Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Babhaleshwar which is located in the Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra State is one of the leading KVK in the country due to implementation of various innovative concepts and models. This KVK started in 1992 and received National Best KVK Award during the year 1998-99. The major mandate of the KVK is technology, assessment, refinement and dissemination as per location specific situation in the district. KVK is having very limited infrastructure and manpower with which it is working in different Agro Ecological Situation (AES) and Agriculture Farming Systems (AFS) of the district.
KVK, Babhaleshwar has adopted different concepts like use of applied biotechnology in agriculture to reduce agro chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides. Use of group dynamics for faster technology assessment, refinement and dissemination by involving rural youths and farmwomen which are mostly neglected by the system. This KVK is the working on use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) for development of agriculture from last ten years. Video conferencing, online advisory services, market information, weather information, events in agriculture, different schemes of Government are some of the important services provided through the ICT. Similarly from last five years, this KVK has initiated mobile alert system on daily basis to give the messages to farmers about the weather, market and practices to do in his farm. All these concepts and models have been appreciated by the community.Knowledge is the power without which development will not achieve. It is observed that knowledgeable community has achieved the progress. However, this knowledge has to be provided through different channels and media. Therefore, KVK, Babhaleshwar has also started own radio station i.e. 90.8 FM KVK PRAVARA Community Radio (CRS) on 2nd October 2009.
The mission of integrated rural development by empowering the rural masses by providing the information through radio and developing the strong relation with the soul of the soil has been started through this radio.KVK has developed the on air studio, production studio, RJ room, transmitter room as well as administration office. Facilities are developed for production and online relay of more interaction and live programmes for which advanced equipments and machineries are purchased. For the development of the content as well as daily relay of the programme, local rural youths were identified and conducted one month training programme for 44 youths. From these youths, 8 to 9 youths were selected to run the activities of CRS. These youths are developing the content as well as broadcasting the programmes. Daily four hour programme is being broadcasted through CRS of which evening (18.00 to 20.00 hrs) programme is regular programme and next day morning programme is rebroadcast. Out of two hours, one hour programme is on agriculture and one hour programme is equally distributed for health, education, rural development and local culture. While designing the format of the programme all the class and members of the rural community is considered so that the programme will be benefiting to maximum rural population. While development of the programme, need assessment survey was conducted. Similarly, regular feedback of the community is also taken so that the programme will be developed based on their needs. As this CRS is run by KVK, more focus is given on agriculture programme. Out of 60 min. programme, 30 min. programme is Krishi Vani programme where agriculture technology and success stories developed by KVK and other line departments are the focus area. Another 30 min. programme is reserved for live interactive and dramatic programme on agriculture. Special programme of 30 min is being developed like Hallo Yashwant (successful farmers), Hallo Scientist, serial discussion on particular theme/concepts; give correct answers to test their agriculture knowledge, panel discussion on recent / current burning issues, weekly review of the agriculture activities and agriculture technology dissemination through local culture. All these formats help to develop the programme more interesting and the listeners are giving very good response to these programmes.
The CRS is covering about 214 villages from 5 tehsils in the district. Total 8.56 lakh population is covered in the radius of 20-25 km. from KVK. It is expected that at least 10 to 15 per cent population are the listeners of CRS programmes through which KVK is reaching more than one lakh population directly. CRS helped to disseminate the technology, inputs and services like weather information, market information, disease forecasting and other advanced services among the community. KVK PRAVARA Community Radio has become the important tool and media to serve for the people. In all the process, KVK is doing the role of catalyst. The actual programme development and broadcast is being done by separate human resource development from the local community. The actual concept of CRS i.e. development of the local programmes by the local people for the local community by involving and increasing the participation of the local people is being achieved. Slowly this CRS is being owned by the local people. This CRS will help to develop the rural community by sharing their knowledge and information among themselves and will help to self sustain for their livelihood security. There is need to develop more CRS and interlink these CRS for development of the nation which will be bottom up and sustainable development.
(Dr.Bhaskar Gaikwad, Chief Scientist, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Babhaleshwar, Tal. Rahata, Dist. Ahmednagar firstname.lastname@example.org )