Vol.8 No.1 (2013)

Assessing the training needs of agricultural
extension workers about organic farming in
the North-Western Himalayas

Dinesh Singh Yadav*, Pankaj Sood, Surender Kumar Thakur & Anil Kumar

Agricultural extension organizations worldwide face challenges of professional competence among their employees. Planning, training and management of human resources within extension organizations are essential to increase the capabilities and overall effectiveness of extension personnel. This paper examines the training needs of agricultural extension workers in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India, regarding organic farming. Random sampling was used to select 65 extension personnel of the Himachal Pradesh State Department of Agriculture (HPSDA) from within ten districts of the state. The data are self reported scores collected with a structured instrument in which ten aspects of organic farming were addressed. The results revealed that the majority of extension workers reported medium to high training needs in seven specific areas: biodynamic farming, homa farming, bio-rational pest management techniques, biological methods of pest control, bio-fertilizer technology, record keeping/certification standards, and grading/packing and marketing of organic produce. The majority of extension workers reported low or no training needs in the areas of composting/vermicomposting, green manuring/green leaf manuring, and crop rotations. There was no significant relationship between age, educational qualifications, or service experience with identified training needs. To achieve the potential for the uptake and successful implementation of organic farming amongst Himachal Pradesh farmers, the training of HPSDA agricultural extension workers could concentrate on improving their knowledge in the seven identified areas of organic farming skills.

Key words:Organic agriculture, training needs, extension officers, Himachal Pradesh, India.


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Author Contact

Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University,
Farm Science Centre, Sundernagar District Mandi Himachal Pradesh, India



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