Feasibility and appropriateness of recommended sorghum production technologies
© Chapke; licensee Springer. 2014
Received: 11 March 2014
Accepted: 10 June 2014
Published: 22 August 2014
Several initiatives were taken by the Directorate of Sorghum Research and concerned organizations to disseminate promising sorghum technologies. However, many of them were not accepted by the farmers at desired level due to several reasons. Therefore, it was felt necessary to assess the feasibility and appropriateness of recommended technologies as perceived primarily by the research system and followed by the extension personnel. These steps were felt to be a forerunner to screen the recommended technologies for their dissemination. The documentation of the sorghum production technologies/practices for both rainy and post-rainy season was made. The perception of 50 researchers regarding the feasibility of these technologies elucidated that out of 21 documented technologies, six were having feasibility scores of > 4.5 and < 2.2, while the rest of the nine technologies had a medium feasibility score in between 2.0 and 4.5 on a feasibility continuum ranging from 1.0 (not feasible) to 5.0 (highly feasible). Out of these six assessed technologies, extension personnel have perceived three each of technologies as highly appropriate and feasible. Correlation of eight indicators of appropriateness with feasibility of technologies was significant whereas, relative advantage had no correlation. Five indicators of appropriateness namely, simplicity, observability, physical compatibility, production sustainability and cost together explained 96.63 per cent of the total variation in feasibility. It stated that the five indicators are contributing significantly in feasibility of sorghum production technologies. These need to be taken into consideration while developing and disseminating the technologies.
As the agricultural scenario is changing very fast, the priority areas of research, extension and farmers systems are sought desirable modifications. Besides, the socio-economic, psychological, communication and innovation decision related behaviour of subjects under investigation, several other researchable areas are fast coming up. There is no doubt that scientific way of farming and adoption of viable techniques will enable the farmers to match the pace with changing agricultural scenario. Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L. Moench) has potential to assure food security to increasing population in harsh climate unlike fine cereals like, rice and wheat especially in semi-arid regions. Interventions of feasible technologies for making it more remunerative in competition with commercial and vegetable crops, is a time demand Roling (1988). Several promising technologies have been developed and demonstrated to the farmers’ fields by the sister organizations since last three-four decades to meet the diverse needs of the farmers. Several efforts have been made by the extension personnel to transfer the technology to the farmers in order to achieve an increase in production and productivity. Despite these concerted efforts, a large number of recommended technologies do not accepted by the farmers at desired level due to several reasons Chapke et al. (2013). They are either being adopted in truncated manner or not at all (Drost et al. 1996). In India, agro-technologies including sorghum production generated so far have been readily accepted by the resource-rich farmers but in the resource-poor areas like, dryland and rainfed agriculture encompassing millions of small and marginal farmers are away from accessibility of technological development (Das 1996). Therefore, in order to make them ease to get the benefits of improved farm technologies, it is essential to assess the technology from the point of view of appropriateness and overall feasibility (Watson et al. 2005). Generally, for any technology to be appropriate it needs to be simple, convincing, need-based, location specific, socially and economically acceptable and environment friendly leading to sustainability. Appropriateness of a technology is a prerequisite for its transfer and adoption Verma (2007)). Hence, an attempt has been made to analyse some recommended sorghum production technologies with respect to their overall feasibility and appropriateness as perceived by the personnel of the research and extension systems.
The major sorghum growing states namely, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Gujrat in India were selected for the study. Responses were taken from 50 randomly selected personnel members of the sorghum research system including Directorate of Sorghum Research (DSR) and All India Coordinated Sorghum Improvement Projects (AICSIPs), and 30 personnel members of the extension system following the questionnaire survey method.
Documentation of recommended sorghum production technologies
The glossary of recommended sorghum production technologies was prepared after the documentation on the basis of published reports and related literatures of the different organizations working on sorghum in major sorghum growing states of India.
