Centre for Integrated Rural Development

Alleviation of rural poverty has been one of the avowed objectives of planned development in India. Accordingly, the government policies and programmes have been designed. However, several drawbacks have been identified from time to time in implementation of these programs. It was therefore realized that a sustainable strategy based on increasing the productive employment opportunities and thereby eliminating poverty is required. Integrated rural development aims at both the economic betterment of people as well as greater social transformation.

Realizing its social responsibility, GITAM has established the Centre for Integrated Rural Development (CIRD) in December, 2009 with the aim of bringing about integrated rural development through technology transfer to the farmers for improvement in agricultural production and quality of life. The centre would also focus on injecting new technological inputs in agriculture and agro-based industries such as bio-technology, bio-diversity, eco-technology, etc., and also encourage the farmers to grow tree-born oil seeds for bio-diesel production.

The centre would act as a catalyst to improve the quality of human life in rural India through its pilot demonstrations and extension programmes. The approach is based on the principle of social inclusion in access to technologies to bridge the gap between the rich and poor.

Objectives
With the sole aim of “poverty alleviation and improvement of standards of life” for the rural community of India, the centre aims at:
    •  Dissemination of improved technical know-how through participatory research to enable the targeted    group to acquire better skill for their work.
    •  Showing newer income generating means through utilization of the resources available around them by  organizing training programmes, workshops and seminars.
    •  Encouragement of farmers in dry belts to cultivate plants which give oil seeds for bio-diesel production.
    •  Promotion of environmental quality and management in relation to public health in rural areas.
    •  Development of technology for production of bio-fertilizers, bio-pesticides and organic farming.

The centre has set up bio-diesel plants and started producing bio-diesel on experimental basis. After standardization, the use of technology will be spread to rural areas for its commercialization for the benefit of farmers. Extension services will also be rendered in the areas of input production required for bio-diesel and ways of marketing of bio-diesel produced.

Activities of the Centre
    • The centre has organized an awareness programme in dryland oil-seed cultivation for the farmers of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam Districts.
    • The centre has designed a machine optimizing oil production from pongamia and jatropha seeds to produce bio-diesel at a low cost. The same machine is placed in the centre's labs and being used for bio-diesel production.
    • Experts from NABARD have been invited for discussions to identify areas for collaboration.
    • The centre is actively participating in the extension programmes of integrated rural development.
    • The centre has applied to funding agencies for financial assistance for various projects proposed to be taken up.