Best Practices

Best practices of an institution are the practices that either promote the human values or the ones that support the institutional mandates. At BAU, Sabour, since its inception in 2010, there has been an emphasis on solving the stakeholders’ problems with technology interventions. This has led to adoption an ICT based agricultural extension model for inclusive growth on one hand and Stakeholders’ need based research formulation and implementation through multilevel screening and coordination for impactful deliverables on the other hand as institutional best practices prevailing for several years now. The two best practices are described below:


Best Practice 1: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) based Agricultural extension for inclusive development

BAU, Sabour has revolutionized agricultural outreach in the remote areas of Bihar using ICT based agricultural extension. The technologies developed and recommended by the Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour are taken to the ultimate stakeholders through mass media, field visits and feedback mechanisms. Community radio station (CRS) provides localized information in the local native language about the technologies and practices of the university, weather forecast based advisories, market trends and social issues to the rural population. The community radio broadcasts programmes like panel discussion on agriculture, success stories of farmers, special programme for women and children, health related soaps, folk lore etc., This programme works on the theme of “For the people and by the people”, as the people from the community can also participate in delivering the programme on radio. Digital story telling using social media platform is probably the best way to enable better learning. At BAU, videos related to agriculture and success stories of farmers are being produced and shared at platforms like YouTube, to provide expert information to the farming community. It is also updated regularly to meet the taste of the viewers from all over the world. This is sufficed by a video-conferencing facility established in 20 extension units of the University, It has enabled the scientists to disseminate information and farm technologies to remote parts of the state with ease and reduced cost and also receive the real time feedback about the developed technologies. The trainings based on needs of the farmers are organized regularly with the active collaboration of the KVKs. The facility is also supported with outdoor broadcasting system wherein the farmers can be connected with experts from the experimental field directly. Agriculture based information is provided at the farmers’ doorsteps by a mobile video display units called Kisan Gyan Raths. The units move from village-to-village as per the schedule across 25 districts of Bihar playing a pivotal role in motivating the farmers to adopt the latest technologies. The Kisan Gyan Rath is also fully equipped with facilities for soil analysis, interpretation and issuing of soil health cards to the farmers. Besides, this system, the University operates a dedicated Kisan Helpline at two telephone numbers; 0641-2451035 (landline) and the toll-free number 18003456455 where farmers can seek information through calls, WhatsApp calls and even WhatsApp messages. These initiatives have fetched National Award for e-Governance, 2019-20 (Silver) and Skoch Gold Award, 2020 to BAU, Sabour.


Best Practice 2: Stakeholders’ need based research formulation and implementation through multilevel screening and coordination for impactful deliverables

The research program of the University is conceived to be designed to meet the stakeholder requirements since the inception of the University. Hence, before the starting of any cropping season (kharif / rabi), the efforts of the researchers are streamlined by a series of interactions with the stakeholders or their representatives. This gives the development of the research program a bottom up approach where in the multi-level research implementation structure of the University involves the Zonal Research and Extension Advisory Council (ZREAC) meeting in 3 agro-climatic zones (Zone II, Zone IIIA, Zone IIIB). Farmers, Field functionaries from the KVKSs and the state department of agriculture of the concerned zones participate and discuss about the problems being faced by the stakeholders. This rigorous interaction leads to the identification of researchable issues that are conveyed to the concerned departments. At the next level, the scientists in various departments formulate research project proposals that are discussed and improved through suggestions from senior officials and experts at multiple levels of presentation, deliberation, discussion and improvisation starting from the departmental level, research group level, pre-research council and the University Research Council level. The approved projects are then executed through a well identified protocol of implementation, review and monitoring. The final results lead to the development of technologies that are again discussed at multiple levels, validated at the level of stakeholders and then released to the public by the University Research Council as a solution to the problems identified initially as a researchable issue. The multi-level research monitoring and evaluation system is the backbone of the research carried out in the University. In the last 5 years  13 varieties of various crops have been identified and 30 different farmer-friendly technologies released.  These include new improved varieties of rice, linseed, chickpea, garlic, pointed gourd, brinjal and mango and promising management technologies technologies in Agronomy, Soil Science, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Biotechnology, Floriculture, Agricultural Engineering and Seed Science and Technology.