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Livestock Extensio Education

“A country rich in livestock is never poor and a country poor in livestock is never rich”. --- Arabian Proverb The livestock sector plays an important role in the rural economy of India. The importance of livestock in Indian agricultural economy has been well recognized and next to land and irrigation, livestock is the single largest asset in rural India. Given India’s agro climatic diversity, a large variety of livestock are available for draught power, milk, meat etc and thus ensuring additional livelihood to the farmers. About 75 percent of the Indian rural households are keeping the livestock out of which the resource poor farmers own nearly 80 percent of the livestock. Therefore, livestock and livelihood have an intimate relationship particularly in arid and semi arid areas. Further, livestock production in India is largely an output of small holders and contributes to livelihood of over 70 million rural households, which is considered a good sign keeping in view the slogan of Mahatma Gandhi “Production by masses and not mass production" which is relevant even today to the Indian conditions.

Unlike land holdings the livestock holdings are fairly equitable with over 70 percent of all species owned by small holder groups of small/ marginal and landless laborers. Even more importantly, livestock provides a major source of supplementary income for a huge majority of rural households and this sector is therefore, highly livelihood intensive and more importantly provides sustenance during drought and other natural calamities to rural families.

Improvement in livestock production is therefore an important pathway for increasing the income of marginal and small farmers and landless labourers, given the uncertainties of crop production. Market opportunities due to increase in demand for livestock products, will provide an avenue for resource poor farmers to increase production, improve their livelihoods, reduce malnutrition and thereby, contribute to the goal of overall poverty alleviation. However, there is a need to provide an enabling environment in which small producers are able to take advantage of the opportunities, overcome the challenges and threats. Constraints and technological needs for increased livestock production need to be identified and addressed. The livestock extension education system plays an important role in this context to empower the farmers with appropriate technological knowledge and skill through extension education and training process. This chapter briefs about livestock extension education system operational in our country. The concept, policy issues, institutional arrangements, innovations in technology dissemination process, technology application, demonstration and training are being discussed briefly for a holistic understanding of livestock extension education.

Understanding Extension Education:

The term extension education was first used in 1873 by Cambridge University, with an objective to take educational advantages of the university to ordinary people. After being influenced by this, the Land Grant Colleges in the United States of America formally established the Agricultural Extension work by integrating different activities of the colleges. From then it was spread to other parts of the world as well as to India. The concept of extension was then applied in the field of home science and popularly called as home economics in USA. Similarly, the concept of extension was also applied to various fields of agriculture such as livestock/ animal husbandry, fisheries etc. Therefore, it is accepted that Livestock extension, Home science extension, Fisheries extension etc. depending upon the subject the extension agencies deal with.

The word extension is derived from the Latin roots ‘ex’ meaning ‘out’ and ‘tension’ meaning ‘stretching’. Extension education is stretching out to the people who are beyond the limits of educational institutions. Most definitions refer to extension education as an out of school education. The National Commission on Agriculture (1976) refers to extension as an out of school education and services for the members of the farm family and others directly or indirectly engaged in farm production, to enable them to adopt improved practices in production, management, conservation and marketing.


The term “Extension” was first coined in England. “Extension Education” was first introduced in 1873 by Cambridge University to describe a particular educational innovation. The word ‘Extension’ is derived from the Latin roots “ex” meaning “out” and “tensio” meaning “stretching”. Extension may be defined as the extending of or a service or system which extends the educational advantages of an institution to persons unable to avail themselves of them in a normal manner (Maunder, 1982). By definition “extension” and extension education are synonymous. Extension involves the conscious use of communication of information to help people form sound opinions and make good decisions. (van den Ban, 1996)

Extension is also defined as a professional communication intervention deployed by an institution to induce change in voluntary behaviour with a presumed public or collective activity (Roling, 1988). This definition indicates that

Extension is an intervention

Extension uses communication as its instrument to induce change.

Extension can be effective only through voluntary change.

The aim of all Extension work is to teach people living especially in rural areas how to raise their standard of living, by their own efforts using their own resources of man power and materials with the minimum assistance from Government. The broader function of extension work is to help people to solve their own problems through the application of scientific knowledge is now generally accepted. Extension is largely educational in nature and approach.


Education is the process of bringing desirable changes into the behaviour of human beings. These changes must be desirable to the society at large. The education is effective when it results in changes in all the following behavioural components (Paul Leagans ): Knowledge - What an individual knows

Attitudes -What he thinks

Skills (both Physical & Mental) - What he can do

Action - What he actually does

These are in short regarded as KASA changes.

Types of Education

Informal Education: the day to day process of learning, whereby knowledge is transferred in the context of the family, the neighborhood, the daily working relationships between the people and through the media. The best example is the way one learns at home especially when his mother teaches him. There is neither a fixed curriculum nor rules for learning. It is the most important source of knowledge for successive farming generations, but not for rapid agricultural development. It tends to be static and traditional. It serves as a basis for the other categories of education.

Formal Education: the education which takes place in the schools and colleges. It starts from theory to practice. It can either be general or vocational. Three is a fixed curriculum and set pattern of examination mostly leading to the award of degrees or diplomas. The audience is homogeneous with similar characteristics of age, education, common goals etc. Teaching is vertical in the sense it flows from the teacher to the students. The primary education contributes a lot to agricultural/livestock production indirectly, as it enlarges the absorption capacity for vocational education following it.

Non-formal Education: all organized education outside the formal education system. It is mostly practical and problem oriented. The audience is heterogeneous (differ in age, sex, literacy level, resources etc.) and they may have varied goals. Teaching is mostly horizontal in the sense the teacher also learns from the farmers. Extension education is a type of non formal education.


Livestock extension involves systematic & organized communication with livestock owners with a view to help them in such a way that the livestock owners

obtain a better insight into their present and future position as livestock owners

acquire sufficient knowledge and skills necessary to increase production or reduce cost of production able to choose feasible and optimum objectives.

able to identify problems, look for solutions, solve the problems identified and evaluate the results with in the farming system situation in which they are operating.

The subject matter delivered should be directly applicable to the livestock owners, which is necessary for Animal husbandry development. This could be accomplished by designing the training programme based on needs of the livestock owners.

It is also equally important for the extension agencies to help foster the development of leadership among the livestock owners. Development of appropriate local leaders help the extension agencies in several ways (refer notes on leadership elsewhere in this chapter).

There is no means by which a large number of livestock owners spread throughout the length and breadth of the country can be forced to practice animal husbandry in a specific way. Such attempts usually meet with passive and even at times active form of resistance. The only course left open is to influence their decision making through Animal Husbandry Extension so that their decisions will be to their own and to their country’s advantage. Animal Husbandry extension alone is seldom sufficient to increase animal production. Animal Husbandry Extension cannot operate in stand alone situation as it needs the support of various institutions and several groups of people. In addition to Animal Husbandry Extension, the other elements required for increasing animal production are

remunerative market.

assured water and electricity supply.

local availability of inputs such as feeds, medicines, vaccines, technical services and equipments.

roads and transportation facilities

credit supply

appropriate policy on animal husbandry

The domain of knowledge covered by Livestock Extension

technical problems such as selection of livestock, improved breeding, better feeding, housing and management.

Farm economic and organizational problems which include importance of culling of animals, labour management, labour saving equipment (milking machines, meat processing equipments) acquisition of credit and its repayment, farm plans etc.

Socio-economic infrastructure extension services, A.H. Department, Co-ops, marketing & credit organization, NGOS, govt. rules and regulations concerning land, labour, water, pollution etc.

Issues pertaining to globalization and WTO regulations

The change must be

felt by the livestock owners to be important.

significant economically, socially to a relatively large number of people.

related to the primary needs of the society.

People must undergo change because

it is the people who must make changes in farming, home-making, health, community etc. that contribute todevelopment.

change in people, educationally, is a pre-requisite to the attainment of other changes in a free society.

changes in the mind (Head) and Heart of people precede changes in actions (Hands).

Philosophy of Extension

According to Mildred Horton

The individual is supreme in a democracy

The home is the fundamental unit in a civilization

The family is the first training group of the human race

The foundation of any permanent civilization must rest on the partnership of man and land (nature).

According to Ensminger, Extension is

1. changing attitudes, knowledge and skills of the people.
2. working with men and women, young people, boys and girls to answer their needs and wants.
3. helping people to help themselves
4. “Learning by doing” and “seeing is believing”
5. development of individuals, their leaders, their society and their world as a whole.
6. working in harmony with the culture of the people.
7. a two way channel
8. a continuous educational process.

Principles of Extension:

Principle of interest and needs.

Grass-roots principles of organization

Principles of cultural difference

Principle of cultural change

Principle of cooperation and participation

Principle of applied science and democratic approach.

Principle of learning by doing

Principle of trained specialists

Adaptability in the use of extension teaching methods

Principles of leadership

Whole family principle

Principle of satisfaction.


Livestock development involves a number of target groups with whom the extension agents need to work with. These groups include:

Livestock owners : All those who own livestock ( dairy farmers, sheep and goat keepers, poultry farmers etc.)

Livestock service providers: Animal Husbandry department personnel, Marketing institutions like Milk Cooperatives, APEDA, Training institutions like KVKs, NGOs, Research / Academic institutions – Veterinary Universities / Colleges, ICAR animal science institutes, Bankers, Insurance agencies etc.

Input suppliers:Semen banks, feed mixing plants, Pharmaceuticals, vaccine production units, Livestock product processing units, Fodder seed production units, Agro related industries etc.

Policy makers:Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Secretaries of AH organisations, Senior officials of AH Department, Milk Federations, Researchers, Farmer organisations etc.

It is necessary to understand the concept of Development before discussing the livestock extension development programmes.


Development means development of men, the satisfaction of their basic needs –food, shelter, clothing and access to safe drinking water, sanitation, public transport, health and educational facilities (ILO, 1976).

Underdevelopment means denial of basic needs to the people while enhancing the material returns to the dominant groups.

Development will necessarily involve the use of physical, financial and human resources. The use of resources will depend on who controls the available resources and how decisions are made affecting their use.

1. Human (Personal) Development:

Development in any meaningful sense must begin with and within the individuals. Unless motivation comes from within, efforts to promote change will not be sustainable by the individual. The individual will remain under the power of others.

