Activities of CIKS can broadly be classified into research and extension work. The extension work comprises training programmes and production of educational material.
The vision of CIKS is to promote “indigenous knowledge and resources for sustainable growth in agriculture with food and nutrition security for farmers”.
CIKS mission is to move towards and establish a National Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, to ensure food and nutrition security while sustaining and enriching the Natural Resource Base through knowledge, scalable models and creating enabling environment. Its core values is commitment to work towards poverty alleviation through capacity building programs to enhance sustainable livelihood opportunities while ensuring environmental sustainability with focus on the farming community on the whole and small and marginal farmers specifically.
The focus areas of the CIKS are biodiversity conservation, organic agriculture and Vrkshayurveda (traditional Indian plant science), with the objective of exploring and developing the contemporary relevance and applications of Indian knowledge systems. Currently, CIKS is working towards building a technical clearing house for sustainable agriculture and are already promoting community based organisations, self help groups, producer companies and farmer federations.
CIKS is directly working with the farmers and farmer’s groups in seven districts of Tamil Nadu, namely in Kanchipuram, Tiruvannamalai, Dindigul, Nagapattinam, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu and Karaikkal in the Union Territory of Puducherry.