Feasibility and appropriateness of technologies as perceived by the personnel of the research and extension system
The perception of research personnel with respect to the feasibility of documented recommended sorghum production technologies was assessed with the help of a feasibility questionnaire developed for the study. Responses were taken from 50 research personnel regarding their perception with respect to the feasibility of recommended sorghum production technologies. Responses were taken on a feasibility continuum ranging from 5.0 (highly feasible) to 1.0 (not feasible). Explanation for the non-feasibility/lower feasibility of technologies as perceived by the experts was also recorded. Feasibility refers to the suitability of a technology to be adopted in the farmers’ situation optioned as highly feasible by the research personnel, were further assessed with respect to their feasibility and appropriateness as perceived by the extension personnel. Feasibility was assessed on the above-mentioned feasibility continuum. Unlike research personnel, extension personnel, being grass root level workers, are supposed to be more familiar with the farming system as they maintain close contact with the farmers. Therefore, besides feasibility of technologies they were asked to perceive the appropriateness as well. Appropriateness of technology was assessed with respect to nine indicators selected on the basis of a review of literature and on already laid down criteria of attributes of innovation. The indicators of appropriateness were simplicity-complexity, relative advantage, observability, cost, profitability, physical compatibility, cultural compatibility, need and production sustainability. Responses were recorded for each selected recommended technology with respect to each of the indicators on a continuum ranging from 1 to 5, that is unfavourable (poor/low) to favourable (best/high). Indicators of appropriateness have been operationalised as follows. A total of 21 sorghum production technologies were selected on the basis of published documents of different organisations working on sorghum research in the country. The feasibility of all these technologies as perceived by different personnel of the research system was assessed. Primarily, the weighted mean score and standard deviation were derived for each technology on the basis of responses of all 50 personnel members of the research system. It was thought to be a crude method as the weighted mean scores might have been affected due to feared or biased responses of a few of the personnel. Therefore, further statistical analyses were carried out to check such biases and elimination of such personnel. For this, a correlation analysis was done and a correlation matrix was formed, on the basis of which the degree of agreement with respect to the responses of each of all the research personnel with others was found highly significant at a five per cent level of significance. Frequency of agreement of each personnel members with others and standard deviation were derived. Finally, it was found that no research personnel having negative correlation with the others and had significant disagreement with others as well. Thus, all the personnel of the research system were considered for the analysis and on the basis of their responses, mean feasibility score and standard deviation for each technology was worked out.
Attributes of innovation
The simplicity dimension of the technologies is referred as the degree to which a technology is easy to understand, operate and use, whereas, complexity refers to the degree to which a technology is difficult to use and understand.
The degree to which the technology is perceived as better than the idea it supersedes.
The degree to which the result of adoption of a technology is visible. The visible impact of a technology facilitates its diffusion.
Cost of the technology
It refers to the investments involved in its purchase plus the recurring cash expenses on it and cash expenses on other associated activities necessary for putting the practice into operation.
Profitability of each technology is reffere monetary and physical returns obtained by adopting the technology as compared to that one it substitutes.
Is the degree to which a technology (s) is in conformity with the existing situation of the farming community. In other words, physical compatibility refers to how well a practice fits into the working conditions of farmers.
Is the degree to which a technology is consistent with the existing beliefs, values, attitudes, living patterns, habits, cultural norms and past experiences of the farmers. For the purpose of this study, it refers to what extent a technology is compatible with the existing norms, values, and beliefs, past experiences of the respondents.
Need of the technology
Need of the technology is referred to as the farmers’ perception of the requirements as well as cruciality of the technology in their setting.
Refers to the successful management of resources that maintain the quality of environment without any deterioration of the farmer’s production system.
Findings and discussion
Feasibility of technologies as perceived by the research personnel
The analysis on the basis of research personnel’s responses against total 21 selected sorghum production technologies, mean feasibility score and standard deviation for each technology was worked out.
Overall feasibility of 21 recommended sorghum production technologies as perceived by the personnel of the research system
No. of technologies
Pooled standard deviation
Reasons for non feasibility/lower feasibility of some recommended sorghum production technologies/practices as perceived by the personnel of the research systems
Perceived reasons for non feasibility/lower feasibility of the technology/practice in the farmers’
Use of organic manure (farm yard manure @10 t/ha or vermi-compost @ 7-8 t/ha at last ploughing)
FYM and vermicompost are not available in sufficient quantity. These are not economical to use in sorghum due to their high costs.
