(Written by: Allah Dad Khan and Junaid Hafeez)
Agriculture is an important sector of Pakistan economy. It employees 52% of the labor force and accounts for 26% of gross domestic product (GDP). Agriculture contributes 70% of export earnings. Due to expansion in population at annual rate of 3% and utilization of land and water resources the pressure on agriculture is increasing tremendously. Nations will enter the 21st century on the wings of technologies. In the absence of skilled and talented personal a country like Pakistan can only maintain its survival with the most dynamic, efficient and energetic personals.
Pakistan is a developing country where the production of agricultural commodities is very low. For the development and prosperity of Pakistan, it is the dire need of day to enhance agricultural production many-fold to the cope with the challenge of the ever increasing demand for food and fiber. In addition to several allied agencies, which are rendering services for the development of agriculture, the department of agricultural extension plays a crucial role in the development of this sector not only by disseminating recommended technology among the farming community, but also by bringing back the farmers problems to the researchers. In this way it keeps research scientists in contact with the practical problems being faced by the farmers.
The agriculture department carries out extension work in almost the whole of the country. But here I will take the KPK agriculture extension services. The department of agriculture extension KPK is responsible for providing extension services to the farmers in the province. It is headed by the director general (agriculture extension) who works under the direction and supervision of the secretary of agriculture, government of KPK:
Organizational Structure of Agricultural Extension:
DUTIES OF DIRECTOR GENERAL EXTENSION (DGE):
The director general is a specialist in agriculture with advance training in public administration and agriculture with a long experience on the job of agriculture extension services at the provincial level. The director general of agriculture extension KPK is responsible for all extension work in the province including tribal areas. In settled district the director works through his deputy director posted at the division level. In federally administration tribal areas (FATA) he works through the directors of agriculture FATA as the administrative head.
The director general of agriculture extension is assisted by five subject matter specialists at the head quarter and five deputy director of agriculture posted at the divisional level for field works. In addition, D.G. also controls the FATA the barani agriculture institutes though their respective head. At districts and sub districts level the extra assistant director of agriculture who are administratively controlled by the deputy director. EADS is assisted by the agricultural officers and field assistants at tehsil and sub tehsil and union council’s levels respectively. The director general plans, directs and supervises all extension activities, campaigns and projects in the province.
The director general extension performs the following main duties in the province, to develop extension organization to meet the changing needs of modern time:
He will co-ordinate all extension activities of governments/semi governments institutions (ZTBL and other commercial banks) regarding agricultural production in the province.
Co-ordination committees will be established at provincial, divisional and district level in order to improve linkage between the various sub-sectors within the department.
- Organizing Farmers:
Working with existing farmers groups or organizations and if necessary establish permanent farmers groups or organizations, through his sub-ordinates. Makes availability of inputs and other needed facilities to the farmers in time.
Collaboration with relevant authorities and private sector in the promotion of new developments of farm machinery, technologies and in agricultural machinery census.
- Assisting N.G.O’s and other projects in extension i.e. advice on technical issues and improvements of infrastructure and credit facilities.
- Personal selection and Management:
He formulates adequate plans for the staff recruitment and effective personal management.
- Policy Determination:
He is responsible for making policy and this is one duty that can’t be delegated to sub-officers.
- Program Determination:
He plans and makes extension organization enough to the farm people reflecting and needs of local people.
He delegates his function in large part to the sub-ordinates. He still has the duty of supervising the sub-ordinates officers to whom he delegates the authority.
He has to evaluate the effectives of his organization and the value of its programme to the public continuously and objectively.
- He maintains proper relationship between his organization and other relevant organization agencies, and with the farm people in the province.
- He is to report each year to Secretary and Minister of Agricultural and to the public about the use of public funds and the accomplishments of his organization.
He delegates most of his duties/responsibilities to other sub-ordinate officers particularly the Directors to other sub-ordinate officers particularly the Director and Deputy Director at the Headquarter and divisional level and extra assistant at the districts/agency level but at the same time he is responsible for sound administration. He is assisted by group of specialists at the Directorate of Agriculture extension in the discharge of his multifarious functions.
District Officer Agriculture Extension:
Administratively, the district is controlled by the DOA. He is the in charge of the department at district/sub-district level, and is responsible for the supervision of the activities of the Agricultural Officers and Field Assistants working in his jurisdiction. He supervises all the development projects, demonstration farms and nursery farms in his area. He is assisted by one Assistant Plant Protection Officer at the district office in the discharge of his functions.
Deputy Director of Agricultural Extension at Division:
He is graduate (B.SC (Hons.) or M.SC (Hons.) in Agricultural with training in public administration and agriculture and with a sufficient experience on the job. The Director of Agriculture is assisted administratively by the deputy directors, who are the administrator of the department at divisional level. Deputy Directors are assisted by Agricultural Officers/EADA) for performing their duties in extension services.
Each Deputy Director is assisted by an administrative officer and some subject matter specialist at divisional level.
Agricultural Officer at Tehsil:
He is a graduate of (B.SC (Hons) or M.SC (Hons) in Agriculture. He controls tehsil and sub-tehsil having 3-4 union councils. He performs extension functions with the help of Field Assistant, Budders and Beldars.
Field Assistant at Union Councils:
He is the pivot of agricultural extension activities in the Union Council. He is usually qualified iploma holder from Agricultural Training Institute, where he gets two years training after matriculation. He performs the following functions: To layout demonstration plot to keep the record of methods and result demonstration. To layout orchards in the villages. To help the farm people in obtaining the improved seeds. To protect crops, vegetables, and orchards from pests and diseases by advising field sprays. To educate the farm communities to adopt the recommended seeds, fertilizer, pesticides etc. To survey acreage and yield estimation under each crop in each season.
Mr. Allah Dad Khan is former DG Extension, KPK
Mr. Junaid Hafeez is Director, Agrihunt:
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