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The agricultural growth in the state after mid-sixties has been sufficient to push the country from food shortages to food surpluses. The Green revolution technologies have led to the emergence of rice-wheat as a major cropping system. The adoption of this rotation on a wider scale has hit hard our basic resources viz. soil and water. Intensification of agriculture in the state had led to complex problems of multiple nutrient deficiencies and pest problems. The productivity of rice is stagnating whereas the wheat yields have declined from 47q/ha to 43q/ha. To sustain the productivity, the farmers have to spend more. Apart from the productivity, the average holdings in the state have been reduced to less than one half after the advent of green revolution. Thus to maintain the minimum living standards is an uphill task for the rural population.

To revive the dwindling rural economy vigorous research and extension efforts are needed. Extension these days is much more different than the initial years of Green Revolution. Today the extension workers in addition to production need to discuss post harvest handling, value addition and marketing of the raw as well as processed food. Thus the extension worker needs to be well versed in management tools in addition to the technical knowledge of the subject.

Keeping the changing requirements in view, the "Innovation in Technology Dissemination (ITD)" component was launched under National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP) funded by World Bank. This programme was implemented in the seven states of the country as a pilot project. The states concerned were Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand. In each state, four districts were selected in a phased manner and the project envisaged that there should be a complete decentralization of the authority to the district level and participation of the farmers, right from the planning stage. For each selected district "Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP)" was prepared through participatory mode. The annual action plans are focused on SREP with a sufficient scope of taking up the changing needs of the farming community. As a part of the ITD project, each state has been sanctioned one State Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute (SAMETI). In case of Punjab, it is known as PAMETI. Keeping in view the success of ITD component of NATP, the Government of India has extended this programme in all the districts of the country under the scheme "Support to State Extension Services for Reforms in Agriculture Extension". At present, this scheme is being implemented in all the twenty districts of the State.

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