- It is an agricultural extension centre in India.
- The name means "farm science centre". Usually associated with a local agricultural university, these centres serve as the ultimate link between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and farmers and aim to apply agricultural research in a practical, localized setting.
- All KVKs fall under the jurisdiction of one of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) throughout India.
- As of January 2020, there were approximately 721 KVKs throughout India
HISTORY OF KVK
- The Education Commission (1964-66) recommended that a vigorous effort be made to establish specialized institutions to provide vocational education in agriculture and allied fields at the pre and post matriculate levels to cater for the training needs of a large number of boys and girls coming from rural areas.
- The Commission, further, suggested that such institutions be named as ‘Agricultural Polytechnics’.
- The recommendation of the Commission was thoroughly discussed: during 1966-72 by the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Agriculture, Planning Commission, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and other allied institutions.
- Finally, the ICAR mooted the idea of establishing Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Agricultural Science Centres) as innovative institutions for imparting vocational training to the practising farmers, school dropouts and field level extension functionaries.
- The ICAR Standing Committee on Agricultural Education, in its meeting held in August 1973, observed that since the establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendra’s (KVKs) was of national importance which would help in accelerating the agricultural production as also in improving the socio-economic conditions of the farming community, the assistance of all related institutions should be taken in implementing this scheme.
- The ICAR, therefore, constituted a committee in 1973 headed by Dr. Mohan Singh Mehta of Seva Mandir, Udaipur (Rajasthan), for working out a detailed plan for implementing this scheme.
- The Committee submitted its report in 1974.
- The first KVK was established in 1974 at Pondicherry.
- The KVK scheme is 100% financed by Govt. of India and the KVKs are sanctioned to Agricultural Universities, ICAR institutes, related Government Departments and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) working in Agriculture.
- The KVK is an integral part of the National Agricultural Research System (NARS).
- Assessment of location-specific technology modules in agriculture and allied enterprises, through technology assessment, refinement and demonstrations.
- To organize on and off-campus training programmes for farmers, rural women, youth, and officers of the Department of Agriculture to make them aware of the latest technologies in agriculture.
- To organize short and long term vocational training courses on vegetable, floriculture, beekeeping, dairying, mushroom, organic farming and protective cultivation etc. for rural youth for self-employment.
- To arrange front-line demonstrations and on-farm trials at farmer’s fields on improved technologies and refinement of existing technology so as to suit the need of the farmers.
- KVKs have been functioning as Knowledge and Resource Centre of agricultural technology supporting initiatives of public, private and voluntary sector for improving the agricultural economy of the district and are linking the NARS with extension system and farmers.
- A KVK can be formed under a variety of host institutions, including agricultural universities, state departments, ICAR institutes, other educational institutions, or NGO.
- A KVK must own about 20 hectares of land for the purpose of testing new agricultural technologies.
KVK System: Mandate and Activities
The mandate of KVK is Technology Assessment and Demonstration for its Application and Capacity Development.
To implement the mandate effectively, the following activities are envisaged for each KVK
- On-farm testing: to assess the location specificity of agricultural technologies under various farming systems.
- Frontline demonstrations to establish the production potential of technologies on the farmers’ fields.
- Capacity development of farmers and extension personnel to update their knowledge and skills on modern agricultural technologies.
- To work as Knowledge and Resource Centre of agricultural technologies for supporting initiatives of the public, private and voluntary sector in improving the agricultural economy of the district.
- Provide farm advisories using ICT and other media means on varied subjects of interest to farmers
- In addition, KVKs produce quality technological products (seed, planting material, bio-agents, and livestock) and make them available to farmers,
- organize frontline extension activities
- Identify and document selected farm innovations and converge with ongoing schemes and programs within the mandate of KVK.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF KVK
- On-Farm Testing:
- Each KVK operates a small farm to test new technologies, such as seed varieties or innovative farming methods, developed by ICAR institutes. This allows new technologies to be tested at the local level before being transferred to farmers.
- Front-line Demonstration:
- Due to the KVK's farm and its proximity to nearby villages, it organizes programs to show the efficacy of new technologies on farmer fields.
- Capacity Building:
- In addition to demonstrating new technologies, the KVK also hosts capacity building exercises and workshops to discuss modern farming techniques with groups of farmers.
- Multi-sector Support:
- Offer support to various private and public initiatives through its local network and expertise. It is very common for government research institutes to leverage the network of KVKs when performing surveys with a wide range of farmers.
- Advisory Services:
Due to the growing use of ICT KVKs have implemented technologies to provide farmers information, such as weather advisories or market pricing, through radio and mobile phones.
- In each of these activities, the KVK focuses on crops and methods specific to the local climate and industry.
- Some factors which may impact this decision are:
- Soil type, crops grown, water availability, seasonal temperatures, and allied sectors such as dairy and aquaculture.
- In addition to addressing local factors, KVKs are also mandated to increase the adoption of practices that align with remunerative agriculture, climate-smart agriculture, and dietary diversification.
- Some KVKs also host social activities to facilitate rapport between the institutions and the local community.
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