It is process by which an individual develops self-respect and becomes more self confident, self reliant, cooperative and tolerant of others through becoming aware of his/her short comings as well as his/her potential for positive change.

2. Economic development

It is a process by which people through their own individual and/or joint efforts boost production for direct consumption and have a surplus to sell for cash.

3. Political development

If development is to truly benefit the people, then the political structure must be responsive to their needs and aspirations as well as protect their rights and their property. The people have to acquire political power in order

to participate in decision making at local level and to choose their own leaders.

to Plan and share power democratically.

to create and allocate communal resources equitably and efficiently among individual groups.

4. Social development

It refers to those investments and services carried out or provided by a community for the mutual benefit of the people of that community whether as a village; a district or a nation. These services include health, education, water, energy, transport, communication. No social development is without cost.


The relationship between social, economic and political development can be illustrated as two columns representing economic and political development and a girder representing social development where the girder is dependent upon the support of the two columns which in turn rest upon a foundation of personal (human) development.

Development is a complex and slow moving process involving people on the one hand and the factors of production and organization on the other.

Sustainable development:

The most comprehensive definition of Sustainable development was contained in the report of Brundtland (WCED, 1987) which states that Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts:

the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; an

the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

Sustainable agriculture:

The phrase “sustainable agriculture” is open to many interpretations (Conway and Barbier, 1990)

For agriculturalists it embodies a desire to consolidate and build upon the achievements of the green revolution. They equate sustainability with food sufficiency, and sustainable agriculture can embrace any means to ward that end.

For environmentalists, though, the means are crucial. Sustainable agriculture represents a way of providing sufficient food and fibre that complements and, indeed, enhances our natural resource endowment of forests, soils and wildlife. For them, sustainability means a responsibility for the environment – a stewardship of our natural resources.

For economists, sustainability is a facet of efficiency, not short-run efficiency alone, but the use of scarce resources in such a fashion as to benefit both present and future generations.

Finally, sociologists see sustainable agriculture as a reflection of social values. They define it as a development path that is consonant with traditional cultures and institutions.

They defined agriculture sustainability as the ability to maintain productivity, whether of a field or farm or nation, in the face of stress or shock. A stress may be increasing salinity, or erosion, or debt; each is a frequent, sometimes continuous, relatively small, predictable force having a large cumulative effect.

Below Poverty line:

In India a large chunk of population are reeling under Poverty. The people living under poverty are more in rural areas than in urban areas as the standard of living is comparatively better in urban localities. It is very difficult to define Poverty as it has got several dimensions. Several standards are devised to measure the poverty. As per the World Bank estimates 456 million Indians ( 42 % of the total Indian Population ) live under global poverty line of $1.25 per day (PPP). The Planning Commission of India uses its own criteria and has estimated that 27.5% of the population was living below the poverty line in 2004–2005, down from 51.3% in 1977–1978, and 36% in 1993- 1994. The source for this was the 61st round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) and the criterion used was monthly per capita consumption expenditure below Rs. 356.35 for rural areas and Rs. 538.60 for urban areas. Some of the important causes for the high level of poverty in India are its history under British rule, large population, low literacy, societal structure including the caste system and role of women, dependence on agriculture, and the economic policies adopted after its independence. (

Livestock plays an important role in ameliorating the poverty as livestock not only provides income but also food security, financial security, employment and ultimately as a livelihood avenue. This is the reason why the GOI has been embarking upon on livestock development programmes as a means to improve the livelihoods of poor people especially the land less agricultural labour and less land owners who depend on livestock for their livelihoods. Studies also clearly brought out that the lower the family income higher is the contribution of livestock income to family income from all sources.

Livestock Extension and Development Programmes:

The National Agricultural System was evolved in India with an establishment of agricultural department at the Imperial and Provincial governments before Independence. Realizing the Country’s technological needs, the Pusa Research Institute was established at Pusa (Bihar) in 1903. The Royal Commission on Agriculture (RCA) was appointed in 1926 to examine and report on the condition of agricultural and rural economy in India and to make recommendations for the improvement of agriculture and the promotion of the welfare and prosperity of rural people. The RCA, 1926 has made valuable recommendations which formed the basis of a coordinated research and effective agricultural administration. One of the important recommendations of the RCA was the creation of Imperial Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which was set up in 1929.

Early attempts of Extension Movements in India

The early efforts of extension work were mostly the contribution of few thinkers who laid the foundation for rural development work in the country. The contribution of some such pioneers is indicated below.

1.Shantiniketan: The famous poet and Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore established a Rural Reconstruction Institute more popularly known as Shriniketan in 1921. He aimed at inducing each villager to work to the limit of his capacity, and also to help his fellow-men. Tagore believed in both self-help and mutual help and was one of the first to recognize the need for a change in the outlook of villagers as a precondition for improvement.

2.Gandhian Constructive Programme Mahatma Gandhi considered the village to be the essence of Indian life. Gandhiji emphasized the role of the people themselves in constructive programmes. He argued that self-help was the first step towards moral advancement. He also emphasized the need for
i). decentralized production and equal distribution of wealth and
ii). self-sufficiency of Indian villages.
He started a number of movements which have spread throughout India, such as the All India Village Industries Organization, and the Harijan Sewak Sangh.

3.Bhoodan Movement Acharya Vinoba Bhave, the leader of the Bhoodan Movement in India has concentrated on the metaphysical aspects of life. He believed that society is sure to change itself, once people realize and understand love, religion, duty, and truth. Life is not governed by law ; people do not live their lives on account of law. Hence only those can have influence on the villagers who are loving of heart, who are devotees of God, and who show renunciation or sacrifice in their lives. This philosophy naturally led to his great mission in life of persuading the villagers to till their land in cooperation with one another.

4.Gurgaon Experiment Mr. F.L. Brayne, the then official in government official started a fairly extensive experiment in rural reconstruction in the Gurgaon district of the Punjab and succeeded in arousing considerable enthusiasm among the people. He introduced such improvements into the villages as the construction of manure pits and ventilators, and the use of improved agricultural implements. He also encouraged the education of women. For the purpose of disseminating new knowledge among the villagers Mr. Brayne introduced the idea of having a ‘village guide’ in each village who serve as channels for information from outside.

In 1933, Mr. Brayne was appointed Commissioner of Rural Reconstruction in the Punjab, and his work was further expanded. The Punjab Government aided the work financially in 1935-36, and later the reconstruction work was transferred to the Cooperative Department, and ‘Better Living Societies’ were organized for work in the villages. 

5.Rural Reconstruction by Sir Daniel Hamilton Sir Daniel Hamilton had experimented with model villages based on co - operative principles in Bengal. This work continued with the organization of a Central Cooperative Bank and a Cooperative Marketing Society in 1924 and a Rural Reconstruction Institute in 1934. The latter offered training in cottage industries.

6.Rural Reconstruction works by Christian Missionaries Christian missions have for years included education for rural living in their work, and so great has been their dedication that one often hears the admonition to work with ‘missionary zeal’. Their major contributions were in education, medical services and rural reconstruction.

Marthandam Project

Several agricultural demonstration centres have been established under the auspices of the Y.M.C.A., the most famous of which is that started at Marthandam ( Kerala) by the American agricultural expert, Dr. Spencer Hatch , who pioneered this type of work. It was intended to symbolize the three fold development of spirit, body and mind with economic and social dimensions. The essential technique of the centre was “self help with intimate expert counsel”. From the demonstration centre at Marthandam about hundred villages were covered through YMCA centres in villages. The extension secretary supervised the work.

At Marthandam, Dr. Hatch started a multipurpose cooperative, with poultry, bee-keeping, seeds, animal husbandry and other projects. The programme was all-round, with extensive social activities included. Marthandam was in a strategic position to serve the villages. It kept prized bulls and goats, model beehives, demonstration plots for improving grain and vegetable seeds, poultry, a weaving shed etc.

The most successful project was the Egg-selling club. By 1939, the egg-selling cooperative society became a self-governing body. There were honey clubs bull clubs and weavers’s clubs.

Contribution of V.T.Krishnamachari

It is not proposed to describe all the experiments and projects undertaken over the past few years in the interest of rural uplift. Suffice it to mention further only the fine work done in rural reconstruction by V. T. Krishnamachari, as Dewan of Baroda, in the Sarvodaya Scheme in Bombay, and the Firka Development Scheme in Madras. These were all magnificent beginnings, but they suffered, for the most part from limitations in scope and organization and from lack of continuity.

Servants of India Society, Poona

Servants of India Society venture or Poona Project was established by Gopal Krishna Gokhale. At Mayapur village, in Madras, this organization started a centre to impart training in agriculture and cottage industries to village boys and girls.It also started centres in U.P. and M.P. and published booklets on subjects like basic education, labour problems, indebtedness, etc.

Etawah Pilot Project

The idea of starting this project was conceived in 1947 but put into action within Etawah (U.P.), in 1948. Lt. Col. Albert Mayer of USA, who came to India with the American forces in 1944, was the originator of this Project. He started it with the aim of introducing intensive work on the rural reconstruction front.

The most significant achievement was that the entire area was brought under improved wheat crops. The area under vegetables was extended and diseases in livestock like Rinderpest and Haemorrhagic Septicaemia were controlled. The other programmes taken on were the construction of roads, soak pits, adoption of improved agricultural practices, etc. All these resulted in improving the economic conditions of the villagers.

Adarsh Sewa Sangh, Pohri (Gwalior)

This plan of rural reconstruction was put into operation in 232 villages, falling in the Jagirdari of Col. Shitole. It aimed at increasing the per capita income of villagers. In each village, a village Reconstruction Society was formed and the important items of work were compost making, deep ploughing, improved breeding and management of cattle, etc. The Sangh published a monthly journal “Rural India” which was devoted to Planning and Community Projects.

Indian Village Service (I.V.S.)

In 1945, A.T. Mosher of New York, and Shri B.N. Gupta established IVS to assist village people to realize the best in their own villages by developing individuals, volunteer leaders and local agencies, and enabling them to be effective in helping themselves and others.

