Gangtok, 26 Mar:
Indian Council of Agricultural Research-National Organic Farming Research Institute [ICAR-NOFRI], Tadong, organized three-day training programme on “Livelihood Security of Tribal Farmers through Training cum Development Programme on Organic Crop Production and Animal Husbandry” for progressive tribal farmers of Lingchom GPU in West Sikkim from 23-25 Mar under Tribal Sub Plan [TSP] project.
The programme was organized in order to increase awareness and strengthen the progressive tribal farmers on organic crop production by dissemination of scientific knowledge along with input support, a press release informs.
During the programme, 41 farmers representing different Self Help Groups [SHGs] attended the training and benefited from the technical know-how and various inputs distributed like organically permitted bio-pesticides, bio-fungicides, bio-fertilizers, untreated seeds, and plastic sheets for low cost plastic tunnels and shelters.
Power point presentations were made for the farmers on scientific crop production technologies developed by ICAR-NOFRI for quick and easy learning of the techniques wherein farmers showed keen interest and appreciated ICAR’s efforts.
Joint Director, ICAR-NOFRI, Dr RK Avasthe, briefed about the overall activities of ICAR-NOFRI and stressed on the importance of scientific knowledge for commercial and intensive production of organic crops and animals to bring about perceptible change in the organic production scenario of the region.
“Hi-tech low cost vegetable production technologies, conservation agriculture technologies, organic nutrient management and animal production technologies are available with ICAR, which can be a good source of income for the rural youth,” said Dr Avasthe.
He further detailed about the importance of soil in crop production and urged the farmers to conserve soil by planting crops. He also emphasized the significance of soil health card and its role in organic nutrient management system.
Senior Scientist [Horticulture], Dr Ashish Yadav, welcomed all the farmers and briefed about ICAR-NOFRI’s role in developing technologies for organic production systems. He discussed about the intensive vegetable production techniques under low cost plastic tunnel and plastic rain shelters. He also detailed about the organic Sikkim mandarin, guava and kiwi fruit production techniques.
Likewise, Scientist [Plant Breeding], Chandan Kapoor, detailed about the organic seed production techniques and emphasized on the regular monitoring and maintaining isolation distances for quality seed production.
Scientist [Soil Science], Shaon K Das, discussed the organic nutrient management and soil sampling procedures. He detailed about the various organic nutrients sources and their application procedures in various crops.
Subject Matter Specialist [Plant Protection], Dr NJ Singh, discussed the organic pest management in major field and horticultural crops of Sikkim and organic oyster mushroom production techniques. He stressed upon the importance of good agricultural practices to minimize pest incidence and that regular monitoring of farm is important for better management of insects.
Scientist [Plant Pathology], Dr Chandramani Raj, talked about disease management in organic production system and preparations and applications of biopesticides and biofungicides solutions while SMS [Animal Science], Dr PK Pathak, interacted with the farmers and discussed the poultry, piggery, goatry and dairy management techniques for improving production and productivity. He also stressed on maintaining hygienic conditions in rearing the animals.
During the programme, Dr Yadav, Dr Singh and Dr Raj practically demonstrated the construction of low cost plastic tunnels, mushroom production techniques and preparations and applications of biopesticides and biofungicides solutions to the farmers at field.
Panchayat president, Phul Man Limboo, and member, 15-Lingchom GPU, West Sikkim, Tigen Zongha Limboo, motivated the farmers and expressed gratitude for the efforts of ICAR-NOFRI in empowering rural farmers through improved production technologies of different crops with critical input support system.