- The Education Commission (1964-66) recommended that a vigorous effort be made to establish specialized institutions to provide vocational education in agriculture and allied fields at the pre and post matriculate levels.
- The Commission suggested that such institutions be named as ‘Agricultural Polytechnics’.
- The recommendation of the Commission was thoroughly discussed and the ICAR mooted the idea of establishing Krishi Vigyan Kendras (Agricultural Science Centres) as innovative institutions for imparting vocational training to the practicing farmers, school dropouts and field level extension functionaries.
- The first KVK, on a pilot basis, was established in 1974 at Puducherry (Pondicherry) under the administrative control of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.
- At present there are 713 KVKs, out of which 498 are under State Agricultural Universities (SAU) and Central Agricultural University (CAU), 63 under ICAR Institutes, 101 under NGOs, 38 under State Governments, and the remaining under other educational institutions.
Mandate of KVK:
The mandate of KVK is Technology Assessment and Demonstration for its Application and Capacity Development. To implement the mandate effectively, the following activities are envisaged for each KVK.
- On-farm testing to assess the location specificity of agricultural technologies under various farming systems.
- Frontline demonstrations to establish production potential of technologies on the farmers’ fields.
- Capacity development of farmers and extension personnel to update their knowledge and skills on modern agricultural technologies.
- To work as the Knowledge and Resource Centre of agricultural technologies for supporting initiatives of public, private and voluntary sectors in improving the agricultural economy of the district.
- Provide farm advisories using ICT and other media means on varied subjects of interest to farmers.
In addition, KVK would produce quality technological products (seed, planting material, bio-agents, livestock) and make it available to farmers, organize frontline extension activities, identify and document selected farm innovations and converge with ongoing schemes and programmes within the mandate of KVK.