Krishi Vigyan Kendra
A Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is an agricultural extension center in India. The name means "farm science center". 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.
The first KVK was established in 1974 in Pondicherry. Since then, KVKs have been established in all states, and the number continues to grow. The Indian agricultural landscape faces many challenges, including a high percentage of smallholder farmers, lack of supply chain infrastructure, and extreme weather conditions. For a full description of these challenges, see Agriculture in India. A key strategy in addressing these issues, in addition to policy support and a functioning market, is using technology to better understand and adapt to complex challenges. However, higher-level research about modern agricultural trends, such as Climate Change and GMO, takes place in universities. The practical implications of this research, or their relevance to a certain local context, are not readily apparent. For example, academic research on new crop practices or seed types often takes place in centralized testing locations, due to the ease of monitoring and evaluation. The same goes for ground-level innovations which are effective in one local context but may not be extensible to others. Especially in areas with such geographic complexity as India, agricultural extension departments such as KVKs serve to gather, test and disseminate knowledge between centralized institutions and a geographically-dispersed rural population.
In this mandate, the effectiveness of KVKs is difficult to measure, due to large number of farmers served by a single KVK and largely off-line communication between the KVK and farmers. For this reason, research over the past 20 years has focused on the capacity of KVKs to make use of ICT for the purpose of better managing their communications with farmers. An plethora of applications have been developed, sharing advisories such as weather information and market pricing, supplementing the KVK's communication with its beneficiaries. However, many of these initiatives are short-lasted, or have limited impact, since the teams at each KVK often do not have the capacity to maintain software applications or because farmers do not find the information useful.
While KVKs are expected to undertake their own projects, they are also expected to serve as a resource center for extending government initiatives to local areas. The current national government's program "Doubling Farmers' Income by 2022" calls for increases in agricultural productivity, development initiatives such as Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana as well as more focus on technological innovation. The government expects KVKs to aid in the dissemination of information and practices regarding these new government initiatives. In addition to KVKs, there are many local institutions which also interface directly with farmers, such as the Agricultural produce market committee and the Agricultural Engineering Department. As of October 2018, there is an online dashboard which provides updates on the activity of various KVKs. 
A KVK can be formed under a variety of host institutions, including agricultural universities, state departments, ICAR institutes, other educational institutions, or NGOs. The 700 KVKs in operation per the ICAR website are split into: 458 under State Agricultural Universities, 18 under Central Agricultural Universities, 64 under ICAR institutes, 105 under NGOs, 39 under state departments or other public sector undertakings, and 16 under other miscellaneous educational institutions. A KVK must own about 20 hectare of land for the purpose of testing new agricultural technologies.
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.
In each of these activities, the KVK focuses on crops and methods specific to the local climate and industry. Some factors which may impact this decision are: soil type, crops grown, water availability, seasonal temperatures, and allied sectors such as dairy and aquaculture. In addition to addressing local factors, KVKs are also mandated to increase adoption of practices that align with remunerative agriculture, climate smart agriculture, and dietary diversification. Some KVKs also host social activities to facilitate rapport between the institutions and the local community.
- Krishi Vigyan Kendra Kannur
- Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Jalgaon Jamod
- Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nashik
- Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Indian Institute of Spices Research
- Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Indian Institute of Horticulture Research
- ICAR JSS Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Mysuru
- ICAR-CAZRI Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Pali-Marwar, Rajasthan
- Van Vigyan Kendra
- Indian Council of Agricultural Research
- Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute
- Agriculture in India
- List of agricultural centres established by CCS HAU
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