Department of Agricultural Extension
Only the demonstration can make teaching perfect
On-farm demonstrations serve as one of the most effective Extension education tools. For rural women, rural youth and students in Agricultural Extension, small demonstration plots provide a backdrop on which to demonstrate and teach appropriate technologies, as well as venues to test new methods side by side with traditional methods.
Although demonstrations require considerable time and effort, the payback comes when resource poor farmers more readily adopt practices they perceive to be effective and appropriate under local conditions. This is known as “seeing is believing.”
Department of Agricultural Extension has given an area of about 0.3 acre for demonstration and teaching. This demonstration unit showcases many different techniques and novel practices in organic farming and kitchen gardens. This includes IPM, and urban gardening. Rather than utilize state of the art, expensive techniques and equipment, the demonstration farm utilizes low cost/zero cost/appropriate technologies that women and resource poor farmers can implement in their homes and farms. The demonstration plots are also available as a venue and a hands-on teaching tool for women farmers, rural youth, resource poor farmers and students of UG and PG level.
Department of Agricultural Extension has undertaken the demonstrations both at demonstration unit in the institute and villages in Bolpur-Sriniketan and Illambazar blocks involving more than 100 farmers. The under-graduate and post-graduate students are trained and provided an exposure in conduction of demonstration, farmers' need assessment and agro-eco system analysis, etc. The demonstrations are focused on summer season vegetables farming and rabi season vegetables farming in the demonstration unit, which were witnessed by the students and farmers. The nursery of different vegetable crops is raised and seedlings are distributed to the farmers. Field level demonstrations on cultivation of pulses and oilseeds are organised during rabi season covering about 100 famers cultivating about 20 hectare area in 15 villages of Bolpur-Sriniketan and Illambazar blocks in Birbhum district. Under these demonstrations seeds of high yielding varieties of lentil, gram and mustard are given to the farmers to grow the crops in the areas under rice-based cropping systems, where the farmers obtain an average yield of 0.80 t/ha, 0.90 t/ha and 1.20 t/ha in case of lentil, gram and mustard, respectively.