Itishree Pattnaik has a Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Hyderabad. The topic of her doctoral thesis was “Comparative Performance of Agricultural Sector in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa”. The study discusses the differential growth performance of the two states, more precisely, the study aimed to examine factors influencing different phases of growth performance in the two states. Prior to joining GIDR, she worked as a Visiting Fellow at the Research Unit for Livelihoods and Natural Resources (RULNR), Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS), Hyderabad, handling a project on ‘Distress Situation in Dryland Agriculture – Impact on Livelihood and Coping Strategies: A Study of Bolangir District of Orissa’. Her major areas of interest include agriculture and sustainable development, inter-state disparities in growth performance, food security and dryland agriculture.
She had been a Visiting Post-Doctoral Research Scholar at the Food Security Centre (FSC), University of Hohenheim, Germany and was engaged in a project on ‘Increasing Food Price Inflation, Food Insecurity and Copping Mechanisms among the Poor Households in India’.
Dr. Pattnaik has sound academic record and she has presented papers in a number of academic seminars.
Title: ‘Structural Break and Phases in Agricultural Sector: An Analysis of Bihar and Odisha’, Journal of Regional Development and Planning, 3 (2), 2015, pp. 35-54. Author: Itishree Pattnaik Published Year: 2015
Title: ‘Impact of Gujarat’s Krishi Mahotsava (Agrarian Festival) Campaigns: Results of a Perception Survey of 1445 Farmers from 25 Districts’, Indian Journal of Agricultural Economics, 68 (4), 2013, pp. 583-593. Authors: Tushaar Shah, Itishree Pattnaik, Sonal Bhatt, G. Kopa and Amita Shah Published Year: 2013
Title: ‘Current Scenario of Food Security in the Light of Increasing Food Inflation: A Case Study of Two Villages in India’, FSC Brief Series No.4, Food Security Centre, University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, 2011, pp. 1-5. Author: Itishree Pattnaik Published Year: 2012
Title: ‘Is There a Glimpse of Dynamism in Orissa’s Agriculture?’, Economic and Political Weekly, 45 (26 & 27), 2010, pp. 756-759. Authors: Itishree Pattnaik and Amita Shah Published Year: 2010
Title: ‘Accounting for Breaks in Agriculture: A Study of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa”, Artha Vijnana, 51 (4), 2009, pp. 360-376. Authors: R. Vijay and Itishree Pattnaik Published Year: 2009
Title: 'Land Ownership Right and Women’s Empowerment in
Gujarat: A Critical Assessment', Author: Itishree Pattnaik Working Paper No.: 241 Published Year and Month: February 2017
Title: Agricultural Extension Service through KrishiMahotsav in Gujarat: A Preliminary Assessment Authors: Itishree Pattnaik, Tushaar Shah, Gurulingappa G. Koppa, Amita Shah Publication Type / Year: Occasional Paper Series - No. - 2/2012
The program, Krishi Mahostava (KM) as launched in Gujarat in 2005 seeks to bridge the distance between technology and the farmers such that it expedites the process of technology diffusion among farmers in different parts of the state. The important challenge was to move from providing recommendations that are more generic in nature to those required for the farm and farmer specific situations. The central thrust of the program could be stated as: a) creating awareness by providing exposure to the new techniques, scientific ideas, crops and farm practices; b) transfer of specific technology suitable for the soil type, availability of eater, crop- mix, and households resources as well as preferences; c) introducing the farmers to a host of government schemes and providing subsidized inputs to poor farmers; d) bring producers, input- suppliers, marketing organizations and also policy makers and the scientific communities on a common platform in order to attain greater convergence across different players within the sector; e) to consolidate the efforts of the various actors/agencies to move towards a technology- driven growth in agriculture to help the farmer across class, communities and regions.
