. Some of the important areas and crops in which technological interventions made by multi disciplinary team of scientists (Horticulture, Extension, Soil Science, Vegetable crops, Entomology, Veterinary science, Dairy technology, Economics & statistics, Animal nutrition and physiology, Forestry and ecology etc.) include staple food crops (Ragi, Jowar, maize) pulses (redgram, cowpea, field beans etc.) fruits (Banana, Mango, Papaya) Vegetables (Tomato, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brinjal) and Flower crops (China aster, Tuberose, Gladiolus), forestry, dairying, sheep and goats raring, Poultry, and other animal husbandry activities. These modules were implemented in selected villages of Doddaballapura Taluk in Bangalore rural district.
Farmer Participatory Demonstrations
Demonstrations have one of the most powerful tools for proving the worth of the technology, since the result itself speak for it. The institute has been involved in conducting demonstrations at the farmers’ field. For the past few years these have been intensified and presently various demonstration are being undertaken not only in Bangalore district, but also in other horticultural district of Karnataka as well as other states. Every year the division takes up more than 300 demonstrations in farmers field in different states with the linkage from other developmental organisations like KVK, Department of Horticulture, Department of Agriculture, Farmers organisations etc.
INNOVATIVE APPROACHES IN TECHNOLOGY DISSEMINATION
1. Farmer Field School
Farmers field schools (FFS) have emerged as effective transfer of technology tools for promoting IPM packages, as the experience shows in different countries. In this direction an effort is being made by the institute, to popularize the IPM package developed by IIHR, through Farmer Field School (FFS). The objective of the exercise was to convince have intensive interaction with the farmers where the technology is being demonstrated, in order to learn about the problems of the crop/technology at different stage. The concept enforces the “seeing is believing”. A team of scientist of the relevant discipline has a regular interaction with the farmer in an informal class at the demonstration field. One successful FFS conducted by the institute is on Integrated Pest management (IPM). The objective of the exercise was to convince the farmers about the philosophy of IP, the identification and effective management of pest and diseases by farmers through least use of chemicals.
2. Development of Techno agents for promotion of sustainable horticultural technologies:
India is a country with one-third of its population involved with agriculture or related activities. However, the network of developmental officers is far too small to cater to the growing needs since there is a lot of advancement taking place. Moreover, at times technologies disseminated are discontinued after the invention is withdrawn. Therefore, in order to promote sustainable horticultural technologies in villages the institute has initiated the development of techno agents. The agents are developed with the aim of having effective linkage mechanism between the horticultural research institutes, development agencies and farmers. Indian Institute of horticultural Research and many other institutes form the National agricultural research system has developed many low cost, less input intensive, eco friendly technologies that are compatible with the village socio economic and ecological system. But their adoption at the farmers’ level is very poor because of a variety of reasons. To increase adoption and assure spread of technology farmers have to be involved in the dissemination of technologies in a more systematic and continuous manner. The techno agents are from the village/farming community itself, who are sufficiently trained and facilitated to disseminate the technologies among the neighboring farming community also. This helps villagers in developing a sense of empowerment among the farmers for the dissemination of horticultural technologies/ programme, through their continuous involvement and participation.
3. Use of video conferencing for training
4. Interaction with innovative farmers
5. Mobile voice messaging of horticultural interventions and technologies.
GROUP AND MASS COMMUNICATION APPROACHES
Realising the importance of communicating information on new technology through extension literature, the institute has brought out 113 attractively printed and illustrated extension bulletins and folders. These extension folders are being printed in English, Hindi and the regional languages like Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam also.
Field days provide the forum for getting rich learning experience by large groups of farmers at a time, by visits to demonetization plots and interaction with scientists who have evolved the new varieties and technologies. A series of general field days covering many crops, individual crop oriented field days within the campus and mini field days in farmers' fields are being organized periodically. Since inception, 68 field days have been organized by the Institute.
The institute has been organising exhibitions at the institute as well as participating at the exhibitions held locally at Lalbagh, Bangalore, the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore and also at other places all over India. Since inception the Institute has participated in over 158 exhibitions.
T.V. and Radio Talks
The scientists of the Institute have given more than 250 talks on various aspects of horticulture so far. A total of 12 video films on various aspects of horticulture procured from the Films Division, GOI. of India, Directorate of Extension, New Delhi, and recorded from Bangalore Doordarshan programme are also being utilized to disseminate new technologies to visitors and trainees.
Interaction and Awareness group Meetings
The institute regularly organizes interaction meetings with farmers, horticultural officials in order to get acquaint the clientele with the latest technological development as well as for getting a feedback about the constraints faced in order to guide the future programmes carried out in the institute.
Mobilising mass media support for sharing agro information: Three media meets were conducted in Hyderabad and Bangalore to provide first hand information about the ICAR technologies to the media persons.
Development of information system for IIHR technologies: E- Learning module in HTML for carnation and tomato cultivation have been developed which includes information on varieties, cultivation practices for open, greenhouse, organic production etc.
Identification of technological Gaps through PRA for bridging the gap through appropriate technological interventions.
Develop different training modules for efficient first line transfer of technology
Transfer of the technology through farmer participatory demonstrations of new technologies from IIHR and their refinement through feedback analysis.
Documentation of innovative horticultural practices & their validation.
Development of innovative extension modules for efficient transfer of technology at various stages of adoption
Identification of gender issues in horticulture.
Identification of technologies for different agro-climatic regions for sustainable development at grass root level
Principal Scientist and Head
Division of Social Sciences and Training
IIHR, Hessaraghatta Lake Post
Bangalore – 560 089.