The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, gave its approval for the continuation, strengthening and establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) with an outlay of Rs.5739.56 crore. The scheme envisages continuation of 630 KVKs established till the XI Plan and establishment of 121 new KVKs in the XII Plan to carry out its wide range of activities so as to meet the technological needs of farmers.
This decision will have benefits such as assessment and demonstration of technologies and capacity development of farmers and extension personnel. KVKs will work as knowledge and resource centres of agricultural technology in the districts and produce critical quality technology products such as seeds, planting material livestock strains, fingerlings and bio-products for availability to farmers.
The scheme includes initiation of new components that is ICT in agriculture, Farmer FIRST programme, creation of farm innovation fund, disaster management fund, technology information units, mini seed processing facilities, micro nutrient analysis facilities, solar panels, vKVK and KVK net, specialized KVKs and e-farmers; and extending existing components like Integrated Farming System, rain water harvesting structures, soil and water testing laboratories, minimal processing facilities, carp hatcheries to new KVKs. The establishment of 16 new Agriculture Technology Information Centres (ATICs), Network Project on Expert System and New Extension Methodologies and Approaches by ZPDs are some other components. The scheme provides support to the Dir ectorate of Extension (DEE) of State and Central Agricultural Universities.
The scheme also proposes to enhance the number of Zonal Project Directorates to 11 from the existing eight and creation of one Post of Zonal Project Director, and one post of principal scientist in each of three new Zonal Project Directorates.