News Excerpt
Recently, 11th National Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) conference was concluded were agriculture minister urged that the KVKs should also focus on the small and deprived farmers.

•    The Education Commission (1964-66) recommended to establish specialized institutions to provide vocational education, imparting training to the practicing farmers, school dropouts and field level extension in agriculture and allied fields especially in rural areas by including both girls and Boys.
•    The ICAR mooted the idea of establishing Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Agricultural Science Centres).
•    The KVKs are intended to create awareness among farmers at local level. It acts like a bridge between the laboratories and farmland.
•    The first KVK was established in 1974 at Puducherry (Pondicherry). At present there are 713 KVKs working under various State & Central agricultural universities including ICAR, and NGOs.

Activities envisioned for KVK
    KVK produce quality technological products (seed, planting material, bio-agents, livestock) and make it accessible to farmers, organize frontline extension activities, identify and document selected farm innovations and converge with ongoing schemes and programmes within the mandate of KVK.
    So, the KVKs have a great responsibility by taking the fruition of the laboratories to the field. Some other detailed activities are also overseen by KVK like-
o    It works as Knowledge and Resource Centre of agricultural technologies for supporting initiatives of public, private and voluntary sectors in improving the agricultural economy of the district.
o    It Provides farm advisories using ICT and other media means on varied subjects of interest to farmers.
o    Capacity development of farmers and extension personnel to update their knowledge and skills on modern agricultural technologies.
o    On-farm testing to assess the location specificity of agricultural technologies under various farming systems.
o    Frontline demonstrations to establish production potential of technologies on the farmers’ fields.

    There are three factors that have contributed to surplus food grains, - primarily the farmers’ labour, secondly the role of agricultural scientists, labs and universities and thirdly the central and state governments’ farmer welfare policies, schemes and incentives.
    KVK ensure that farmer gets superior and resilient seeds, irrigation and fertilizers for growing healthy crops, mechanized harvesting and a market facilitator that enable farmer to fetch best price for his produce. So, in long term duration this is likely to fulfill the target of doubling Farmers income.

Role of KVKs in Doubling Farmer’s Income
    The Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Farm Science Centres) that serve in every rural district of the country, can play a predominant role in doubling farmers’ including the last marginalized farmer by imparting the adequate skill.
    To make farmer’s income double, productivity should increase and the cost of production should fall. For this, farmers have to increasingly adopt best practices. Value addition at the farm level could also help increase their income. In this domain the role KVK is remarkable in order to achieve competent management by imparting skill.
    Moreover, KVK would help in accelerating the agricultural production and also attribute to the improving of the socio-economic conditions of the farming community. The KVKs are in evolution and can be projected as the future 'grass root level institutions' for empowering the farming community.
    KVK has acquired equipment that can rent out at nominal costs and sometimes even free. This could be cited as ‘paradigm shift’ in Agriculture field as this is targeted to solve dual problems of reduction in stubble burning, and decreasing the operation cost on farmers.

Way Forward
Though KVK made significant progress but the very vision is yet to percolate down to the poorest of poor farmers. Still marginalized farmer community and traditional agricultural practices are profound countrywide. There is a dire need to create ideal situation where agriculture sector becomes lucrative.
o    Structural Reforms: In some regions KVKs are facing irregularities, issue of alleged corruption, and non- maintenance of equipment. KVKs should provide single window service to meet the farmers need. To avoid it there is a need of structural reform by making KVKs under PPP led model involving multiple stakeholder. Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) in each block should established in order to add a layer in the process.
o    Diversification: Generally, KVK provides expertise on selective crops. Its ambit needs to be enlarged in the other areas for instance- fish seed production, ICT enabled services, green agriculture and strengthening of soil health program etc.

Dr. Mohan Singh Mehta committee
 had suggested roadmap for implementing KVK scheme. The Committee submitted its report in 1974.