Firka Development Scheme of Madras State

It was Government-sponsored and aimed at the attainment of the Gandhian ideal of Gram Swaraj by bringing about not only educational, economic, sanitary and other improvements in villages, but also by making the people self-confident. The scheme was launched in 1946.

The scheme aimed at provision of water supply, formation of Panchayats, organization of cooperatives and programmes for sanitation and also to enable the area self-sufficient through agricultural, irrigational and livestock improvements, and the development of Khadi (hand made cloth) and other Cottage Industries.

Nilokheri Experiment

It was originally started to rehabilitate 7000 displaced persons from Pakistan and later integrated with the 100 surrounding villages.It was built round the vocational training centre that was transferred from Kurukshetra (now in Haryana), in July,1948. The architect of this project was Shri. S.K. Dey, who served as Union Minister for Community Development and Cooperatives up to 1965. The scheme called “Mazdoor Manzil” aimed at self-sufficiency for the rural–cum-urban township in all the essential requirements of life. The colony had a school, an agricultural farm, polytechnic training centre, poultry farm, piggery farm, horticulture garden, printing press, garment factory, engineering workshop, soap factory, etc.

Livestock development efforts after independence:

From the beginning of this century the livestock economy of our country has attracted widespread attention and several extension and development attempts have been made for its improvement. The British Administration has formed several committees to understand the features of livestock farming system and ways for its development. Among the various committees and their reports, the reports submitted by the Royal Commission on Agriculture (RCA) and W. A. Burns report on the Technological Possibilities of Agricultural Development in India (1944) are considered as significant. However, the pre-independence attempts on livestock development were limited in scale and geographical coverage. These attempts did not have any follow-up action and lacks specificity in terms of programme planning and implementation. The above constraints in the livestock development has been done away through the introduction of planning in the post-independence period which emphasized by a systematic and intensive approach.

The post independent extension education & development programmes launched by Government of India can be generally grouped into five categories. They are:

Community development programmes

Programmes for technology development

Programmes for development with social justice

Frontline extension programmes of ICAR

Agricultural Research and development programmes by ICAR and Govt of India.

The list of programmes implemented under these five categories are given under:

Community development



Community Development Programme



National Extension Service



Community Development Block


Panchayati Raj

Democratic Decentralization

Technological development



Intensive Agricultural District Programme



Intensive Agricultural Area Programme



Intensive Cattle Development Project



High Yielding Variety Programme

Development with social justice



Small Farmers’ Development Agency


Marginal Farmers’ and Agricultural Labourers Programme


Drought Prone Area Programme



Pilot Project for Tribal Development


T & V

Training and Visit Programme



Integrated Rural Development Programme



Training of Rural Youth for Self-Employment



National Rural Employment Programme



Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas



National Agricultural Extension Project



Technology Mission on Oilseeds



Jawahar Rozgar Yojana



Employment Assurance Scheme



Small Farmers Agri Business Consortium



Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana

ICAR Frontline Extension Programmes



National Demonstration Project



Krishi Vigyan Kendra



Operational Research Project



Lab to Land Programme



Technology Assessment and Refinement – Institute Village Linkage Programme

Agricultural Research and Development Programme



National Agricultural Research Project



Technology Mission on Dairy Development



National Agricultural Technology Project



National Agricultural Innovation Project



National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP) or (RKVY) Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)

The efforts of Animal Husbandry Extension dates back to 1952, when the Key Village Scheme was introduced in the country to improve the breeding and health of the animals. Later, a number of schemes or projects have been introduced to transfer the technologies and thereby increase the production of livestock.


The Key Village Scheme (KVS) was a novel attempt made by independent India towards the development of cattle and buffaloes. The basic aim was to bring about rapid improvement in the production potentiality of milch animals through improved breeding, effective health care, and scientific management and organized marketing facilities.

The scheme was conceived as one of the most important programmes for livestock development in the country. Artificial Insemination (AI) was included as an integral part of the technical programme. It envisaged establishment of Key Village Blocks in breeding tracts of bovines and each block consisted of one AI centre and four key village units to cover about 10,000 breedable cows and buffaloes. By the end of Second Five Year Plan 612 KVS centres were functioning in the country and an official review report severely indicated the limited coverage (10 percent of total stock) of the scheme (GoI, Ministry of Agriculture, 1962). The scheme was evaluated at different phases and by 1962 it was very well realized that it failed to evince the desired impact and that too a large number of dairy plants were unable to collect sufficient quantities of milk.

The reasons for failure include establishment of centers in the states where there were no recognized breeds, creating confusion in the personnel of Animal Husbandry Departments (AHDs) by introducing lot of modifications in the scheme, inadequate attention paid to the fodder development and in establishment of marketing cells.


When KVS did not yield the expected results the Government of India introduced another comprehensive project, Intensive Cattle Development Project (ICDP) almost on the similar lines of Intensive Agricultural District Programme in the year 1963.

The ICDP was started as a Special Development Programme during Third Five Year Plan. It was envisaged to locate the projects in the breeding tracts of indigenous breeds of cattle and buffaloes and in the milk sheds of large dairy projects. The establishment of ICDPs was linked with the dairy plants so as to enable the dairy plants to collect and process milk to their full capacities. Each ICDP was expected to cover one lakh breedable female bovine population and to provide necessary inputs and technical services.

The ICDP was considered as the most determined effort to increase milk production and productivity of cows and buffaloes. However, the Programme Evaluation Organization (1970-71) in its evaluation report indicated that the ICDPs also did not succeed in accomplishing their objectives. The reasons identified were i) considerable time lag in providing organizational structure and various inputs ii) set back in transferring ICDPs to state sector with financial cuts resulting in dilution of inputs and iii) wastage of semen to the tune of 30 - 40 percent of the semen supplied to project area.

In addition, a dairy extension officer post created in each and every ICDP to give fillip to the extension activities was not filled up in most of the ICDPs. Even in those places where they were posted were not involved in education of livestock owners and instead their activities were confined mostly to supply of inputs or other non-extension activities.

Later, the ICDPs in many states are merged with the Animal Husbandry programmes and no funds are allocated separately to ICDPs.


The foundation for a viable modern and self- sustaining dairy industry based on cooperative concepts was laid in 1970 in the form of Operation Flood. The Government of India set up the Indian Dairy Corporation to handle the commercial transactions under the title “INDIAN WFP PROJECTS 618”. The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) implemented this biggest dairy development project in the world in three Phases, and in fact it has made a tremendous impact on the dairy development scenario in the country.

Phase I (1970 to 1981)

The basic objectives under this phase were to increase the capacity and throughput of dairy processing facilities, resettlement of city cattle in rural areas, development of basic transportation and storage net work to facilitate regional and seasonal balancing of milk supply and demand, development of milk procurement systems in rural areas, to improve the productivity of animals, to assure the rural milk producers of a year round stable milk market and to establish 14 milch animal centres.

Under this project, WFP donated 1, 26,000 MT of Skim Milk Powder and 42,000 MT of Butter oil. Through sale of these commodities, funds to the tune of Rs.1164 millions were generated and were utilized for creating infrastructure facilities necessary for dairy development.

The major achievements in the first phase were increase in milk production from 21 m. tons in 1970 to 30 m. tons in 1979-80, reaching the target of 29 lakh litres per day in processing of milk for supply to the four metropolis, establishment of dairy cooperatives in 18 major milk shed areas and establishment of 14 milch animal centres and the Institute of Rural Management at Anand (IRMA).

Phase II (1981 to 1985)

The objectives were to enable 10 million rural milk producer families to build a viable self sustaining dairy industry by mid 1985, to enable the milk producers to rear a National Milch Herd of 14 million crossbred cows and upgraded buffaloes during 1980s and to establish a National Milk Grid which will link the rural milk sheds to the major demand centres with urban population of about 150 million.

Some of the notable achievements were generation of funds amounting to Rs. 2323 millions through sale of gift commodities up to November, 1984, expansion of handling capacities of four metro dairies from 31 lakh litres per day to 35 lakh litres per day by the end of October, 1984, increase in the number of village cooperatives to 43,000 covering 4.25 million milk producers, substantial increase in the production of milk powder, putting 622 road and 87 rail milk tankers into service under National Milk Grid and establishment of godowns with a capacity of 3000 tons to store dairy commodities.

Phase III (1985 TO 1996)

The gains obtained in the earlier phases were further consolidated in Phase III. Some of the significant achievements of OF were

Increase in the production of milk leading to a raise in the per capita availability of milk to 193 grams per day in 1994 from 107 grams in 1975.

Supply of milk to about 300 million consumers spread in 550 cities and towns at a reasonable price.

Procuring milk daily from 10 million producers spread in 74,000 villages and earning an incremental income of about Rs.2500 crores from sale of milk.

Establishment of a nation wide network of multi - tier milk producers co-operative societies.

Modernization and expansion of dairy industry.

Self-sufficiency in milk and milk products thus putting an end to commercial imports of milk solids.

Indigenous production of dairy equipments.

The Operation Flood Programme by and large differed from the ICDP that they laid emphasis on milk supply and marketing schemes and viewed dairy development as an instrument for rural development and social change. This is because of the realization of the fact that the growth of dairying requires apart from the increase in milk production, the milk production centres need to be linked with marketing centres to ensure the farmers and customers their fair deal and to create a sustainable strong base for the dairy development in the country. The Operation Flood part of the dairy development has clearly emphasized the social aspects of developing through the importance given for the establishment and growth of Village Milk Producers Cooperative Societies (VMPCSs) throughout the country followed by the initial success of Anand Milk Producers Union in uplifting the farmers. By the end of year 2008 the number of Village Milk Producers’ Cooperative Societies established were 1,17,575 .These were federated into 170 Milk Unions and 15 State Milk Federations procuring on an average 21.5 million litres of milk per day ( By all means this is the biggest development project in the world and the credit goes to 12.4 million dairy farmers who are the members of the Milk Cooperative Societies and Dr.V.Kurien the then Chairman of NDDB who is rightly recognized as the Father of White Revolution in the country.

