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Extension Advisory Service Among Farmers’ in Situation of Covid-19

The ongoing health crisis of COVID-19 (corona virus disease of 2019)pandemic disease over humanity has affected the each step of life. However, actions taken by Governments since the Corona virus attack created an unprecedented situation. India declared the nation-wide lock down which was subsequently extended for achieving satisfactory containment of the virus spread.

During this stage people are dying and crying without getting stuck where they have not found any way to get rid from this virus.Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) has forecasted decreasment in economic growth from 2.9% to 2.4% in 2020 and has warned. Economic growth may also reach nearly 1.5% until unless pandemic remained prolonged.

In present scenario, one of the most prestige sector i.e. agriculture impacting in order to production and supply of food chain whereas; farmers’ lack of capacity to deal with situation.At this point farmers’ need to  information for their agricultural work. On the other hand running pandemic COVID-19 farmers has no option to cope up with this fluctuated condition to produce enough. Therefore, to get more acquient; agricultural extension and advisory services (EAS) systems play an indispensable role at the front line stage of the response among farmers. However, to face the emergency in adverse situation the government regulations; EAS providers need to rapidly change their way of operating.

Extension Advisory Systems(EAS)expeditiously innovate to ensure an effective and efficient response in COVID-19. Such innovations include strengthening the coordination and governance of the pluralistic EAS system made up of public and private actors, producer organizations, farmer groups and networks; advances in digital extension, while using allavailable and accessible information channels; and facilitating and entering into partnerships with many actors in the agricultural innovation system.It is found that Food agriculture Orginazation (FAO) currently implements numerous technical assistance projects with components on strengthening EAS in more than 30 countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Near East, and Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which have been already adapted to address COVID-19 challenges current condition.

Requirement of agricultural extension and advisory services during COVID-19 pandemic information and advice for rural establishments such as rural communication and education institutions for emergency response in crisis providing credible information about the virus and farming related advice to adapt the various shocks.In regard to this how extension and advisory services remained efficient in education and communication sectors within regular outreach in rural areas. As we know the COVID-19 pandemic is not the first time, Extension Advisory Services(EAS) have been proved an efficient action which is taken in an unfolding disaster. In view of local reach out and communication skills, extension has supported efforts and educated during such crisis like HIV/AIDS, Ebola, avian influenza, etc.

Present situation of EAS

In the days after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, EAS responded quickly to provide COVID-19 information to rural communities and to adapt their regular outreach to the new normal of social distancing and non contact communication. In the pre-COVID-19 world, radio as hot media already proved a trusted source of dessimination of information among farmers as per their need. Radio reaches over 70 per cent of the world’s population and is used by EAS to reach rural areas with solid information and advice.Evidence shows that listening to radio increases knowledge and leads to adoption of new technologies and farm practices.

A couple of EAS country responses to the COVID-19 crisis show extension staff is working to spread information of virus,alongside continuing to share vital agricultural stuff. The platform is now targeting farmers, agriculture enterprises, households and low-income families for further effectiveness during COVID-19. Local platforms such as one in India have a fighting COVID-19 providing advice for farmers.

In addition to this, extension and advisory services like the following may be able to offer some solutions too:

 Deliver on time information
 Participating with community radio
 Get in touch with social media
 Developing packages of practices
 Linking farmers to markets
 Promoting farmer producer organizations (FPOs)

Future outcomes

Continuous flow of information dealing with emergencies in COVID-19 providing such information towards farmers. EAS can offer support during uncertainty and sudden changes that come with the pandemic and strategies to bounce back from shocks and enhance resilience.We must build more robust and effective extension programs that continue to function seamlessly in a crisis-helping with disease management efforts while continuing to support agricultural operations and averting food insecurity.

By- Amit Kumar (Research Scholar)
Deptt. of Extension Education, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar
E-mail: amitkumarmungarwal@gmail.com                                                            Mob.no- 8059186594

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