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Remanding selected Zonal Research Stations to take up the functions of Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs)

The National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) was initiated by ICAR with the assistance of the World Bank aiming at strengthening the regional research capabilities of State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) for undertaking research to develop location-specific technologies that are ecologically, economically and culturally sustainable. Under NARP, the concept of zoning was based on the ecological land classification, recognizing various components like soils, climate, topography, vegetation, crops etc. as major influencing factors. Technology generation relevant to the different farming situations were attempted within each NARP research centre. Considerable farm worthy technologies have been developed with the support provided to these centres over a period of time. The dissemination of these technologies on location specific basis with farming system perspectives have not been taken up. Providing critical support and re-orientation of their mandates will immensely facilitate the much needed technology dissemination support to the selected districts.

Fifty three districts have been identified for this purpose. These districts are headquarters of the Zonal Research Station (ZRS) and have the adequate staff and infrastructure but dot have a KVK. These selected 53 ZRSs in the five major production systems were earlier involved in generation of location specific technologies with an effective linkage with the relevant university department. The strengthening of these stations with this additional mandate will create an ideal situation for technology assessment, refinement and dissemination.

These Zonal Research Stations will be strengthened to take up the additional functions of KVKs by organizing vocational training for representatives of farmers groups in Agriculture and allied enterprises; on farm testing in farming system perspectives involving interaction of crop, horticulture, livestock, fisheries etc. frontline demonstration on cereals, oilseeds, and pulses crops and other enterprises related to agriculture; and in-service training of field level officials.

Justification

  1. With the functioning of ZRSs for more than a decade a large number of location specific technologies have been generated. The present mode of institutional arrangement by remandating its activities and providing critical support only, will facilitate in developing the much needed linkage between Technology Generation- Assessment ĖRefinement- Dissemination in an economic way.

  2. Govt of India has commitment for establishment of KVK in each district of the country. The first KVK was established during 1974 and till today 539 districts have been covered with KVKs. In view of huge financial implications for establishment of a new KVK and the commitment of the Government, this will provide an alternative model of technology dissemination alongwith assessment and refinement by the existing multidisciplinary team of scientists with only critical support.

Activities: The following are the activities of these remandated ZRSs:

  • Organizing the Vocational Training for the representatives of farmers groups in agriculture and allied enterprises;

  • On farm testing in farming system perspectives involving crop, horticulture, livestock, fisheries etc.

  • Frontline demonstration on major cereals, oilseeds and pulses and other enterprises related to agriculture; and

  • Inservice training of field level official.

Training for the representative of Farmerís Groups:

  • There are 578 districts in the country with approximately 103 million farm families, the average number of farm families being 0.202 million per district;

  • Based on the experiences of working with the KVKs, it is found that on an average the KVks covers about 0.25 million farmers/year;

  • It is therefore, no0t feasible to impart training to at least one member of the farm families at least once by an organization in near future

  • It is felt that instead of imparting the training individual farmers, group approach would be appropriate.

Principles of group formation:

  • Sustainable groups should evolved only around strongly experienced need ( those of local people, not of the projectís);

  • Groups should be socially limited. It would be a mistake to attempt to promote more cooperation or unity than was socially realistic, and there may be advantages in building on existing social solidarities;

  • Group development should begin where it will have the highest chances of success.

  • Groups should have leaders whose leadership style can combine the need (a) to encourage participation or cooperation within the group, and (b) to forge links with outside institutions;

  • There should be a gradual progression from small simple, single-issue focused groups towards larger, complex, multi-purpose institutions. Size and complexity should only increase with proven success.

  • Groups should initially be informally constituted and should only formalize when there is good reason to do so.

  • The project should allow for a diversity of the group formed. Uniform structures should not be imposed from outside. Villagers should evolve their own norms and rules for group functioning.

  • Developing an appropriate institution building strategy would require skill and social analysis.

On-farm Trial and Demonstration:

In view of considerable location specific research information available with ZRSs with further technological back stopping from SAUs under which they function, the technologies need to be disseminated through a programme approach in order to bring out a perceptible change.

These ZRSs will be conducting on-farm trials on farming system perspective and demonstration with the participation of the Farmerís Group (FG) and organizing field days in appropriate stages of such on-farm trials/demonstrations to facilitate the technology dissemination to the farmers through their organizations.

ZRS will also conduct iservice training for SMS/Extension Officers of the line departments for their orientation in various areas like farming system based extension, IPM, use of PRA tools and up gradation of their knowledge in various technologies relevant to the production system.

Implementation.

  1. These ZRSs will be provided four training Associates/Research Associates in the discipline of Agronomy/Soils/Animal Science/ Plant Protection/ Horticulture/ Agril. Engg. As per the need of the station on contractual basis to assist the existing staff of the ZRS;

  2. Like KVKs the demonstrations and training needs of the selected villages will be assessed with reference to the production systems, farming system, farming situations, etc. taking the help of agro-ecosystem analysis and relevant PRA /PLA tools and action plan prepared while also keeping farmer`s perspectives in view;

  3. On the pattern of KVKs, a scientific advisory committee will be formed. This committee will be headed by the Director Extension as chairman and Associate Director of ZRS as Member- Secretary. The other members will include the Zonal Coordinator, Incharge of ATMA, nominee of Director of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Sericulture, Horticulture etc. of concerned districts, Heads of Farmers Groups, Social Workers, Financial Institution of the area. The committee will meet at least twice a year to review the action plan and its implementation and provide necessary suggestion for improvement within the mandates of the centres.

The proposal will be prepared as per a prescribed format by the Director extension education of the SAU, as may be decided by the head of the Organisation , these proposals will be submitted to DDG (Ag. Extension) within the stipulated time and vetted by the division for its suitability. Based on the specified criteria, 20 such proposals will be accepted for the first and based on their performance, the remaining 33 will be persued in the second phase.

FROM 1/4/2004, ALL THE ZRS HAS BEEN GIVEN THE STATUS OF FULL FLEDGED KVKs

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