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  • Writer's pictureMohit Modi

ISCI Foundation organized smart agriculture program to increase rural livelihood

A training program on drip irrigation and horticulture development was organized by ISCI Foundation at Ghatigaon, Gwalior. ISCI Foundation started this program last year in the month of July and under this program 25 tribal farmers have been trained on improving agriculture practices to tackle the problem of sustainable livelihood using modern agriculture practices.

ISCI Foundation’s “Smart Agriculture to Enhance Rural Livelihoods” Program promotes sustainable livelihoods in India by building the capacities of farmers, including women farmers, on improved agricultural practices and new technologies that increase crop yields, conserve water, and improve soil fertility. The team works with small-holder, tribal and marginal farmers to facilitate the adoption of advanced and sustainable agricultural practices that include soil health management, crop production management, water-efficient irrigation techniques, and horticulture development.

Less-efficient traditional farming practices in India limit farmers from realizing the full potential of their landholding. In addition to the traditional challenges, climate change is a major concern in agriculture that impacts small farmers. Deviations in rainfall, changing temperatures, efficiency, and availability of inputs, all have an impact on the crop yield, quality of the produce, and overall output.

SAERL Program uses a learning-by-doing approach to build on the knowledge and capabilities of farmers to maximize their crop productivity and better manage soil health. It lays heavy emphasis on regular capacity building and on-field demonstrations to educate farmers on sustainable agricultural practices.

ISCI Foundation started this program last year in the month of July and under this program 25 tribal farmers have been trained on improving agriculture practices. Training on the drip irrigation systems, use of the mulching sheets, and horticulture development have been imparted practically to the farmers in the tribal area near Gwalior. The hands-on training was given to the farmers on the field. They learned to prepare the field, the procedure to get the soil tested, install of drip irrigation system and mulching sheet, preparation of nursery using advanced solutions such as cocopeat, and use of drip irrigation system to irrigate the field. They also learned to use fertilizers wisely. Under this process, the tribal farmers cultivated capsicum and green chili on 2 acres of barren land.

In the Ghatigaon region of Gwalior farmers only use traditional farming practices to take a single crop either of mustard, wheat, or rice only because of the limited water resource. When the team of ISCI Foundation introduced the barren land to farmers with a limited supply of water, they said that this is a useless piece of land and no crop can be grown on it. But during the 5-month training on the same land, they have produced a good quality crop of capsicum and chili with a yield that can double their yearly income. One of the farmers named Hotam Adiwasi said that by using these methods of farming they will be able to increase their yearly income and can live a better life.

The training was imparted by Mr. Brajesh Gupta, Territory sales manager, Nunhems, Mr.Kaushal Kishore, area manager, Kothari Group and Arvind Prajapati, Drip Line fitter, Kothari Group. Sweta Modi, Director of ISCI Foundation said that modern horticulture practices are the only way a small marginalized farmer can have a sustainable livelihood and quality income.

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