Agro-advisory effectiveness of m4agriNEI on climate sensitive sustainable agriculture: an evaluative study

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College of Post Graduate Studies in Agricultural Sciences, Central Agricultural University , Imphal
The complex, diverse and risk prone agriculture of North East India is exposed to challenges caused by climate change. Extreme weather events or inter annual variations in rainfall and temperature results in reduced yields or even the destruction of crops, affecting farmers’ incomes and livelihoods. Mobile-enabled information services have the potential to play an important role in improving the adoption of modern technologies, inputs, and best practices. The collaborative research project - m4agriNEI between CPGS and Digital India Corporation is an innovative mix of mobile and web applications along with Toll Free IVRS based farmer specific advisory system in which the system allows transmitting the Agro-Advisory Services (AAS).The dissertation, in order to examine the AAS effectiveness of m4agriNEI inclimate sensitive sustainable agriculture CSSA, has embodied two research objectives viz., (1) To develop the evaluative indicators of Agro-Advisory Services of m4agriNEI on climate sensitive sustainable agriculture, and (2) To ascertain the effectiveness of Agro-Advisory Services to registered farmers ofm4agriNEI on climate sensitive sustainable agriculture. The Study followed diagnostic research design. Based on agricultural importance two project districts namely the Ri-Bhoi and East Khasi Hills districts were selected purposively. Consequently, two agriculturally important project blocks, one from each district, were selected purposively, further from each selected block three agriculturally important villages having highest registered farmers were selected purposively. Keeping power = 0.95, α = 0.05, effect size of 0.3, a total of 134 respondents were finally selected for the study by following proportionate random sampling without replacement. By performing content analysis from the universe of 104 kinds of SMSs which had been pushed to registered farmers, ten (10) evaluative indicators have been identified. Administering the agro-advisory effectiveness index of m4agriNEI, which has been developed for the study, it was found that high percentage –nearly (44.10%) of respondents claimed that the AAS of m4agriNEI was highly effective pertaining to CSSA. The study also examined the socio-economic, knowledge and adoption profiles of the respondents w.r.t. CSSA. It was noted that more than (55.20%) of respondents were in middle age; majority of respondents with the percentage of about (80.60%) and (68.70%) belonged to marginal farmers and had medium level of annual income, respectively. Higher percentage, about (38.80%) of respondents had education up to high school. Pertaining to the ‘Knowledge on Mitigation and Adaptation of CSSA practices’ and ‘Adoption of CSSA practices’, it was revealed that the respondents belonged to medium category with percentage of about (75.30%)and (56.70%) respectively. On testing the independence, by using chi-square, between ‘Effectiveness of AAS of m4agriNEI on CSSA’ and ten evaluative indicators, it was divulged that all the nine indicators expecting ‘Frequency of calls made by respondents’ were found to be significant at 1% level of significance. The study conclude that AAS of m4agriNEI is an effective tool for disseminating information on CSSA, however the effectiveness can be further enhanced if there were provision for customized decision support systems.