Improving productivity is a major objective of the KVK. Before implementation of activities, KVK has continuously given major thrust on assessment of Problems, Opportunities, Issues and Needs (POIN) of the farming community. Prior to finalization of annual action plan, KVK is analyzing the gaps in adoption of technologies and also collect the information about reasons behind it. The representative Agro Ecological Situation (AES) of the district was the basis while selecting the villages. Similarly before conducting the activities, a benchmark survey is also being conducted to record the socio-economic conditions of the villages. For effective implementation of the programme, a group approach was an important methodology for which Farmers Clubs and SHGs were established. Identification of the beneficiaries for training, demonstration, OFTs and other extension activities was done through these groups. This has helped to get a very positive response from the farming community.
Most of the on campus trainings were conducted for imparting the skills through practical training in the instructional units of the KVK. Improving productivity and self-employment generation are the basic objective behind the on campus skill oriented training programmes. Off campus trainings are conducted in the villages particularly on the farmers field where the method demonstration as well as technological output shown to the trainees. The field of the innovative farmers are the venue to conduct off campus training programmes. Total 885 training programmes were conducted to practicing farmers in the villages. After training programmes, necessary inputs, services and consultancies were made available so that the
technology adoption could be improved. Most of the training programmes were interlinked with the demonstration and trials that were conducted to extend solution to the location specific problems and to improve the productivity. Similarly some programmes were focused to reduce the cost of production, ensure natural resource management particularly soil and water besides improving quality of the produce, where as some programmes were focused for agriculture diversification based on market demand and available local resources.
For employment generation through vocational training, KVK has developed instructional units for imparting skill and practical training. Besides technical skill, KVK has also provided managerial skill so that the trainees can also build up confidence of management of the enterprise. Vocational skills were extended through 194 training programmes for 5107 rural youths. The duration of the training ranges from 3 days to 60 days. KVK has also developed the linkages with different credit and marketing agencies, NABARD and other development departments. Replication of technologies among the farming communities through extension functionaries of line departments and NGO is also an important mandate of KVK. Apart from the recommendations of NARS, the results obtained from different FLDs and OFTs were included in the course curriculum so that the location specific technologies can be faster disseminated through these extension functionaries. KVK conducted total 154 courses covering 3917 extension functionaries of different line departments
Front Line Demonstrations (FLD)
Front Line Demonstration is one of important mandate of KVK through which KVK demonstrated the important technology to the farmers. FLD was focused on major commodities of the district and the technologies available were used to solve the problems. Under FLD programme major cereals, oilseeds, pulses, cash crops, horticulture crops were covered. The problems of the particular farming situation were studied and available technologies from the parent SAU or NARS is being demonstrated so that farmers could get the maximum returns. Major focus was to reduce the chemical pesticides and fertilizers so that cost of production can also be reduced. Integrated Pest Management (IPM), Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) is the concepts commonly followed in different crops. Through FLDs, new varieties were also disseminated among the farmers. Similarly new concepts like foliar fertigation, fertilizer application based on plant nutrient diagnosis system, use of different kinds of traps and lures to control the pests. Use of biopesticides and biofertilizers, use of vermicompost and vermiwash, different pruning technologies etc. are some of the important technologies given to farmers.
Similarly, for animal husbandry and dairy science, up-gradation of local goat and poultry was the focus area.
For this different breeds of poultry (Grampriya, Vanarana, Giriraja, RIR) were introduced. Similarly Osmanabadi and Boer bucks were given to up-grade the local goats. Improve the quality of milk, control of ecto-endo parasites, different feeds and fodder crops are the important technologies given by the KVK. Similarly for women, technologies were given for income generation, improving the health and non-conventional energy sources besides value addition and food processing. Total 616 demonstrations were conducted on different important crops besides oilseeds, pulses and cotton.