Since its launching, the KM continues till date as per the original design of the programme. It consists of three important features, viz. Krishi Rath (a mobile extension centre); Krishi Mela (agriculture and extension fair); and Krishi Shibir (farmers' training programme).Whereas the Krishi Rath covers all the villages, the Krishi Mela is organized at the taluka level and the Krishi Shibir, is organized by the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) at the district level. Every year the KM-activities start before monsoon. It is important to note that the agriculture scientists and experts take active part in all the three activities of the KM. The month- long program begins on the day of Akshay Tritiya, by deploying as many as 100,000 personnel from across18 government departments in the estate. The Krishi Rath provides on the spot information, advice, and audio-visual demonstrations to farmers who visit this mobile exhibition.
While well designed and well-spread, KM raises a couple of important issues especially with respect to the mode in which it is actually operationalised. For instance, an important concern that emanates from the design of KM is about the periodicity (i.e. once in a year in every village), the follow-up, and the synchronization with the existing machinery of extension services at the taluka and district levels. Similarly, there could be issues about the selection of the thrust areas of extension messages and the farm specific recommendations, which perhaps, may call for several rounds of consultations/ counseling. Lastly, there may still be concerns over inclusion of the resource-poor farmers who generally stay behind those having large land holding, access to water, and practicing commercial farming.
In this context the present study seeks to explore some of these issues through a fairly conducted rapid enquiry of the awareness, outreach, and adoption of the recommended practices covered by the KM across the districts of Gujarat. This is primarily an exploratory study aimed mainly at examining the coverage rather than the actual impact of the interventions. The study was conducted during August-September, 2010 covering one village in each of the 25 districts in the state.
The major objectives of the study include: a) Examining the extent to which households from different segments of the village communities are aware about the programme; b) Analyzing how effective is KM programming enerating awareness on new techniques, inputs and crops; and c) ascertaining the extent to which the awareness about KM has also translated into actual adoption of the new technologies.
Purposive sampling method was used and data was collected by using the participatory research approach.“Beneficiary Assessment Method”-a qualitative assessment of the impact of KM on beneficiary farmers was attempted. From each district one block was selected and from the block one villages was selected. Thus the survey was undertaken in 25 villages of Gujarat. Total60 samples from each district were stratified in order to include households from different classes. The information at the field level was collected through structured questionnaire method. In order to supplement and ratify the information obtained from the farmers through the primary survey, the opinions and suggestions of officials and experts involved directly with the KM were also sought. Expert Opinion Method was used to understand the impact of the programme and suggestions to improve it. Personal interviews were conducted with the help of an unstructured questionnaire with the government officers and scientists.
The study shows that the KM program depicts a better scenario in the sense of bringing the knowledge and the technologies into the doorsteps of the farmers in Gujarat. However, there exists wide discrepancy between the awareness and the adoption of the farm technologies. It was observed that the aspects determining adoption of a particular knowledge or technology is not only the interest of the particular person, but also the availability of means to adopt it. It was also observed that large and medium landholding households showed improving knowledge and adoption of new technologies than others. This shows that the adoption of new technologies was mainly concentrated among the large and medium farmers compared to small and marginal households. Thus the benefits of the program mostly cornered by the large and medium farmers.
Thus the study suggests that there is a need to look in to the questions of follow up and synergic linkages with the larger extension systems other than Krishi Mahotsav. Essentially, the programme may contribute towards revitalizing the larger systems of extension with which farmers keep connected on a regular basis. This issue of course, needs further probing as it was not part of the present enquiry.
Finally, the requirement for information services is increasingly becoming more nuanced and location/farm specific. This is particularly so in the wake of the increasing issues of climatic vulnerability, food insecurity and unsustainable resource-use. It is therefore, high time that the future models of extension services are better equipped with more nuanced rather than focusing on the messages/recommendations that are generic in nature. While Krishi Mahotsav could perform the latter task, it should keep reminding us that the more complex tasks are yet to be addressed with care and long term commitments.
Copies of GIDR Occasional Paper Series can be available from Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Ahmedabad on payment of Rs. 125 by Cheque/ Demand Draft drawn in favour of GIDR Ahmedabad. Kindly add Rs. 25 towards postage. Enquiries may be sent to: The Administrative Officer, Gujarat Institute of Development Research, Near Gota Char Rasta, Sarkhej Gandhinagar Highway, Ahmedabad, 380 060, Gujarat.