Dairy Cooperatives

Efforts to develop dairying through rural organizations was made as early as in 1917 when the first milk cooperative society was formed in Bengal, to supply milk to the society of Calcutta, followed by union provinces, Gujarat and Madras states. The Government of Bombay had initiated subsidized milk distribution system in 1943, which was later closed in 1947 after expending over Rs.3 crores on it. In the year 1945, the Government of India decided to take measures to safeguard the supply of hygienic milk to major cities. A novel beginning was made in Bombay and for the first time in India, milk produced in rural areas of Kaira district was collected in bulk, pasteurized and then transported by rail for distribution in Bombay. The Kaira District Milk Producers’ Cooperative thus started with an initial collection of 250 litres is a name in itself in the history of cooperative movement in the country and is now more popularly known as AMUL (Anand Milk Union Limited).

The milk cooperatives under OF follow what is more commonly known as Anand pattern, which is nothing but a three tier system of cooperative organization. At the village level there are Primary Milk Producers’ Cooperative Societies, which collect, test and supply milk to the Milk Producers Union at District level and these Unions process and market milk and milk products. The Unions are also responsible for milk enhancement programmes through supply of technical inputs and services to the milk producers in the villages. The Unions are amalgamated into Milk Producers’ Federation at State level. At national level there is a National Cooperative Dairy Federation (National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India). The entire co-operative organization is managed by representatives, elected by the milk producers from among the producers who are in fact the employers of this organization. The role of the government is to supervise, guide, encourage and where necessary to correct the cooperatives when going wrong.

The milk production got an incentive through what is called “market push “ with the creation of viable milk marketing facility even in the remote corners of the country. There are arguments and counter arguments about the extent of contribution by the OF in increasing milk production and per capita availability of milk in the country. Nevertheless, the cooperative societies did provide the needed thrust to the milk production in the country. There are indications that the dairy cooperatives contributed to improved education of children, employment, and income and infrastructure development in the villages (Candler and Kumar, 1998). It is well established that development is always a result of a number of factors and no single programme can stake its claim and OF is no exception to this.

The basic philosophy of the Anand Pattern is “to combine India’s greatest asset, the power of its people, with professional management in a vertically integrated cooperative structure that establishes a direct linkage between those who produce the milk and those who consume it, whether as milk or milk products, eliminating all the middlemen.” (NDDB, 1997 - From a drop to a flood). However, elimination of middlemen from the system remained as a myth till today.

Thus, the dairy development programme in the country has gone through a metamorphic change from the initial Key Village Scheme and Intensive Cattle Development Project aimed at the up gradation of local cattle in selected tracts to a nationwide anti-poverty programme as an instrument to social security in the rural India.

Technology Mission on Dairy Development

To accelerate the phase of Dairy Development in the country, the Government of India launched Technology Mission on Dairy Development in August 1988. The Mission has assigned 29 need based research programme to research institute if ICAR, State Agricultural Universities and NDDB. It also emphasized the optimization of resource use for cattle improvement in terms of breeding farms, bull mother farms, semen freezing and artificial insemination facilities, veterinary health care facilities etc. available with the State animal husbandry departments and under Operation Flood. In addition, the research establishments under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) have also been linked up in the process to provide the research/ technological support.


Gaushalas are the institutions to maintain the cattle, which are either donated by the people or thrown out by the farmers. These institutions are maintained basically to protect the cows and are in existence for the last two centuries. They are being maintained in different parts of the country on account of religious and economic considerations. However, they are mostly located in north India.

With the establishment of Central Council of Gosamvardhana in 1952 , the gaushalas were reorganised. There are 1020 gaushalas with a cattle population of 1, 30,000 spread in 21 states of the country. Each gaushalas on an average has about 151 acres of area under grazing and 63 acres of cultivable land. The gaushalas did not receive much attention from the Government because the impact made by these institutions on cattle development and milk production was not considered significant. However, remarkable progress was made by gaushalas located at Nasik, Urlikanchan, Amritsar, Indore and Ahmednagar. Many of the gaushalas though maintaining some pure bred cattle are implementing cross breeding programme to increase milk production.

To exploit the production potential of the cows maintained in these gaushalas, the government has decided to hand over some of these gaushalas to semi government and Non Government Organizations (NGOs). The gaushala at Urlikanchan is being managed by Bharatiya Agro Industries and Research Foundation (BAIF). Similarly, the gaushala at Ahmednagar is under the control of NDDB. The cows in such gaushalas are being utilized as experimental herds for implementing various breed improvement and livestock management programmes.

In accordance with the agreement entered upon by the Chairman, NDDB and the Trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala in July, 1973 the NDDB was entrusted with the responsibility for management of the Embryo Transfer Technology project. The major objectives of this project are: the maintenance and enhancement of productivity of agricultural farms and milch animals, carrying out research and development in the fields of agriculture and animal husbandry, disseminating the knowledge gained in these fields and establishing educational institutions for the integrated development of agriculture and animal husbandry, as well as to develop the necessary man power required to fulfill these broad objectives.

Special livestock breeding programme (SLBP)

Based on the recommendations of National Commission on Agriculture (NCA), (1976), Special Livestock Production Programme was launched in 1975-76. The main objectives of the programme are provide employment opportunities to the weaker sections of the rural poor and to supplement their income. increase the production of livestock products like milk, eggs, wool etc.

The programme includes crossbred heifer rearing scheme and setting up of sheep, poultry and piggery production units. The expenditure on SLPP is to be shared on 50 : 50 basis between Central and State Governments and cent percent by Central Government to union territories. Thirty percent of the beneficiaries selected under the programme are to come from SC/ST communities. For setting up of sheep, poultry and piggery units subsidy is provided at the rate of 25 per cent to small farmers and 33 1/3 per cent to marginal farmers and agricultural labourers and 50 % in case of tribal beneficiaries.

The scheme also aims at assisting the landless agricultural labourers, marginal and small farmers in improving the quality of crossbred heifer calves. The female calves in the age group of 4 to 10 months are included in the scheme. Balanced calf feed is supplied on subsidy to the owners of these selected calves up to 32 months or till the age at firs calving whichever is earlier. The calves included in the scheme are also insured by the Department of Animal Husbandry. The purpose of supplying calf feed to reduce the age at first calving is defeated in many cases because the calf feed is offered by the beneficiaries to their cows for milk production rather than to their calves. In some cases the calf feed is being sold by the beneficiaries to the other cattle owners.

National Agricultural Extension Project (NAEP):

It was launched in 1983. The objective of NAEP was to bridge the gap between research and extension systems, so that the transfer of technology can take place at a much faster rate, resulting in higher production.

Frontline Extension Programmes:

ICARs involvement in extension started with the front line extension programmes such as National Demonstration (1966), Operational Research Project (1972), Krishi Vigyan Kendra (1974), Lab to Land Programme (1979), Frontline demonstrations and Technology Assessment and Refinement (TAR) - Institute Village Linkage Programme (IVLP). National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP), Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) and Horticultural mission are some of the recent extension programmes launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The frontline extension programmes of ICAR were designed to organize the demonstrations by scientists to show the production potentiality of modern agricultural technologies to identify its location specificity in the farmers’ field.

National Demonstration project (NDP)

was implemented during the year 1965 to demonstrate the production potentialities of technology package on major crops to fully exploit these demonstrations for the purpose of training the farmers’ and extension workers. Further, it provided the scientists feedback of the problems faced by the farmers w.r.t. adoption of new technologies.

Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK)

was initiated during 1974 for providing vocational training through work experience to the farmers and extension personnel. The KVK is an institutional approach to understand technology assessment through On-farm-testing and Frontline demonstration and technology dissemination through training and extension. The KVK is a need based, skill based vocational training institute. It is comprehensive in its activities, farm based support, inbuilt research extension linkage, participatory management, multidisciplinary team of scientists and mechanism for both feedback and feed forward.

The Operational Research Project (ORP),

1975 was initiated to identify technological as well as socio-economic constraints and to formulate and implement a combination of technology modules on area/watershed/target group basis. The performance of the new technology is to be tested on farmers fields at operational level under the existing resources and socio-economic and cultural conditions to address the common agricultural problems affecting the existing farm production system on community basis.

Lab to Land programme (LLP),

was implemented in 1979, by ICAR as a part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations. The aim of the programme is to assist the selected farm families for improving their farming systems and thereby generating more employment and income. The basic idea is to bring the scientists and farmers into a common forum and to introduce appropriate technologies facilitating the diversification of labour-use and creating supplementary sources of income in the fields of agriculture and allied enterprises.


In 1995, the ICAR has launched an innovative programme Technology Assessment and Refinement (TAR)- Institute Village Linkage Programme (IVLP). The objectives of the Technology Assessment and Refinement Programme are hereunder:

To introduce technological interventions with emphasis on stability and sustainability along with productivity of small-farm production systems.

To introduce and integrate the appropriate technologies to sustain technological interventions and their integration to maintain productivity and profitability taking environmental issues into consideration in a comparatively well defined farm production system.

To introduce and integrate the appropriate technologies to increase the agricultural productivity with marketable surplus in commercial on and off farm production system.

To facilitate adoption of appropriate post harvest technologies for conservation and on-farm value addition of agricultural products, by-products and waste for greater economic dividend and national priorities.

To facilitate adoption of appropriate technologies for removal of drudgery, increased efficiency and higher income of farm women.

To monitor socio-economic impact of the technological intervention for different farm production systems.

To identify extrapolation domains for new technology/technology modules based on environmental characterization at meso and mega level.

On the performance of agricultural extension systems, Martin (1989) lamented that “despite the considerable effort put into a large number of experiments in different countries including some recent ones based on the so called training and visit system, the effort to transfer technology to small farmers has not been satisfactory.” Many of these programmes are not very successful in reaching the livestock owners for a variety of reasons which include

the technologies developed are not suitable to them as they were developed on research stations which are similar to the farming conditions of resource rich farmers but entirely different to that of resource poor farmers.

demonstration trials were never conducted on these poor livestock owners’ animals and the technologies were never put to test on these animals.

iii.researchers always aimed at developing technologies to increase production per animal instead of production per rupee invested, which may not be the objective for many a poor livestock owner who certainly cannot afford these high input technologies.

iv.till date efforts were never made to conduct on farm trials on indigenous animals especially under the ownership of poor livestock owners. This segment of the livestock owners would like to rear indigenous or local animals for obvious reasons. But the technologies to increase their productivity are scanty.

v.poor livestock owners would always like to rear few indigenous animals which are low productive rather than one or two high yielding crossbred animals mainly because of their low risk bearing capacity.

although there was emphasis on production of low cost technologies much headway could not be made by the researchers in developing such technologies.

even today despite all these technological advancements claimed in different areas the fact remains that the production, processing and transportation of all the livestock products is still unorganized. It is said that the unorganized sector (vendors and contractors) is handling about 70 to 80 per cent of livestock products in the country. The Operation Flood accounted for only 6.3 per cent of total milk production and 22 per cent of marketed milk (Candler and Kumar, 1998).

