Excerpts from Delegates

Dr. Anne

Dr. Anne Adrian
International Extension Expert, USA

Many months ago Dr. Kalyan Ghadei , formerly visiting professor of Virginia Tech, invited me to speak about eXtension at the inaugural International Extension Education Conference (IEEC). As eXtension is making connections for ideas of discovering, curating, managing and sharing open source research-based knowledge and learning opportunities (courses, videos, etc.)

Like typical conferences at IEEC, I learned about Extension research (the effectiveness of Extension programs) and agriculture. In particular, the problems we are addressing in the U.S. are different than the problems in countries, like India. U.S. farms are much larger. U.S. small farms are larger than the average size farm in India which is less than 2 acres. Less than 2% of the U.S. population is considered to be a farmer. While in India more than 60% of the population are farmers. Former DG of ICAR and Vice chancellor of GBPUA&T Dr Mangala Rai pointed out in his closing address, the GDP value of India represents 3.3% percent of the world economy with almost 1.3 billion people which is more than 17% of the world's population. On the flip side, the U.S. population of 318 million represents only 4% of the world’s population and the GDP value of the United States is 28% of the world economy.

India Extension is structured with the U.S. model in mind. One difference is that in India the government employs many of the local Extension workers. While being embedded in the villages reaps the benefits of developing community trust, there may be some disconnect between the universities and the local Extension work—this is difficult to assess. We have 15,000 Extension professionals in the US; India may have as many as 50,000. I also heard another consideration--there is 1 agricultural agent for every 1,500 farmers.

One of the similarities of India Extension and U.S. Extension is that we both have to demonstrate our value to farmers, the community and the public good. Extension provides value not only to our own countries but also to world. It is becoming more evident that sharing resources and knowledge across can benefit many systems. In countries like India, weather variability and unstable markets can have intense and acute effects on farmers and their communities and will ultimately affect the rest of the world.

We cannot ignore the potential of research and outreach efforts to improve the economic viability of agriculture throughout the world. Increasing production in the U.S. continues to be a priority and so should the production and marketing of production agriculture in India. If we want to look inwardly, we may also be asking what does an industrialized country, like the U.S. get by paying attention to agriculture and Extension in countries like India?

In the most challenging situations, it is believed that innovation is more likely to occur because the need for changes is so great. NGOs, private industries are looking for ways to improve the economic and agricultural situation in developing countries. Through collaborative efforts, listening the goals of farmers, working with farmers and being inclusive of women, technological and social innovation solutions will arise—solutions that can also be directly beneficial to US agricultural and Extension.

At IEEC BHU, Varanasi , the dignitaries and the participants were excited to hear about eXtension’s focus on new online technologies and growing our Extension professional,

As Dr. Martin Mulder, Wageningen University said, “eXtension is truly innovative.” eXtension has a responsibility to offer advancements to U.S. Extension and to learn from others--internally and globally.

For simplicity I am writing about agriculture extension in India, though there were other countries represented. India also has a Home Sciences Extension program and were represented at the conference.

Dr. Niraj Kumar

Dr. Niraj Kumar
Professor & Dean
DMI, Patna

Dear Dr. Ghadai Greetings!
I read the recent issue of journal "Journal of Agriculture Education and Extension" with great happiness and pride. The Editor Dr. Mulder has dedicated his entire editorial on our recently concluded international seminar in IAS, BHU. Please follow the link. I am also happy to see mention of my presentation along with many others'. A full paragraph on Branding of Agriculture Education is quite encouraging (read the highlighted part). This also shows that Branding of Agriculture Education should now be discussed more and more. I thank you and your team for inviting and giving me opportunity to talk on this important subject. May I request you to kindly share this editorial among your colleagues which will further encourage them to work on this subject.

Lalita Vatta

Dr. Lalita Vatta
Assistant Professor, Development Communication and Extension
Department of Home Science, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur

Dear sir,
It was really a great experience to be at the Varanasi, enjoying the academic endeavour with great hospitality. I wish and pray from God to get over this pandemic at earliest, so that we can have a great time with a grant event. I am too young in front of other senior members so would be happy to serve within my limits and as per the requirement of the organizing committee. I am looking forward to a new learning experience.

