Kerala Agricultural University, Vellanikkara, Mannuthy, Thrissur (KAU Thrissur)

The Kerala Agricultural University is located almost in the middle of the Kerala State at Vellanikkara Near Mannuthy in Thrissur District, on the National Highway at about 13 km from the Thrissur Railway Station and 50 km from the International Airport, Kochi.

About Kerala Agricultural University - KAU

The Kerala Agricultural University is the primary and the principal instrumentality of the Kerala State in providing human resources, skills and technology, required for the sustainable development of its agriculture, defined broadly encompassing all production activities based on land and water, including crop production (agriculture), animal husbandry, forestry and fishery through interfacing and integrating education, research and extension in these spheres of economic endeavor.

The Government of Kerala is the major sponsor of the University providing more than 80 % funding to the total budget of the University.

The University under the Kerala Agricultural University Act is bestowed with responsibility and vested with jurisdiction extending to the entire geographic territory of the State in fulfilling its designated mandate.

The Kerala Agricultural University is mandated to provide the technology, skill and human resources for the scientific improvement of agriculture in the State. The University is actively involved in Agricultural education, research and extension for the last 50 years.

Significant reforms are made in teaching and training programmes to improve the quality of graduates, to suite the changing needs of the State as well as the emerging global demands.

The education programmes are reformed to include more practical component and entrepreneurship training in priority areas. All the colleges and courses of the University are accredited by ICAR. The College of Forestry is accredited by ICFRE.

History of The Kerala Agricultural University

The Kerala Agricultural University came into existence on February 24th 1971 and became operational since February 1st 1972, when the then existing two educational and 21 research institutions administered by the Departments of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry of the Government of Kerala, were brought under one umbrella for facilitating the sustainable and accelerated development of agriculture in the State. 

Agricultural education in Kerala had a modest beginning, when the erstwhile princely State of Travancore started a demonstration farm at Karamana in Thiruvananthapuram district to impart training on ‘modern’ agricultural practices. Later, agriculture was introduced as an optional subject in the middle school (1922) and intermediate (1953) classes.

During 1955, the erstwhile Government of Travancore-Cochin established two colleges, one each for Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, at Vellayani, in Thiruvananthapuram district and Mannuthy, in Thrissur district respectively.

Agricultural education in the State gained further momentum with the commencement of post-graduate programmes leading to MSc (Ag), M.V.Sc. and PhD degrees. The Randhawa Committee constituted by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Second Education Commission (1964-66) headed by Dr. D. S. Kothari had recommended the setting up of State Agricultural Universities (SAU) in each state of the country. However, it was only during the second phase an Agricultural University was established in Kerala. 

Establishment of the University is a significant milestone in the State’s agricultural education and research. As soon as the University was formed, the Agricultural College and Research Institute, which was earlier affiliated to the University of Kerala and the Veterinary College and Research Institute affiliated to the University of Calicut were transferred to KAU.

In addition, twenty one agricultural and animal husbandry research stations functioning under the State Government were also handed over to the University. A few more educational institutions were established by KAU in the due course. Of these, the College of Horticulture at Vellanikkara was established in 1972. College of Fisheries was started during 1979 at Panangad in Kochi.

The Rural Institute at Tavanur, Malappuram district, started during the time of British, was taken over by KAU in 1975. Initially known as Institute for Agricultural Technology (IAT), it was eventually upgraded as Kelappaji College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology.

Considering the need of the nation for trained manpower in forestry, and especially in forest management the University started College of Forestry, in the main campus at Vellanikkara, Thrissur district, during 1986.

To cater the growing educational and training needs in the dairying sector, a College of Dairy Science and Technology was also established during 1993.

One more agricultural college was established at Padanakkad in Kasaragod district during 1994 and a Veterinary college at Pookode in Wayanad district during 1999 to address the regional needs of North Malabar, the relatively less developed northern part of the State.

During 2010 the Kerala Agricultural University was divided and two new Universities, the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the Kerala University of Fisheries and Ocean Studies. Consequently, some of the colleges and research institutes were shifted to the new Universities.