National Agricultural Technology Project and National Agricultural Innovation Project:

The National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) was launched by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on June 30, 1998, with the support of the World Bank, to strengthen and complement the existing resources and to augment the output of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS). The NATP implemented its Objectives through Strategies for Organization and Management Reforms and Research. The Research comprised various modes of objective-based funding, namely, Teams of Excellence (ToE), Mission Mode (MM), Production Systems Research (PSR), Institution Village Linking Programme (IVLP) and Competitive Grants Programme (CGP). Another important component which was funded under NATP was Innovations in Technology Disseminations (ITD). Projects under ITD were executed by the Department of Agriculture and Co-operation (DAC), Government of India, and the ICAR.

Production Systems Research (PSR) Mode of funding was divided Agro-ecological-Zone-wise into five sub-modes, namely, Rainfed, Irrigated, Arid, Coastal, and Hill & Mountain. All five sub-modes were recognized as respective Agro-ecosystem Directorates and were empowered to source funds and administer & monitor the progress of the projects.

NATP Glimpses

NATP was the world's biggest World Bank assisted agriculture project worth Rs. 992 crores developed and executed by NARS

NATP lifespan was seven years, starting from June 30, 1998 to June 30, 2005

NATP was the first project in NARS to shift the focus from discipline oriented research toproduction system research

NATP was the first project in NARS to involve competitive funding, & have pluralistic approach to involve & fund partners from outside NARS

NATP successfully completed a whopping total of 852 projects

National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP):

Launched in 2007 by ICAR. The overall objective of NAIP is to facilitate the accelerated and sustainable transformation of Indian agriculture in support of poverty alleviation and income generation through collaborative development and application of agricultural innovations by the public organizations in partnership with farmers groups, the private sector and other stakeholders. The specific objectives are:

To build the critical capacity of the ICAR as a catalyzing agent for management of change of the Indian NARS (Component 1).

To promote production to consumption systems research in priority areas/themes to enhance productivity, nutrition, profitability, income and employment (Component 2).

To improve livelihood security of rural people living in selected disadvantaged regions through innovation systems led by technology and encompassing the wider process of social and economic change covering all stakeholders (Component 3).

To build capacity and undertake basic and strategic research in strategic areas to meet technology development challenges in the immediate and predictable future (Component 4)

National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP) or Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)

Concerned by the slow growth in the Agriculture and allied sectors, the National Development Council (NDC), in its meeting held on 29th May, 2007 resolved that a special Additional Central Assistance Scheme (RKVY) be launched. The NDC resolved that agricultural development strategies must be reoriented to meet the needs of farmers and called upon the Central and State governments to evolve a strategy to rejuvenate agriculture. The NDC reaffirmed its commitment to achieve 4 percent annual growth in the agricultural sector during the 11th plan.

Basic Features of the RKVY

The RKVY aims at achieving 4% annual growth in the Agriculture sector during the XI Plan period, by ensuring a holistic development of Agriculture and allied sectors. The main objectives of the scheme are:

To incentivise the states so as to increase public investment in Agriculture and allied sectors.

To provide flexibility and autonomy to states in the process of planning and executing agriculture and allied sectors schemes.

To ensure the preparation of Agriculture plans of the districts and the states based on Agro-Climate conditions, availability of technology and natural resources.

To ensure that the local needs/crops/priorities are better reflected in the Agricultural plans of the states.

To achieve the goal of reducing the yield gaps in important crops, through focused interventions.

To maximize returns to the farmers in Agriculture and allied sectors.

To bring about quantifiable changes in the production and productivity of various components of Agriculture and allied sectors by addressing them in a holistic manner.

These guidelines are applicable to all the states and Union Territories that fulfill the eligibility conditions.


In the case of public sector extension, the major reform in recent years has been the establishment of a district level coordinating agency, the ATMA (Agricultural Technology Management Agency), in 24 pilot districts with the World Bank support. Under ATMA, grass root level extension is mainly channelised through the involvement of Block level Technology Teams and Farmer advisory committees, farmer groups/ farmer interest groups and self help groups. ATMA is a district level autonomous agency entrusted with the role of agricultural technology management in the district.

ATMA is a registered society of key stakeholders in agricultural activities responsible for technology dissemination for sustainable agricultural development in the district. It is a focal point for integrating Research and Extension activities and decentralising day to day management of the public Agricultural Technology System (ATS). It is a ATMA was initially pilot tested in 24 districts across six participating states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Maharastra, Orissa and Punjab).

The ATMA at district level would be increasingly responsible for all the technology dissemination activities at the district level. It would have linkages with all the line departments, research organisations, NGOs and agencies associated with agricultural development in the district. ATMA management committee comprises of the Project Director of ATMA as the Chairman and members are drawn from line department heads, NGOs and farmers’ organization. The management committee carries out PRA, Strategic Research Extension Plan for the district, establishes Farmer Advisory Centres and co-ordinates the execution of annual work plan through participatory line departments such as ZRSs, KVKs, NGOs, FIGs/FOs and allied institutions. The ATMA creates Farmers Advisory Committees to provide feedback. It uses NGOs to organize farmers and encourages Private sectors in technology transfer. It also validates and refines technology. It also ensures increased use of information technology, arranges in-service training and encourages developing of new public and private partnership. The ATMA Governing Board (GB) comprises District Magistrate /Collector as chairman, Chief Development Officer as Vice Chairman and, Joint Director Agriculture, Head KVKs, one farmer, one NGO representative, one SC/ST farmer, lead Bank Officer of District, representative from Agricultural Marketing Board as members.

SREP (Strategic Research and Extension Plan)

It is the process of finding the best scenario for agricultural development and setting the best path to reach that destination by rigorous analysis and choices about; goals, opportunities and threats, strengths and weaknesses with respect to agricultural development in a district.

Goals-what is intended to be accomplished?

Opportunities and threats- what is needed and feasible?

Strengths and weakness-what is the capability of doing things?

SREP document provides the details of problems and technological needs for agricultural development in a district. Basic aim of SREP is to link the research and extension system with the farmers. It is a bottom up approach exercise carried out at the district level to identify the farmers needs, technological and training needs of the farmers. It speaks about extension and research priorities to be undertaken by the extension and research system based on the grass root analysis carried out by the SREP team. It is a comprehensive document prepared for the purpose of understanding the district agricultural scenario and to undertake need based research and extension programmes.

Based on the experiences gained from the pilot district, the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India in 2004-05 decided to expand the ATMA model across all the districts in the country. Extension continues to be funded as part of central and state level schemes/ programmes without much operational freedom at the local level, though the strategic research and extension plans (SREP) under ATMA envisage bottom up planning for extension. Marketing extension has been a recent addition but is understood and implemented mostly as provision of output price information in various markets and this is highly inadequate to address the challenges in marketing. Other extension support facilities created include, farmer training centres at the district level; SAMETI ( State Agricultural Management Extension and Training Institute) at the state level, EEI (Extension Education Institute) at the regional level; and MANAGE (National Institute for Agricultural Extension Management) at the national level. The details of the current institutional arrangements operating in the country is given in table 1

Table - 1 Current Extension institutional arrangements.

Sl. No

Extension organisations

Functions/ Roles / Capacity



Aimed at decentralized decision making and bringing convergence among extension providers in a district: Promotion of commodity interest groups: Developmental of a strategic research and extension plan: Provide additional funds to these agencies for key extension activities such as farm schools, demonstrations, exposure visits and trainings.



Technology application (technology assessment and refinement) through on-farm trials, front-line demonstration and training Formation of FIGs, SHGs, etc.


State line departments (Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, etc.)

Regulatory role; Implementation of development programmes that involve distribution of subsidies and subsidized inputs; Organizing extension programmes, farmers training etc.



Training farmers on new technologies Formation of SHGs, FIGs, etc.


SAU (Directorate of extension)

Implement extension programmes of the SAU and oversee activities of KVK



Exhibit wide diversity in terms of reach, credibility and capacity; Have good knowledge and networks with communities in villages they operate; Present in difficult and remote regions; Innovative in their approaches; Can potentially complement approaches of the public sector extension.


Private Agri-business firms

Agri-input firms mainly involved in product demonstration; Agro-processing and marketing firms mainly commodity oriented but do provide integrated support (inputs, technical support and marketing) for contract growers;



Dissemination of information on new technologies. Eg. E TV – Annadata, Krishi Dharsan etc.


Private consultants

Support large farmers growing cash crops and high value horticulture



Training senior and middle level extension managers Conduct studies on extension systems and policies Conduct management educational programmes in agriculture Provide Consultancy



Training middle level extension staff at the state level Conduct studies on extension systems at the state level



Training middle level extension managers at the regional level

The livestock technology generation and its application is focusing upon the themes of optimization by producers of their valuable resources, sustainability and copying with diversity by adapting technology more specifically to agro-ecological or social circumstances. The details of livestock extension reforms initiated are given in the table below-

Table - 2: Details of Extension Reforms

SI. No.

Extension Reforms

Issues addressed and Approaches


Policy Reforms

Farming systems Approach Multi agency extension service 1.public extension services 2.private extension services 3.mass media and information technology

Promotion of farmer participatory approach

Promotion of demand driven and farmer accountable extension

Public extension to enable farmers for problem solving skills

Encouraging private sector involvement in technology transfer

Public funds for private extension services


Institutional Restructuring

District level Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) model

Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP) through participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)

Block/Mandal level technology centre for single window extension system.

Group Approach to Extension

Strengthening Research-Extension-Farmer linkages.

Promotion of multi-agency extension service for widening the range of extension delivery agencies


Management Reforms

Central support to state Govt. of extension services on their undertaking of policy and institutional reforms.

