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The College of Horticulture was established in 1972 with the main objective of starting graduate programme in Horticulture and strengthening research and extension activities in Horticultural crops. B.Sc. (Hort.) degree programme was started with an intake of 20 students during 1972.
The intake capacity was increased to 30 from 1976 and then to 40 from 1979. The B.Sc.(Ag.) programme was also introduced from 1977 with an intake of 50 students. The syllabi for the B.Sc. (Hort.) and B.Sc. (Ag.) programme were then integrated and the B.Sc. (Ag) programme alone was continued with the integrated syllabus. The intake capacity for the B.Sc. (Ag.) programme was subsequently raised to 75 and then to 90.
Post graudate programme was started in six disciplines from 1976 viz., M.Sc. (Hort.), M.Sc. (Ag.) in Agronomy, Agricultural Botany, Soil Science & Agrl. Chemistry, Agrl. Entomology and Plant Pathology. From 1979, Ph.D. programmes in the above disciplines were commenced. Subsequently, M.Sc. programmes were also started in Agrl. Economics, Agrl. Extension, Agrl. Meteorology, Agrl. Statistics and Home Science (Food Science and Nutrition).
Two post-graduate diploma courses of one year duration were conducted in Natural Rubber Production and Land Water Resources and Management from 1979 and 1980 respectively and subsequently discontinued.
Under the Manpower Development Scheme sponsored by the Coffee Board of India, the final year B.Sc. (Ag.) students were given special training in coffee cultivation and processing from 1984 to 1997.
A new diploma course of two-year duration in Natural Rubber Production was started in 1998 for the sponsored candidates from Tripura with the financial assistance of the Rubber Board, Kottayam.
The required Infrastructure for imparting practical training has been established. In addition to the Instructional Farm having an area of 95.35 ha, the different departments have established farms of their own in a total area of about 72.24 ha. Most of the tropical annual, perennial and plantation crops are grown in these farms. The undergraduates are given training in the cultivation of various annual crops, maintenance of perennial crops and processing of agricultural and horticultural produces through various work experience courses. In addition to the regular field trips to various places within the state as part of practical training, the students of the second and third year B.Sc. (Ag) classes are taken on study tour to places of agricultural importance all over South India and all over the country, respectively. During the eighth semester, the final year students are attached to Krishi Bhavans and Agricultural Research Stations of the state for specific periods as a part of their field Training Programme (RAWE).
The Associate Dean heads the college. The faculty consists of nearly 130 highly qualified teachers specialised in various branches of agricultural sciences. T
The College activities were initially taken up in the Veterinary College Campus during 1972 at Mannuthy and later shifted to the KAU Main Campus, Vellanikkara in 1977. At present, the College functions in the academic blocks II and III while the academic block I is occupied with university administrative affairs. It has grown in many folds since its inception and has a very good academic record with excellent faculty. The faculty strives hard to attain excellence in teaching, research and extension in the field of Agriculture. It is one of the three Colleges of Agriculture, located centrally in Kerala.
The College of Horticulture, Vellanikkara is an excellent teaching institute at the national level. So far, the college has produced 1688 graduates, 923 post graduates, 138 PhDs, 359 UG diploma holders and 77 PG diploma holders. Students from different parts of the country opt for their undergraduate studies here. Similarly, students from different states of the country, and abroad are doing their post graduate and PhD programme at this college. The performance of the students in securing JRFs/ placements for PG studies at the national level has been excellent. KAU stood first in JRF during several years like 2001, 2002, 2004. KAU is adjudged as the best Agricultural University in the country during the last five years based on the performance of the students in JRF. Many students of the college have bagged recognitions like Young scientist award, Jawaharlal Nehru award for best PhD work, Graduate Associateship in foreign universities etc.
Post graduate programme is available in 17 and PhD in 14 departments. The institute caters to the technical manpower of researchers in agriculture, Horticulture, administrative and public services, banks, management sectors, commodity boards etc. Facilities like Centre of Plant Biotechniology and Molecular Biology, Central Library, Centre for e-learning, Distributed Information System, Radiotracer Laborotory, Student Computer Centre etc have been established in the college.
Research at the College was initiated during 1976 as part of post graduate programmes and further strengthened through KAU and externally aided projects. As a result of meticulous planning and judicious implementation of various location specific need based research projects both by the students and faculty, the College could contribute to the farming community a number of innovations of high practical utility. The highlights of major contributions are the following.
IMPROVED VARIETIES in crops like vegetables (36), spices (4 in turmeric and 2 in ginger), cocoa (10 including 3 hybrids), rice (2), medicinal plants two in Adathoda, two in Plumbago, one in Holostemma, two in Kacholam and one in long pepper and one in coleus.
AGROTECHNIQUES have been developed / standardised for scientific cultivation of cereals, tuber crops, pulses, commercial crops, vegetables, plantation crops, beverage crops , spices, oil crops, fruits, ornamentals and major medicinal plants of the State. Multiplication technique for bush pepper was also standarised.
PROCEDURES STANDARDISATION for top working in cocoa, in-situ budding in nutmeg and soft wood grafting in mango and cashew and have gained wide adaptability by the farming community.
NUTRIENT REMOVAL PATTERNS in pepper, ginger, nutmeg and clove were studied and artificially induced nutrient deficiency symptoms were documented.
TECHNOLOGY evolved for the effective and efficient bio-control of salvinia, a problematic acquatic weed of Kerala is one of the research achievements worth mentioning.
