Pravara Institute of Research and Education in Natural and Social Sciences (PIRENS) is a voluntary organization, established in 1985 by Hon’ble Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, former Union Minister of State for Finance. PIRENS aims for upliftment of rural population through integrated rural development.
With an eye on agricultural development, PIRENS has intervened in natural resources management viz. water storage and utilization, land utilization, watershed development; and human resource development viz. training programmes and state to national level workshops and seminars.
PIRENS runs a Management College, Insurance Training and Corporate Agency, and an Institute for Computer Education.
Appreciating PIRENS’ work, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi sanctioned a Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in 1992. The move helped PIRENS intervene more intensively in agriculture for integrated upliftment of rural people, particularly farmers and unemployed rural youth. All institutions of the Pravara Group extend strong support to the KVK for best results.
- To improve productivity in agriculture and allied enterprises;
- To empower and utilize the energy of rural youth and farm women;
- To generate employment in farm and non-farm sector; and
- To improve socio-economic condition of rural community.
- To impart skill to farmers and rural youth through vocational trainings;
- To conduct Frontline Demonstration on oilseeds, pulses and other major produce;
- To carry out On-Farm-Testing to develop location specific farming technology;
- To disseminate technologies in the districts by providing training to the extension workers of various line departments; and
- To produce good quality seed, seedlings and different bio-agents, inputs and services to enhance technology adoption.
- Use of Applied Biotechnology in Agriculture;
- Promotion and strengthening of Group Organization;
- Utilization of Information Technology in Agriculture; and
- Technology Backstopping through critical inputs and services.
Improving productivity is a major objective of the KVK. Before finalizing the Annual Action Plan, KVK analyzes the gaps in technology adoption and the reasons for the same. Villages are selected based on the representative Agro Ecological Situation (AES) of the district. Moreover, prior to implementation, KVK:
- Focuses on assessment of Problems, Opportunities, Issues and Needs (POIN) of the farming community; and
- Conducts a benchmark survey to record the socio-economic conditions of the villages.
For effective implementation of the programme, a group approach is an important methodology for which Farmers Clubs and SHGs were established. These groups identify beneficiaries for training, demonstration, OFTs and other extension activities. This has ensured a positive response from the farming community.
Most of the on-campus, practical trainings are conducted for imparting the skills in KVK’s instructional units. Improving productivity and self-employment generation are the basic objectives of on-campus skill oriented training programmes.
Off campus trainings are conducted in the villages, particularly on farms where method demonstration and technological output are shown to the trainees. A total of 885 training programmes were conducted for practicing farmers in villages, after which necessary inputs, services and consultancies were made available for improving technology adoption.
Both types of training programmes focused on location specific problems to:
- Improve productivity;
- Reduce production cost;
- Ensure natural resource management particularly soil and water;
- Upgrade quality of produce; and
- Diversify agriculture based on market demand and available local resources.
KVK has developed instructional units for imparting skill and practical training in order to generate employment generation. Besides technical skill, KVK has also provided managerial skill to impart trainees the confidence of enterprise management. Vocational skills were extended through 194 training programmes for 5107 rural youth. Training duration ranges from 3 to 60 days. KVK has also established linkages with different credit and marketing agencies, NABARD, and other development departments.
Replication of technologies in farming communities through extension functionaries of line departments and NGOs is also an important mandate of KVK. Apart from the recommendations of NARS, the results obtained from different FLDs and OFTs were included in the course curriculum for faster spread of location specific technologies via extension functionaries. KVK conducted a total 154 courses covering 3917 extension functionaries of different line departments.