Extension and community service is a prime objective of every constituent College of KAU. Trainings, field demonstrations, farmer awareness programmes and exhibitions, in various aspects of agricultural engineering, are being conducted from the College on a continuous basis, to provide the farming community with an updated awareness regarding the latest developments in this area.
All the major departments of the College offer training programmes for the farming community, especially in the Central and Northern part of the State. Apart from these departments, trainings are also imparted through:
These Centers offer both on-campus and off-campus training. The beneficiary group includes farmers, entrepreneurs, field extension officers, youth, women and school and college students from all over the State.
The trainings are primarily organized on topics based on the stakeholder demand. The duration of these programmes may vary, depending upon the target audience and level of skill to be acquired. Trainings needs, identified at various agencies like the KrishiBhavans, LSGs etc, are reported at the College and training programmes to cater to these needs are specially formulated for each target group.
The major source of funding for training was from ICAR, National Committee for Plasticulture Application in Horticulture (NCPAH), State planning board (SPB), and Directorate of Agriculture, Gov.of Kerala (DOA). The number and duration of various training programmes organized by the College is shown below.
Field demonstrations of various agricultural machinery are conducted by the College all over the State. The Front Line Demonstration programmes of the Department of Farm Machinery has been very successful in awareness generation among the farming community regarding the necessity and the usefulness of farm mechanization. These have been instrumental in the increasing trend observed in the adoption of farm machinery in our state over the past few years. Several popular machines like the 8-row riding-type paddy transplanter, Kaypad Bed former,white pepper making machine, coconut dehusker,arecanutdehusker, coconut climber etc. have been successfully introduced and demonstrated in the State
Equally important is the awareness created by the Departments of LWRCE and IDE in the conservation of land and water resources, water shed management and preservation of ecology. Field demonstrations in the areas of micro irrigation, precision framing and greenhouse technology have enhanced the awareness of farmers and the adoption of technology to a great extent. The field demonstration and farmer awareness programmes in the sector of agricultural processing, value addition, food engineering and post harvest technology has provided a positive impetus to the processing sector of the State.
Exhibitions and Melas
The College actively takes part in all the Exhibitions and Melas organized by the University and this has led to awareness generation and popularization of available and developed technology. The detail of number of exhibitions organized/participated by the College from 2007 onwards is shown below:
The faculty of all departments are engaged in extension activities, in tandem with their academic responsibilities.
Farmer queries in person, by mail or over telephone are attended immediately. Information extension on the newer topics of the subject are frequently presented before the public via television and radio programmes. The more salient achievements of the various departments of the College are listed below.
12.4.1 Department of Farm Power Machinery and Energy:
The department has introduced a successful riding type engine operated rice transplanter first time in India. This has been popularized in Kerala and it is adapted almost in all the states of India. Demonstration of four wheel transplanter was conducted at Parali in Palakkad district in 2009.
Introduction and popularization of new generation machinery like
- Kaipad bed former for the Kaipad cultivation
- Tractor operated special bed former
- Automatic nursery raising machine for paddy
- Paddy reaper cum binder, Rotavator
- Power operated continuous coconut dehusker
- Copra separator , Posthole digger
Formation of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers Association , Kerala chapter of the National body, which forms a platform for institution – industry linkage in Kerala.
A set of machinery for paddy cultivation like tractor operated dry paddy seeder, eight row pre-germinated paddy seeder, riding type eight row paddy transplanter, conoweeders, reapers, threshers and combine harvesters were popularized through many extensive demonstrations.
Trainings imparted in the operation and maintenance of paddy machinery, machinery for horticultural crops like mini tillers, tools, machinery for coconut such as coconut climbers etc.
SHG’s including women groups were trained to operate transplanters, tractor operated rotovator, diggers, basin listers, coconut and areca nut palm climbers and mini tillers with multiple attachments.