VIABLE DISEASE MANAGEMENT strategies were developed in the case of spices like pepper, ginger, cardamom, cashew etc. Discovery of fungal pathogen, Hirsutella thompsoni against coconut mite, bio-control of stem borer and leaf roller of rice are the other research achievements in the field of crop protection.
IN VITRO PROPOGATION TECHNIQUES in banana, pineapple, orchids and important medicinal plants of the State were standardized.
The College has a well equipped and fully computerized library with more than 30,000 costly and high value subject and reference books, about 2000 theses, 100 print journals, 3000+ electronic journals, hundreds of e-books, high speed Internet connection, WiFi facility to use even in smart phones etc.
The Internet and electronic books and journals can be accessed in all computers in the library, computer centre, departments, class rooms, office etc. As this facility is also provided in all hostels, students and researchers can use this important facility 24 hours in all days.
As the College of Horticulture is located in the Main Campus of the university, the students, teachers and research have an additional benefit of University Central Library with all modern facilities.
Educational Technology Cell
A full-fledged Educational Cell is functioning in the College. The cell caters the needs of the teaching staff and students in the area of academics by the use of modern information technology tools. The facilities currently available are:
Intranet connection to every department
Internet connection to every department
Common printing facility
A students computer center exclusively for the students needs
Under the cell, the following units also functions
Academic cell UG & PG
A well functioning Academic cell, both for UG and PG students, is functioning in the College. The cell handles all the academic affairs of UG and PG students of the College. The cell functions efficiently by utilizing internally developed computer programmes making error free, speedy and efficient documentation of students’ records. All the academic records are computerized and a good database is generated. The entire students’ files are computerized. This is the only college in the University, where the grade sheets of the students are sent to their parents soon after the publication of semester results.
The PG course planning and allotment, preparation of time-table, monitoring the registration, providing guidelines for preparation of research programme, conduct of College Council and Faculty Research Council for the approval of research programmes, scrutiny and recommendation for approval of forecast, submission of thesis, conduct of qualifying and final viva are also being arranged by the academic cell.
Student’s computer centre
A student computer centre has been established at the College of Horticulture under the ICAR Development Grant during the X plan in the year 1980. The centre aims to train all the student members computer literate. It also imparts training to students academic and ministerial staff on various aspects of IT related multimedia programs. This centre is a self supporting centre with an admission fee and monthly membership fee. Training students provides high speed broad band internet connectivity. It also provides scanning, copying and printing facilities to the students and academic staff of the College. At present, there are more than 200 members in this computer centre. It has a net balance of more than Rs.70, 000 in its credit. All most all the departments are also provided with computer facilities under the ICAR development grant during X plan.
The Cell aims to coordinate technical formulation, planning and documentation of technical matters of the College including compilation of quarterly, half yearly and annual reports and other reports to be placed before the General Council from time to time. The Cell has prepared a vision of the College in this regard.
The Under Graduate and Post Graduate programmes of the College are residential in nature, and hence hostel facility is provided for bonafide students, unless they are exempted on ground that they are residing with their parents or guardians. The hostel Harsha accommodates UG girl students while Haritha accommodates PG girl students. Both are located 200m away from the College. The boys are accommodated in Pamba Men’s Hostel. The hostels have spacious and comfortable rooms with extra guestrooms to accommodate guests. There are clean mess halls in which more than 100 people can dine at a time. Television sets have been provided with cable connections. The hostels enjoy round the clock telephone and security facilities also.
Other facilities available are
Students’ union is the co-coordinating hub of all the co-curricular activities of the students of the College of Horticulture. Office bearers to various positions of the union are elected every year from among the students. The Associate Dean as the patron, an Associate Patron nominated from amongst senior faculty and Staff Advisors provide leadership and guidance to the students union. The activities of the union are mainly spread over the arts club, magazine committee, social service league, planning forum, sports club, environment club and quiz club. An interclass arts festival, college magazine, quizzes programmes, lecturers, debates and social service and community contact programmes are the major activities annually taken up by the Students’ Union. The arts club organizes film shows that attract students from across the campuses. Our students participated in Campus Hungama by Jeevan TV and brought laurels to the college by being runners up. A literary wall magazine is another remarkable activity undertaken by the students union. The students’ union is playing a yeoman service in improving the campus life.
The Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programme is a flagship activity for the final year B.Sc. (Ag.) students during the last semester. Building self-confidence in the agricultural graduates by honing their professional skills is the key objective of introducing RAWE at the under graduate level by ICAR. Accordingly, this semester-long programme has been evolved. The entire programme is split into eight modules through which the students are exposed to the current and emerging opportunities and challenges in Agricultural and Rural Development. Farm Planning, Watershed Development Programme, Entrepreneurship Development Programme, Agro-clinics, Krishi Bhavan training, Research Stations and KVKs training, NGO training and Village Stay are the main modules designed to provide the students a hands-on experience of these strategic areas. During the village stay, the students stay along the rural households for a fortnight, which provides a rare opportunity to rediscover the farmers.
Besides acquiring first hand field experience, the RAWE modules bring about positive changes in the students’ mindset, outlook, personality traits, managerial and entrepreneurial skills. Thus, the RAWE programme developed by the College is a prototype for the University to be extended to other constituent colleges.
Nearest City/ Town and distance to the station
Thrissur 11 KM from District Head Quarters
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