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Evaluation and Impact Assessment of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Support to State Extension Programme for Extension Reforms” (ATMA Programme)

A Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Support to State Extension Programmes for Extension Reforms” more commonly known as the ATMA Programme was launched since May 2005 in 591 districts of 29 States and 2 UTs of the country. The institutional reforms mechanism in the form of ATMA at the district level was a major intervention in overhauling the extension system for making it farmer driven and farmer accountable. The Ministry of Agriculture had entrusted the task of centralized Evaluation and Impact Assessment of the ATMA Programme to AFC. The study was conducted in two districts of Haryana and nine districts of Uttar Pradesh covering 18 Project Blocks spread over 245 villages in U.P and four Project Blocks spread over 70 villages in Haryana. The sample size for field survey comprised of a total of 7875 beneficiary farmers covering 6125 farmers from Uttar Pradesh and 1750 farmers from Haryana. The study aimed at assessing the project impact on the target beneficiaries and in reforming the extension system in respect of various processes envisaged under the scheme.  Based on the findings and conclusions of the study and keeping in view the scope and significance of ATMA Programme aimed at reforming the extension mechanism, AFC made a comprehensive and wide ranging recommendations touching upon the entire gamut of the extension reforms to facilitate Government of India to take a policy review of the scheme at the appropriate levels so as to make the extension system truly farmer driven and farmer accountable.