Rapid agricultural growth continues to be the key to poverty alleviation and overall economic development. Agriculture accounts for about one-fourth of the Gross Domestic Product and is the source of livelihood for nearly two-thirds of the population. Food grain production more than quadrupled since the early 1950s from 51 million tons to over 209 million tons in 2003, while population nearly tripled from 350 million to one billion during the same period. In Rajasthan half of its geographical area (342.58 lakh ha) is cultivated with a production of around 100 lakh tonnes of cereals, 7.26 lakh tonnes of pulses, and 7.14 lakh tonnes of oilseeds, 5.61 lakh tonnes of sugarcane, and 8.05.14 lakh bales of cotton and 4.81 lakh tonnes of guar seed etc. The Green Revolution has been the cornerstone of agricultural achievement, transforming the state from one of food deficiency to self-sufficiency. In context of State Rajasthan State, the persisting challenges are a large population - 3.50 crore, diverse group of farming community– 32 lakh farmers, main task force “women flocks over 70%, majority of resource poor farmers, low level of literacy, a large numbers of small holdings, a poor access of resource poor farmers to technology, diverse needs of each group of farmers, a variety of farming situations limited irrigation facility, diversity in agro climates, a poor marketing chain, over 20000 senior / middle / junior levels field functionaries.
The changing economic scenario in India and the need for appropriate agricultural technologies and agro-management practices to respond to food and nutritional security, poverty alleviation, diversifying market demands, export opportunities, and environmental concerns is posing new challenges to the technology dissemination systems. It is expected that future agricultural growth would largely accrue from improvements in productivity of diversified farming systems with regional specialisation and sustainable management of natural resources, especially land and water. Effective linkages of production systems with marketing, agro-processing and other value added activities would play an increasingly important role in the diversification of agriculture. The present thrust given onto “transfer of technology based on package of practices for optimising crop production” has to be turned to areas of future manifestation like market-led extension, diversification of agriculture, micro irrigation value addition, integration of different sciences, genetic engineering and bio-technology and more particularly agricultural marketing, processing witnessing major changes.
With the ascent of World Trade Organisation (WTO) and implementation of GATT and TRIPS, new challenges have been emerging every day. A paradigm shift in training has, therefore, required. The thrust given onto “package of practices for crop production” has turned to areas of future manifestation like market-led extension, diversification of agriculture, value addition, integration of different sciences, genetic engineering and bio-technology and more particularly agricultural marketing, processing witnessing major changes owing to liberalization and globalisation of markets. To meet with the challenges Agriculture has to be market driven, more cost effective, competitive, innovative and responsive to high tech and IT applications. Thus it was felt necessary to expand the scope of this institute from merely an excellence centre for training and HRD activities but also but also extended to applied research, evaluation of development initiatives, feasibility studies, be repository of knowledge and skill in the field of agriculture and sourcing the policy initiatives. The institute, therefore, converted into an autonomous body in 2003 with the following vision statement, mandate and mission.
The Government of Rajasthan set up “State Institute of Agriculture Management (SIAM)” in 1993 as premier state level Institute catering the needs of extension, training and applied research in agriculture sector. This institute continued to be operative as Government body till it granted the autonomy on 16th June, 2003 by having its registration under Rajasthan Society Act, 1958. All the prominent land base Departments like Agriculture, Horticulture, Watershed Development & Soil Conservation, Agriculture Marketing, Agriculture Marketing Board,, Rajasthan State Seeds Certification Agency, Rajasthan State Seeds Corporation and Rajasthan State Warehouse Corporation subscribed to the Memorandum of Association. It further strengthened by having the representation of GOI, MANAGE, HCMRIPA, ICAR Institute, SAUs, Input Supplying Agencies, Agro Industry and the experts of Social Science, HRD, Extension etc. on its governing council (Annexture-I). The Memorandum of Association organisation is given in (Annexture-VII). This institute was first set up as Gram Sevak Training Centre in 1962 at Agriculture farm, Durgapura, Jaipur and later converted to Agriculture Training Centre in 1968. It got strengthened in 1976-77 under T&V programme along with the second Agriculture Training Centre established at Tonk in 1978. The Jaipur Centre was upgraded to State Institute of Agriculture Management in 1993 under World Bank Agriculture Development Project and Tonk Center exclusively attached to this institute in 1998. T&V era until 1993 both these centres made a remarkable progress in Training and HRD activities by conducting 1078 training programmes in all the major disciplines training 14,034 persons of senior, middle and junior level officers / officials. Since up gradation in 1993 it organised 1083 training programmes imparting skills to 19,501. With the above achievement, SIAM could establish as premium training institute for the agriculture sector.
Be a repository of knowledge, hub of information networking & documentation, and the facilitator to developing the capabilities of all the key players including farming community so as to agriculture sector grows and emerges as the strong business enterprise .
