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TNAU Agritech Portal :: Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) :: Constitution and Working

Constitution and Working :

Organizational set up :

Under ATMA, there is a provision for Governing Board which functions as a policy making body and provides guidance as well as  reviews progress and functioning  of ATMA. A separate Management Committee constituted under ATMA would be responsible for planning and reviewing of the day to day activities. The composition and key functions of Governing Board and Management Committee as per ICAR (1998), NATP document are given below.

(1) National Level

  • Technology Dissemination Management Committee (T.D.M.C)under Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India, New Delhi.


  • Technology Dissemination Unit (TDU) under D.O.E Govt.of India, New Delhi.


  • National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad

(2) State Level

  • Inter Departmental working Group (IDWG) headed by Secretary of Agriculture.


  • Nodal Department -Deptt. of Agriculture (DOA).

(3) District Level

  • Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA). 


  • Governing Board (G.B.).


  • ATMA Management Committee (AMC).        

(4) Block Level

  • Block Technology Team (B.T.T).


  • Farmer Advisory Committee (FAC).

(5) Village Level

  • Village level extension officers of line department.


  • Farmers Organizations (F.Gs. SHGs, FIg ETC).


Operational Set up :

(1) National Level

  • Approved financial plan of the District is to be submitted by ATMA to the Technology Dissemination Unit (TDU), Krishi Bhawan, New Delhi.


  • After scrutiny all plans,  are submitted  to the Technology Dissemination Management Committee (TDMC) for final approval by T.D.U. 

(2) State Level

  • Policies issues are to be taken by Inter Departmental Working Group headed by the APC/ financial commissioner / secretary (Agri of concerned state)


  • Creation of  environment for integration of various organizations 


  • Monitoring and guidance.

(3) District Level

  • All Block plans are to be compiled and consolidated by ATMA office.


  • Consolidated plan is to be reviewed by the ATMA Management Committee (A.M.C.)


  • Consolidated reviewed plan is to be submitted by Project Director to the G.B. of ATMA to consider, review, monitor and amendment (if any) and for approval.


  • Financial Annual Investment  Plan is to be prepared by ATMA for consideration and approval of G.B. ATMA.

(4) Block Level

  • Annual Block action plan for extension and research activities is to be prepared by B.T.T. on the basis of strategic research and extension plan (SREP).


  • Prepared action plans is to be reviewed and monitored by Farmer Advisory Committee (F.A.C.)


  • This plan is to be submitted by FAC to the Project Director ATMA for the approvol of G.B.


  • Approved plan (by Governing Board) is to be implemented by B.T.T. through village level organizations and by itself also.

(5) Village Level

  • Extension related field activities will be implemented by village extension officers of line departments with the coordination of farmers organizations under guidance and supervision of B.T.T. and F.A.C.

In order to provide needed HRD support in innovative areas of extension delivery, a State Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (SAMETI) has also been established in the project states.


Key Functions :

The key functions and tasks to be carried out by the ATMA management committee would include the following:

  1. Carry out periodic Participatory Rural Appraisal to identify the problems and constraints faced by different socio-economic groups and farmers within the district.
  2. Prepare an integrated, strategic technology plan for the district that would specify short and medium term adaptive research as well as technology validation and refinement and extension priorities for the district, these priorities should reflect the important farmer's constraints, identified during the PRA.
  3. Prepare annual work plans that would be submitted to ATMA Governing Board for review position, modification and approval.
  4. Maintain appropriate project accounts for submission to technology dissemination unit for audit purposes.
  5. Coordinate the execution of this annual work plan through participant line departments, ZRS, KVKs, NGOs, FIGs /FOs and allied institutions, including private sector firms.
  6. Establish coordinating mechanism at the block level, such as Farmer Advisory Centre, that would integrate extension and technology transfer activities at the block and village levels.
  7. Provide annual performance reports to the Governing Board outlining the various research, extension and related activities that were actually carried out, including target achieved.
  8. Provide secretariat to governing board and initiate action or policy direction, investment decision and other guidance received from the board.


