Why in news?
The Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, took a review meeting of the Department of Agricultural Research & Education (DARE) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) on 23rd April.
He emphasised on enhancing the reach of technologies amongst farmers and reach out to maximum number of farmers through the network of ICAR and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs).
Developments so far
- Many of the ICAR varieties and technologies are earning foreign exchange and contributing towards food security of the country.
- ICAR and KVKs have contributed positively in implementation of different Government Special campaigns like Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan, Jalshakti Abhiyan, tree plantation campaign and International Women’s Day celebrations.
- The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan (KKA) is being implemented in 112 Aspirational districts of the country.
- So far two phases of Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan have been completed in which 11.05 lakh farmers were trained by KVKs and over 5000 frontline demonstrations at farmer’s field were conducted.
- ICAR has developed 66 vaccines & diagnostics during 2014-19 for the diagnosis and control of diseases of animals.
- ICAR proactively worked for the prevention of stress to farmers due to COVID-19.
- The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is an autonomous body responsible for co-ordinating agricultural education and research in India.
- It reports to the Department of Agricultural Research and Education, Ministry of Agriculture, and The Union Minister of Agriculture serves as its president.
- It is the largest network of agricultural research and education institutes in the world.
Aims and functions of ICAR
- To plan, undertake, aid, promote and coordinate education, research and its application in agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences.
- To act as a clearing house of research and general information relating to agriculture, animal husbandry, home science and allied sciences, and fisheries through its publications and information system; and instituting and promoting transfer of technology programmes.
- To provide, undertake and promote consultancy services in the fields of education, research, training and dissemination of information in agriculture, agroforestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, home science and allied sciences.
- To look into the problems relating to broader areas of rural development concerning agriculture, including postharvest technology by developing co-operative programmes with other organizations such as the Indian Council of Social Science Research, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and the universities.
- To do other things considered necessary to attain the objectives of the Society.
Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan
- The Union Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare has launched the Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan from June 1, 2018 till July 31, 2018 to aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.
- The Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population, each in 111 Aspirational Districts identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per directions of NITI Aayog.
Various activities undertaken under Krishi Kalyan Abhiyaan plan are:
- Distribution of Soil Health Cards to all farmers
- 100% coverage of bovine vaccination for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in each village
- 100% coverage of Sheep and Goat for eradication of Peste des Petits ruminants (PPR )
- Distribution of Mini Kits of pulses and oilseeds to all
- Distribution of Horticulture/Agro Forestry/Bamboo plant @ 5 per family(location appropriate)
- Making 100 NADAP Pits in each village
- Artificial insemination saturation
- Demonstration programmes on Micro- irrigation
- Demonstrations of integrated cropping practice
Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)
- A Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is an agricultural extension center in India.
- Usually associated with a local agricultural university, these centers serve as the ultimate link between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and farmers, and aim to apply agricultural research in a practical, localized setting.
- All KVKs fall under the jurisdiction of one of the 11 Agricultural Technology Application Research Institutes (ATARIs) throughout India.
Functions of KVKs
- On-Farm Testing: Each KVK operates a small farm to test new technologies, such as seed varieties or innovative farming methods, developed by ICAR institutes. This allows new technologies to be tested at the local level before being transferred to farmers.
- Front-line Demonstration: Due to the KVK’s farm and its proximity to nearby villages, it organizes programs to show the efficacy of new technologies on farmer fields.
- Capacity Building: In addition to demonstrating new technologies, the KVK also hosts capacity building exercises and workshops to discuss modern farming techniques with groups of farmers.
- Multi-sector Support: Offer support to various private and public initiatives through its local network and expertise. It is very common for government research institutes to leverage the network of KVKs when performing surveys with a wide range of farmers.
- Advisory Services: Due to the growing use of ICT, KVKs have implemented technologies to provide farmers information, such as weather advisories or market pricing, through radio and mobile phones.