he Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its approval for the continuation and strengthening of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and setting up new ones with an outlay of Rs.3,900 crore.
The scheme envisages continuation of 642 existing KVKs and establishing 109 new KVKs during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17) to carry out a wide range of mandated activities.
The scheme includes initiation of new components, namely information and communication technology (ICT) in agriculture, Farmer FIRST programme, creation of farm innovation fund, disaster management fund and technology information units, an official release said on Wednesday.
It also includes mini-seed processing facilities, micro nutrient analysis facilities, solar panels, vKVK (voice KVK) and KVK net and specialised KVKs.
The scheme includes extending existing components like integrated farming system, rainwater harvesting structures, soil and water testing laboratories, minimal processing facilities, establishing 16 new agricultural technology information centres (ATICs), network project on expert system and new extension methodologies and approaches.
It provides support to directorates of extension education (DEE) of state and central agricultural universities. The scheme also proposes to enhance the number of zonal project directorates to 11 from eight.
KVKs function as knowledge and resource centre at the district level and play a very 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 of rural youth and provide latest technological inputs like seeds, planting materials and bio-products.
AKVKs continuously advise farmers on timely crop/enterprise related recommendations, including climate resilient technologies and were perfectly located to lead adoption of innovations, the release added.