Lochana

Lochana
Nepal Open University, Nepal

Dear sir,
Greetings from Nepal As participated from Nepal, it was a great experience for us from extension conference 2016 with nice hospitality and events. I am excited to know that 2nd IEEC-BHU will be organized. I will be glad to be a part of it....Thanks you

P. Venkatesan

Dr. P. Venkatesan
Senior Scientist
Extension Systems Management, ICAR-NAARM, Rajendranagar, Hyderabad

Dear Dr. Kalyan Ghadei,
The conference has been a resounding success and I have heard a great deal of praise for the Organizing Secretary of IEEC-BHU 2016, Dr. Kalyan Ghadei, from those who attended. All of those presenting were prepared and all of the sessions were well packed. I was tremendously fascinated by the Key note address and lead speech delivered by the experts in this international conference. The establishment Research, Education and Services in Extension will surely facilitate research in this area with rich empirical data, and it will benefit the scientist, extension functionaries and ultimate stakeholders in the long run. I, along with everyone I have asked, believe that your organization was the key to the whole success. The scheduling of the meetings, the picking of topics and even the local accommodation was all superbly arranged. It will be a hard act to follow and I am sure that next year's organizers will struggle to come up with such a successful conference. Your performance is now the standard that all subsequent organizers will have to reach.

Mahesh Jaishi

Mahesh Jaishi
Assistant Professor
Agricultural extension, Department of Social Science Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS)

Dear Dr. Kalyan and team
Very good morning and warm greeting from nearby Himalayas of Nepal. We could not explain in word about the success of the IEEC held at beautiful city of Banaras. We believe that your team and organization was the key to the whole success. The schedule, the subject of discussion and accommodation was all best arranged. Definitely, It will be a hard act to follow and I am sure that next organizers will struggle to come up with such a successful conference. We have learnt so many things including the subject matter of research, education and service of extension in the conference. If I have to explain in a single sentence regarding the success of conference is that, 'EVERY THING IS POSSIBLE WITH GOOD TEAM SPIRIT AND BEST LEADERSHIP"

Dr. Nikhila Bhagwat

Dr. Nikhila Bhagwat
Assistant Professor
S.M.R.K. Women's College, Nashik

Dear Dr. Kalyan Ghadai,
Warm Greetings from Nashik!
Being a member of the educational fraternity, I always aspired to visit the renowned and esteemed Banaras Hindu University’ on an educational venture. And IEEC-2016 gave me the much-awaited opportunity. ‘BHU’ is always regarded as a ‘mark of excellence’ and so all the activities conducted by BHU are viewed with certain respect all over India. I had this great opportunity to participate and contribute in the IEEC-2016 organised by Department of Extension Education, Institute of Agricultural Sciences at BHU. It created a platform for educators, policy makers and researchers from all over India and abroad to interact with each other and to advance the cause of ‘Extension Education’ as a viable tool for agricultural progress as well as community development.It was amazing to see people blending from various corners of India and from countries like U.S.A., Netherlands, Nigeria, Nepal, etc. to merge in the cultural variety in the holy land of Banaras and contribute in a smoothly run programme of over four days. I am sure that each one of us had gained new knowledge, developed new skills and acquired new attitudes of working together for a greater goal. The plenary sessions, lead papers and collaborative learning experiences enabled us to gauge our own performances as Extension practitioners. We also developed an insight into the current dynamics as well as the scope of ‘Extension Education’ as a discipline with the guiding discourses of veteran and stalwart personalities from the field. Experts and fellow delegates from abroad intrigued us with their experience and wisdom. It was a brilliantly organized event. The arrangements of food, lodging and travelling were excellent. The synergy between BHU staff and students was exceptional. Special thanks are due to you, Dr. Ghadai and your energetic organising team, for hosting the event gallantly giving perfection to every small aspect. I have come back home from Banaras with a bag full of new stimulating ideas, many friends across India and the world, special jari-saries, holy-water of river Ganges....and the hope to see a bright future for ‘Extension Education’ with all its hurdles and concerns resolved.
With best regards and love

Pradipta Chandra

Dr. Pradipta Chandra
Ph.D. (IIT Kharagpur)
Visiting Professor of Vidyasagar University, West Bengal

Dear Sir,
I hope you are fine. I am excited to know that the 2nd IEEC-BHU will be organized. According to me, we should wait up to Dec, 2020, at least. It would be great if we get another opportunity to visit BHU. Presently, I am a Visiting Professor of Vidyasagar University, West Bengal. I will be happy if I can serve as the technical or programme committee member with session chair/ co-chair. My area of research is capacity development of the farmers through technology transfer.
Best regards