Routing of Central Govt. funds through ATMA

Central Assistance to SAUs for expanded role in field extension

Promotion of community based private extension services

Promotion of NGO based private extension services and contracting out extension services

Promotion of para-professional based private extension

Linkage of performance with funding for public sector


Strengthening Research Extension Linkages

Promotion of direct interface between farmers and scientist

Activating existing interface mechanisms

Research priority setting based on SREP


Capacity Building of Extension Functionaries

Formulation of HRD policies by states

Formulation of training plan for extension functionaries

One time catch-up grant for training infrastructure

Upgrading State level extension Training Institutions

Strengthening role of MANAGE

Developing professionalism in cost effective manner and networking among extension institutes


Empowerment of Farmers

Involving farmers in setting extensive agenda

Implementation of programme through farmers users groups

Involving rural youth and mainstreaming of women with crop and livestock

Improving access to extension and training

Expounding the sphere of women extension workers and redesigning of extension services to reach women farmers


Use of Information Technology

Wider use of electronic mass media and increasing use of information technology in extension

Farmers participation in IT Programme

State support for information technology and networking

Promoting private information Kiosks

Capacity Building for use of IT


Financial Sustainability and Resource Mobilisation

Cost cutting mechanisms for extension services and efficient use of available resources

Privatization of agro services

Towards a realistic cost recovery of agro-services

Co-financing of public extension

Initiating new financial systems and management for avoiding bottlenecks and redtapism

Many of these projects of ICAR have very little impact on livestock production mainly because the focus was on increasing the crop production.

Current Extension Scenario: Issues and Approaches:

Many of the projects did not yield the expected results, which is mainly attributed to the poor participation of the farmers. Stray attempts have been made by several organizations to improve the farmer participation in the development projects. Some of the approaches which focus on farmer participation are discussed below:

Farming Systems Research

Farming System Approach replaces the conventional single discipline based, commodity oriented approach. The Farming system approach considers the farm, the farm household and off-farm activities in a holistic way to take care not only of farming but also all aspects of nutrition, food security, sustainability, risk minimization, income and employment generation which make up the multiple objectives of farm households. Farming system considers interdependencies of the components under the control of members of the households as well as how these components interact with the physical, biological and socio-economic factors not under the household’s control.

It is also necessary to understand the linkages between various elements of the farming system to get a better comprehension about the farming situation in which he operates. Because of this interdependent nature of several elements many a time it is difficult to find solutions for Farmers’ problems especially when one tries to look at the problem in isolation.

The interdependent elements of a farming system and their connection with other elements within the agrosystem

Source: Pervaiz Amir and Hendrick C. Knipscheer, CONDUCTING ON-FARM ANIMAL RESEARCH: Procedures & Economic Analysis Farming System Research considers the whole farm as a system with interdependent subsystems such as household, crops and animals. It aims at enhancing the efficiency of the entire farming system as a whole by utilizing all its sub systems. It lays emphasis on interactions between the sub systems or components with physical, biological and socio economic factors which are not under the control of the farmers. Some of the important characteristics as indicated by Amir and Knipscheer (1989)

The Farming system approach emphasizes that research and extension agendas should be determined by explicitly defined farmers’ needs through an understanding of the existing farming systems rather than the perception of research scientists or extension functionaries

FSR/E STEPS (abstracted from Singh et al., 1995)

The stages or steps of FSR/E vary from four to six depending upon the author. The most widely used steps in the process of FSR/E are:

diagnostic stage,

design stage,

testing stage,

dissemination stage

A fifth stage, that divides the dissemination stage into a pilot development phase and the dissemination phase is also common. In fact, most stages of FSR/E occur simultaneously. For instance, when urea treatment in paddy straw has been tested in the Operational Research Project of the National Dairy Research Institute at Karnal some constrains and some alternative solutions are developed and designed for on-farm testing, e.g. adjusted crop rotations, supplementation. The important concepts of each of the five phases are discussed below DIAGNOSTIC STAGE:

The diagnostic stage has a major objective to identify, characterize and analyze the existing farming systems through close consultation with farmers. It is supposed to diagnose problems and constrains of different components of the faming systems and to understand the felt needs, goals and preferences of relatively homogeneous groups of farmers engaged in a particular farming systems (the “recommendation domain”).

The nature of on-farm research in a research domain is exploratory; to answer the questions, what and where? In defining a research domain, a multidisciplinary team conducts, analyzes and characterizes the environments of each location, to design plans for farmers’ evaluation of technology, and then to define recommendation domains. The purpose of on-farm research within recommendation domains is to confirm answers about how each alternative technology or management approach responds and where each alternative performs the best.

In order to achieve the objectives of the diagnostic stage, informal survey methods such as Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) or Sondeo can be used. These are done by multidisciplinary teams that interview the farmers in groups or individually. These informal survey methods have an advantage of being quicker and less data intensive with more feedback. In order to focus the choice or area, and the relation with surrounding systems, it can be useful to proceed these exercises with zoning and transect studies.


The RRA’s or Sondeos are carried out once the process of identification and ranking of problem has been completed. The FSR team has to identify possible solutions; it should review previous research findings, and consult scientists, extensionists and farmers before planning on-farm research. There might be readily available on-the shelf technologies that can be selected for on-farm testing after assessing their economic feasibility. Ex-ante evaluation of the technologies should be done in this stage. There may also be problems for which technologies are yet to be developed on-station, leading to the identification of new research priorities. Thus, in design and planning stage, four distinct steps can be distinguished:

identification of causes of the problems;

analysis of inter-relation among problems and causes;

identification of possible solutions;

evaluation of solutions.

More information on identification of problem and screening of technologies is found later in this section.


In order to test new technologies, three types of on -farm trials may be conducted by the team:

researcher-managed trials;

farmer managed trials, and superimposed trials.

The researcher-managed trials are conducted to develop new technologies under the management and control of the researchers. However, farmer managed trials are conducted to learn how farmers respond to the suggested improvements to be made under their management control. Superimposed trials are conducted to experiment across a range of farmer managed conditions.

The technical feasibility of a new technology needs to be tested by on-station and on-farm research. Socio-cultural acceptability ( Cultural compatibility) may be tested by personal discussion with farmers to know their reactions. Sustainability of new technology may be assessed through the evaluation of is impact on human, livestock and natural resources. Economic viability can be assessed through partial budgeting, gross margin analysis, cost-benefits analysis and break-even analysis. The use of these tools depends upon the type of technology, design and objectives of the experiments, type and availability of data on relevant parameters, etc. various economic models can be used both for ex-ante and ex-post evaluation of any technology. It is extremely important to assess farmers’ evaluation and perceptions of the technologies.

Lack of adoption of technologies by farmers occurs even though technologies were found to be technically feasible, economically viable and socio-culturally acceptable. It’s therefore, often necessary to study, examine or redefine the extension process and institutional or input supply constrains. This was a reason why new approaches such as Pilot Outreach Projects or Operational Research Projects (ORP’s) were started. The ORP of NDRI is such an example where close linkages with various institutions and organizations at village, district, state and national level have been established and various proven technologies for dairy and crop production are transferred. In addition, veterinary services, artificial insemination, credit and milk marketing facilities were made available to the farmers. Thus, new technologies are fine-tuned during this stage for their effective extension on a large scale. In ORP, a system of continuous monitoring, evaluation, constraint identification and feedback has been developed which help the researchers and administrators to bring about desirable changes in the technology transfer programme.


Once “lab to land” and “land to lab” mechanisms have been developed in the Pilot Outreach Programme, the major task of transfer of benefits of new technologies to the rest of the region or the country remains to be fulfilled. It can bee achieved by collaboration with extension organizations of both public and private sector including Non Government Organisations.


An RRA can be defined as a systematic but semi-structured study, carried out in the field by a multi-disciplinary team over a short period ranging from three days to three weeks, based on information collected in advance from published and/or unpublished sources, direct observations and interviews as to generate working hypotheses for subsequent action (Chambers, 1983; Ison and Ampt. 1992).

RRAs are used to:

quickly identify, explore and diagnose rural systems and problems;

design, implement, monitor and evaluate programs/projects;

to develop and disseminate new technologies;

record farmers’ perceptions about new technologies, and projects, i.e. to assist in policy formulation and decision making;

identify priority areas for on-station and on-farm research;

improve, supplement or complement other types of research;

locally verify the details of zoning and transects made at state or regional level


Based on the objective, RRAs are catergorised into

Exploratory RRAs

Topical RRAs

Participatory Rural Appraisals or (PRAs)

Monitoring RRAs

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)

It comprises a set of techniques aimed at shared learning between local people and outsiders. The term itself is misleading because more and more PRA is being used not only in rural settings, and not only for project appraisal, but throughout the project cycle, as well as for research studies. Indeed, the term PRA is one of many labels for similar participatory assessment approaches, the methodologies of which overlap considerably. It is probably more useful to consider the key principles behind PRA and its associated techniques, rather than the name per se, when assessing its appropriateness to a particular situation.

There are five key principles that form the basis of any PRA activity no matter what the objectives or setting:

Participation. PRA relies heavily on participation by the communities, as the method is designed to enable local people to be involved, not only as sources of information, but as partners with the PRA team in gathering and analyzing the information. 

Flexibility. The combination of techniques that is appropriate in a particular development context will be determined by such variables as the size and skill mix of the PRA team, the time and resources available, and the topic and location of the work.

Teamwork. Generally, a PRA is best conducted by a local team (speaking the local languages) with a few outsiders present, a significant representation of women, and a mix of sector specialists and social scientists, according to the topic. 

Optimal Ignorance. To be efficient in terms of both time and money, PRA work intends to gather just enough information to make the necessary recommendations and decisions.

Systematic. As PRA-generated data is seldom conducive to statistical analysis (given its largely qualitative nature and relatively small sample size), alternative ways have been developed to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings. These include sampling based on approximate stratification of the community by geographic location or relative wealth, and cross-checking, that is using a number of techniques to investigate views on a single topic (including through a final community meeting to discuss the findings and correct inconsistencies).

PRA offers a "basket of techniques" from which those most appropriate for the project context can be selected. The central part of any PRA is semi-structured interviewing. The various methods used are discussed in detail under the heading ‘participatory methods’.

