The Dar. M.J. Joseph Farmers' Science Museum, named after an innovative farmer in Kerala is set up by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Kannur of Kerala Agricultural University at Panniyur, near Taliparamba.

Late Joseph was the inventor of the coconut climbing machine, widely being used in many States today. He was also conferred the title, “Dar” (Distinguished Agricultural Inventor) in the farmers’ science congress meeting held at the KVK some years ago. Few months after receiving the “Dar” title he died at the age of 92.

Joseph, a primary school dropout has several inventions and patents to his credit. The museum to showcase farmers’ innovations on the premises of the government institution and that too in the name of a farmer scientist can be billed as first of its kind in the world.

“The museum, aims at highlighting the important role played by farmers in improving farm practices and development of the sector. Most of the inventions on display at the museum are low-cost, farmer-friendly and easy for fellow farmers to adopt,” says K. Abdul Kareem, Professor & Programme Coordinator of the Kannur KVK.

It helps to accelerate adoption and diffusion of innovations, promotes rural entrepreneurship, motivates potential farmer scientists and boosts morale of farming community. It helps to ferret out the scientific talents of the visiting farmers leading to new inventions and also serves as an alternate source of farm information/technologies.

Inventions of farmers are displayed with actual specimens, models, photographs and full description along with the bio data of the inventor in the museum.

Many of the so called traditional practices and technologies are in fact farmers’ innovations. However, nobody knows when and who invented these technologies, which are often labelled as Indigenous Technical Knowledge (ITK).

The museum enables farmer scientists to establish the ownership of their inventions and innovations. It caters for the needs of the farmers, rural entrepreneurs and industrialists who are approaching to learn more about the farmers’ inventions and to commercialise and popularise them.

The most important outcome is that it enables farmer to work for transfer of technology. x“The museum offers a forum for the farmer researchers to share their findings with other fellow farmers, scientists and extension functionaries. Visitors could learn more about the inventions for commercialising and popularising them. It helps people understand the talents and innovative expertise of the ‘scientist' farmers and serve as an alternative source of farm information/technologies,” says Dr. Kareem.

A committee of scientists is constituted to determine the originality and degree of acceptance of the innovations. The Museum helps farmers, rural entrepreneurs and industrialists who are approaching to learn more about the farmers’ inventions and to commercialise and popularise them. For details contact: Dr. K. Abdul Kareem, Professor & Programme Coordinator, KVK Kannur, Kanhirangad P.O., 670 142, Kerala, mobile: 09995020782 and phone: 0460 2226087.

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