Before the period of independence and during few years after independence, the non-agricultural universities were entrusted with the responsibility of agricultural education and the State Department of Agriculture contributed to research and extension. The agricultural universities were established in this country from 1960 according to the recommendations of Radhakrishnan Commission (1948).
In pursuance of the Maharashtra Agricultural University (Krishi Vidyapeeth) Act 1967, initially, the Maharashtra Agricultural University (Krishi Vidyapeeth) was established for the entire Maharashtra State and started functioning from 29 March, 1968 with its office at Mumbai. The office was shifted to College of Agriculture, Pune in the year 1969. Subsequently in the same year, two agricultural universities and in 1972, two more agricultural universities were established. Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth (MPKV), Rahuri is one of them which was established in 1969 for the Western Maharashtra with its jurisdiction spread over ten districts namely, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar, Solapur, Pune, Nashik, Dhule, Jalgaon and Nandurbar. The University is named after the great social reformer Mahatma Jyotiba Phule. The Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri is the premier Agricultural University in Maharashtra that renders services to the farmers through Education, Research and Extension Education.
The Governor of Maharashtra state is the Chancellor of the University, The Minister of Agriculture, Maharashtra state is the Pro-Chancellor, while, Vice-Chancellor is the Head of the University. The Executive Council is the highest policy making body of the University. The Vice-Chancellor is the Chairman of this Council. The Council constitutes of nominated peoples representatives, eminent members from agriculture and development departments, scientists, representative of ICAR and progressive farmers. The University is assisted by Academic Council, Agricultural Research Council, Extension Education Council for co-ordination and review of academic, research and extension education programmes, seed production and agricultural development programmes.
MPKV has been bestowed with the " Sardar Patel Outstanding Institute Award – 2002 " by the ICAR, New Delhi for excellence in the field of Education, Research and Extension Education. Further the University has been recognized as the “Institute of Excellence” and have been provided with special funds of Rs. 100 cores by the Government of India in its Union budget of 2007-08.
The jurisdiction of Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri is spread over ten districts viz. Nandurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pune, Satara, Solapur, Sangli and Kolhapur in the state of Maharashtra.Total geographical area of jurisdiction is 116.67 lakh hectare.
The geographical area under jurisdiction of MPKV is 116.67 lakh ha which is 38 % of the State’s geographical area covering the ten districts of Western Maharashtra i.e. Nundurbar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pune, Solapur, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur. 5 agro-climatic zones viz. Scarcity Zone, Plain Zone, Sub-montane Zone, Western Ghat and Assured rainfall zone exists in the jurisdiction MPKV. The area, climate, important crops and soils of these zones are narrated below.
The University has seven constituent colleges of agriculture sciences located at Pune, Kolhapur, Dhule, Nandurbar, Karad, Muktainagar and Halgaon; one agricultural engineering college at Rahuri and one college for horticulture at Pune. The University also governs academically the 63 constituent colleges of agricultural science, agricultural engineering, food technology, bio-technology, agricultural business management in its jurisdiction. All these colleges offer the Graduate degree programmes. The combined intake capacity is 5574.
The University has the Post Graduate Institute at its central campus of Rahuri. The University offers Master degree at Post Graduate Institute, Rahuri, College of Agriculture, Pune, Kolhapur and Dhule; and Dr.A. S. College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology at Rahuri. The combined intake capacity is 372.
Further the Post Graduate Institute and College of Agricultural Engineering offer the Doctoral level programmes in agricultural science and engineering, respectively. The combined intake capacity is 84.
The University has been awarded with the World Bank sponsored Centre for Advanced Agricultural Science and Technology for Climate Smart Agriculture and Water Management under National Agricultural Higher Education Programme (NAHEP) of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. This Centre has started the Post Doctoral programme and will soon start the Post Graduate Diploma in climate smart agriculture and water management.
The University has 09 constituent and 76 affiliated Agricultural Technology Schools. The combined intake capacity is 5100.
The University has 27 research stations in 5 agro-climatic zones including 4 State level Crop Specialists, 4 Zonal Agricultural Research Stations and 17 Strategic and Verification Research Centres to conduct research programme on different aspects. Further the University currently implement 82 non-plan schemes funded by State Government, 45 All India Co-ordinated Research Projects (AICRPs) on different crops/plant sciences sponsored by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi; and one Centrally Sponsored Research Schemes funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
The University significantly contributed to the regional and national economy by investigating 270 crop varieties, 1577 research technologies and 39 farm implements.
The University has extensive network of outreach programmes for extension and dissemination viz., Agricultural Technology Information Centre, Regional Extension Centre (4), District Extension Centre (5), College Development Blocks, Communication Centre and Farmers-Scientists Forums.
Seventeen Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) for transfer of technology exist in the jurisdiction of the University, out of which 4 Krishi Vigyan Kendras at Dhule, Mamurabad (Jalgaon), Borgaon (Satara) and Mohol (Solapur) belong to the University. 13 KVKs are under NGOs and other institutes in the jurisdiction of MPKV.
The MPKV is committed to the mission of “Continuous improvement in agriculture and allied fields by development of quality human resource, carrying out the basic and applied research for providing appropriate technological solutions; and piloting the extension activities for efficient technology transfer to the farming community and agro-business entrepreneurs”