Research and Extension Collaboration to Answer Farmer’s Needs On-Farm, 2023 Rice Growing Season
Agricultural extension programs improve yields and incomes for farmers. Trained agents visit communities to ensure the dissemination of current best practices, organize cooperatives, and implement secondary programs. These agricultural workers are expected to travel extensively across their countries while ensuring they maintain consistent and high-quality work with limited training. To achieve these objectives, On June 12, 2023, during Jahad Agriculture week, the Extension Caravan in Rice Growing Areas for Research and Extension Collaboration to Answer Farmer’s Needs On-Farm event was held simultaneously in main rice growing provinces.
In Guilan province, Dr. Saleh Mohammadi, the Director General of the Jahad Agricultural Organization of Guilan province, Dr. Hosseini, the Director General of the Rice Research Institute of Iran (RRII and a number of the managers of the Agricultural Jahad Organization, and all the academic members and researchers of Rice Research Institute of Iran and the Agricultural and Natural Resources Research and Training Center were attended.
In this program, each of the convoys consisting of agricultural experts, extension officers, and researchers of RRII by attending the paddy fields transferred the last research findings and experiences to farmers on-farm.
At the opening ceremony of this program, Dr. Hosseini, the Director General of the Rice Research Institute of Iran stated that each working team consisting of agricultural experts, extension officers, and researchers of RRII in the field of rice will answer to the rice cultivation needs. She also added that this event will be held nationally in the three provinces of Guilan one of the main rice-growing areas of the country. The purpose of these specialized convoys to the paddy fields is to transfer the latest research findings to farmers and other related users.
Extension-Research caravans are implemented based on the guidelines of the Minister of Agricultural Jahad for on-farm rice knowledge management in the year that have been named the year of knowledge-based production and job-creating by the Iranian Supreme Leader. Therefore, the researchers transfer the results of their extensible findings to the farmers in the presence of experts and extension officers and answer the farmers’ questions.
Dr. Hosseini further stated that the research findings’ transfer to farmers and the implementation of practical findings are aimed at improving productivity in the rice farming system and increasing domestic rice production and food security.
She also pointed out that rice is the second strategic and important grain of the country in the food basket of Iranians, and it plays a vital role in the people’s food table, so any step taken to improve rice production will maintain the stability of production and food security of this strategic crop.
Dr. Hosseini, the Director General of the Rice Research Institute of Iran further said: Rice Research Institute of Iran, as a national wide institute, has an active presence in rice and rice-based cropping fields. In this extensional event, in addition to the Rice Research Institute of Iran, all research centers in these three provinces seriously accompany this caravan, and all scientific capacities and human resources are used, and the Agricultural Education and Extension Institute is in charge of leading this event. The agricultural Jahad organizations of three provinces have participated actively.
Dr. Hosseini further mentioned the plan to improve rice production and food security with the aim of improving productivity and stated that the continuous monitoring of paddy fields is one of the sub-programs of this monitoring program.
The important goals of this program are the presence of experts in the field, increasing the penetration rate of knowledge, exchanging scientific information with rice farmers and rice-related users, assessing problems, and providing technical recommendations. It should be noted that the presence of researchers and academic staff along with extension officers and experts has been carried out continuously from the land preparation stage in all paddy fields and continues to harvesting and post-harvesting periods. In addition to research findings obtained from RRII’s research, the latest research findings of universities are made available to farmers during this event.
It is hoped that the result of all efforts will be effective in improving the quantity and quality of domestic rice production and increasing the food security level for rice grain.
The first city visited by academic members of RRII was Khomam City. The Rice Information Caravan aims to increase awareness of the importance of rice production in the area to update farmers with the last research findings to cope with water scarcity in the current rice growing season to boost rice production. This program will repeat each week.