Information needs of the rural farmers: a study from Maharashtra, India: a survey.

Author:Bachhav, Nitin Bhagachand
Position:Report
 
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INTRODUCTION:

The present age has been rightly called as an Information Age. Information has become the most important element for progress in society. According to Kemp "information has been described as the fifth need of man ranking after air, water, food and shelter". Everyone needs information about everything even in his day to day life.

In agriculture environment, relevant and timely information helps farmers community to take right decision to sustained growth of agriculture activity. Use of information in agriculture sector is enhancing farming productivity in a number of ways. Providing information on weather trends, best practice in farming, timely access to market information helps farmer make correct decisions about what crops to plants and where to sell their product and buy inputs.

India is an agriculture based country with farming and related activities constituting to a huge chunk of the GDP and employment. According to Malhan & Rao (2007), the Indian agriculture sector provides employment to about 65% of the labour force, accounts for 27% of the GDP and contributes 21% of total exports and provides raw material to several industries. Therefore information is a powerful tool in addressing the agricultural needs and if it is used properly it could be change nations economic.

Background of the Study. The study is carried out in Yeola tahasil (sub-district) is located to the east of Nasik district of Maharashtra State of India. A brief description of the demographic information of the state, district and tahasil (sub-district) provides the background and context of the study.

Maharashtra:

Maharashtra is the third largest state regarding the geographical area and second largest state in respect of population in India. The state is famous for Industrial sector and Mumbai, its capital which is also known as financial capital of India. It is located in the northern centre part of India, surrounded by the Arabian sea in the west, Gujarat and the Union territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli to the northwest, Madhya Pradesh to the northeast, Chhattisgarh to the east, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to the south, and Goa to the southwest. The unique feature of the state is a series of crowning plateau which is lying between the Arabian Sea and the Sahayadri range, Konkan is narrow coastal lowland and Satpura hills along the northern border and Bhamragad-Chiroli-Gaikhuri ranges on the eastern border. Maharashtra state is comprise 35 districts which are grouped into six divisions for administrative purpose. As per the 2011 census, Maharashtra has a population of 112,372,972 registering a population density of 365 per sq. kms. Out of the total population males constitute 58.3 millions and females constitute 54.0 millions.

Nasik District-

It is fourth largest and industrialized district in the Maharashtra. It has holy cities of the Hindu tradition. As per census 2011 Nasik had population of 6,109,052 of which male and female were 3,164,261 and 2,944,791 respectively. Agriculture is the main occupation of the people in the district with about 74 % of the population depending on it. It also accounts for the major share of their economic activity. Nashik is the famous for the production of grapes. Nasik is a Asia's leading market for onions and tomatoes.

Yeola: Yeola tahasil the drought prone area of the Nashik district located at the South-Eastern part of District. It is one of the parts of Deccan plateau. According to census 2001, the population of the Yeola urban and rural area is 235000; out of the total population 192000 are living in the rural area and 43000 living in urban area. Agricultural is the main occupation of majority of the people and the main crop are wheat, onion, cotton, maize, and vegetables. Moreover it is known for the birth place of the revolutionary leader Tatya Tope.

Keeping the above facts in the view, a survey was conducted on rural farmer information needs and which sourced widely used by the farmer for satisfying of their information needs.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:

The major objectives of the study are

  1. To find the information needs of the rural farmers.

  2. To find the nature and types of information required by the...

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