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Initiatives

Use of Information and Communication Technology

KVK has focused on use of ICT in Agriculture from the year 1999 for which different ICT tools have been tested and adopted.  Computer, Internet, Mobile, Community Radio as well as Print and Digital Media are different ICT tools used by the KVK to enhance the agriculture technology transfer. 

Computer and Internet - It was on 15 August 1999 that the high-speed computer network in the Pravara region was established to ameliorate the development initiatives in the region for the service of the common masses. KVK has developed website in 2000 which is totally in-house development.  Development and updation of content is as per the feedback of the users.  Weather information, disease forecasting, market information, on line advisory services, database of the innovative farmers, new technologies available with KVK, demonstration cum instructional units, inputs, services

technical information on different commodities were given through KVK website.   In weather information village-wise real time weather forecasting of rainfall, cloud coverage and other related weather information of next seven days information is being provided.  Similarly based on this weather information disease forecast information is also being made available.  In the market information, market arrivals, minimum and maximum rates in the different market for different commodities are made available.  Besides getting the information on weather, market, crop information as well as any required information to their related enterprise.  Automatic weather station has been established in the KVK and all the data has been recorded in the computer.  This data is being used for providing weather information besides developing the disease forecast messages.   For this purpose KVK is having software for some crops and for some crops messages are being developed by the subject experts.  The messages developed are being displayed at the entrance of the KVK through electronic display besides giving information through mobile alert, website, KVK PRAVARA Community Radio and local news paper.  Farmers are giving very good response to weather and disease forecast information.

elephone and Mobiles - This is also important ICT tool for faster dissemination of technology.  KVK is pioneer to start computer to mobile SMS broadcast service.  This programme was started on 10th March, 2006 through which monthly KVK is sending more than 50000

alerts to 7000 members.  Technical information, weather and market information, disease and pest incidence and their preventive measures, important events or any emergencies are the issues covered in the mobile SMS service.  During the initial years, KVK has provided this system free of cost and now charging Rs. 100/year to partially cover the recurring expenditure of the system.  SMS broadcast service saves time, labor and money at KVK as well as farmers level and also help to take immediate decision for remedial measures at their farm. This concept has been appreciated and adopted by different agencies to reach their client.  Besides mobile, KVK has also maintained the database of information and consultancy services provided through mobile and telephone line.  Every year more than five thousand farmers received the information from KVK SMS through mobile or telephone lines.  Soil Science and Plant Protection are the two disciplines which receive maximum calls followed by Horticulture, Crop Production, Extension, Home Science and Veterinary Science.

Community Radio Station (CRS) – Information and Broadcasting Center

90.8 MHz FM KVK PRAVARA Community Radio started the programme broadcasting on 2nd October, 2009 with the mission of integrated rural development by providing the information through radio and develop the relation with the soul of the soil.  KVK has developed the on air studio, production studio, RJ rooms, transmitter room as well as administration office.  Facilities are developed for broadcasting of more interactive and live

 programmes for which advanced equipments and machineries are purchased.  Daily six hours programmes is being broadcasted through CRS in which evening 17.00 to 20.00 hrs programme is regular programmes and next day morning programme is rebroadcasting.  Total three hours programmes are being produced of which 90 min. programme is on agriculture and remaining programme is equally distributed for health, education, rural development and local culture.  Daily 30 min. programme is dedicated for live and interactive programme.  In this programme daily special programme is being developed like Hallo Yashwant, Hallo Scientist and discussion on the bunds of field, give correct answer discussion on recent /current burning issues, weekly review of agriculture activities as well as agriculture with local culture.  KVK has given more focus on interactive and participatory programme for which different formats have been developed.  Similarly more programmes are being developed on success stories for its dissemination, with minimum regular staff and maximum free lancer who are developing the content for  broadcasting.  In this process KVK is performing the catalyst role and disseminating the technologies, inputs and services available with different agencies for its faster adoption.  Total coverage of CRS is 25 to 30 km covering more than 214 villages of 5 tehsils in the district.   Total 8.56 lakh population is covered through CRS and during listener survey it is found that 10 to 12 per cent  i.e. more than one lakh population are the listeners of CRS.  Due to CRS KVKs outreach has been increased  and developed the strong linkages with different agencies.

Digital Media - KVK has also developed digital CDs. During 2001 KVK has developed power point based interactive technical information CDs like Krishi Gyan, Krishi Udyojak and Organic Farming which was first of its kind.  These CDs were appreciated by different agencies.  Similarly VCDs and Audio CDs were also developed on different concepts and issues.  Production of all these CDs was in-house and based on the needs and demands of the farmers.

By adopting all the ICT tools, KVK became the technology resource center in the district.  Every year more than 20000 farmers are visiting to KVK to get the scientific and technical knowledge and information, more than 7000 farmers are visiting to get the scientific and technical inputs and services.  Besides this thousands of farmers are accessing the information through different ICT tools used by KVK

Group Dynamics for Technology Assessment, Refinement and Dissemination

KVK has initiated the concept of group approach during the year 1996 for technology assessment, refinement and dissemination. KVK has established Innovative Farmers Club (Prayog Pariwar) at KVK level and Farmers Club and SHGs at village level.   By involving these clients, KVK has developed Three Tier models to achieve the mandates given by ICAR.

