We have decided to e-linkage the KVKs with national research centres, 35 state agricultural centres, eight zonal coordinating units, headquarters of ICAR along with 70 other institutions in order to provide farmers the right kind of information, said Dr P Das, deputy director general, agricultural extension, ICAR who was recently in Hyderabad at the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA).
ICAR has proposed to connect KVKs through the INSAT-1D through a hub at the district level. The institute is also talking to private agencies to use the KVK model through a public-private-partnership besides other participating agencies like the ISRO and VSAT supply agencies. The new models will have both online and offline touch screen kiosks to facilitate the use by the farmer.
ICAR has already created Agricultural Research Inform-ation System (ARIS), a WAN connecting 28 state agricultural universities and their 120 zonal agricultural stations, 49 ICAR institutes, 10 project dire-ctorates, 25 NRCs and its headquarters in Krishi Bahwan and Krishi Anusandhan Bhawan, a total of 233 ARIS cells.
The e-linkage programme is being intiated under the ongoing National Agricultural Technology Project (NATP).
At full growth, it may have 832 ARIS cells which will contain the local base of different capacities. From selection of varieties to the final harvest, the farmer gets some kind of marketing intelligence, weather forecasting models, or any new programmes initiated by the ministry of agriculture, price issues, etc. The KVKs have four mandates which include training of women, on farm testing and training of in-service extension personal. There are 44 Agricultural Technology Infor-mation Centres in ICAR institutes and state agricultural universities (SAUs).