The Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms’ commonly known as ATMA is an on - going scheme being implemented since 2005 – 2006 in 4 Districts of Mizoram viz. Aizawl, Champhai, Kolasib & Lunglei, which was extended to the other four Districts viz. Lawngtlai, Mamit, Saiha and Serchhip since 2008 -2009.
The purpose of Extension Reforms Scheme is to promote new institutional arrangements and operational procedures. Therefore, to implement the Scheme, the Mizoram Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute (MAMETI) was established as an autonomous institution registered under Societies Registration Act, 1860, vide. Registration No. : /S.R. / MZ -113 of 2005 – ‘06 of 6th December, 2005.
MAMETI was setup in order to achieve the Aims and Objectives of the Schemes by –
● Providing capacity building support in Extension Management related areas to the extension functionaries from public, private and non-governmental sectors.
● Developing and promote application of management tools for improving the effectiveness of Agricultural Extension services.
● Organizing need based training programmes for middle level extension functionaries of Agriculture and Allied Departments etc.
●Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in the Districts are autonomous institutions set up at district level to ensure delivery of extension services to the farmers.
●Block Technology Team comprising of officers from agriculture and all line departments within the block provides extension support through preparation and execution of Block Action Plan.
●The Scheme benefited Agricultural and Allied farmers through extension functionaries and achiever farmers by imparting training and involving them in exposure visits, demonstrations, study tours, exhibitions etc.
The Scheme has been modified now with effect from April, 2010, it shall focus on the following key extension reforms as objectives of the Scheme :
● Providing innovative, restructured and autonomous institutions at the state / district / block level.
● Encouraging multi-agency extension strategies involving Public / Private Extension Service Providers.
● Ensuring an integrated, broad-based extension delivery mechanism consistent with farming system approach.
● Adopting group approach to extension in line with the identified needs and requirements of the farmers in the form of CIGs & FIGs.
● Facilitating convergence of programmes in planning, execution and implementation.
● Addressing gender concerns by mobilizing farm women into groups and providing training to them.
● Moving towards sustainability of extension services through beneficiary contribution.
Revised Guidelines for ATMA during 12th Plan
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the implementation of the National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET) during the 12th Plan period. The extension of NMAET and its components will be expanded and up-scaled appropriately and implemented in a more coordinated and convergent manner.
The Mission will have a total outlay of Rs. 13073.08 crore, with Government of India’s share of Rs. 11390.68 crore and State share of Rs.1682.40 crore.
NMAET consists of 4 Sub Missions:
(i) Sub Mission on Agricultural Extension (SMAE)
(ii) Sub-Mission on Seed and Planting Material (SMSP)
(iii)Sub Mission on Agricultural Mechanization (SMAM)
(iv) Sub Mission on Plant Protection and Plant Quarantine (SMPP)
Agricultural Technology, including the adoption/ promotion of critical inputs, and improved agronomic practices were being disseminated under 17 different schemes of the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation during the 11th Plan. The Modified Extension Reforms Scheme was introduced in 2010 with the objective of strengthening extension machinery and utilizing it for synergizing interventions under these schemes under the umbrella of the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA).
The NMAET has been envisaged as the next step towards this objective through the amalgamation of these schemes. The Mission Document has been prepared in keeping with the recommendations of the Working Group of the Planning Commission and suggestions and inputs received from extensive consultation with stakeholders, particularly farmers.
The common threads running across all 4 Sub-Missions in NMAET are Extension and Technology. Therefore, while 4 separate Sub-Missions are being proposed for administrative convenience, these are inextricably linked to each other at the field level and most components thereof have to be disseminated among farmers and other stakeholders through a strong extension network.
The aim of the Mission is to restructure and strengthen agricultural extension to enable delivery of appropriate technology and improved agronomic practices to farmers. This is envisaged to be achieved by a judicious mix of extensive physical outreach and interactive methods of information dissemination, use of ICT, popularisation of modern and appropriate technologies, capacity building and institution strengthening to promote mechanisation, availability of quality seeds, plant protection etc. and encourage aggregation of Farmers into Interest Groups (FIGs) to form Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs).
In order to overcome systemic challenges being faced by the Extension System, there is a need for a focused approach in mission mode to disseminate appropriate technologies and relevant information to larger number of farmer households through inter personal and innovative methods of technology dissemination including ICT.
To alleviate the challenges in the seed sector, there is a need to increase production of certified seeds, upgrade quality of farm saved seeds, coverage of at least 10 percent villages under the Seed Village Programme, production of 100 lakh quintals of seeds/year through the Farmers' Seed System, capacity building of the public and private sectors, upgradation of quality control of seeds, upgradation of seed production infrastructure and implementation of the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA) Act effectively.
Agricultural productivity has a positive correlation with level of farm mechanization. For accelerated growth in farm mechanization in the current decade, there is a need to include the large community of small and marginal farmers into the fold of cost effective and remunerative mechanized farming, to help sustain desired agricultural growth and to enhance agricultural productivity.
Plant Protection plays a significant role in achieving targets of crop production. Strengthening regulatory framework for management of pesticides and plant quarantine are important issues which are required to be taken up during the 12th Plan also. In view of concerns for food safety and impact on India's food and agricultural trade, there is a need to monitor and analyze pesticide residues in agricultural commodities in different agro-ecological regions of the country.
Tentative Allocation for Mizoram
The tentative allocation of funds for 2015-16 in respect of Mizoram under ATMA Scheme is Rs. 386.96 lakh.