KVK has given emphasis on improving productivity of oilseeds and pulses. KVK introduced Soybean as a major kharif crop during the year 1993 in the operational area. Use of rhizobium, foliar nutrient management, use of potash to increase the yield, seed production and harvesting at proper time were some of the interventions along with demonstrations of the new varieties have helped to adopt soybean as a major income source during Kharif. The varieties of groundnut like ICGS-11, TAG-24, TG-26 have shown significant performance in increasing yield over traditional variety SB-11. The farmers are adopting the technological options like use of biofertilizers, foliar feeding of nutrients, micronutrients and water management. The seed village concept has been initiated by the KVK in order to multiply the seeds of improved varieties. Major focus was given only on IPM as there was yield loss up to 60 to 70% due to pod borer. The techniques like use of pheromone traps, seed treatment with trichoderma, use of mixed crops, use of botanical extracts, bio-agents have been adopted by the farmers. In bengalgram, FLD was conducted mainly for demonstration of high yielding varieties and IPM for pest and disease management.
Cotton is also important crop in the district for which from the year 1997-98, KVK has started to conduct demonstrations in cotton on large scale. Total 452 demonstrations were conducted on 229 ha area. The cotton growers have mainly adopted integrated pest and nutrients management practices. The average increase in yield is 30.43 per cent. Sucking pest and reddening of the leaves are some of the major problems which are solved through these programmes that have shown an increase in yield by 30 to 35 per cent. Similarly, planting distance and plant geometry were developed through the OFTs which are most suitable for intercultivation as well as increasing the yield of cotton.
Technology Assessment and Refinement (TAR)
Technology Assessment and Refinement (TAR) is one of the most important mandate of the KVK for which On Farm Trials (OFT) are being conducted. The main objective behind TAR is to provide technology to location specific problems to sustain the agriculture. OFT are normally conducted for assessment of proven technology if present technology as well as fine tuning of the technology under various farming situations for understanding its suitability in the farmers’ field.
Sugarcane - OFTs were conducted focusing the different planting methods, IPM and INM practices.
The paired row, long furrow and broad furrow method of planting of sugarcane has shown significant results against the conventional ridges and furrow. The use of 20 pheromone traps and 18,000 eggs parasitoids of trichogramma are found to be effective against control of shoot and stem borer of sugarcane. Chelated ferrous @ 25 kg, Zinc @ 12.5 kg, and Magnesium @ 12.5 kg along with 18:18:18 (NPK spray grade) @ 2.5 kg + FeSO4 @ 1.25 kg per ha. as foliar spray are found to be effective for control of iron chlorosis in calcareous soil.
Wheat - OFTs conducted especially for refinement on plant nutrition management. Total 75% of recommended dose of fertilizers + foliar application of 18:18:18, 5:40:28 and 7:7:42 @ 2.5 kg per ha with vermiwash 10 lit in 500 lit. of water is found to be effective to improve the yield in saline and alkaline soil apart from saving in fertilizers use.
Soybean –OFT was conducted to control the problem of severe attack of spodoptera. Spraying of nomuraea rileyii @ 5kg/ha in 200 lit of water at 30 DAS effectively controlled spodoptera.
Red gram - OFTs were conducted to test the various combination of botanical pests against heliothis. Use of 3% chilli + garlic extract and neem based pesticides in 200 lit. of water was found to be effective against control of pod borer.
Cotton - The recommended practice of 3 x 3 ft. spacing is not suitable to farmers due to which farmers are using 4 x 4 ft. spacing to Bt cotton. With different planting geometry, KVK has implemented an OFT with 4 x 2 paired row spacing, which is suitable for intercultivation as well as higher yield.
Tomato – OFTs were conducted with special emphasis on INM and IPM. Foliar application of 18:18:18 @ 2.5 kg/ha, 13:40:13 @ 2.5 kg/ha against flower drop in calcareous soil gave good results. Similarly use of vermiwash @ 10 lit/ha in 500 lit of water was also found to be
effective in improving the fruit setting. Soil application of humic acid @ 3.75 kg/ha in three equal split at 30,45 and 60 DAT is
found to be effective to increase yield. Spray of perfekt (botanical extract) at 7 days interval @ 1 ml/lit of water is found to be effective for management of leaf curl virus.
Onion - OFTs were conducted for conducting OFT on IPM and INM. A spray of Ipomea fistula @ 1.5% leaf decoction with trap crop, neem oil 3ml/lit is found to be effective in reducing thrips infestation by 75-80%. Foliar application of 18:18:18, 13:40:13 and 6:12:36 @ 2.5 kg/ha during 30,45 and 60 DAT with vermiwash @ 10 lit/ha is found to be effective for improving bulb size. Spraying 1% leaf extract of mundulea suberosa reduced the thrips infestation by 90%.
