Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Agricultural Knowledge Transfer in India: A Study of Prevailing Communication Channels

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Agricultural Knowledge Transfer in India: A Study of Prevailing Communication Channels

Article excerpt

Agriculture has been a part of human life since the beginning of the human race and the need for agricultural information is probably almost as old as agriculture itself. Babylonian clay tablets have been found that contain agricultural information. Blanchard (1997) hypothesized that, "the great library at Alexandria undoubtedly had many treatises on agriculture inscribed on papyrus". Throughout history, in many civilizations, there have been libraries that have included agricultural information, and separate agricultural libraries were established in Europe in the mid-eighteenth century.

In India, special attention was paid to development of an agricultural research infrastructure immediately after Independence. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) acts as a repository of information and provides consultancy on agriculture, horticulture, resource management, animal sciences, agricultural engineering, fisheries, agricultural extension, agricultural education, home science, and agricultural communication. It has the mandate to coordinate agricultural research and development programmes and develop linkages at national and international levels with related organisations to enhance the quality of life of the farming community. ICAR has established various research centres in order to meet the agricultural research and education needs of the country. It is actively pursuing human resource development in the field of agricultural sciences by setting up numerous agricultural universities spanning the entire country. The Technology Intervention Programmes also form an integral part of ICAR's agenda which establishes Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) responsible for training, research, and demonstration of improved technologies. Agriculture universities were set up in various states and national level agriculture labs were established under the ICAR. Presently there are 38 state agricultural universities, 37 research institutes, five research bureaus, 17 national research centres, seven project directorates and other allied departments. These universities and laboratories have helped in bringing the Green Revolution, White Revolution, and Blue Revolution, and have helped the country to come out of the situation of food scarcity and achieve food self sufficiency and food surplus.

The Indian agricultural sector provides employment to about 65% of the labour force, accounts for 27% of the GDP, contributes 21% of total exports, and provides raw materials to several industries. The livestock sector contributes an estimated 8.4% to the country's GDP and 35.85% of the agricultural output. India is the seventh largest producer of fish in the world and ranks second in the production of inland fish. Fish production has increased from 0.75 million tons in 1950-51 to 5.14 million tons in 1996-97, a cumulative growth rate of 4.2% per annum, which has been the fastest of any item in the food sector, except potatoes, eggs, and poultry. The future growth in agriculture must come from new technologies which are not only "cost effective" but also "in conformity" with natural climatic regime of the country (Singh, 2004); technologies relevant to rain-fed areas specifically; continued genetic improvements for better seeds and yields; data improvements for better research, better results, and sustainable planning; bridging the gap between knowledge and practice; and judicious land use resource surveys, efficient management practices, and sustainable use of natural resources.

Recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development--Agenda 21 (United Nations 1992) on "Information for decision-making" are the development of indicators for sustainable development; promotion of global use of indicators for sustainable development; improvement of data collection and use and methods of data assessment and analysis; establishment of comprehensive information framework; strengthening of capacity for traditional information; production of information usable for decision making; development of documentation about information; establishment of standards and methods for handling information; establishment and strengthening of electronics networking capabilities, and making use of commercial information sources. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.