The Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) attached to the Indian Council for Agriculture Research run by the Christian Agency for Rural Development (CARD) at Thelliyoor in Pathanamthitta district has been selected for this year’s Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Protsahan Puraskar-2017 for the best performing KVK in south India.
According to C.P. Robert, KVK head and senior scientist, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will present the award at the KVK national conference in New Delhi on March 17. The award comprises a purse of ₹2.25 lakh and a citation.
The CARD-KVK has been a source of inspiration and support to the farming community here for the past 25 years. Its innovative ideas and technology to increase farm production, training programmes for rural women, farm workers and farmers, and training imparted to new entrepreneurs have earned it the trust of the farming community. It has also won several prizes.
The KVK has given maximum thrust to income generation from underexploited locally available fruits such as jackfruit, fig, carambola, papaya, raw mango, etc. It organises tailor-made training programmes for farmers and self-help groups (SHGs) enabling them to access the technology of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for fruit and vegetable products.
The KVK has obtained the licence to manufacture various fruit products. The primary aim of the KVK venture is to facilitate income-generation projects.
The KVK has been imparting technology trainings and sharing knowledge with stakeholders in an effort to explore the commercial potential of jackfruit. Training and technical support have been extended to many upcoming entrepreneurs in jackfruit-based products.
It hosts buyer-seller interface on its Thelliyoor campus to facilitate showcasing of various jackfruit products. Interaction between buyers and entrepreneurs is another major step taken by the KVK for jackfruit promotion.
“We have brought out a smart way of tapping the potential of jackfruit which could make every Kerala household a hub for processing jackfruit. Our attempt is to ensure that no jackfruit is wasted in the State so that an estimated loss of this indigenous fruit for ₹15,000 crore could be added to the State’s coffers, besides enriching the health of every rural household,” says Dr. Robert.