KARNATAKA

Krishi Vigyan Kendra bags ICAR award

HASSAN, AUG. 21. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Kandali, near Hassan has bagged the Indian Council of Agricultural Research's (ICAR) biennial award for 2002-03 for its diversified and integrated farm activities.

Of the 288 Kendras across the country, the KVK in Kandali was adjudged as the outstanding Kendra, according to Doddahanumaiah, training organiser and chief of the KVK, Hassan.

"The KVK has achieved its objectives in a period of five years and succeeded in bagging the award," he said.

The award was conferred to the KVK at Kandali for having developed an infrastructure network to cater for the diversified needs of farmers in the district. The Kendra has also experimented with crops and established livestock demonstration units. These have been used for training farmers over the last five years.

Increase in productivity

According to Dr. Doddahanumaiah, more than 60 per cent of the farmers in the district have opted for the latest high-yielding varieties of ragi developed by the Kendra that has increased their unit area productivity by 45 per cent. Besides covering risk, the farmers have also maintained the fertility of the soil.

They cultivate vegetables through organic methods and have adopted integrated pest management, which has been beneficial in terms of quality of produce, returns, and price.

The livestock demonstrations also helped to a great extent, he said. A majority of the trained farmers had taken up piggery, dairy farming, sheep rearing, and backyard poultry as a subsidiary occupation. Dr. Doddahanumaiah said that the farmers had realised higher net returns by way of effective utilisation of agricultural wastes.

Appreciation

The parliamentary subcommittee on agriculture has appreciated the diversified and integrated activities of the KVK.

The former director of research, Haryana University of Agriculture, and chairman of Quinquennial Review Team (QRT), V.P. Singh, observed that despite several constraints, the Kendra had done appreciable work.

Speaking to The Hindu , Dr. Doddahanumaiah said that farm operations were started after the KVK obtained a Rs. 1-lakh revolving fund from the ICAR and generated assets worth more than Rs. 15 lakhs.

The activities of KVK were need based and location specific. Dr. Doddahanumaiah said that the action plan would be prepared with the approval of the zonal coordinating committee. There was a regular programme on impact evaluation of on- and off-campus training programmes conducted by the KVK.