Extension Education for Agricultural and Social Improvement
The word Extension is derived from the Latin words, Ex- means out and Tensio- means stretch or spread. Education is the process of bringing desirable changes in human behavior in terms of knowledge, skill and attitude. In a nutshell, education is a process in which human behavior is modified or changed towards a desirable end. Hence, the extension education is to extend, spread, or disseminate useful information and ideas to the rural/urban population outside the routine school and classroom education.
Importance of Extension Education:
In our country, every individual does not get chance to be a part of school education during his/her childhood. Even after school and college education people need education to solve many practical problems during their day-to-day life. Hence, extension education is required to provide solution to many of the practical problems of people at their door steps. The need of extension education is realized in many areas such as:
- Today’s technology becomes outdated tomorrow. In the modern age of science and technology, innovative inventions are rising day by day. Farming is no exception to this trend. The farmer’s need is to supply recent useful and practical information related to agricultural production for better economic returns. Agricultural development will be closely related with the development of the ability of the farmers’ understanding and adoption of this technology.
- There are many natural and manmade forces which interact continuously in this world. This interaction makes our society more complex. It creates many new problems for the people at large. People should know the solution for these problems and extension education helps people at this critical stage.
- The education received by the people during the school life becomes inadequate for understanding of new emerging problems and their solutions. Therefore, education should be in continuity with the life of farming community. Such continuity can be made possible through extension education.
- The major work of agricultural researchers is to develop new agricultural technologies to meet out the requirement of different agro-climatic conditions and other local problems faced by the farming community. Agricultural scientists neither have enough time nor are equipped to convince farmers directly to adopt improved scientific technologies to solve the field related problems and to improve agricultural production. Similarly, it is not easy for all farmers to visit the research stations and obtain knowledge about improved technologies. Thus, there is a need of an agency to interpret the findings of the scientific research to the farmers and also to collect information about the practical problems faced by the farmers to adopt these technologies and pass on the same to the research scientists for needful solution. This transformation of information has been brought about by the extension scientists. Hence, extension scientists bridge the gap between farmers and agricultural scientists.
- Extension education is the democratic method of educating the farmers. It respects the individuality of farmers in making their own decision. By this way farmer’s status grow, they maintain their self respect and take balanced decisions for improving their farm income by adopting advanced agricultural practices and technologies. There are many farmer’s innovations which they overlook unknowingly. These innovations are of no use unless they are put to practical use. The hidden farmer’s technology is refined by the scientists and reaches the people speedily through extension scientists.
- Extension education is an out-of-school process, which aims to help people themselves in solving their day to day problems related to the cultivation/cultural practices. The extension workers explain various ways to solve farmer’s problems. The extension workers act as guide and educate them how to use new knowledge, skills and attitudes in solving their problems.
- The extension education helps all classes of people men, women and youth to solve their present and future economic, social and cultural problems.
- Extension makes good and progressive communities.
- There are many types of farmers, some of them are orthodox and rigid in nature and they sometimes do not understand significance of modern innovations. To motivate such farmers to make use of innovations, the role of extension education is incomparable.
- The extension education, thus contributes to national development.
Scope of Extension Education:
The scope of extension education includes all the activities directed towards the development of the rural people. The capacity of extension education to work for rural people is very wide. The activity of the extension deals with many kinds of problems and for all classes of people. Nowadays extension gives more attention to rural sectors or rural problems because most of Indian people are living in villages or rural areas. Majority of the rural population depends on agriculture and allied fields.
The most important aim of extension education is to develop farmer economically, socially and culturally as an individual, his family, village, state and country as a whole with the help of implementation of different extension programmes throughout the country. The activity or scope of extension education is not limited simply to the transfer of agricultural technology from research stations to farmers but all other aspects which are directly or indirectly related with the growth of the farming community.
In addition to these activities, some of the specific areas related to farmers’ development are noticeable as under.
- Increasing efficiency in agricultural production.
- Increasing market efficiency, distribution and utilization of agricultural inputs.
- Proper management on the farm and at home.
- Improve rural development.
- Conservation, development and use of natural resources.
- Better family living.
- Attract rural youths toward agriculture.
- Motivate farmers to use internet facility.
- Development of young farmers.
- Value addition of agricultural production.
- Development of leadership among farmers.
- Improving public affairs for all round development.
- Improve economic condition of the farmers.
- Farming community development.s
- Agricultural entrepreneur development.