The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi gave its approval for continuation, strengthening and establishment of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) with an outlay of Rs 3900 crore. The scheme envisages continuation of 642 KVKs established till date and establishment of 109 new KVKs in the XII Plan, to carry out its wide range of activities.
The scheme includes initiation of new components, ICT in agriculture, Farmer FIRST programme, creation of the Farm Innovation Fund, Disaster Management Fund, Technology Information Units, mini seed processing facilities, micro nutrient analysis facilities, solar panels, vKVK virtual KVK) and KVK net, specialised 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, establishment of 16 new Agricultural Technology Information Centres (ATICs), Network Project on Expert System and New Extension Methodologies and Approaches. The scheme provides support to the Directorates of Extension Education (DEE) of State and Central Agricultural Universities.
The scheme also proposes to enhance the number of Zonal Project Directorates of Indian Council of Agricultural Research to 11 from the existing eight and creation of one Post of Zonal Project Director and one post of Principal Scientist in each of the three new Zonal Project Directorates.
Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), a unique model of frontline extension in agriculture, serve as a single window mechanism for addressing the technology needs of farmers with a multidisciplinary approach. KVKs function as knowledge and resource centre at district level and play important role in demonstration of location specific technologies. They are the links between research and extension and also with farmers, and support the initiative of public, private and voluntary sectors for improving the agricultural economy in a holistic manner.
The KVKs lay strong emphasis on skill development training of rural youth, farm women and farmers, as also provide latest technological inputs like seeds, planting materials and bio-products. They continuously advise farmers on timely crop/enterprise related recommendations, including climate resilient technologies for enhancing their production and income levels. KVKs also diagnose and solve problems emerging from district agro-ecosystems and are located to lead adoption of innovations.