Blogs Policy Issues in Extension

BLOG-46: The Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in India: The full potential yet to be unleashed!

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is the only institution at the district level in India for technological backstopping in agriculture and allied sectors. While some of the KVKs have been effectively contributing to the technology development and promotion process, many are plagued with several problems. Though solutions to address these problems were pointed out by several committees, the implementation has been uneven. A lot more needs to be done to improve its performance including the public perception on the role and contribution of KVKs, argues Dr Mahesh Chander.

Dr Mahesh Chander is Head, Division of Extension Education, ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh (



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  • Dr Mahesh Chander has given an excellent review what has been done in the KVKs since its inception. The KVK -ATMA operations have been given. These institutions at the dist. level should join hands by following their mandates to reach the farmers.There are other institutions at the dist level which should be involved

  • My compliments to Dr. Mahesh Chander for this comprehensive review about KVKs – it is very informative and covers most of the aspects related to the role of KVKs and reviews achievements and limitations. However, I feel two crucial aspects (limitations) are not covered and need to be looked into: 1. Mandate of the KVKs is To serve as Two Way Link between Researchers and Farmers, however, by and large the KVKs have functioned as One Way Link – from Researcher to Farmer. While many KVKs are testing and propagating recommendations and technologies generated by the research system to look into appropriateness but hardly any KVK which does Problem / Constraint analysis and informs research system of the need for research or about kind of technology needed. Somehow the link = Farmer to Researcher and Back to Farmer = is not complete. Would it not be desirable that besides searching areas / farmers suitable for technologies generated or modifying the technologies – the KVKs facilitate generation of recommendations / technologies appropriate for different farming systems. Pardon my saying so but the situation is something like Purchasing ready made horseshoes and searching for horses where these would fit or modify the shoe and fit it. Why not make assessment of type of shoes needed and get these made? 2. Majority of KVKs lack specialists related to Livestock sub-sector of Agriculture and this situation existed since long. While it is well known that livestock production is an integral and important component of Farming system particularly for small holders from rain-fed areas and dairy sector has emerged as fastest growing agro-industry not much is done to strengthen KVKs to deal with livestock production. The irony of the situation is that the KVK network in India is supposed to be unique of its kind and well suited to meet needs of Extension / Advisory and Training service for rural families and weak extension is a major limiting factor for livestock development but KVKs are weak in this very field. This aspect has been discussed several times but the lacuna remains. One can only hope the situation improves.There is demand for Pashu Vigyan Kendras (PVKs) from some states

  • Excellent blog sir. As recommended KVKs have to be strengthened with more SMS to form a complete team. The area of coverage in a district is very large. The budget alloted for operational expenses is very less. Many of the KVKs even recruiting the 6 SMS has become a problem and has to manage with skeletal staff. If these areas are taken care of output from KVKs can be definitely increase. KVKs can provide need based technological products at local level. But some of the institutes keep the licencing costs very high for getting the technology which makes it extremely difficult for KVKs to produce new technological products. In such cases we have to tell the technology but when farmers demand these products we have to refer to some distant places where these institutes are located or to some private parties.

  • An excellent view from Dr. Mahesh Chander about KVKs. The KVKs could have proved to be one of the innovation in Indian Agriculture Extension System. But lack of focus in in its operational functioning with a bunch of de-motivated staff always looking to get posted at Headquarter, and of course below-par infrastructure has been its undoing. To realise the vision of KVK, we need to promote Convergence at block level wherein all the Line departments function in a collaborative manner to mobilise the farmer community for their own welfare.

  • Chairman Emeritus, Asian Agri-History Foundation:Many thanks for preparing an excellent short document on the role of KVKs in genuinely helping farmers. For the last 10 years or so, in my lectures, I have been stressing the functional role KVKs in strengthening Indian agriculture in general and specifically in experimental validation of indigenous practices. More than the research done by ICAR research institutes and state agricultural universities, I am convinced that KVKs validation research would be relevant to the needs of farmers KVKs should be encouraged to do this through additional funding while ensuring minimum administrative restrictions and scrupulously eliminating red tape.

  • Mahesh Chander needs to be complimented for this comprehensive Blog on KVKs.Yet, I am of the view that we have not realised the fact of the matter-CONVERGENCE of schemes,agencies,levels,enterprises etc.,when it comes to the delivery of services required at the farmers reach.KVKs remain in the fold of their host institutions and ATMAs are largely tied to Departments of Agriculture. One-To-One accountability of ensuring the livelihood security of vulnerable farm families on a long-term basis with alternate farm production plans and their implementation must be made mandatory for every Scientist/Extension Worker of KVKs/ATMAs.This has to be coupled with funding and hand-holding support by the Governments at the local,state and national levels.Concurrent monitoring for impact and outcome appraisal has to be ensured.This approach,which I title as Sustainable Innovation Management Through Agri-Family Attachment(SIMTAFA),can be attempted on a pilot basis to enhance the relevance of Extension in the changing scenario,too?.

  • Once again, excellent blog by Dr. Mahesh Chander. Congratulations for putting a comprehensive blog on KVKs. As stated, there are number of Institutional barriers which demotivates the commited and hard working KVK professionals- for eg. Dr. Mahesh indicated clarity on governance -some times, it is really difficult to articulate the reality in the field???- Of-course large number of committed KVK professionals are doing things innovatively- they think differently- based on local demands & sitaution- that never brought to the notice of others-in this connection Dr. Mahesh- suggestion on Good Practice note will be worth doing, instead of always quoting huge numbers (no. of trainings, farmers, no of SMS etc) as achievements. Numbers never going to achieve real change in the field. I hope there are number of KVK administrators and SMSs are with our AESA group- i wish atleast some of them should read and share their experiences.

  • It is a well articulated and comprehensive blog which all extension personnel should read. I fully agree with the views expressed in the blog. However, I flag the following concerns for consideration; 1. Whether we should continue with the existing mandates of KVK? I feel there is need to critically review this. 2. There is one suggestion that training of farmers and extension personnel to update their knowledge and skills in modern agricultural technology is needed. Whether KVK as an institution is capable competent to do this? 3. The details about number of trainings conducted by KVKs is given. What type of training? Most of the trainings are of awareness nature which do not bring any change in knowledge skill sets. How many KVKs are really involved in providing skill trainings for youth and women? 4. While considering convergence, convergence of ATMA and KVK is discussed. What about convergence of KVK with various existing training institutes in the district like RSETI, DIC, training institutes of line departments, etc? 5. Farmers and extension personnel have to be given skill trainings, particularly on soft skills. Whether KVKs address this? 6. There are many missing areas like innovation dynamics, grass roots innovations, EDP, MDP, etc which KVKs need to focus.