Participatory Intervention Series
Paper 5 MYRADA Krishi Vigyan Kendra
Talamalai, Talavadi 638 461.
Sathyamangalam Taluk,
Erode District
________________________________________A Mission To Fulfill
On August 20, 1996 a workshop was facilitated by Mr.Aloysius Fernandez, Executive Director, MYRADA, for the staff of our Krishi Vigyan Kendra on developing a Mission for the Kendra. The workshop was also attended by a senior management team from MYRADA Bangalore. This paper briefly records the process of how the Mission emerged. The whole is an outcome of a very participatory effort at giving expression to the commitment of our Kendra. We are aware of the fact that ICAR was not represented at this workshop, but this is only the beginning…
To start the discussions, two questions were asked:
What is MYRADA’s understanding of ICAR’s expectations from the KVKs, as expressed since 1992?
What is MYRADA’s understanding of its own role for its KVK?
The following points emerged from the discussion that have been summarised for easy comparison:
ICAR emphasises:
Technological Interventions
MYRADA also emphasises Technological Interventions but adds value through:
Participatory Interventions
ICAR is chiefly concerned with:Productivity through the spread of improved technology MYRADA is also concerned with productivity, but additional and accompanying areas of concern are:Sustainability and Equity
The end result should be sustainable and equitable increases in productivity of bothfarm-based and non-farm rural enterprises.

Both ICAR and MYRADA see the value of “Learning-by-doing”. In recent times there has been a perceptible change in ICAR’s orientation in favour of more participatory processes. The recent workshops for Scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Trainers’ Training Centres, and State Agricultural Universities on the use of PRA tools and techniques is a case in point. MYRADA was invited by ICAR to provide inputs to these efforts.
MYRADA recognises that its role as a “Development Institution” is distinct from its role as a KVK. What should the KVK engage in as per ICAR guidelines? MYRADA’s understanding is that the KVK should engage inADAPTIVE RESEARCH and EXTENSION. How are these two terms interpreted?
ICAR’s interpretation of Adaptive Research (as understood by MYRADA):
On-farm testing of proven technology, wherein ‘proven’ refers to technology that has proved itself under location-specific and controlled conditions. MYRADA’s interpretation of Adaptive Research:
On-farm testing of technology that is technically proven, economically viable, socio-culturally acceptable and capable of being sustained by the farmingcommunity.
ICAR’s interpretation of Extension (as understood by MYRADA):
Dissemination of field-proven practices and/or technology. MYRADA’s interpretation of Extension:
Interactive dissemination of field-proven practices and/or technology as well as promoting the development of institutions and systems that can lead to the adoption and assimilation of these technologies on a sustainable basis.
MYRADA also emphasises working with groups rather than individuals since groups enhance outreach and provide an institutional framework that is particularly important for poorer farmers who draw strength from peer support in addition to the economic advantage of pooled resources.
The success of both adaptive research and extension depend on Methodology, Materials, and Strategies used, besides the content itself.
The involvement of NGOs in independently managing KVKs that have been alloted to them should be interpreted as a move on the part of ICAR to add value to the efforts of ICAR, and not a means to cut costs or responsibilities, as some choose to believe. Bearing this in mind, could a Mission Statement be developed for MYRADA Krishi Vigyan Kendra taking into consideration both ICAR’s expectations and MYRADA’s own skills and commitments? At the end of several hours of thinking and discussions, the following statement was accepted by all the staff present:
Mission Statement of MYRADA KVK
To promote an integrated natural resource management and farming systems approach under complex, diverse, and riskprone conditions based on the principle of sustainable increase in productivity and equity through appropriate institutions and linkages that support ongoing changes in strategies, methods, and materials related to adaptive research and extension.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The MYRADA Krishi Vigyan Kendra at Talamalai started functioning from October 1, 1992 with the support of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The Kendra is committed to the concept of facilitating participatory processes andpromoting innovations. Through the MKVK Participatory Intervention Series we attempt to share our experiences from time to time withother field functionaries. We welcome your views and suggestions on how we can add more value to our work. MYRADA’s address atBangalore is: No.2, Service Road, Domlur Layout, BANGALORE 560 071.