Participatory development leads to increased self-reliance among the poor and the establishment of a network of self-sustaining rural organisations. This carries important benefits: the greater efficiency of development services stimulates economic growth in rural areas and broadens domestic markets, thus favouring balanced national development; politically, participatory approaches provide opportunities for the poor to contribute constructively to development.

Methods in PRA

The most important PRA methods are as follows:

Village Transect

Transects are systematic walks with key informants through the area of interest, observing, asking, listening, looking, and seeking problems and solutions. The main objective of the transect walk is to understand and study the major land uses, topography, water resources, natural vegetation and different ecological zones by observing, interacting and discussing with the Key Informants (KIs), while walking in the deciding direction. The findings can be mapped on a transect diagram. Most transect walks result in the outsiders discovering surprising local practices such as indigenous conservation practices, multiple uses of plants, and a great variety of crops. The items for discussion include topics such as soil type, water resources, crops, vegetables, fruit plants, trees and shrubs, forages, animals, land use pattern, interventions, problems and opportunities.

Agro ecosystem map

Agro-ecological or agro-ecosystem map shows the macro and micro ecological (sub-systems) features in a village. The meteorological parameters like rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and the major flora and fauna of the village and the basic land use pattern such as crops, agro-forestry, forest cover, wasteland, animals and the natural resources like soil type, water resources (wells, river, channel, ponds etc.), common property resources (CPRs), use of locally available resources are depicted in this map. This map helps in the preparation of perspective planning for the village development.

Here the villagers were encouraged to draw the major land marks such as roads, boundaries, household area, low lying land and high lands first. Then based on the land topography they were asked to indicate soil types, crops, trees, animals, water resources etc.

Resource Map

Resource map was drawn after collecting information by the active participation of KIs of different age groups including female. Resource map describes main crops grown in the village, trees, animals, common property resources (CPRs), types of houses, school, farm implements, luxury and communication items, social resources like women groups, self help groups (SHG), local self government etc.

Seasonal Calendar

This is a calendar, which indicates month wise activities related to agriculture and livelihood, threats, abundance, and shortage with regard to agriculture in a diagrammatic way. The items to be included in seasonal analysis must be of those items, which really affect the agriculture. This explores seasonal constraints and opportunities by diagramming changes, month by month throughout the year. 

The main activities, problems and opportunities of the village were identified by using seasonal calendar. It depicts time-to-time crop related operations being carried out in the existing farm situation. Seasonal analysis helps in identifying the period which are critical in respect of labor demand, pest and disease problems, non-availability of fodder during dry months. 

Gender Disaggregated Seasonal Calendar

The animal husbandry activities are being done by both men and women. There are certain activities, which are carried out exclusively by men or women. So it is important to know those specific activities pertaining to a particular village for which the above method is used.

Seasonal Analysis

To know about the seasonal problems related to livestock seasonal analysis is carried out. In this method, the diseases affecting various animals are documented pertaining to their months of attack. Other information like availability of labor and fodder for animals are also recorded by involving the farmers. The information collected is depicted in the form of a table.

Social Map

This method gives a social profile of the village. This method can throw light on religious and caste preferences in animal husbandry.

Time Line

Historical analyses have been found to be a good icebreaker for field exercises and include detailed accounts of the past, of how things have changed, particularly focusing on relationships and trends. These include livestock technology histories and review, livestock breed histories, labor availability, trees and forest histories, education change, and population change. Folklore and songs are also valuable resources for exploring history.

Time Trend

Time trend shows quantitative changes over the period of time and can be used for many variables of agricultural, livestock, poultry production, price, yield and areas under cultivation.

Mobility map

The mobility map indicates the places to which the villagers go outside of their village for various purposes like purchasing fodder, inputs, family needs, animal husbandry needs, getting higher education, medical needs, social relations and recreation etc.

Mobility map indicates:

1. Places to which the villagers go for various purposes.

2. Direction of the place situated.

3. Mode of transportations.

4. Distance of the place from the village.

5. Cost of mobility in term of money spent etc.

Venn diagram

Venn diagram is used for understanding institutional relationship with village and the villagers for a particular enterprise. Each circle represents individual/ institution and the size indicates the magnitude of influence. Venn diagram is drawn to indicate the contributions of outside and inside agencies to animal husbandry development, organizations and individuals in the decision making process of the inhabitants as perceived by the villagers themselves.

Wealth ranking

Wealth ranking refers to placing the people on different categories according to their own criteria. The purpose is to find out the persons of the village, who belong to the rich, middle, poor and very poor group categories as perceived by the villagers themselves. Wealth ranking is based on the assumption that the community members have a good sense about fellow villagers in their own village and are able to categorize themselves. Livestock development must take into account the differences in wealth among farmers in order to determine the priorities for research and to develop the interventions and technical packages that are to be adopted by the majority of the farmers.

Wealth ranking helps the extension workers, developmental staff, researchers and other concerned for rural and livestock development to find out the inequalities and differences in wealth in every farmer and which in turn lead to overall understanding of socio-economic conditions of entire village community. This also will help in selecting the right type of beneficiaries for various programmes.

A study conducted on wealth ranking as a part of collaborative project (DelPHE) on“,Improving the livelihood security of women self help groups (WSHGs) involved in livestock rearing through capacity building in gender awareness” revealed that 55 % of the 1198 respondents belonging to 101 livestock dependent WSHGs spread in five states of southern India including Puducherry placed themselves under “ poor category”. The survey also revealed that the poor category respondents were mostly illiterates, landless, own kutcha houses, rear fewer animals when compared to their counter parts “better off“ within the WSHGs. The wealth ranking carried out by the respondents thus revealed the polarization of members within WSHGs, otherwise usually thought as a homogenous single unit ( Ramkumar et al.2009).

Livelihood Analysis

Livelihood analysis refers to find out the degrees to which the pattern of life differs from one social class to another social class in term of family size, landholding size, type of house, implements, annual income, income source, expenditure pattern, crisis management pattern, indebtedness etc.

Bio-resources flow Diagram

Bio-resource flow diagram reflects the inflow and outflow of farm and animal products and its byproducts from and to the household. It explains the interrelationship between different farm enterprises that enables holistic planning for development of farm household. 

Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK) Top

Indigenous technical knowledge (ITK) is the information gained over a period of time and passed on from generation to generation by word of mouth. ITK is the sum total of knowledge and practices which are based on accumulated experiences of people in dealing with situation and problems in various aspects of life. Such knowledge and practices are special to a particular culture. ITK in animal husbandry is a treasured source of local wisdom. This ITK needs to be documented, validated and the appropriate technologies or practices could be taken up for wider adoption. Appreciable work was done by the Institute of Innovation Foundation under the guidance of Prof. Anil Gupta. Efforts have been made to document, validate and refine the ITKs in animal husbandry by giving proper recognition to the source of ITK. These ITKs are being circulated widely through the publication “Honey Bee”. Similarly, many NGOs are involved in documenting the ITKs in their respective locations.

Technology Map

The technology map depicts the technologies related to animal husbandry, and related to farming that are found in the village as well as technology adoption behaviour of farmers that indicates the technologies that are adopted, rejected, discontinued and reinvented for different crops, domestic animal and fish.Technology behaviour includes the process of

Adoption: refers to use of technology by an individual for more than once. There are two types of adoption, namely active and passive adoption.

Over adoption: refers to continued adoption of a technology by an individual when experts feel that he or she should have rejected it.

Discontinuance: refers to decision to reject a technology after having previously adopted it. There are three types of discontinuance, namely replacement, disenchantment and forced discontinuance.

Reinvention: refers to the degree to which a technology is changed or modified by the user in the process of adoption.

Rejection: It is of two types, namely active and passive rejection. Active rejection consists of considering adoption of technology (including even its trial) but then deciding not to adopt it. Passive rejection refers to the decision of not considering the technology at all from the moment of its hearing.

AGRO-ECOLOGICAL ZONING AND TRANSECTS (abstracted from Jain et al, 1995)

An agro-ecological or agro-climatological zone is a geographical or socio –economic area on macro- or micro-scale, for example at village-, regional- or national level, which is relatively homogeneous in terms of natural conditions and agricultural activities. A transect is a crosscut through a village, region or larger area that graphically depicts the (agricultural) differences in the main zone

The relevance of zones and transects lies in the possibility to extrapolate research results and extension approaches, since conditions within zones are more similar than between zones. It is assumed that farmers living in the same zone would have similar problems whereas their technical requirement would also be similar. Since, the soil and climatic conditions of a region largely determine the suitability of different crops and livestock and their yield potential, intensive efforts have been made by various researchers to map agro ecological regions having uniform soil site characteristics.

India was divided into different climatic regions on the basis of

Livestock units per 100 ha of cropped land ( Singh, 1974)

Soil types and moisture index ( Krishnan, 1988)

Livestock density and per capita milk production ( Muthaiah, 1988)

Physiography and Climate ( Alagh et al, 1989)

The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning of ICAR has prepared two agro ecological maps with 54 and 21 delineations in 1992. However, the map with 21 delineations was finally approved by the Government of India.

Agro ecological transects are relatively easy to define depending on the ruggedness of terrain and visibility as affected by topography and vegetation. The transect is particularly appropriate when relatively rapid changes in topography and natural conditions are found on village or state level. The transect exercise will be very useful to identify areas with homogenous conditions, as well as to focus discussions of RRA team. It helps to plan,; amnage, channel and target the resources for technology generation, on farm testing and other extension efforts.

Agro climatic zoning involves

Identification of homogenous agro ecological zones ( with in a state, region or district level ) suited for the purpose of the classification.

Transects are drawn to specify the areas with nearly identical conditions

Identification of target groups through RRA/ PRA by multidisciplinary team.

Focused RRAs to assess the needs and constraints of the target groups which further help in identifying thrust areas for future research.


Acceptance or rejection of a technology by livestock farmers depends on the nature of the technology, quality and distribution of extension personnel, livestock farmers’ knowledge and attitude towards the technologies, performance under their conditions, accessibility to inputs and services and knowledge essential to inputs, services and knowledge essential for the maximum performance of the technology. The rate of adoption has been found to be influenced by relative profitability, observability of results, simplicity or complexity of the technology, cultural and technical compatibility and initial cost (Rogers, 19.). Gender bias is also an issue, particularly in provision of extension services as farm women have major roles in many animal husbandry activities.

