Bangalore will help shape a roadmap for initiatives in agricultural extension system for increasing the income of small and marginal farmers in a sustainable manner, as it will host this year’s national conference of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras from October 23 to 25.

The conference will focus on sustainable intensification of small-holder farms to help formulate a policy.

Addressing a press conference in Bangalore on Monday, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Deputy Director-General K.D. Kokate said that the theme of the conference had been chosen mainly to help prepare the roadmap for ensuring sustainable increase in the income of small and marginal farmers through various technological interventions, including integrated farming systems.

The meeting will also look at the need for upscaling some of the technologies in agriculture and allied sectors as well as linking farmers to market. The technologies to be propagated will include hi-tech agriculture as about 10 per cent of small farmers in the country were found to be having the potential to pursue hi-tech farming, he said.

Representatives from all 634 vigyan kendras that are ICAR-controlled district-level centres acting as a link between the research and extension system are participating in the conference. About 1,300 experts are expected to take part in it, he said.

He said that the programme will be webcast for the benefit of agriculture-related institutes.

The event, which is being held for the first time in Bangalore, will be inaugurated by Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. Various dignitaries, including Union Ministers of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Charan Das Mahant and Tariq Anwar and Governor H.R. Bhardwaj and Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will attend it.

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda said that the State had 31 vigyan kendras of which 11 are being managed by the university. On the structure of the vigyan kendras, he said that each such kendra had six experts specialised in different subjects related to agriculture and a senior scientist to co-ordinate with them.

Dr. Narayana Gowda said that the Bangalore Rural district vigyan kendra located at Hodnahally village of Doddaballapur would receive the best kendra award.

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