The Directorate of Agriculture (Research & Education) was established during 2001-2002 vide order No.A.11018/1/2001-AGR dated 01.10.2002 and the expost-facto approval for bifurcation of the Directorate of Agriculture into “Directorate of Agriculture (Research & Education) and Directorate of Agriculture (Crop Husbandry & Minor Irrigation) was conveyed by GAD vide their letter No ID.No.A.46013/2/2006-GAD/53 Dated 30.05.2007. The responsibility of the Directorate is to transfer improved Agricultural Technologies to the farmers through different schemes. In order to fulfil the objective of the Department, the programmes are being implemented through different agencies as indicated below :
a) Integrated Training Centre : Integrated Training Centre was established under Agriculture Department during 1981 at Hnahthial. Lunglei District, Mizoram. The I.T.C is situated in the Southern part of the Hnahthial Town and the whole Complex covers an area 25 Ha.
Mizoram was placed under Union Territory from 1972 and it attained Statehood in 1986. Prior to these, it was one of the Districts under Assam. The Agriculture Department was headed by a District Agricultural Officer who was stationed at Aizawl. Lunglei was the Sub-Divisional Headquarter. The existing staff was a mere handful. With the declaration of Mizoram as Union Territory and on to Statehood 14 years later, the situation of the Department improved with many posts created. However, technically trained persons were lacking to fill in the technical posts such as Agril. Extension Officer (AEO), Gram Sevak etc. Candidates to undergo training for B.Sc (Agriculture) were called for, and many fresh candidates were sent to study B.Sc (Agriculture) in various Agriculture Universities in different States and these candidates were absorbed by the Department. At the same time vacant posts of Gram Sevak were filled up by untrained matric passed candidates due to lack technically trained man-power. With this background the Agriculture Department Established itself into a new Directorate in the year 1972. However, lack of technical training on the part of the fields staff on subject such as uses of Plant Protection Chemicals, fertilizers, agronomic practices etc. created a very big problem in the implementation of Agriculture programmes. To overcome these problems, the Department took a giant step and set up a training Centre for the VLWs known as the Integrated Training Centre at Hnahthial which was formally inaugurated in 1981. The Centre trained the in-service as well as pre-service trainers in the field of Basic Agricultural Science such as Agronomy. Plant Protection, Soil Science, Horticulture, Extension Science. The training programme is of two year duration. One academic year is divided into 4 Semester. Practical in a form of Field Demonstration is an important activity of the trainees. Handling of farm machineries such as Tractor with attachments, Power Tiller were also included in the training activities. A stipend of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand) per trainee per month and a book grant of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand) per year was sanctioned by the Government of Mizoram for Pre-service trainees. At present most of the admitted in the centre are rural youths desiring to be trained in agriculture and allied subject for self employment and to apply the knowledge in their own farms.
b) Krishi Vigyan Kendra : Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is an innovative science based institution which undertakes vocational training of farmers, farm women and rural youth; conducts On-farm Research for technology assessment, refinement and demonstration in different climatic zones prevailing in the districts and to promptly demonstrate the latest agricultural technologies to the farmers as well as the extension workers. All KVKs irrespective of their year of establishment are funded 100% by the ICAR.
Seven (7) Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) or Agricultural Science Centre, an innovative institution for imparting vocational training to the practicing farmer, school drop outs and field extension functionaries had been established as indicated below:
(i) KVK Kolasib under Kolasib District (Established in 1978)
(ii) KVK Hnahthial under Hnahthail District (Established in 1994)
(iii) KVK Khawzawl under Khawzawl District (Established in 2002)
(iv) KVK Vanlaiphai under Vanlaiphai District (Established in 2005)
(v) KVK Lawngtlai under Lawngtlai District (Established in 2005)
(vi) KVK Saiha under Saiha District (Established in 2005)
(vii) KVK Lengpui under Lengpui District (Established in 2005)
c) Agril. Farm and Quality Seeds : The Directorate is looking after one (1) departmental farm situated at Chemphai, Bilkhawthlir. Beside this, the seven (7) KVKs under the Government of Mizoram are having their own farms. The operational costs of these farms are met from the fund available under the scheme. Three Seed Processing Units had been established at Chemphai farm, KVK Mamit and KVK Lawngtlai. Also four (4) units of Seed Testing Laboratories had been established at KVK Mamit, KVK Saiha, KVK Kolasib and KVK Lunglei. The available infrastructure is being fully utilized in the certification of the seeds produced in the farm as well as from the farmer’s field. In this way sufficient quantity of certified seeds were produced in the farms which are sold to the farmers. Also demonstration of new farming system with improve package of practices were conducted in the farms for dissemination of new technology to the farmers.