Now KAU has six colleges, 15 research stations, four instructional farms, seven Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), a central training institute and an Academy for Climate Change Education and Research (ACCER).

The University offers UG programmes in five disciplines, M.Sc. in 26 disciplines, Integrated M.Sc. in two disciplines, and MBA in Agri-business Management and Ph.D. in 19 disciplines.

The Kerala Agricultural University strives to fulfill its commitment by reorienting and restructuring its programmes. In education at the graduate level, professionalism is strengthened with entrepreneurship; and at the post graduate level, training programmes are imparted in emerging areas integrating relevant disciplines such as biotechnology, natural resource management, environment, biodiversity, WTO and global trade.

The Kerala Agricultural University works on certain unique objectives. Undertaking basic applied and adaptive research to address current and future challenges of farming community, generating appropriate technologies to support sustainable growth of agricultural entrepreneurship, developing innovative extension strategies and formulate effective mechanisms for transfer of technology to institutions and farmers, locating and protecting biodiversity to preserve agro-ecosystem of the State and to document traditional knowledge and technologies are some of those objectives.

Academics in The Agricultural University of Kerala

The University follows semester system with course credit. Evaluation is both internal and external with 10 point grading system. The entire undergraduate programme is of eight semesters. In all its courses, KAU is following the curriculum and evaluation system of national pattern suggested by ICAR.

To improve the practical content, a system of Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programme has been introduced for the undergraduate programmes.

It provides diverse opportunities of professional experience and acquaints the students with various farm management tools, operations and exposes them to actual work situations.

Another novel programme for the undergraduate students is the experiential learning courses offered for one semester, where practical and entrepreneurship training in any field of the student’s choice is offered.

The research initiatives undertaken in the University are focused on increasing the productivity of crops, livestock and fish currently grown in the State.

Recognizing the significance of location specific research, the highly heterogeneous biophysical resource base of the state as a consequence of high rainfall coupled with undulating topography, research agenda is organized into six agro-ecological zones based agro-ecological homogeneity, and conducted in six Regional Research Stations.

For each of the given biophysical resource endowment, a system approach incorporating crop, livestock, forestry and fishery activities in resource use and management so as to maximize income on a sustainable basis, is pursued in research.

Commodity research is focused on thrust areas, which have been identified as critical in alleviating abiotic and biotic constraints and in optimizing potentials.

Co-curricular activities of KAU, Mannuthy, Thrissur

The students at KAU are encouraged to participate in various sports, games, literary competitions, etc. The inter-collegiate sports and games meet and art festival is a regular event in every calendar year.

National Service Scheme (NSS) encompasses regular activities such as tree planting, front line demonstrations in technology transfer, village level camps, blood donation camp, and cleanliness drive and campus beautification. National Cadet Corps (NCC) training is compulsory for B. Sc. Forestry students.

The educational institutions under the University have been providing high quality professional education and are reputed as one of the best agricultural Universities in India.

During 2003, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research adjudged KAU as the best performing University among the State Agricultural Universities in India and awarded “Sardar Patel - Outstanding ICAR Institution Award”.

The Kerala Agricultural University secured the first position in the All India Competitive Examination held in agriculture and allied subjects for the Junior and Senior Research Fellowships, conducted by ICAR during 2002.

The University won the performance award of ICAR during 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The University has been maintaining a steady position of excellence in agricultural education in the country.

Excellence in teaching, research and extension education activities has been the hallmark of KAU. Consequently, scientists of KAU have been rewarded by various honours, awards and other recognitions.

In particular, there have been 25 achievement awards, 12 best thesis awards of which seven are the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Awards of ICAR and 17 best paper awards to KAU scientists.

Resources in KAU Mannuthy, Thrissur

The Kerala Agricultural University has the strong support of various resources like an Information Technology Lab with facilities for customizing library and information service packages, database development and generating information. An electronic library has already been developed by the unit with the support of various national and international institutions.

This is the first electronic library for agriculture envisaged in India under any SAU or ICAR research Institute. For sophisticated library equipment that needs high power protection, UPS backups for twenty four hours are available.