ATMA Governing Board :


1. District magistrate / Collector Chairman
2. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Vice-Chairman
3. Joint Director / Deputy Director (Agri.) Member
4. A member from ZRS / KVk "
5. One farmer representative "
6. One livestock producer "
7. One horticulture  farmer "
8. Representative of women farmer interest group "
9. One SC/ST farmer representative "
10. A Representative of NGO "
11. Lead Bank Officer  of the District "
12. A representative of NGO "
13. Representative of Input Supply Association "
14. Representative  if Input Supply Association "
15. Project Director of ATMA "
16. One Fisheries / Sericulture representative Member-Secretary-Cum Treasurer member

The functions of ATMA  Governing board would be to

1. Review and approve Strategic Research and Extension {Plan (SREP) and annual action plans that are prepared and Submitted by the participating units.
2. Receive and review annual reports presented by the participating units, providing feedback and direction to them as needed; for various research and extension activities being carried out within the district.
3. Receive and allocate project funds to carry out priority research, extension and related activities within the district.
4. Foster the organization and development of Farmers Interest Groups (FIGs) and Farmers Organizations (FOs) within the district.
5.Facilitate the grater involvement of private sector and firms and organizations in providing inputs, technical support, agro- processing and marketing services to farmers.
6. Encourage agriculture lending institution to increase the availability of capital to resource poor and marginal farmers, especially SC,ST,and Women farmers.
7.Encourage each line department, plus the K.V.K and Z.R.S, tp establish farmer advisory committees to provide feedback and input into the respective R-E programmes.
8. Enter into contracts and agreements as appropriate to promote and support agricultural development activities within the district.
9. Identify other sources of financial support that would help ensure the financial sustainability of the ATMA and its participating units.
10. Establish revolving funds/ accounts for each participating unit, and encourage each unit to make available technical services, such as artificial insemination or soil testing , on a cost recovery basis moving towards full cost recovery in a phased manner.
11. Arrange for the periodic audit of ATMA's financial accounts ;and
12. Adopt and amend the rules and by- laws for the ATMA. 


Management committee :


1. Project Director ATMA Chairman
2. District head of Dept. of Agriculture Member
3. District head of Dept. of Horticulture "
4. District head of Dept. of Animal Husbandry "
5. District head of Dept. of Fisheries "
6. District head of Dept. of Sericulture "
7. District head of Dept. of appropriate line department that may be important within the district "
8. Head, KVK/ZRS "
9. One representative of NGO, in charge of Farmer's organization "
10. Two representatives of farmer' organizations  (One year rotation basis) "

Key functions of Management Committee (MC) :

The functions and tasks to be carried out by the ATMA Management Committee would include the following :

1. Carryout periodic Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to identify the problems and constraints faced by different socio-economic groups and farmers within the district.

2. Prepare an integrated, Strategic Research and Extension Plan (SREP) for the district that would specify short and medium term adaptive research as well as technology validation and refinement and extension priorities for the district: these priorities should reflect during the PRA.

3.Prepare annual action plans that would be submitted to the ATMA Governing Board for review, possible modification and approval.

4 Maintain appropriate project accounts for submission to Technology Dissemination Unit (TDU) for audit purposes.

5.Coordinate the execution of these annual action plans through participant line departments, ZRSs, KVKs, NGOs, FIGs / FOs and allied institutions, including private sector firms.

6 Establish coordinating mechanisms at the Block level, such as Farm Information & Advisory Centres (FIACs) that would integrate extension and technology transfer activities at the block and village levels.

7.Provide annual performance reports to the Governing Board outlining the various research extension and related targets that were actually carried out.

8.Provide secretariat to Governing Board and initiate action on policy direction, investment decisions and other guidance received from the Governing Board.    




Under each ATMA FIACs are created at the block level. It consists of two bodies namely Farmer Advisory Committee (FAC) and Block Technology Team (BTT). The FAC is a body of farmer representatives (11-15 members representing various Enterprises and socio economic strata). The BTT on the other hand is a group of technical advisors operating at block level representing agriculture and allied sectors. FAC and BTT, taken together, act as planning and operational arm of ATMA.

