23 December 2021, New Delhi: A Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Support to State Extension Programs for Extension Reforms’ popularly known as ATMA Scheme is under implementation since 2005 for promoting decentralized and farmer-friendly extension system in the country. Presently, 691 districts of 28 states & 5 UTs are covered under the scheme. Under the scheme Grants-in-Aid is released to the State Governments with an objective to support State Government’s efforts to make available the latest agricultural technologies and good agricultural practices in different thematic areas of agriculture and allied areas to farmers through different extension activities viz; Farmers Training, Demonstrations, Exposure Visits, Kisan Mela, Mobilization of Farmers Groups and organizing Farm Schools etc.
Skill Training (min. 200 hrs. duration): The Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare has operationalized skill training (min 200 hrs.) to impart training to rural youth and farmers after the Gazette Notification issued by Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in July, 2015. These courses are conducted through National Training Institutes, State Level Training Institutes (SAMETIs), Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Agricultural Universities. The skill trainings are conducted on the Qualification Packs developed by Agriculture Skill Council of India (ASCI) in agriculture & allied areas in compliance with the National Skill Qualification Framework. The major areas of skill trainings include mushroom production, bee-keeping, micro-irrigation, maintenance and repair of farm equipments, nursery management, organic grower, vermi-compost production, animal husbandry, dairying, poultry, fishery etc.
The ‘Skill Training of Rural Youth’ (STRY) of ‘Sub Mission on Agriculture Extension’ (SMAE) is under implementation in the country since 2015-16. The short term skill training of 7 days (15 trainees per batch) is imparted to rural youth and farmers on specific vocational areas in agriculture and allied areas through public and private/Non Governmental training institutes including Krishi Vigyan Kendras and State Agricultural Universities. The funds are released to National Institutes of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad being an implementing agency of STRY component.
Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs): The Government has set up 727 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in the Country with mandate of technology assessment and demonstration for its application and capacity development. As part of its mandated activities, the KVKs organize training programmes for farmers including rural youth and women farmers for their knowledge and skill up gradation in agriculture and allied sectors.
The Guidelines of ATMA Scheme provide that States and other Implementing Agencies to incur 30% expenditure on Women Farmers and Women Extension Functionaries.
During last five years i.e. 2016-17 to 2020-21, an amount of Rs.2795.68 crore was released to the States/UTs/MANAGE to carry out extension activities and total 2,10,59,707 farmers have been benefitted through different extension activities under the ATMA Scheme, out of which 53,11,274 Women Farmers have been benefitted.