The Bold Voice of J&K

Accelerating Agricultural Growth through KVKs

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Dr. Banarsi Lal

India’s agricultural growth depends on the research and dissemination of knowledge and information to the farmers and other stakeholders in agriculture and allied sectors. Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are innovative grass root level organizations that are known nationally and internationally for agricultural growth. They are also known as Farm Science Centers are the agricultural knowledge providing centres from where the farmers can obtain latest agricultural information and assistance to solve their day-to-day agricultural problems. These centres act as means of transfer of new agricultural information and technologies from lab to land. Many Government and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) collaborate with these centres to disseminate the information to the farming community. Needless to say that these centres act as the nodal agencies of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and are playing a crucial role in the implementation of modern agricultural technologies. The KVKs are bringing the modern package of agricultural technologies at the farmers’ doorsteps. The KVKs are mitigating the scientific agricultural needs of the farmers. The KVKs are playing a pivotal role in transformation in rural areas by creating the awareness among the rural people about the latest agricultural technologies. The KVKs are playing a pivotal role in farmers’ prosperity. The KVKs empower the farmers through need-based farmers/vocational trainings and helpful to change the socio-economic conditions of the farmers. The Krishi Vigyan Kendras conduct on- farm testing, identify the location specificity of agricultural technologies, lay out front line demonstrations to establish the production potential of various agricultural technologies at farmers fields, impart need-based and skill oriented training for the farmers, in-service extensional personnel , to those who are interested for self-employment to update their knowledge and skills in new agricultural technologies, create awareness on improved technologies through various extension methods, produce and provide improved quality seeds, planting material, livestock, poultry, fisheries etc. to the farmers and work as agricultural knowledge centers for the public, private and voluntary organizations.
KVKs are putting in an incredible efforts to upsurge farmers income,,creating self-employment and attracting youths in agriculture through development of agricultural and allied sector enterprises.They are striving to empower the farming community through capacity building programmes,by creating entrepreneurial avenues and hand holding to farmers. KVKs have accelerated agricultural growth and have improved the socio-economic status of the farming community by acting as the agricultural knowledge hub centres. KVKs have extensively scaled up potential technologies to the farmers and other stakeholders in the district. KVKs cater the needs of those who wish to be self-employed or those who are already employed. The programmes and syllabus(action plan) of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras are tailored according to the needs, resources and potential for the agricultural growth in a particular area and are finally decided by involving the districts heads, Panches/Sarpanches and also progressive farmers of the area. The major objective of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras is agricultural growth. Priority is given to the weaker sections of the society like small, marginal, tribal farmers, agricultural labourers, drought prone areas, hilly areas, forest areas, coastal areas etc. and work-experience is the main method of imparting training. With E-linkage the KVKs are interconnected with each other and also with the ICAR and thus disseminate the agricultural information to the end users quickly and effectively. With the introduction of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) the adoption rates of new agricultural technologies have been increased. KVKs aware the farmers about the hybrid/improved/high yielding varieties of maize, paddy, wheat, pulses, oilseeds etc. KVKs are diverting the farmers from subsistence farming to commercial farming. Mushroom cultivation, sericulture, floriculture, horticulture, dairy farming, vermicomposting, food processing, milk processing entrepreneurships are developed among the farmers by the strenuous efforts of KVKs. KVKs are proving as the agricultural knowledge hubs for the farmers.
The first objective of ICAR is to cover the entire country with one Krishi Vigyan Kendra in each district and priority is given to the backward areas. As there is a great demand for the improved agricultural technologies by the farmers so there is great demand of Krishi Vigyan Kendras throughout the country. Farmers need not only the knowledge of the technologies but also more skills in the agricultural operations for adoption. Now the effectiveness of Krishi Vigyan Kendras has been increased by the addition of On-Farm Trials (OFTs) and Front Line Demonstrations (FLDs) on the agricultural technologies.The four major functions of Krishi Vigyan Kendras are (i) To impart need based trainings to the farmers and extension functionaries. (ii)To organise long-term vocational training for the rural youths in order to generate the income and self-employment.(iii)To layout Front-Line Demonstrations(FLDs) at farmers field to generate the production data and also to get feedback from the farmers.(iv)To conduct On-Farm Tests(OFTs), refinement and documentation of agricultural technologies. Needs based trainings are designed for different types of farmers. The training courses are designed on the basis of information received from village survey through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) or Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) methods and characterise the human and physical resources. The farming system of the farmers is taken into account while designing the courses of the programmes. All methods and means to develop the skill among the farmers in their areas of interest are taken into account. Basically the trainings starts from the farmers production units such as farmers fields, dairy units, poultry units, goat units, sheep units etc. and conclude with discussion. After imparting the trainings the follow-up of the programmes is done and impact is assessed by the KVK scientists. No certificate or diploma is awarded to the farmers for the trainings.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra plans and conducts survey of the operational areas to identify the training needs of the farmers. It compiles all the recommendations for the district to utilize in the training programmes. KVK conducts need-based, production oriented short and long-term training courses both on and off campus. KVK maintains the farm on the scientific basis for the demonstration purpose in order to provide the work experience to the farmers and also to disseminate the latest agricultural technologies. The seed produced by the KVKs are ultimately provided to the farmers. KVK also imparts some general training to the rural illiterates and school drop outs in order to convert them as the good farmers. KVK also provides trainings to the women for home making and nutrition education for rural community and also on other areas like cottage industries home crafts etc.
The women empowerment is always taken on the priority and they are guided to form and manage the SHGs. KVK undertakes on-farm testing of the agricultural technologies and allied aspects for their suitability and also to identify the constraints. KVK helps to implement all the schemes of the ICAR and other related organisations. KVK demonstrates the various technologies to recommend for their adoption for maximizing the yield or income per unit time in different resource conditions.
Presently India is having 731 KVKs all over the country. The Krishi Vigyan Kendras are really proving to be the tools of rural transformation.
(The writer is Chief Scientist and Head of KVK, Reasi SKUAST-J)

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