BTT(Block technology Team)  :

At block level, Block Technology Centre (BTC) a multi-disciplinary technology team has been assigned to organise and implement extension programmes within the block. In effect, the BTC would result in the functional integration of extension activities within the block and, in effect, become the operational arm of the ATMA. This centre would become the common meeting point for extension personnel from the line departments to prepare integrated work plans (WPs) and co-ordinate their implementation.

Composition :

Block level officers of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries, Plant Protection, Veterinary Science, Soil Conservation, Extension, Sericulture, Corporative, Marketing etc.
The senior most officials irrespective of the participating departments head the Block Technology Team as BTT convenor.

Functions :

1. Carry out periodic participatory rural appraisal (PRA) to identify the problems and constraints faced by different Socio-Economic groups of Farmers within the Block.

2. Prepare an integrated strategic Extension Technology Plan for the Block that would specify Extension priorities for the block. These priorities should reflect the important farmer's constraints identified during the PRA.

3. Prepare annual work plan and budget provisions that would be submitted to the Farmer Advisory Centre concerned of Block for review , possible modification and approval.

4. Coordinate the execution of these annual work plans through participatory of these staff of line departments, KVK, RHRS, Mashobra, NGO, FICs and allied institution.

5. Maintain  appropriate project accounts for the submissions to ATMA for audit.

6.Extension of annual action plan and submission of progress report to Project Director, ATMA.

7. Any other duty / function assigned from time to time.



Farmer Advisory Committe (FAC) :

It has also been proposed to establish the Farmers Advisory Committee (FAC) under the Chairmanship of President of the Panchyat Samiti and which would include 10 to 12 Members representing all major stakeholders within the block. The FAC would help to set block extension priorities and recommend resource allocation across the programme area.

The functions of Farmer Advisory Committee are,

  • To provide technological coordination administration and supervision for all Block level Extension programme under NATP.
  • Approve the seasonal and annual work [plan and submit to ATMA for approval.
  • To decide the extension and developmental priorities within the Block.
  • To approve the budget allocation amongst the line departments as received from ATMA.
  • To conduct joint supervision of any extension / development programmes within the Block.
  • Foster the organization and development of Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) and farmer organizations (FOs) within the Block.
  • To assess and review the critical inputs like seed fertilizer, Pesticides, Credit, Irrigation etc. Block level.
  • Provide feed back and directions to the participating units as also about the various Research and Extension activities to be carried out within the Block.


Village Level Officers :

  • Identifying documenting and incorporating indigenous knowledge  through Rapid rural appraisal. interviews, field visits and observations for augmenting productivity.
  • Identifying innovative systems for soil, water conservation and management, soil fertility management, diversification or intensification etc.
  • Agricultural and related sectors graduate be identified and encouraged for for establishment of input Agro-services Centre.
  • Promoting formulation of farmers organization/Group to meet out demand of specialized area such as marketing Agro-processing, input supply etc. Especially for resource poor & other  & other disadvantaged groups of farmers.
  • Where ever is possible the farmers be encouraged for diversification / intensification to increase farm income.
  • Private sector dealer, volunteers) be involved in dissemination of technology.
  • Identifying, documenting and incorporating success stories.
  • To create the awareness among the farmer community about NATP.
  • To act as catalyst for the farming community for successful implementation of programme.
  • To assist the BTT/FACs in assessing the gaps in adoption of technology and working out the required extension strategies to overcome the existing gaps.
  • To assist the BTT/FAC in identifying the local problem and felt needs of farming community.