12.4.2 Department of Land and Water Resource Engineering
Faculties of the department are actively involved in extension classes to progressive farmers, Govt. department officials and NGOs. Many consultancy / demonstration works have been carried out by the department. Some of them are listed below
Implementation of a model rain water harvesting and groundwater recharge system for all important buildings of the campus, for which a state level award and a cash price of Rs. 50,000/-, constituted by Malayala Manorama, was bagged by the department.
Delineation, prioritization and preparation of a detailed project report for the development of micro watersheds of four different block panchayaths of Malappuram District.
Selection and design of groundwater recharge measures suitable for augmenting well yield of Jalanidhi community water supply schemes
An initiation to construct a sub surface dike across river Bharathapuzha to improve the groundwater potential.5Project report based on a pilot study to improve surface and groundwater potential and for water saving irrigation methods.
12.4.3 Department of Post Harvest Technology and Agricultural Processing
The Department organised many trainings&exhibitions to various agricultural extension functionaries viz; Agricultural officers, Agricultural assistants, field officers, entrepreneurs, progressive farmers, NGO’s, etc for various durations on entrepreneurship development in food processing & value addition, food safety and quality aspects. The department also actively involved in popularisation of various machinery used in post harvest operations of various agricultural commodities. The various extension activities of the department are given below:
Introduction and popularization of new post harvest machinery such as Areca leaf plate making machine, Vanilla curing and White pepper machine
Trainings in the operation and maintenance of post harvest machinery
Participate in policy advocacy programmes of the government.
End to end training programmes in the coconut, ginger, pepper, turmeric, arecanut – harvesting, palm climbing, nursery management, post harvest and value addition technologies imparted to the trainees
Awareness creation among various extension functionaries on need of organic farming, food safety, quality, good manufacturing practices. Participants were confident in the quality and safety aspects of crop production and processing. Most of the participants conducted a two day workshop for progressive farmers and young entrepreneurs on GAP, GMP, HACCP and organic farming in their respective region.
Establishment of Agro Processing Centre with a Self Help Group at Naduvattam of Ponnani Block Panchayat with selected equipments like Areca Leaf Plate making machine and a hammer mill for spices. The centre was formerly inaugurated on 7th February 2009.
National seminar on Food Security through innovations in Food Processing and Entrepreneurship Development was organized at University auditorium, Vellanikkara, Thrissur on 29th and 30th September 2008 by KCAET, Tavanur in collaboration with IICPT, Thanjavur and Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Govt. of India.
12.4.4 Department of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering
Awareness creation, popularization and establishment of plasticulture applications for agriculture like green houses, shade houses, irrigation and fertigationsystems in farmers’ fields.
Popularisation of precision farming techniques among farmers, leading to increased adoption
Participate in policy advocacy programmes of the government
4Involved in design and layout of micro irrigation systems, drip and sprinklers in farmers’ fields as per demand
Extending farmer advisory service for selection of pumps
Well renowned repository for information on precision farming and plasticulture
Latest technology in Agricultural Engineering as applicable to field situations is being provided in a proactive manner from the college. This has served to revive an interest in farming in the areas of intervention.
Despite the steady decline observed in farming in the past decade, a rejuvenation has occurred in the farming scenario of the State. The demonstration, trainings and awareness creation about the vast repository of agricultural machinery available for farming in our State from the College, has started a revival of farming. New generation machinery both for paddy and horticultural crops, made popular through the AICRP on FIM, under the Department of Farm Power and Machinery have brought in a lot of young entrepreneurs into farming.
The Postharvest technology & Agricultural processing department at College is facilitating transfer of technologies to end users and actively seek science-based solutions to post-harvest issues facing growers, processors, entrepreneurs and consumers of agricultural commodities through training programmes, demonstrations, seminars, and print materials. The AICRP on Post harvest Technology centre in the College is acting as a humanresource training cum facilitation centre for entrepreneurs, Self helpgroups and farmers.
The farmers of the State are now aware of the importance of precision farming and water conservation for the survival of agriculture and increased productivity. This has been possible through the interventions of the Precision farming Development Centre under the Department of irrigation and Drainage Engineering. The impact of the work of this Centre has raised it to a consultancy centre of national importance.