"Leads"- LEAD Farmer Centered Advisory Delivery and Services"- is a fully state sponsored programme started in Kollam district during 2011-12 on a pilot basis. It is a programme coming under the "Strengthening of Agricultural Extension".
The implementation of the programme in the district
Kollam district is divided into 4 Agro-Ecological units viz.
AGRO ECOLOGICAL UNITS-4
- AEU 1 –Oachira, Chavara blocks
- AEU 2 – Eravipuram, Chittumala, Chathanoor blocks
- AEU 3 – Sasthamcotta, Chadayamangalam, Vettikavala, Kottarakkara blocks
- AEU 4 – Anchal, Punalur blocks
- PANCHAYATHS - 70
- KRISHIBHVANS - 70
- FIELD ASSISTANTS - 35(2 Panchayaths per FA) (Currently 33 FAs)
- LEAD FARMERS - 210
- SATALLITE GROUPS - 210
- SATELITTE FARMERS - 2100
Out of the 78 panchayaths of Kollam district LEADS programme is being implemented in Seventy Grama panchayaths, excluding the Muncipal area and Corporation areas.
Field Assistants are employed @ one FA per Two Krishi Bhavan, Thus there are 35 Leads FAs and for monitoring their works 2 District Technology Managers are employed at the HQ.
From each panchayath, three farmers are selected as LEAD farmers cultivating mainly paddy, Coconut and Intercrops such as vegetables and banana. Satellite group comprising of ten farmers is attached to each Lead farmer. This SFG will select a leader.
The lead farmer act as a link between the field Assistant and the farmers of his area. Each area Rs 4000/- (Rupees Four Thousand Only) is provided to the FA for laying out a demonstration plot exhibiting innovative activity relating to a particular technology relevant to that area.
Eg:-1. Silica Application in paddy cultivation
The satellite group leader and the members are the stake holders of technology dissemination in the panchayath area. They are also provided with Rs 4000/- group for technology Dissemination. Eg popularization of use of Pseudomonas.
Activities of Leads FAs
A CUG- facility (Call User Group) of BSNL is provided to all the Leads farmers (210 Nos), Satellite group leaders(210 Nos) and officers of the Department of Kollam district. 529 members are there in the group who can make free calls among the group members and each phone is charged with Rs 80/month for facilitating calls outside the group. This help immensely in the transfer of information and technology among farmers and extension personnel. Out of the 35 FAs only 12 FAs are provided with this facility.
A visit schedule is prepared at the HQ for the LEADs FA (A sample of the same is enclosed) in advance. As per the visit schedule the FA will be visiting all the Six Lead farmers and the SFG in his jurisdiction twice a month. Here the farmers problems are discussed and the FA with help of Agricultural Assistants and Agricultural Officers find solutions of these problems and intimate the farmers. The unsolved problems if any will be presented in the pre MTA meeting held at the block level.
The pre MTA meetings are held every month at the block level wherein Lead farmers, SFG Ls other farmers , Lead FAs, Agricultural Assistants and Agricultural officers of all Krishi bhavans in the block will be attending Ad issues of the block area related to agriculture are discussed in detail and usually a class is arranged on any new technology development innovative activity.
The proceedings of the pre MTA meeting are consolidated at the District level meeting held at the HQ(problem consolidation meeting) and DTMs intimate the consolidation issues which are unsolved to the KVK, who is the nodal institution supporting LEADs programme.
Every month Monthly Technology Advisory Meeting is held at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kollam. All ADAs, representative AOs & Agricultural Assistants, FAs, BTMs & ATMs attend the MTA where Scientists of KVK, reply to all the queries of the participants. State level Leads expert will also attend MTA.
A MTA bulletin is published by PD ATMA every month, 5000 copies of which are circulated among all the farmers and officers of the district by the field staff.