Zonal Research Station (Z.R.S) :

The functions of zonal research stations are,

  • To organise monthly workshop training programmes of extension officers (B.T.T.) and farmers(FAC) constituted / being constituted under NATP at Block / R.H.R.S.Mashobra level to intensifying direct scientists-Extension-Farmers interaction.
  • To organise farmer fair at least once before each main cropping season at R.H.R.S. or Block level wherein small and marginal farmers could address their Technical problems directly from Scientists.
  • To develop technical message on Agriculture and allied sector in local language (Hindi) and to pass to ATMA, District heads, B.T.T./ FAC).
  • To validate refine specific technologies of agricultural and related sectors with the constitution of extension officers and farmers (B.T.T./FAC).
  • To analyse and field testing of indigenous technology knowledge identified by the extension officers.
  • To develop appropriate technology for packing and handling of perishable and durable produce.
  • To generate success story on new technology in the field of Agriculture and allied sector. 


Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) :

The functions of KVKs are

1. To organise adaptive trials on farmers fields on such technology which is already existed but not adopted by farmers.
2. To orient and train the village level officers worker from crop production to farming system approach.
3. To organise vocational Training for post harvest technologies especially for women farmers.
4. To organise farmers fair at Block level wherein small and marginal farmers could address their technical problems directly from Scientists 
5. To facilitate the B.T.T. /F.A.C. preparation of annual work plans 
6. To conduct diagnostic survey alongwith B.T.T./FAC to advise the farmer on the spot.
7. To give the advisory services on diversification and intensification of farming system.
8. To conduct the survey for diffusion of new technologies (adaptive trials) continuously in following years until the new technology has become a success stories.


State Level Inter Departmental Working Group (IDWG) :

In pursuance of the number of mechanisms built into the project design and to ensure effective coordination among the departments like agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, horticulture, soil conservation etc. it is proposed to constitute a state level inter departmental working group under the chairmanship of the Agriculture Production Commissioner/ Secretary agriculture with the following composition


1. Agriculture Production Commissioner/ Secretary Agriculture  Chairman
2. Secretary (Finance)  Member
3. Secretary (Fisheries)  Member
4. Secretary (Horticulture) Member
5. Secretary (Rural Development) Member
6. Secretary (Animal Husbandry) Member
7. Secretary (Soil Conservation)  Member
8. Secretary (Women Development) Member
9. Secretaries of related departments (wherever necessary)  Member
10. Vice Chancellor (s) of SAU(s)   Member
11. Secretary (Agri.)/ Deputy Secretary (Agri.) Member Secretary

In departments like horticulture, soil conservation etc, where separate secretaries do not exist, director of the concerned departments may act as a member on the interdepartmental group.

Key functions of IDWG :

To provide a mechanism for interactions with the Technology Dissemination Management Committee (TDMC) of the DAC, GOI, guide the human resource development activity and to monitor the district level technology dissemination programme.

To oversee and support Agricultural Extension Research activities being undertaken by ATMA and to make policy interventions on inter departmental matters including issues related to Women in Agriculture and co-ordination thereof.

To promote and establish integrated approach in Transfer of technology at state, division and district level by agriculture and line departments. To establish effective linkages with different line departments, marketing, input and credit institutions, NGOs, Private/ Corporate sector to promote large scale extension reforms.

To internalize new concepts and institutional arrangement successfully demonstrated by the ATMAs. To deal with any other policy issue related to implementation of the project, which emerges from time to time.

A Project Implementation Cell (PIC) would be established in each States with the office of the Agriculture Production Commissioner (APC)/ Secretary Agriculture/ Director Agriculture. This PIC would monitor project activities being carried out in each pilot district and ensure that project funds released to the States are included within state budget.


Fund Flow Mechanism :

  • Fund will be released directly by the Govt. of India to ATMA, SAMETI and NATP CELL.


  • In turn ATMA will released the fund to district heads of line departments; B.T.T / F.A.C heads of K.V.K. and Z.R.S.


  • Head of K.V.K. and Z.R.S. and B.T.T. will release the finds to the concerned scientists and member of B.T.T.
  • Separate account  will be opened in  a Nationalized Bank by, all funds receiving  authorities .


  • Every fund receiving authority will be held responsible personally for the proper maintenance of Account ,Records report as per NATP procedure. 




