The College of Agriculture, Vellayani was established in May, 1955 and continues as the Centre of undergraduate and Post Graduate education. The institution was set up in the palace building belonging to the royal family of erstwhile Travancore-Cochin State. Within few years the College got sufficiently strengthened to claim a parity with any other leading Agricultural Institution in India. Post graduate programmes, leading to M.Sc. (Ag.) and Ph.D. degrees were started in the college during 1962 and 1965 respectively. Simultaneous development of the College farm provided field facilities for giving adequate work experience for the B.Sc.(Ag.) course and for conducting researches of M.Sc. (Ag.) and Ph.D. students.
When the Agricultural University was established in Kerala during 1972, the College of Agriculture, Vellayani had grown up adequately to form the major constituent of the University. With the inclusion of this institution in the Agricultural University, the agricultural education and research in the state underwent tremendous changes and development. The `trimester' system of teaching with `internal evaluation' was introduced in the University and it emerged as a novel ideal system in the field of agricultural education. Now the teaching is done under the related `semester system'. The College of Agriculture, Vellayani has now become the nerve centre of agricultural research and education in the Southern State.
Much stress is being given at the under graduate level to train the students in all the farm operations. They have to raise all the important crops of the State in small plots in the college farm under the `work experience' programme. In the final year of the course they are given intensive field training in the Krishi Bhavans of the Department of Agriculture and in the Research Stations of the University where they get proper exposure to the practical problems in agriculture. Thus make the students fully competent to face field problems in their future official career.
Agricultural Botany & Plant Breeding
Rural Home Science
Out of the above departments, the first 8 departments are offering Ph.D. courses in the concerned specialities. In the department of Horticulture , 3 Sections namely (1) Olericulture, (2) Processing Technology and (3) Plant Biotechnology were added as separate entities. A new section Agricultural Metereology is added with the Department of Agronomy.
A new `Soil Museum' was inaugurated under the supervision of Department of Soil Science for the benefit of the public. As a new step the Instructional Farm, Vellayani has opened a `Sales counter cum Information Centre' .
Besides post graduate research, majority of the Scientists also take up research work. Under their guidance a number of research programmes sanctioned by the external funding agencies are being implemented. Many valuable recommendations and technologies have emerged out of the research activities. New varieties, improved propagation methods including tissue-culture, modern methods of pest management, evaluation of socio-economic programmes implemented by the different departments of State Government and voluntary organisations are some of the areas covered by the research activities of the college.
The specialists of this college are associating themselves closely with the extension activities of the various Government Departments and Social Service organisations. Through the Village Adoption Programme and N.S.S. activities, the expertise of the staff and students of the college is made available to the farming community in the viscinities of the institution. Seminars, Symposia, Workshops, field days and farmers' fairs organised by the staff and students of the College from time to time have been widely acclaimed by the public, press and farmers alike.
Various categories of officers of the Department of Agriculture, Co-operation, Forest, Nationalised Banks are given on-campus and off-campus trainings by the concerned specialists of the college under different training programmes organised by the Department of Agricultural Extension. Farmers are also given necessary training under the Village adoption programme in specialised areas like wormi compost, mushroom etc. under the guidance of the Department of Agricultural Extension.
The College of Agriculture, Vellayani, a pioneering institution of its kind in the State has shouldered heavy responsibilities in evolving suitable technologies needed for the development of Agriculture in the State and will continue to play this pivotal role in the years to come.