There are ten college libraries coming under the unit. All of them have required minimum infrastructure like building, equipments and collections of print and non print documents. College of Agriculture Library, Vellayani, Trivandrum forms one of the major subsystems of KAULIS.

It has a collection of about 25000 books, 6500 back volumes of journals and 1500 PG and Doctoral Dissertations. The complete databases of these collections are computerized and online information retrieval is also possible. Internet facility is also provided at this library for searching world wide databases.

Various departments of the colleges are served by the department libraries having small collection of specific books on the subject specific to those departments which are required for day to day use.

Regional Agricultural Research Stations are served by libraries established in the concerned RARS with collections on subjects specific to that agro-climatic region and projects managed by them. Research stations are served by small libraries established in those stations with collections on topics on which their projects are carried out.

Book collections are developed at all college libraries, Regional Agricultural Research Stations and Research Station Libraries. Journals are subscribed centrally for various stations to avoid duplication between stations, on very costly foreign journals.

Such journals required by different stations are detained at the Central Library and information service based on them is to be provided by central library to all stations which require that journal. Cost effective and convenient e-journals are subscribed for speedy and efficient service.

A Centre for Library and Information Science functions for providing training programmes, and consultancy services. It offers courses on information handling, particularly in agriculture.

Some of the libraries under the reprography unit are offering reprographic services at subsidized rates. A Farmers’ Division has reading materials specially prepared for the farmers, facility for offering video programmes, interactive multimedia programmes and conducting exhibitions.

Admissions to The Kerala Agricultural University

Admissions to academic programmes of KAU are through entrance examinations conducted by CEE under the Government of Kerala. Master’s students are admitted through the entrance examination.

The doctoral students are admitted considering their academic merit, quality of thesis work proposed, work experience, publications and personal interview.

15% of the undergraduate seats and 25% of the PG seats comes under all India quota. A few seats are reserved for students from Lakshadweep. This provides a cosmopolitan status to the University, with students from other states in India.

In addition, students from West Asia and Africa also regularly approach the University for pursuing academic programmes.

Students are admitted to under graduate courses on the basis of the ranks obtained in the common entrance examination conducted by the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations under the Government of Kerala. Details can be had from government notifications issued from time to time.

Also visit the official site of the Commissioner of Entrance Examinations Kerala, Application forms for UG courses other than BSc can be obtained from institutions listed in the government notification regarding common entrance examination.

For the PG courses except Ph.D., selections are made by the committee constituted by the University for the purpose on the basis of written test and interview. Ph. D. admissions are on the basis of interview. Application forms for PG courses can be downloaded from .

Facilities in KAU Thrissur

The University has radiotracer laboratory and a central library with all facilities to link the six college libraries and national library network. The University is keeping pace with the application of information technology in all spheres of activity where IT opens up immense possibilities.

The central computer facility serves the basic requirements of the headquarters in word processing. The 800 seated fully air-conditioned central auditorium in the main campus is equipped with one of the finest acoustic systems and an Indoor Stadium at Vellayani campus add to the basic infrastructure for the complete development of the students’ potentials and the faculty.

Kerala Agricultural University School, Indoor Stadium and Geographic Information System (GIS) Centre at Vellanikkara are some of the other facilities.

Placement: Kerala Agricultural University is the principal technical human resource provider of the State as far as agriculture and allied sciences are concerned. Post graduates and doctorate degree holders from Kerala Agricultural University operate key research positions in the State and national-level organizations (ICAR, ICFRE), besides foreign universities and organizations.

Several of the KAU alumni have gained entry into the civil service, agricultural research service, state departments of agriculture, animal husbandry, forests and wildlife, cooperation, fisheries and various public sector corporations and cooperative sector organizations. Besides, they occupy senior positions in private companies, commercial banks, NABARD etc.

Every year several KAU students gain entry into foreign academic institutions for pursuing higher education. The KAU has career placement cells in all its affiliated colleges. These cells provide opportunities for potential employers to recruit KAU graduates.

Address for Communication: Kerala Agricultural University, KAU P. O, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala.

PIN Code KAU: 680 656

KAU Thrissur Phone: 0487 2438011