Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Palakkad
Date of Establishment:
2nd October 1979
10° 48' 45" N 76° 11' 23" E
The overall mandate of the KVK is to develop and disseminate location specific technological modules at district level through Technology Assessment, Refinement and Demonstration and to act as Knowledge and Resource Centre for agriculture and its allied activities. The specific activities to carry out this mandate are:
- Conducting on-farm testing to identify the location specificity of agricultural technologies under various farming systems
- Organizing frontline demonstrations to establish production potential of various crops and enterprises on the farmers’ fields
- Organizing need based training of farmers to update their knowledge and skills in modern agricultural technologies related to technology assessment, refinement and demonstration, and training of extension personnel to orient them in the frontier areas of technology development.
- Creating awareness about improved technologies to larger masses through appropriate extension programmes
- Production and supply of good quality seeds and planting materials, livestock, poultry and fisheries breeds and products and various bio-products to the farming community.
Work as resource and knowledge centre of agricultural technology for supporting initiatives of public, private and voluntary sector for improving the agricultural economy of the district.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research instituted Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Farm Science Centres) to provide a mechanism for vocational agricultural training, to minimize the time lag between generation agricultural technology and its adoption by end users. The KVK is a unique institution which does not have any parallel in the country. The salient features are as follows:
- Institutional nature
- Farm based activities
- Inbuilt research-extension linkages
- Multi-disciplinary team of scientists
- Participatory management
- GO-NGO partnership
- Comprehensive and broad-based approach
- Location specific and need based research/extension formulation
- Forward and backward linkages to suit the agro-ecological environment.
The concept of KVK right from the beginning rested on its flexibility, resiliency and sensitivity to the changing needs and opportunities.
KVK Pattambi was established on October 2, 1979 under Kerala Agricultural University. The KVK came under ICAR funding from 1982. Later, it was re-named as KVK Palakkad, with the pronouncement of KVKs in each district. Since then, this KVK is striving to cater the needs of technology transfer to the most committed farming community in the state of Kerala, viz the farmers of Palakkad district.
KVK Palakkad could successfully demonstrate that a KVK can do more than mere trainings and demonstrations but make its own imprints in the agricultural development in the district. The major achievements are as follows:
Rice being the staple food of Keralites, sustaining its cultivation is vital for assuring food security in the state. Palakkad district accounts for the major cultivated area in rice. Over the last few decades, area under rice cultivation in Kerala has drastically reduced and the major problem affecting the dwindling of rice area was the increased cost of cultivation as a result of high labour cost. At this juncture KVK has intervened and started intensive ToT activities Agricultural Mechanisation. The programme entitled ‘GRO-MOR-PRO-MECH’ (Group Operation for Modernisation of Rice Production through mechanisation). As a first step of the programme widespread awareness classes were conducted in the district for the farmers. Simultaneously On farm testing programmes were taken up to evolve a package of machinery for the different rice production systems. Training programmes for use of modern machinery were started and the, the young participants were very enthusiastic. The programme covered tillage implements, plant protection equipment, pumpsets, threshers, reapers and even combine harvester. These KVK trained youth were further utilized by KVK as master trainees and a ‘Paddy protection Task Force’ has been established in the District. With the assistance of State government schemes as well as the local self governments, we could evolve a strategic mechanization package for rice cultivation in the agro-climatic zone. The evolved strategy was demonstrated in farmers’ fields on a padasekharam basis so as to demonstrate the advantages of group mechanization. The increase in income realized from reduced cost of cultivation as well as increased yield was evident in the ‘padasekharams’ where KVK organized FLDs on group mechanisation. The yield of rice under demonstrations were substantially high compared to the average yield in these padasekharams. The agricultural labourers, especially women are also benefited by the popularization of mechanization. The district panchayat has provided the most modern 4 wheel type rice transplanters (Cost Rs. 11 lakhs) to many KVK trained ‘labour support groups’. Their annual income has increased substantially and their social status has improved. Presently the statistics show that Palakkad district could arrest the dwindling in the area under rice, which most of the other districts could not achieve.
AWAREME (Agriculture with awaness of Mother Earth)
KVK Palakkad has been striving hard to promote eco-firndly agriculture. This Kendra has launched a massive campaign entitled ‘AWAREME’ (Agriculture with awaness of Mother Earth)which involves use of eco friendly plant protection techniques, energy efficient implements, conservation of water through rainwater harvesting as well as micro irrigation and resource conservation by using organic inputs as well as bio-agents.
The promotional activities like trainings, campaigns, demonstrations taken up by KVK Palakkad has been helpful in popularizing the eco-friendly agricultural technologies like use of pheromone traps and tricho-cards for rice pest control, bio-agents and bio-pesticides for plant protection in coconut, vegetables and banana. Energy saving implements such as ‘tractor operated rotovator’ and ‘KAU puddler’ also could be popularized in the district. The ‘KAU portable light trap’ is another eco-friendly gadget for pest monitoring developed by KVK. The KAU portable biogas plant is an easy to fabricate portable system with separate gas holder and digester which can ensure better hygiene. Use of rain water harvesting and micro irrigation also is being promoted by KVK. KVK has set up a rainwater harvesting system in the campus making use of the abandoned irrigation tank. Demonstration of a low cost drip kit for small scale farmers was taken up in the drought prone areas of the district. Practices like mulching reduce the evaporation losses and improvement of organic matter in soil improves the water holding capacity of soil thereby reducing the irrigation water requirement. In addition to the technical support for establishing vermi-compost units, KVK is also supplying earth worms to needy farmers. KVK is also propagating the means and modes of increasing fertilizer use efficiency among farmers.
KVK has given a strong support to farmers by promoting entrepreneurship in food value addition sector. Palakkad district is known for ‘Kondattams’ (dehydrated vegetable products) and we could support many such units with modern technology. The standard methodology evolved and promoted by KVK for ragi based vermicelli, health mix for adolescents etc. have been transferred to entrepreneurs.
KVK Palakkad is regularly publishing its news letter (bi-year) both in Malayalam and English which is intended to update the knowledge of farmers and field workers. KVK has published several booklets on various aspects of agriculture and allied topics. Recently a packet of seven booklets viz. Krishi Vignanana Cheppu’ was released by KVK in December 2013.
KVK has a full fledged office building with a computer centre with ERNET (National Network of KVKs) and a well equipped training hall. There is a farm machinery demonstration unit with modern rice machinery like 4 wheel rice transplanter and power weeder. A plant disease diagnostic centre and a soil testing lab are also available. The home science lab serves as a training facility for value addition. A seeds and planting material production unit and a rain water harvesting system are other facilities.