The promotion of farm guidance activities of a Society would not succeed merely by recruiting a competent person and assigning this special task to him. Farm guidance should be an integral part of the whole co-operative activities. In view of this, various steps to be taken in programming will be;
(1) to analyze the factors affecting farm management,
(2) to make long-term production and management programme of farmers on the basis of prevailing local conditions as well as the above analysis and
(3) to make the business programme of a Society according to the assessment of the needs of individual farmers with reference to their production and management programm
Long-Term Farm Management Programme
A. Consideration and analysis of basic factors affecting contents of farm guidance
Before the formulation of long-term farm management programme, changes of some basic factors should be taken into consideration. These factors are:
(1) External Factors
(a) Change in demand for agricultural products with special reference to the commodities produced in the area where the Society is operating business. The changes in demand for agricultural products may call for changing the pattern of farm management from small individual production to large-sized production so as to ensure economic advantages and to increase the commercial value of the products.
(b) Trends of processing industries of agricultural products and changes of consumption pattern. They may make it necessary to improve the quality, to standardize products to reduce production cost and to supply continuously sufficient quantity of products. For this purpose, production programme for wide area is more effective.
(c) Changes in distribution systems—cold chain, super-market etc. which may necessitate the establishment of an effective organisational system with a view to integrate various functions such as credit, supply of inputs, farm guidance and marketing so that agricultural co-operatives may play a more important role in the field of production and marketing and may strengthen their bargaining power.
(d) Development of agricultural production techniques and mechanization of agriculture which might require the promotion of joint efforts among farmers who are engaged in production of the same line of commodities to attain the maximum economic benefit. It is important to organize farmers into groups according to the types of commodities they produce.
(e) Trends of agricultural policies at national and secondary level, which may some time makes it necessary for the Society to adjust their activities so that the Society can play a more important role in the total agricultural development programme.
(2) Internal Factors
(a) Agricultural Land : Pattern of land ownership and utilization, effect of industrialisation or urbanisation which will affect the pattern of farm management and the scope of mechanization in the future. Land consolidation, farm road, irrigation and drainage facilities which are also important elements for agricultural modernisation.
(b) Farm Labour : Changes of farm labour resources in an area and the major factors responsible for the changes.
(c) Agricultural Capitail : Machinery and facilities needed for long range improvement of farm management, assessment of capital owned by farmers taking into consideration the crops they produce and farm labour available. Either the individual farmer or the co-operative Society should be responsible for the capital accumulation required for the improvement programme.
(d) Crops : Types of crops grown in an area, their production and marketing situation, profitability, adaptability to the natural conditions, trends in the market, and feasibility of farm management improvement with a view to determine the crops in the future and any other crops to be introduced.
(e) Farmers : Degree of willingness of farmers for improving their farm management, income structure, pattern of farming, responsible person within a family for decision-making on farm management, any individual or a group of farmers who has a keen interest in improving their farm management in order to forecast the pattern of farm management in the area in future. What farmers expect from co-operatives in regard to farm guidance.