Innovative Farmers Club - Many farmers are continuously experimenting indigenous and exogenous techniques in their field.  The results obtained by them are not replicated to other farmers due to lack of group contact, lack of institutional support and communication between the farmers. Keeping all these aspects in view, the KVK has developed the concept of Prayog Pariwar i.e. Innovative Farmers Club during the year 1996 by involving all the innovative farmers.  More than 700 farmers are involved in the club having various enterprises and are from different parts of the district.   With the help of Innovative Farmers Club, KVK has done assessment and refinement of the technology for crops like pomegranate, grape, sugarcane, cotton, drumstick, livestock, protective cultivation etc.  Various concepts have been refined after which the adoption f technology has been increased.  KVK conducted various activities and media to spread the refined technologies among other farmers.

Farmers Club- KVK has initiated Farmers Club programme in the year 2000-01.  Total 153 Farmers Clubs are established which is one in each village. The responsibility of chief volunteer of the Farmers Club was given to the member of the Prayog Pariwar from respective village during formation of the Club. More than 4000 members involved in the club are from different enterprises and age groups.   The main objectives behind formation of clubs are improving productivity, diversification in agriculture, self-employment generation, use of inputs and services of KVK, financial empowerment and socio-psychological changes among the members of Farmers Clubs.

In this Farmers Club, commoditywise groups has been formed.  Due to this efforts, many Farmers Clubs became the clusters of commodity.  The members of the clubs became the Master Trainers for the KVK as well as other line departments.  Besides cultivation of the crops, they are becoming experts in marketing, credit mobilization and development of common resources for themselves as well as for villages.

Self Help Groups-The response of farmers and rural youths has been encouraging since beginning for various activities of KVK.  However, the response of farmwomen was very less.  Socio-economical environment of farm women was necessary for the involvement in the development work besides for development of their livelihood security.   With this objective formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) was initiated by KVK in the year 2001-02.  Separate SHG Cell has been established under the Home Science department.  KVK has formed 516 SHGs involving 8176 members in 102 villages of five tehsils of the district.  All these members are networked with the KVK for technology, bank for credit and different line departments for implementation of their schemes and programmes. SHGs are net worked through Three Tier Extension Model developed by KVK where technology dissemination and credit mobilization are basic functions of these SHGs.  Due to their group approach, the participation of women in different programmes has been increased significantly.   

Commodity-wise Groups- Under MACP Project, Govt. of Maharashtra, KVK established 217 commodity wise groups in the district.  The commodity groups are mainly established for production and marketing of their commodities.  Some of these groups will be converted in companies so that common post harvest management facilities and infrastructure will be developed at village level.

 

Applied Biotechnology in Agriculture

KVK has given focus to reduce the cost of production besides natural resource conservation through LEISA technology.  Therefore, separate programme is implemented based on use of applied biotechnology in agriculture. Under this focus is given on biofertilizers, biopesticides and biofood.  Biopesticides and biofertilizers are mainly used to reduce the use of agrochemicals in the agriculture so that the soil and environment health will improve.  Biofood is specially introduced to improve the health of rural population. Biopesticides and biofertilizers unit for demonstration and production purposes. The vermicompost unit produces vermicompost, vermiwash, vermiculture for supply to the farmers. KVK is producing biofertilizers like Rhizobium, Acetobactor for sugarcane, Azatobactor, PSB and Compost Culture.  Similarly KVK is producing and maintaining the culture of Azolla which is used for paddy crop as well as biofood for live stock.  Initial production capacity of biofertilizers was 100 kg/year which is now expanded to 10,000 kg/year.  More than 1000 farmers are benefited every year due to supply of quality and fresh biofertilizers. During the last 10 years, KVK has produced 49196 kg biofertilizers and made them available to 9201 farmers covering 7457 ha area.

By considering the demand of bio-pesticides and bio-fungicides, KVK started production of biopesticides.  Different biopesticides like trichoderma, paecilomyces, verticilium, nomuraea, beauveria, pseudomonas etc. are being produced in this lab from the year 1998.  Till date total 41655 kg of bio-pesticides were supplied by the KVK to 6414 number of farmers covering 7225 ha area. For IPM programme besides biopesticides, use of botanical pesticides and different types of traps are also important components. KVK made an initiative to supply these inputs from the KVK’s Service Center.   KVK has supplied 15454 number of pheromone traps to  3578 number of beneficiaries covering 1442 ha area. KVK supplied 17919 lit. of neem oil benefiting  5298 farmers with an approximate area of  8552 ha.  Similarly 390 lit of Karanj Oil  supplied to 219 no. of farmers.

Due to use of biotechnological products, farmers are slowly moving towards organic farming.  Use of highly toxic chemical pesticides and indiscriminate use of fertilizers is being reduced due to KVKs intervention.