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.
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, servicestechnical 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.
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.
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 equipment’s 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. 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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. 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.
Production – 70656 KG
Beneficiaries – 10573
Area – 21157 ha
Village – 459
Tehsil – 43
Districts – 08
Production – 86604 KG
Beneficiaries – 6240
Area – 14390 ha
Village – 332
Tehsil – 69
Districts – 22
Spirulina Powder – 235 KG
Beneficiaries – 2380
Culture – 1008 lit
Vaseline – 3908 nos
Districts – 28