ATMA : Agricultural Technology Management Agency
ATMA : The Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) scheme benefits most farmers in bridging technology gaps in the sector. The aim of the program is to centralize the management of agricultural technology transfer through organizational measures and the introduction of innovative technologies. ATMA operates as a registered society in respective states and encourages farmers, farmer groups, Panchayat Raj Institutes, NGOs, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and other stakeholders at the district and village levels to be part of this farmer-centric extension system. It offers farmers technical advice and training on new practices and technologies.
Objectives of ATMA
ATMA aims to achieve the following goals:
Establishment of new, structured and centralized institutions at the level of the state, districts and municipalities.
Strengthening the already existing extension system with innovative and efficient operational procedures.
Simplification and decentralization of decision making to district and block level.
Accelerating towards the viability of extension services.
Encouraging farmers to participate in program planning, coordination and resource sharing and increase their accountability.
Strengthening links between key government departments, research organizations and stakeholders.
It offers a structural mechanism for coordinating and supervising the modernization activities of several institutions involved in technology modification and distribution at the district and village levels.
Increasing the quality and type of distributed technology.
Building partnerships with third party institutions like NGOs, Panchayat Raj Institutions etc.
Implementing innovations in the farming system and organizing farmers to overcome technological disparities and mismanagement of natural resources.
Addressing gender issues by gathering and grouping women farmers into groups and offering advanced training.
Availability of technical advice to farmers on new practices and technologies under ATMA has led to higher/more rational use of new practices and technologies.
ATMA provides an institutional mechanism to coordinate and manage the agricultural extension system in the district.
After its successful outcome, this scheme is now being implemented in 676 districts of 29 states and 3 union territories in the country. In fulfilling its objectives for the benefit of farmers, it performs the following activities.
Building a reliable Farmer Advisory Committee for obtaining and improving their feedback provided to State Agricultural Universities (SAU) and National Agricultural Research System (NARS).
Grouping of all NGOs operating in UTs, States, Districts or Villages.
Educating and training farmers on technological modernization by involving and supporting private institutions.
Certification and technology improvement through district and block level research units.
Improving the scheduling process to increase productivity.
Providing additional training for stakeholders and helping to provide global competence.
Creating more farmer groups and empowering them with innovative ideas and methodologies.
Establishing new partnerships between public and private parties.
Allocation of resources
The Central Government allocates 90% of the fund as subsidy to all States/UTs and the State Governments allocate 10% of the fund. The 10% share from the state government is input from the cash contribution of the state or contribution from other beneficiaries and NGOs.
A total amount of Rs.226.07 crore is sanctioned under this scheme. Funds are allocated and shared between the Centre, State and District in an agreed ratio.
A share of 77.53%, which is equal to an amount of 167.56 crores, is allocated for the implementation of programs at the district level.
The amount of 22.15 million crowns is allocated for the implementation of programs at the state level, i.e. the share of sharing is 10.25%.
A share of 12.22%, which is equal to the amount of 26.41 million crowns, is reserved by the central government for carrying out other operational activities.
The scheme is implemented through inter-institutional procedures which are as follows:
The State Level Sanctions Committee (SLSC) set up under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) is the apex body that evaluates and approves the State Extension Work Plan (SEWP). Other responsibilities of the committee include:
Coordination and management of system activities in the state
Collaboration with Nodal Officer, Coordinator, Gender Coordinator and other staff in obtaining information for the evaluation of District Agricultural Action Plans (DAAPs)
Obtaining farmer feedback from the State Farmer Advisory Committee (SFAC) and developing a State Extension Work Plan (SWEP)
Approve and oversee the implementation of these work plans by establishing the following committees:
Interdepartmental Working Group (IDWG)
SAMETI Executive Committee
State Farmers Advisory Committee (SFAC)
A District Farmers Advisory Committee (DFAC) is established at the district levels to provide feedback to the farmers for the planning and implementation of ATMA at the district level. The committee’s responsibilities include:
Management of the overall activity of the agricultural extension system in the districts
Drafting a Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP) and setting up the following committees to carry out operational activities:
ATMA Board of Directors
ATMA Steering Committee
District Farmers Advisory Committee (DFAC)
A Block Farmers Advisory Committee (BFAC) is formed at all block levels by bringing together a group of selected farmers in each block to develop a Block Action Plan (BAP).
A Block Technology Team (BTT) is formed to provide the required assistance in the execution and implementation of plans in each block ATMA cell. BTT includes agriculture officers and other allied departments in the block.
Farmer Friend (FF) is formed at the village level to serve as a link between farmers and extension systems.
Agricultural entrepreneurs, input dealers, NGO workers and Diploma holders in Agricultural Extension Services for Input Dealers (DAESI) come together to support the activities of extension officers.
Commodity Interest Groups (CIGs), Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) and Village Level Food Security Groups act as a focal point for disseminating information and technology among their members.