The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) and Division of Agricultural Extension, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) jointly convened the KVK-CSISA network annual workshop at the NASC Complex, New Delhi on September 23. In the workshop, policymakers, scientists, and experts from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Department of Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha discussed and reviewed the KVK-CSISA activities and planned landscape diagnostic survey (LDS) activities for pulses and oilseeds in rice-pulse/rice-oilseed cropping system across India under the network.
Dr. RK Malik of CIMMYT emphasized the importance of collaboration and convergence among institutions, projects and schemes for gender-inclusive sustainable agriculture and highlighted that KVK-CSISA is one avenue to help understand the gaps that impact smallholder farmers in India. CSISA’s demonstration and recommendation of early sowing of wheat has changed the system productivity and farmers’ income in India particularly in Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh
DARE Secretary and ICAR Director General Dr. Himanshu Pathak acknowledged the contribution and commendable work done by the KVKs. He also emphasized that there are higher expectations from the KVKs, citing that extension methodologies are changing, with CSISA being a prime example of this.
“Agriculture extension has evolved due to rapid change in technology and requirements from different actors. Our vision is to make the KVK a one-stop clinic, where KVKs can run demonstrations and offer soil testing, plant testing, or give recommendations to farmers,” Pathak said, adding that India should showcase the integration of indigenous traditional knowledge with new technology and science to solve the the country’s emerging challenges.
The KVK seeks to achieve this by 1) developing a strong database of all the farmers of the district, 2) developing a database of all agricultural graduates of the district, 3) holding yearly meetings with agriculture graduates to garner their support and feedback, and 4) enlisting all the government schemes related to the welfare of the farmer.
The technical sessions featured presentations and workshops for the upcoming pulses landscape diagnostic survey (P-LDS), where participants suggested the districts to be included based on a selection criteria within the chosen states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Panjab, Haryana, Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand, to name a few. They also went through the draft questionnaire for the survey and suggested changes for better data capture.
For his part, ISARC Director Dr. Sudhanshu Singh highlighted the innovations that the institutions and the projects are working on for agriculture development in the country. He stressed that appropriately targeting the technologies, crops, varieties (duration), and farm mechanization with tailored agronomy will help in intensifying cropping systems with higher system productivity and profitability.
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