KERALA AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITY
|Agricultural Technology Information Centre, Mannuthy (ATIC)|
The Information and Sales Centre (I&SC), Mannuthy started functioning on 16-07-1993 as an independent unit under the administrative control of the Directorate of Extension. The primary objective of the centre was to act as the centre of excellence in the sphere of dissemination of technologies in relation to agriculture, veterinary and fisheries . Information on various activities of the University, literature related to agriculture and value added products were also provided from this centre. The Centre worked on a no profit-no loss mode and was created with an initial investment of Rs.24 lakhs.
Upgradation to ATIC
This successful intervention won the attention of ICAR and prompted the Council to develop the concept of Agriculture Technology Information Centre (ATIC). Fourty such centers were established through out India along the lines of I&SC. In the year 2000, the Information and Sales Centre was upgraded as ATIC fully funded by the ICAR under the NATP. KAU imbibed the spirit and mission of ATIC and together with the experience and lessons of managing the sales centre, began undertaking the envisioned activities of ATIC. The official operation of the ATIC commenced from 1-1-2000. The new ATIC building that has now been completed utilizing an amount of 43 lakhs has an area of 6180 sq. ft and is designed to house all activities for the benefit of the farming community.
To provide a single window delivery system for agricultural information as well as products and technologies developed by the University with a view to deliver quality services to the clientele.
To strengthen the farm advisory services by adopting a multi disciplinary approach to problem solving.
To provide mechanism for feedback from the end users to the research system.
To function as a repository of agricultural information pertaining to farming skills and practices, farm inputs and agricultural education.
To offer consultancy services to the different stakeholders in the state.
To offer training to unemployed youth to equip them to become job providers, rather than jobseekers as part of the ABARD project.
The ATIC Building
The ICAR provided funds for constructing a new ATIC building that was designed to suite the single window approach of technology dissemination. In the beginning of 2000, the construction of the ATIC building was outsourced to trade. From the tender notices received , the Executive Committee of KAU awarded the work to a reputed NGO called the Centre of Science and Technology for Rural Development (COSTFORD). An MOU was signed between KAU and COSTFORD for the purpose of construction.
A total area of 6180 sq.ft, as against 4200 sq.ft, prescribed by the ICAR
design was approved by the Committee. The Honourable Union Minister of state
for Agriculture, Sri Hukum Deo Narayan Yadav, laid the foundation stone of
ATIC on 14th May 2000. Dr. K. N. Shyamasundaran Nair, Vice Chancellor, KAU
presided over the foundation stone laying ceremony. Dr. R. Gopinathan,
Pro-Vice Chancellor, KAU and other important dignitaries attended the
ceremony. Construction of the ATIC building started in August 2000. The site
chosen for the building is a prime land adjacent to the Directorate of
Extension facing the National Highway (NH 47), connecting Kerala and
Coimbatore. Facilities like pick and pay counters for seeds, processed items,
publications, Agri-information, Internet cafe, rapid diagnostic labs, farm
clinic, exhibition unit, KAU Food counter, tele video parlours, conference
hall etc. are to be provided besides the required outdoor facilities for
housing ornamental plants, aquarium, pet animals and birds. A clock tower of
height 24 meters adorns the building. The total expenditure of civil works
amounts to 43.07lakhs. The ATIC building was completed in October 2002 and is
now ready for occupation. This building is expected to fulfill the hopes and
aspirations of the Keralites in general and farmers in particular with respect
to their technology and information needs in agriculture.
In the ATIC and its nearby production centres, all major agribusiness enterprises will be undertaken to meet the service requirements of the ATIC users. These include :
Production of elite planting materials
Seeds and seedlings of vegetables
Fingerlings of commercially important and ornamental fish species
Manufacture of processed fruit and vegetable products
Meat and meat products
Milk and milk products
Preparation of vermi compost
Coir pith compost
Mushroom and spawn production
Production of earthworms
Techniques of farm level value addition
Training in agribusiness entrepreneurship development in the selected areas will be provided. After successful completion of the programme, the trainees will be given accreditation by KAU whereby he/she will be eligible to take up commercial activity in the particular area of his accreditation (Eg. Production of grafts of fruit crops, Mushroom spawn production). As far as possible arrangements for marketing of such produce through ATIC will be provided. In suitable cases, accredited trainees will be permitted to market their products through stalls set up exclusively for the purpose in the premises of ATIC and other KAU counters in selected primary agricultural Co-operative Banks.
Visitors for entertainment
Viewing video/CD/ Slide programmes
Discussion with scientists/consultation for Project Reports
Students from educational Institutions
Attending subject matter specific demonstrations
Visitors for perishable/farm produce sales counter
Welcome - cum - reception counter
Seed, publications, products- pick and pay counter
Processed products counter with freezing facility
Video/CD parlour / slide viewing cubicles
Video Conferencing Facility
Diagnostic labs for quick diagnosis( pest, disease, leaf, soil, water, manure testing)
High light exhibition exhibiting latest findings. Exhibits will be reviewed on a monthly basis
Project Report Bank
Reading Room and library
Goods/ inputs receiving centre
Soil and water testing facility
Intercom connection to all rooms including gate security staff
Indoor trolley-best quality
Cash custody arrangement
Billing System -LAN
Store room for seed publications etc.
Drinking water points
Live Specimens display area high lighting recent achievements.
Technology demonstration points
Bulk storage area for plants
Hardening room for tissue cultured material
Perishable/farm produce sales counter on the roadside
Space for Onam/ Bakrid/ X-mas fair markets to be arranged adjacent to the perishable produce distribution counter.
Houses for pet animals/birds
Drinking water points
News Boards for daily information
Ample parking space in the front area
KAU Website browsing
Conducted tours for farmers to research stations of KAU
Accreditation system for trained producers through co-operative / ABARD / NGO linkage
Revitalization of 'earn while you lean programme' of students and motivated production through incentive-linked labour management mechanism
Sales linked productivity allowance to trainees and staff
Augmenting production system for planting material, other biologicals and finished products through satellite station network of KAU