“Developing appropriate learning atmosphere to upgrade skills, competencies, knowledge of all the key players in agriculture sector, enhancing knowledge through Research & Development, Case, feasibility, evaluation studies, facilitating producers–market-consumer interface”
The scope of training now encompasses to capacity building of the beneficiary groups namely, the farmers, input supply agencies / dealers, people involved in agro-processing and market functionaries, private and public services providers, and even people engaged in development of technology and of course the farmer be competent to meet with the challenge of competitive hi-tech innovative market driven high productivity syndrome and crop planning (area specific, crop specific, buyer specific and consumer specific), Direct-Marketing and localized post harvest management, finance, commodity exchanges, online market information system etc and futures markets, Therefore, much of the energy and resources would be required in preparation of “training and education modules”. It may have incorporate and integrate all such important areas of agriculture development and marketing
Thus it is felt necessary to expand the scope of training institutes from merely an excellence centre for training and HRD activities but also but also extended to applied research, evaluation of development initiatives, feasibility studies, be repository of knowledge and skill in the field of agriculture and sourcing the policy initiative so that effective transformation takes place through extension functionaries including private extension agencies and input dealers.
Process issues – increasing knowledge base, skill development, attitudinal change, group dynamics, team building, behaviour, motivation in government, conflict management, training of master trainers so as to tackle over 20,000 senior / middle / junior levels field functionaries
Task issues - need based & location specific, mobilize the all training Institutions including NGOs on the following thrust areas
Action Plan will base upon the systematic skill-gap analysis for the clientele groups of extension machinery, dealers and farmers. Such a plan should incorporate compulsory training and skill upgradation for all extension functionaries at least once in two years since regular upgradation of their skills & knowledge is essential for the effective transfer of technology and reorientation keeping in view changing requirement. A massive campaign will need to be launched for skill upgradation and capacity building of extension functionaries using resources of all training institutes. The training courses comprising skill up gradation in (i) need assessment techniques including the role of participatory rural appraisal (ii) group formation (iii) conflict resolution and negotiations between different interest groups (iv) development of entrepreneurial skills for agri-business management (v) data collection, analysis and documentation (vi) use of mass media communication techniques to communicate messages about available technology.
The action plan considers for (i) need assessment (ii) development of appropriate curricula for training of field staff, with major focus on marketing related issues, (iii) developing professionalism in cost effective manner, training Institutes / Centres may focus on developing core competency; other services may be out-sources or contracted, (iv) feedback from participants must be used to evaluate performance of faculty. The courses should be conducted jointly with scientists of SAUs, National and State level agriculture education institutions. The National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) will assist the States institutions in developing their HRD capacities. Training Institutes and SAUs are to train private extension functionaries and facilities of public training institutions and SAUs will made be available to NGOs and private extension agents.
To review the development processes and the impact of developmental interventions it is necessary to look into the processes and the contents of the public initiatives. However, there are few important areas to be given priority are given in Annexture-II.
To attain an insight in developmental, technological, managerial and issues involved in the overall development of agriculture sector, topical studies are essential for an academic institution. At this moment there are few core areas which requires detailed studies, as given in Annexture-II.
In academic interest, it is essential that any institution involved in the management of programme implementation and policy framing, it must undertake applied research work, some of the thrust areas as given in Annexture-II.
SIAM has 19 in-house faculty in all the major streams of agriculture, namely Agronomy, Soil Science & Soil Conservation, Horticulture, Extension, Plant Protection, Farm Management, Agriculture Engineering, Breeding, Economics etc. Its second campus is at Tonk is also equally strengthened with faculty support in all the principles streams of agriculture. The details of staffing pattern and faculty have been given in Annexure –III. Secondly, the capital city Jaipur being its headquarter have the advantage of a large number of other institutions located for effective collaboration and avail the privilege of services in the field of TOT in any of the disciplines, as when required.
Besides own faculty support, we have to forge strategic linkages with the potential partners who could share their valuable material, human and financial resources in supporting the cause of our State Institutions, particularly institutions in agriculture fields. The list of Institutions for setting up strategic linkages is given at Annexure –IV
GOI has been setting up a state level portal for dissemination of market information and the AGMARKNET hub would be extending information access to farmers as well furnished kiosk
This institute is well aware with the current changes, through electronic information revolution with advancement of computer technology and communication through Internet. Hence, computer training and Internet facilities have been developed independently.
Computer Training Lab with P4 21 nodes and two supercomputer severs upgraded window based software XP 2004
Job computer - 2 Apple Mac is installed for academic input preparation. And one data mini with Internet facility having communication modem through VSNL
Library –Having More than 2000 books., and most of them are of latest edition on different aspects of Agricultural technology.
Information Audio-visual SIAM is well equipped with the equipments for the training in audio visual aids and conducted programmes on photography and videography with the help of NID, Hyderabad. It is provided with good sound system in the Conference hall and auditorium and display equipments like OHP, slide and film projector, LCD & DVD projector with automatic copy, copy and pana boards. Two Rooms with printing facilities having digital scanner, Heavy duty photo copier and 3 Xerox machines dissemination channels / Documentation Centre
Prior to 1993 SIAM had been operative as Agriculture Training Centre. Following its upgradation as State level Institute it had undergone a variety of changes in Faculties / Infrastructures / Facilities but upgradation of physical facilities and infrastructures taken up step by step and it may continue in future too. At present available facilities are given in Annexure-V.