Cabbage/Cauliflower - OFTs were conducted for control of diamond back moth. The spray of Ipomea leaf extract @ 1.5%
with trap crop and use of pheromone traps is found to be effective. The use of beauveria bassiana @3kg/ha is found to be
effective for control DBM.
Brinjal - OFT was conducted with 2% custard apple seed extract spray for control of fruit and shoot borer under irrigated
farming situation and found to be most effective.
Grapes - The spray of verticilium lecanii @ 5kg/ha is found to be effective against mealy bugs under irrigated farming
situation. The use of soluble potash improves the TSS level for export quality berries @5gm/lit of water under potassium stress conditions during crop growth.
Pomegranate – The use of organic slurry and 400:250:250 gm NPK/plant is found to be effective for better flowering and
quality of fruits improving the fertilizer use efficiency under calcareous soils.
Guava –Vermicompost @5kg/plant along with foliar application of 0.1% FeSO4 + ZnSO4 gave good control of leaf
reddening and improvement in quality of fruits during marketing. Foliar K application @5gm/lit + vermiwash @ 20 ml/lit of water is found to be suitable for improvement in yield and quality. Use of Ethylene absorbent scrubber with modified atmospheric packaging liner for carton is found to increase the shelf life of guava fruit for distant markets.
Goat – Four OFTs were conducted with 24 farmers. Oral dose of Exinot liquid @25ml/goat prevented external and internal
parasites. Osmanabadi goat has performed well with improved weight gain and twinning percentage.
Poultry –Giriraja is found to be better option for backyard poultry. RIR is found to be good for eggs as well as meat purpose. Grampriya was found useful for both eggs and meat purpose whereas Vanraja is useful for meat purpose.
Crossbred Cows – Seven OFTs were conducted basically for nutrition management and control of endo-ecto parasites. Shatawari feeding @20gm/day is found to improve the milk yield under fodder deficient conditions. Similarly use of unhali leaf extract (Tephrosia purpurea) and use of aloevera extract as well as butox reduced the infestation of ecto parasites. Feeding of Azolla @ 2kg/day with 75 per cent recommended concentrate feed improves fat percent by 0.3% and milk yield by 3-4 lit/day/cow.
Health and Nutrition - Spirulina consumption @ 3gm/day for three months is found to improve weight gain and blood hemoglobin level in undernourished and anemic children and women. The use of sprouted moth bean powder @50gm/day/child is also found to improve the weight as low cost option.OFTs were conducted and the results were further demonstrated and transferred among the farmers through different programmes of KVK. The results were discussed in various scientific meetings and seminars. While training to extension functionaries, due care was also taken to extend the refined technology for further dissemination.
KVK is organizing various extension activities for dissemination of the technologies developed under demonstrations and OFTs. Due to organization of extension activities, the outreach of the KVK has increased. Similarly the farmers who do not have the benefit of training, demonstration and OFTs were also benefited through these activities. KVK is organizing annually two to three kisan mela as well as mahila mela.
KVK is organizing different activities, like exposure visits, group discussions, workshop and seminars, ex-trainees meet, exhibitions for the members of the Farmers Club and SHGs. KVK has participated in 19 state level and 4 national level exhibitions. In these exhibitions KVK has received best stall award and appreciation certificate. KVK has organized two state level seminars on organic farming and drumstick production technology. Both these seminars have helped to introduce new concepts in the state and the impact was also seen by development of policies like adoption of organic farming programme and considering the drumstick crop as an important crop by the development department.
Various mass media have played a key role in dissemination of technologies from the KVK. The major contribution is made by All India Radio particularly Ahmednagar and Pune. The live phone in programme (Hallo Baliraja) and Shetishala (Farmer Field School) have become more popular programmes among the farmers of the district where the KVK is making major contribution. Television is another media where KVK has received significant response.
KVK also published three books i.e. Sustainable sugarcane production, Organic farming and Spirulina production, which have been circulated to more than 30,000 farmers.