Front Line demonstrations (FLDs) is a unique approach to provide an direct interface between researcher and farmers as the scientists are directly involved in planning, execution and monitoring of the demonstrations for the technologies developed by them and get direct feedback from the farmers’ field. This enables the scientists to improvise upon the research programme accordingly. In FLDs, the subject matter scientists provide technological inputs to extension scientists to organize the demonstrations. Thus, FLDs provide an opportunity to researchers and extension personnel for understanding the farmer’s resources and requirement to fine tune and/or modify the technologies for easy adaptability at farmers’ fields.
The frontline demonstrations (FLDs) under NFSM were conducted on 287.9 ha acreage involving 890 farmers during three seasons (kharif, rabi and spring) in 15 states/UTs out of which 5.8 ha FLDs were failed due to heavy rainfall/flood. In rabi 2018-19, FLDs were conducted on 97.8 ha at 262 farmers field in 7 states (Telangana, Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Gujarat) by 9 centres. The FLDs were focused on demonstration of newly released single cross hybrids, post-emergence weed management, integrated pest management, intercropping etc. The average yield in FLDs was 64.5 q/ha, which was higher than farmer’s practices of 53.2 q/ha during rabi 2018-19 season. The yield gains over the farmer practice in different states in rabi season ranged from 10.3 to 78.2%. In spring 2019, the FLDs were conducted in three states benefitting 90 farmers and the yield under FLDs was 66.4 q/ha which was much higher than farmer’s practice of 49.9 q/ha and having yield gaps 47.7%. In kharif 2019, FLDs were conducted in 12 states/UTs by 14 centres on 150.1 ha fields of 538 farmers. The results of the FLDs conducted in kharif 2019 showed a wide variation in the yield gaps of 3.9 to 127.7% across states averaging 33.2%. The average yield in kharif season under FLDs was 45.1 q/ha while in spring it was 66.4 q/ha.
Across the season highest yield of 90 q/ha under FLDs was reported during rabi 2018-19 at West Bengal. The seasonal averages of the FLDs were 20 and 25 q/ha higher than national average yield of maize during rabi and kharif season, respectively which shows the potential of enhancing maize productivity in both the seasons with available technology targeting in niche areas. The FLDs on bio fortified maize cultivars of quality protein maize (Shaktiman-5 and HQPM-5), were conducted on 20 ha areas in Meghalaya and Bihar where yield gap of 28 and 6 per cent were recorded, respectively.