In order to match field problems and technical/ management solutions from the field, there can be a mix of two directions of thinking: from the “lab to the land” and from the “land to lab”. The direction from Lab to land is a traditional approach in India whereas the land to lab approach is closer to FSR concept.

The lab to land approach helps the researchers from the “lab” to evaluate the usefulness of the research out put for specific farming systems, the “land “. This process could be considered as “ ex ante” evaluation of technologies. This process involves examination in detail of the requirements and characteristics of a particular technology, followed by a listing of ideal conditions for the technology to be most successful ( technically, socially and economically). Then the conditions existing within various farming systems are examined. They can be examined a simple ranking of existing conditions relative to the ideal state in order to determing which farming systems or recommendation domains appear to be most favourable for the use of this technology. Subsequently one should proceed with on farm testing and validation of the priorities.

The “land to lab” approach focuses on the description of important features of farming system ( land) including problems, objectives and constraints. It then proceeds to evaluate a range of available technologies (lab) that suit the farming system. It may even be able to select one outstanding technology from the available set and then proceed with on – farm testing.


The variety of tools and methodologies that are available to identify and to analyze the problems, and to find possible or appropriate solutions, include methods such as:

decision analysis

problem analysis

risk analysis

fit analysis



Decision analysis:

It is used to screen an individual technology. Livestock farmers have to routinely make decisions about breeding, feeding, culling and animal health treatments. Decisions analysis can enhance our judgments about the possible acceptability of new technologies. The four steps in carrying out a decision analysis are:

adequately define the problem at hand, including identification of all possible alternative courses of action.

construct a “decision tree”, involving the structuring of the problem over time starting with the initial decision to be made. Each course of action represents a branch of the tree, branches are referred to as nodes which may be under the control of the manager (square box) or a chance node (determined by fate) represented by a circle. (see Fig.)

identify probabilities associated with each branch arising from a chance node. The sum of the probabilities assigned to the branches must equal 1.00;

assign monetary values to the ends of each branch (the final outcome). (Source : Dohoo, 1984)

The solution to the problem is the outcome with the highest expected value. Costs assigned to a node are subtracted from revenues generated by the nod. One intervention (technology) examined during a BIOCON mini-workshop was the use of high yielding multi-cut forage sorghum intercropped with fingermillet (ragi) in the Eastern Dry Zone in Karnataka State (Fig. 1). That option was compared with the traditional pattern of lab-lab/fingermillet intercrop. The chance node is rainfall; decision nodes are use of this technology plus choice of crossbred or local cows. The example could bee completed by adding probabilities and net returns for each combination. Costs are subtracted along each branch from the revenue figure for each cow type – weather-cropping system technology combination. The highest estimated outcome would give the preliminary indication of the potential usefulness of this technology, but risk attitudes play and important role in technology adoption and this should eventually be factored in through risk aversion studies.

Potential topics that may require improved technologies are then set out as a set of separate branches, leading finally to potential solutions to be subjected to a screening process, as described later in this chapter. As a special note to the outcome of this problem tree it can be mentioned that a monodisciplinary approach, whether from veterinary officers, animal breeders or nutritionists, is likely to miss the mark. Of all problems mentioned at the end of the tree branches only few really pertain to a simple discipline. Moreover, simple disciplines only play a minor role, e.g. only one out of the six constraints are on animal nutrition in the example of Fig.2.

Risk analysis

A procedure which is also fairly easy to use as a simple model to look at a range of possible outcomes for a changed farming practice is called a Risk Analysis. This requires estimates of the worst possible outcome, the most likely possible outcome, and the best possible outcome of a particular technology, each with their associated probabilities. One common method of dealing with the latter is to put the worst and best outcomes plus or minus one standard deviation from the mean. The mean parameter serves in that cases as the most likely outcome, finally represented at the corners of two triangles (see Fig. 3)

For most agricultural technologies, weather conditions will often provide mush of the variability leading to these different outcomes. Prices can also be considered as a source of risk that must be considered by farmers. By combining combinations of outcomes, a simple distribution of possible profits and losses can be constructed using a stochastic activity budgeting approach. To look at possible combinations that farmers may face, the question of correlation between the budget parameters must be considered, i.e., does the “high or best” fodder production outcomes influence milk price?

Figure 3. An example of a risk analysis with the triangle approach

An example would be short duration green fodder production and possible milk prices. The possible outcomes (kgs of green fodder produced/ha) can be represented as a “triangular” distribution.

Fodder production

Most likely outcome: 32t/ha

Lowest outcome: 23t/ha

Highest outcome: 40t/ha

Milk prices

Most likely out: Rs.14.00 / Litre

Lowest outcome: Rs.10.00/litre 

Highest outcome: Rs.16.00./ litre

If there is a good season in terms of climate and many farmers are growing green fodder Production of green fodder will expand, milk productions will rise and prices will fall. A more likely situation is where the green fodder technology is to be tried on a limited number of farms and high production on these new farms will not influence local milk prices. Possible outcome for this uncorrelated case is given in Table1, based on the results of Figure.3.

Table 1. Possible Outcomes in Fodder Technology based on Fig. 3

Fodder outcome

Milk outcomes

Outcome No.





Most likely





Most likely



Most likely

Most likely


Most likely







Most likely





These values, when put into a production or budgeting model, produce nine different outcomes of output or profit/loss figures. Each combined outcome also has a probability attached to it, the product of the separate, uncorrelated probabilities. Again, farmers’ risk aversion will eventually have to be factored into this type of analysis and a minimum acceptable level of risk may have to be determined for different classes of farms.

Fit analysis

An example of a fit approach, here applied to the case of urea treated straw, is presented in Table below. It is also referred to as Factors Influencing Technology.The characteristics about how the technology performs and the cause-effect relationship between the technology and the characteristic of the farming system are listed.

Screening of Technologies and Management Practices

Screening means matching the available technologies with the needs of the livestock farmers. Screening helps in choosing appropriate technologies thereby reducing the efforts and costs in transferring the technologies which are otherwise not suitable to the livestock farmers or do not address their needs. The classic example is crossbreeding programme in India which has been implemented through out the country assuming that it suits to all the regions of the country. But it is very clear now that it is successful in some areas where the situation is favourable to it and failure in areas where it does not fit in. The consequences of crossbreeding programme were highlighted by Rao et al 1992.

Screening is really a summary of what technology or management practices can achieve in one, or a set of farming systems. It can consider not only nutritional parameters, but also farmers’ perceptions and socio economic aspects, not to forget gender issues. Screening is meant to help in:

ex ante evaluation of the likely productivity and acceptability of the innovation in a given farming system;

saving of resources for technology generation and on-farm testing;

identification of areas conducive for the introduction of an innovation;

comparison of technologies that can solve a given problem.

Table 2. An example of a “Fit” exercise for urea treated straw, i.e. a listing of factors that determine the usefulness of this technology


Best Fit Case

Type of straw

works best with slender straws (rice, wheat, barley)

Availability of straw

good supplies are required relative to other feed

Type of animal

medium production

Water availability

should be readily available

Green fodder availability

limited availability relative to straw

Cost and availability of urea

should be low cost and plentiful in supply

Cost and availability of (plastic) covering

low cost and good availability

Market price of milk

should be good enough to allow purchase of inputs like urea and polythene

Support service

should be good in initial stages of adoption


high availability is often the same as low cost, unless subsidy schemes interfere;

based on information from Stage I of FSR/E, one would use information from agro-ecological zoning and RRAs to determine specific farming systems that had most or all of the favourable characteristics listed on the right hand column, then proceed with on-farm trials.

Available animal technologies and management methods in livestock production can be screened by criteria such as:

adaptability of the technology in the socio-economic situation where the target farmers are operating;

availability of technical inputs and services such as medicines, feeds and markets;

economic viability of the technology within acceptable risk levels;

acceptability of technology according to cultural norms and values.

A simple example of a screening exercise is given in the table, concerning the application of different animal breeding options.

Table 3. Screening of Breeding Technologies based on perceptions of cattle owners


Selective breeding of indigenous cows

Crossbreeding of local cows

Grading up of local buffaloes



Very high*

High Observability of


Very slow


Very slow



Not so simple**

Simple Cultural





Extent of risk




* provided there is a good infrastructure of support systems and marketing of milk or crossbred animals;
** even when artificial insemination (AI) is available, it may be not accessible; communication, dedicated AI service and good heat detection skills are essential

Scoring/ Ranking

Problems can be ranked using different criteria, according to their relative importance. The important issue here is to remember that the ranking can differ between interest groups, for example between farmers and extension workers or policy makers (Table 4) ., or even between gender groups.

Table 4. An example of perceptual differences between researchers and farmers




Extension Worker

Policy maker

Local cow a source of


bull calves, dung



Utility of X-bred


not good, and it may

not convinced, but has


bullock as draught animal

be better to dispose of

to recommend it to the

male X-bred calves


Castration of bull

recommended for better

consider it as a bad practice



calves at 1-2 years

growth of the animal

as it weakens the animal



Gram husk

Poor feed

good fed supplement



Early weaning of calves

recommended it weakens the calf

viewed as a bad practice since



Nutritive value of

no difference in the

some like wheat straw better,



paddy & wheat straw


others prefer paddy straw



Criteria for feed Evaluation


cost of feed and its effect on growth, fat yield 

feed responses on milk production

possibility to earn foreign exchange

Reason for non-adoption of technologies

farmers ignorance & or ineffective extension

technology is not relevant

technology is not relevant and farmers are “uneducated”

technology is not reaching the farmers

New grain varieties

grain yield

grain and straw Yield

more gain and may be more straw

more grain

Objective of research

to increase biological Efficiency of milk production

to increase farm income

to increase milk as

to increase milk

well as draught capacity supply to feed the growing urban Population

Note:The readers may fill the gaps with question marks depending on their perceptions. It should be remembered that perceptions are perceptions, i.e. they may differ between observers. Source: Rao, et al.1995.