Reaching the Unreached
Agriculture continues to play a fundamental role in the Indian economy. Since independence, India’s agricultural policy has aimed at achieving self-sufficiency and thanks to a successive number of agricultural reforms; India has managed to increase its production dramatically. However accessing the new innovations in Agriculture to replicate the technologies on their field is still a nightmarish problem for the rural farming communities. One of our thrust areas for Coodu Trust is to address this problem. Over the years we played a bridge role between the research agencies and the grass roots communities for propagating technologies to rural farming communities through our watershed and other project activities. To test and demonstrate various agriculture innovations one among the initiative is to start practicing organic farming techniques in our trust land. With the technical support from Tamil Nadu Agriculture University (TNAU) and Kirishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), we have initiated precision farming with micro irrigation technologies in small piece of land as a demo activity. These activities are managed as a self supported activity now for the benefit of the rural farming communities in our project area. We have approached National Agriculture Innovation Project (NAIP), under Indian Council for Agriculture Research (ICAR), Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi for a farmer’s livelihoods project which is under consideration now and we have established Farmers Academy at Velliyanai, Karur district for farming communities.
Conventional, intensive tillage farming systems have greatly increased crop production and labour efficiency. But, serious questions are being raised about the energy-intensive nature of these systems and their adverse effects on soil productivity and environmental quality. This concern has led to an increasing interest in organic farming systems because they may reduce some of the negative effects of conventional agriculture on the environment. The organically-farmed soil had significantly higher organic matter content, thicker topsoil depth, higher polysaccharide content, lower modulus of rupture and less soil erosion than the conventionally-farmed soil.
A debate was organized comparing the conventional and organic farming system between the farmers group encompassing two group of progressive farmers of Kadavur block of Karur district with 25 number of farmers in each group, at the training centre at Mylampatti village. This gave a positive solutions of the organic farming system.
Crop production began perhaps 10,000 years ago. Some ancient farmers developed sustainable agriculture practices that allowed them to produce food and fiber and manage plant diseases for thousands of years with few outside inputs. Many of their successful practices havebeen forgotten or abandoned in developed countries, but some are still used by traditional farmers in a wide variety of environments in developing countries. Traditional farming usually is based on practices that have been passed down for many generations.
We envisaged towards the objective of training the farmers with an overview of the range of methods used to restrict plant diseases without reliance on external or synthetic inputs. Perhaps 3 number of trainings were imparted to 72 number of beneficiaries with the eminent resource persons from Gandhigram Rural University, in the aspect of indigenous traditional knowledge in the farming system.
The emergence of horticulture as a growth engine of agriculture sector in recent years have a great of an cultivation, processing and marketing of vegetables, fruits and flowers in the state. Though Tamil Nadu ranks first in banana production and second in productivity, ranks first in productivity and second in production of tapioca, ranks first in productivity of cabbage and ranks first in productivity of flowers and the marketing intelligence system is an lacuna among the farming community. They are not aware of various subsidies are being provided to the farmers.
Training was imparted to 75 horticultural crop growers of Dindigul with the technically competent scientist from Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Gandhigram Rural University for 2 days on market led extension of horticultural produces. They were also give awareness on the various schemes available for the farmers from governmental organizations.Exposure visit was performed with 120 farmers of Vadamadurai block to Nilgiris market, Oddanchataram market and Tamil Nadu Agricultural University for 3 days under IWDP, as we believe that Seeing is believing.