JSS Agri Clinic
Research and technology developments have brought about enormous changes in agriculture. Unfortunately, many farmers are not utilizing the innovations and newer farm technologies. The ‘information gap’ is mainly attributed to absence of a responsive ‘Extension System’. The ‘Public Extension System’ is essentially ‘Supply-Oriented’ wherein the research institutions develop technologies on crops, varieties, nutrients, pesticides, agronomic practices etc.; the State Department of Agriculture (DoA) has the mandate of transferring technologies to farmers. However, it is the ‘Private agencies’ who sell seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, farm machinery, irrigation equipments etc.
The present ‘Supply-Oriented Extension System’ is rendered ineffective by many limitations; as a result, the private input traders are deciding for farmers resulting in their escalating costs. There is an urgent need for reorienting Public Extension System to offer ‘Demand-Driven Extension Services’ where farmers get proper technical information and quality inputs at one ‘trustworthy’ place. JSS Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Agricultural Science Center, KVK) has successfully piloted an innovative “Agri Clinic” to deliver technology as well as inputs.
The objectives of JSS Agri Clinic, operating since 2013, are two-fold: To reduce use of agrochemicals in agriculture and thereby reduce farmers’ production costs. These objectives are attained by activities viz., offering appropriate technical advice by ‘Agri Doctors’ and selling quality inputs from ‘Agri Pharmacy’. Technical staffs of KVK serve as plant doctors; they diagNoe the problem affecting the crop and write a ‘prescription’ based on which the farmers buy inputs from ‘Agri Pharmacy’ - the outlet at the KVK premises. The inputs are sourced by the KVK from local dealers and distributors. The KVK ensures that the inputs sold are of good quality, from reliable brands and reasonably priced. The model has served over 30,000 farmers in 5 years and reduced their production costs. The project seeks to replicate this model in ASEAN countries.
Farmers visits to Agriclinic Year wise and Month wise