Dr. U. Jaikumaran, Professor of Agronomy and Head Agricultural Research Station, Mannuthy is working in Kerala Agricultural University for last 35 years. He has done his BSc (Agri) and MSc (Agri) from College of Agriculture Vellayani and PhD from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Though he is an Agronomist, he has contributed mostly in Agricultural Mechanization Extension Services. He has conceptualized the ‘Food Security Army’ towards motivating and brining more and more youngsters to farming sector. This concept was institutionalized and implemented in Kerala Agricultural University. This ‘Food Security Army’ training programmes got tremendous appreciations and 210 sessions of Food Security Army Training has been completed. Around 4660 people had been trained as Food Security Army. He has also conceptualized several complimentary concepts to this unique concept of Food Security Army like Mobile Agro Machinery Training Unit (MAMTU), Mobile Agro Machinery Repair and Service Unit (MAMRSU), Agro Machinery Operation Service Centre (AMOSC), Agro Service Centre (ASC), Water Security Force (WSF) and Garden Force (GF) as part of Food Security Army Programme. He was instrumental in bringing large scale adoption of mechanization in the state. He has also conceptualized Green Cadet Crops (GCC) in schools to motivate students towards farming sector. Now these concepts has got very good acceptance not only in Kerala but also in other states (Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, etc.). The concept of FSA and factualization of this concept was accepted by the GOI. GOI had published it as a success story in the coffee table book of RKVY in the year 2012. And it was the only one success story from Kerala published by GOI during that year.
Dr. U. Jaikumaran is also a Paddy expert of the state and involved in several innovative programmes for rejuvenating paddy cultivation in the State. One of the paddy mega mechanisation programnme “Operation Ponnamutha 300/5” – completing 300 acres of paddy seed transplanting using mechanical transplanter in five days is a feather in his cap. Introduction of ‘Paddy Straw Baling Service’ is a remarkable achievement he has made in paddy cultivation in the State. He has been instrumental in organizing and setting up ‘Agro Service Centres’ and ‘Farmer Service Centres’ in the state. Several farm machinery were modified to suit the requirement of farmers through the Research and Development wing of the Research Station under his strong leadership. Kera suraksha coconut climber, Coconut basin digger, Paddy straw baler, Banana TC explant extractor etc are some of this contributions. Because of the exemplary work, Agricultural Research Station, Mannuthy has been elevated as ‘Centre of Excellence in Agricultural Mechanisation Extension Services & Research and Development’ in the State. He is also project leader of the several mechanisation projects like Farm Mechanisation Support Project (Rs. 250 lakhs), Development of Family Power Tiller (Rs. 20 lakhs), Assistive Technology for Hand Operated Agro Machinery for the Physically Challenged (Rs. 10 lakhs), Refinement of Kera Suraksha Coconut Climber (Rs. 14 lakhs).
He has been awarded good service entry by KAU in 1995 and best Course Director award for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. He has been accredited as an ‘Ashoka ‘India Fellow 2011 by ‘Ashoka Innovators for the Pubic India’ considering his contributions as a change maker of the world. Agricultural Research Station, Mannuthy is working as a flagship station of KAU. Dr. U Jaikumaran has published nearly 40 publications in journals and authored 10 books/bulletins.