History of ATI
Agricultural Training Institute is the sole organization of the province under the administrative control of Agriculture Department which is producing the front line soldiers (Field Assistants and Veterinary Assistants) of various wings of Agriculture Department since its establishment in 1957-58. Besides, ATI has also been a source of capacity building of officers and officials under various schemes and developmental projects. Till the year 2012, ATI was offering 2-years’ certificate courses of Field Assistants and Veterinary Assistants where the passed out students were inducted in various wings of Agriculture Department. A large number of these trained individuals have also joined national / international organizations and NGOs. A brief history of this institute is given as follow;
The Agricultural Training Institute was started in 1957-58 at Tarnab Farm, Peshawar which imparted 1-Year training course of Field Assistant till 1965. Later on, the course was converted to 2-Years’ training course. On winding up of the Village Aid Program, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Government of Pakistan, handed over this institute to Agriculture Department vide notification No. SO(BDIV)3/40-60(II)P dated 25.06.1961 and thereafter the Agriculture Training Institute was shifted from Tarnab Farm to the present building in 1961.
Later on, during the year 1965-66, on the recommendation of Food and Agriculture Commission, the 2-Years’ Field Assistant certificate course was initiated besides in-service trainings for the staff of Agriculture Department in the same institute which was already in operation. Similarly, under the 3rd Education Project, the institute was strengthened and as such 2-Years’ training course in the field of Veterinary Assistant was also launched in the year 1977-78 which became the regular feature of the institute.
The present building of ATI was constructed back in 1922 as normal training college (Vocational Training) by Education Department which was temporarily loaned to Peshawar University. In 1953, a portion of the same building was handed over to Agriculture Department for establishing the Agriculture Extension Training Centre. The University of Peshawar and Agriculture Extension Wing of Agriculture Department both temporarily occupied the building.
In 1955, the Peshawar University vacated the building and thus the whole building was occupied by the Agriculture Extension Services (NWFP) which was later on re-designated as the Village Aid Program. On valuation of Education Department, the Agriculture Department purchased this building on 09.07.1959 at a cost of Rs. 448,587/-. Hence, Agriculture Extension obtained full possession and legitimate legal ownership of the building. In 1956, the Village Aid Program spent more funds and modified the said building with further constructions at a cost of Rs. 11,15,210/-.
One of the several reasons for less than satisfactory performance of agriculture extension services was the lack of any proper service structure and promotion prospects which led to de-motivation and frustration amongst these cadres. In an effort to improve the extension service delivery in the province, the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa notified an upgraded service structure for Field Assistants and Veterinary Assistants in 2010-11 which refreshed and rejuvenated the field staff.
In return, the improved service delivery from this cadre was the logical demand of the government that took shape of conditionalities of the up-gradation notification. Hence, the required qualification for induction to these cadres was enhanced from 2-years’ certificate course to 3-years’ diploma in the relevant disciplines. This strategic move necessitated the introduction of 3-years’ diploma programs and being the sole training institute of the province of its kind, ATI was tasked to take the lead for ensuring this service delivery improvement happen in reality.
Consequently, the Agriculture Training Institute proactively worked and developed the curriculum for 3-Years’ Diploma programs (Diploma in Agriculture Sciences-DAS and Diploma in Veterinary Sciences-DVS) in active consultation with all wings of Agriculture Department and Agriculture University Peshawar. Similarly, the institute is also affiliated with the Agriculture University Peshawar for qualitative improvement and extended recognition of the diploma programs across the country. Following the new courses, the ATI has enrolling diploma level trainees from the session 2012-13.