Process of Working of ATMA :

  1. Diagnostic survey by researchers and extension worker along with other government staff from the agriculture and other line departments, NGOs and representatives of corporate sector processors, input suppliers, bank and farmer representatives using PRA techniques.
  2. Identification of problems currently affecting the technology dissemination system and limiting its performance of sustainability.
  3. Determination of the main opportunities and constraints (markets, input supplies, financial and social factors, the natural resource base etc.) that should be considered for development planning.
  4. Formulation of Strategic Adaptive Research and Extension Plan for the District, setting out technical objectives as well as innovations to be introduced into the organizations and funding of technology dissemination.
  5. Preparation of specific action plus implementation responsibilities of the public sector and other stockholders for the specific year.
  6. Arranging technical programs covering the need for adaptive research, farmer participatory trials, demonstration, field days and the development of extension recommendation for the coming season.


Planning and Financial Procedures :

The BTC team would prepare seasonal work plans (WPs) and budgets that would outline extension and farmer training activities to be undertaken during the coming season. These coordinated plans must address key constraints and opportunities outlined within the SREP if they are to be funded by ATMA. In addition, the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) would be responsible for coordinating these proposed block-level extension activities and for submission to the ATMA. The OIC and the FAC chair from each block would jointly present these extensions plans to the ATMA Management Committee (i.e. Technology Management Team) prior to their submission to the ATMA GB for approval. In case of programmatic disagreements between the TMT and the block technology team, then these issues would be resolved by the GB. The district-level line departments and research units would also prepare seasonal or annual WPs to (1) maintain diagnostic and support services (e.g. soil testing laboratories) within the district, (2) organize in-service training and technical support activities for the block and field level extension staff, and (3) carry out adaptive and farming systems research programs. In addition, it would supervise the implementation of block-level WPs.                

Once a WP has been approved by the GB, then the ATMA Project Director would forward a cheque to the OIC in each block to cover the budgeted cost of approved extension programs. The OIC would maintain a bank account and funds would be allocated to each BTC member in implementing their approved program of extension activities. The OIC and chair of the FAC would sign all disbursement cheques. The OIC would be responsible for maintaining complete financial records, including expenditure receipts, for approved extension activities. Also, the OIC would periodically submit detailed financial records to ATMA. The flow of funds to individual blocks would be suspended if financial and performance records are not submitted to ATMA in accordance with agreed upon procedures. Operational Procedures. All BTC team members would continue to be employed by their respective line departments, but they would function as a multi-disciplinary technology team or working group that would address the four main programmatic thrusts within the SREP in designing and implementing an integrated extension program. Village extension workers (VEWs) would have prime responsibility for day-to-day program implementation, with BTC team members assisting with demonstration plots installation, teaching farmer training courses, and conducting farm field days and other group activities. In large districts, agricultural officers (AOs) would supervise the day-to-day work of the VEWs, with technical supervision and support coming from the BTC team. The goal of this proposed new arrangement is to create an integrated or single window extension system.



ATMA - lessons so far :

  • The integrated implementation of field activities is workable but depends considerably on the state government's commitment to internalize and practice these new concepts.
  • All ATMAs have made considerable progress on diversification and intensification of different farming systems.
  • The Block Technology Teams (BTTs) and Farmer Advisory Committees (FACs) need to play a more active role in preparation of block action plans
  • Several farmer interest groups and women farmer interest groups have been formed and some of them have initiated joint activities. There is a need to involve NGOs in forming groups of farmers
  • Integrated package of exposure visit, training and demonstration has resulted in better technology adoption

The flexibility to quickly respond to training and information needs of farmers, the availability of a reasonably good untied operational budget and the participation of the farming community by way of FAC at the block level are the major factors behind the apparent success of ATMA. However the project suffers from weak process documentation and internal Monitoring and Evaluation system. There is inadequate information on utilisation of IT facility and progress in implementation of adaptive research through SAUs and KVKs.



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