The buzzword for Kerala Agricultural University’s new participatory learning module for the first-year BSc (Hons) Agriculture course is “catch ’em early.” The academic council of the university has approved the module, which will be implemented in collaboration with the Agricultural Knowledge Centres (AKC) at the block and panchayat levels.
P Prasad, the state’s minister of agriculture, came up with the idea, which was among the country’s first of its kind. The Subikhsha Keralam Scheme included the establishment of the AKCs in 2020–21 to improve the connections between extension, research, and farmers for agricultural growth.
It aimed to address farm vulnerabilities such as crop production, plant health management, market risks, and post-harvest loss management, among other things.
The new programme, according to officials at Kerala Agricultural University, will help students gain a comprehensive understanding of the issues and potential institutional interventions to improve farmers’ livelihoods.
Under the supervision of university scientists and extension professionals, it will provide students with real-time field experience in farm planning, agro-ecology, stakeholder linkages, production, post-harvest management, value addition, and marketing. It will also improve their understanding of the state’s agricultural economy.
The programme will start as a required course in the second semester of the BSc (Hons) Agriculture 2022 batch and will last until the fourth semester.
Students will receive at least 120 hours of training, which will include on-farm camps and regular visits to project areas.
Students from the Colleges of Cooperation, Banking, and Management at the Faculty of Agriculture, as well as the College of Climate Change and Environmental Science, will take part in the programme.