Seed treatment with14 ml Imidacloprid (Goucho) + 2 g Carbendazim (Bavistin) per kg of seed or Thiomethaxam (Cruser) 3 g per kg of seed.
Seed treatment with the recommended chemicals is not practical in farmer’s fields. These are adding cost also.
Seed treatment with bio-fertilizer (Azotobactor at 250 g/10 kg seed)
Availability of Azotobactor at grass root level is very difficult. Proper handling and use of bio-agents is technically uncomfortable.
Weed control manually 2-3 times at 15 days interval after 25-30 days of emergence
It requires more labourer. High wages of labourer and their shortage in peak season is serious problem.
Use of four irrigations (each irrigation at panicle initiation, boot leaf, flowering and grain filling stages)
There is scarcity of irrigation water in almost all the sorghum areas. If available, it will be used for other commercial or vegetable crops
Soil application of Carbofuron 3G @ 2 g/m at sowing to control insect-pests
It is not a regular practice and need laborer. It can again add cost which is not economical.
It is evident that six out of 21 recommended technologies were screened as highly feasible by the research personnel. Jain et al. 1993 reported that it was essential to know which technologies were suitable or likely to be adopted by the farmers. It is in this context that prioritizing of technologies by personnel of the research system is the first step in the technology assessment process. In the present study, research personnel could anticipate several reasons for lower feasibility of some recommended sorghum production: labour intensive, costly, practically difficult and less remunerative. According to Patil et al. 2013 researchers have developed basket of sorghum technologies to find solutions to the problems relating to food and nutritional security, however, experiences have shown that in a large percentage of cases, feasibility is bottlenecked by factors such as high laboure requirement, high operational costs, accessibility of inputs and marketing.
Feasibility and appropriateness of technologies as perceived by the extension personnel
Feasibility and appropriateness of the technologies as perceived by the personnel of the extension system
No. of technologies
Pooled standard deviation
No. of technologies
Pooled standard deviation
Recommended sorghum production technologies perceived as highly feasible and appropriate by the personnel of both the research and extension systems
Mean feasibility score
Mean feasibility score
Mean appropriateness score
Land preparation (one ploughing, 2-3 harrowings, stubbles picking)
Use of high yieldingvariety/hybrid
Sowing time between 2nd week of September and 2nd week of October for rabi sorghum
Use of seeds @8-10 kg/ha (3-4 kg/acre)
Spacing between lines 45 cm and between plants 12-15 cm
Inter-cultivation 2-3 times at 3,5 and 7 weeks after emergence
Limited irrigations (should be given at boot leaf or flowering stage)
Harvesting at physiological maturity
Correlation of different indicators of appropriateness with feasibility of technologies
Indicators of appropriateness
Correlation coefficient (r)
Stepwise regression analyses between feasibility (dependent variable) and indicators of appropriateness (independent variables)
Technology transfer is a vital but complex process in agricultural and rural development. In order to available resources, adoption of improved production technologies is one of the major options for sorghum farmers to raise their livelihood. Over the years, technology generation by the researchers and dissemination by extension personnel have been carried out to meet the requirement of the farmers as food, feed and fodder. However, the majority of the recommended technologies do not find place in farmers’ system. It is, therefore, necessary to prioritize the technologies with respect to their feasibility and appropriateness before their dissemination to the farmers’ system. In this context, technology assessment primarily as perceived by the research personnel, then by the extension personnel is prime importance. Since every technology cannot be graded as neutral, it is very necessary to analyse the existing technologies for their appropriateness in the specific agro-climatic farming condition. It is also necessary to refine or modify the recommended existing technologies to make them viable and suitable according to the needs and resources of farmers of a specific farming system. Therefore, it will be advisable to carry out further assessment of the technologies in the location-specific situation, already perceived highly feasible and appropriate by both personnel of the research and the extension system in this study. Simultaneously, studies on factors responsible for limiting the process of knowledge exchange and adoption and delineation of parameters on the basis of in-appropriateness of the technologies need to be done. It will provide feedback for personnel of research and extension systems for revitalizing the technology generation and effective dissemination system.
The personnel from research and extension systems of India are gratefully thanked for their cooperation in providing responses for this study. The author is also acknowledged the inputs and constructive suggestions of the reviewers for improvement of the earlier draft.
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