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Innovations in Agricultural Extension

  • Developed and field tested  – a new farmer participatory extension approach named as Compact Area Group Approach    which is now popularly known  by its acronym, CAGA.   CAGA promotes and sustains group action in a contiguous area for durable adoption of  technologies. CAGA is included in the organic farming policy of government of Kerala.  (Details on CAGA is available in  wikipedia).
   Creative Extension
  • Pioneered a new branch of agricultural extension called as “Creative Extension”, aimed at bringing about behavioural modification through message transfer in art form such as  songs,  tele-film, video with songs etc.
    (Details on Creative Extension is available in  wikipedia).

  Farmers' Science Congress
  • The Kendra made history by pioneering the Farmers’ Science Congress. Sixty four farmer scientists from different parts of the state presented their (84) inventions/innovations (compiled into a proceeding following the format of research articles)before an audience consisting of a  cross section of researchers, extensionists, farmers and administrators. The best farmer scientists were honored on the occasions under diverse categories such as plant breeding, agronomy, plant protection, processing, engineering, animal husbandry etc.  The best of best farmer scientist was conferred with a knighthood, ‘Dar’.  Dar, like Sir,  is a non-hereditary honorific title conferred to the farmer scientist, who is adjudged as the best of best in the farmers’ science congress.
    (Details on Farmers' Science Congress is available in  wikipedia).

   Paddy Task Force

  • The Paddy Task Force (PTF) consists of a fully disciplined professional team of paddy field workers groomed by KVK instilling a high sense of self esteem and social status with an in-depth knowledge and skill in scientific & machanised paddy production. This professional group named, “Paddy Task Force”, clad in uniform dress promptly undertakes farming activities in paddy fields, when contacted by farmers. Sixteen unemployed youths/farm women below the age group of 45 were selected in consultation with the Local Self Government for the formation of the paddy task force. They were subjected to field training on mechanised paddy cultivation in five hectares of leased paddy land in Pariyaram during the entire cropping season and also on maintenance of farm machineries by the KVK staff. The PTF was supplied machineries with ownership based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) . The tradition was to transfer the ownership to the owners of paddy fields. As the ownership goes to labourers they not only maintain the machineries well but also experience a sense of being recognized. The machineries, thus supplied include power tiller, transplanter, conoweeder, reaper, thresher etc. Space for keeping these machineries is provided by the grama panchayat. The PTF was also trained on group dynamics and leadership to enhance their self esteem and interpersonal competence. After the training this group was assisted to form a registered society under Kerala Charitable Societies Act . PTF started taking up paddy farming works at pre-decided rates which paved the way for conversion of fallow land to paddy field and revival of paddy farming.
    (Details on Paddy Task Force is available in  wikipedia).

Federation of Farmers' Clubs

  • The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kannur under Kerala Agricultural University in partnership with NABARD has brought together eighty farmers' clubs as a federation with the objective of accelerating agricultural growth through farmer-led research, extension, training, processing and marketing.

    The federation has a chief manager heading all unit- level managers. The chief manager will be assisted by four directors (all farmers) looking after farmers' science, farmer-to-farmer extension, farmer-to-farmer training and processing-cum-marketing divisions. Each director has nine associate directors, one for each block, under him/her.
    A team of “KVK- led Expert Emeritus Faculty (KEEF)”, who have the aptitude and willingness to work in association with the KVK and the Farmers' Clubs is also being constituted. The technology will flow from KVK to the four directorates, KEEF , clubs and to other farmers of the area through diverse extension channels in the manner taught by KVK.

    Each taluk will have a faculty who is basically an agriculture graduate and preferably a retired agricultural officer. They will be professionally trained by KVK so that they perceive and perform their expected roles correctly. This team of emeritus faculty will be under the control and supervision of KVK and their honorarium will be met by NABARD.
    KVK-led Emeritus Faculty-Farmers Club combination will not only enable effective and wider technology dissemination but also technology development and application. Rather than a one way flow of technology from KVK to the farmers as in linear model of transfer of technology it will facilitate to and fro flow between farmers and KVK. As such the technologies popularized will be those which are developed based on the perception of problems by farmers themselves. As such there will be a host of adoption of technologies by fellow farmers. If this model of federating the farmers' clubs is a success, it could be emulated by other KVKs in the country.
    Collective processing and collective marketing under common brand name are also planned under the federation. The project also envisages grooming model farmers and setting up of model farms of profitable agri-enterprises.