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CIWA Empowers Women Farmers in Odisha with Sustainable Farming Technology

The system ensures dietary diversity and nutritional security for landless farm families.

Shivangi Rai
Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (CIWA), Bhubaneswar
Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (CIWA), Bhubaneswar

In Bhubaneswar, scientists of the Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (CIWA) have developed a novel technology that will substantially benefit landless farmers by providing them with multi-sectoral income generation avenues.

The technology-integrated vertical nutri-farming system (IVMFS) can be used for both indoor and outdoor farming. The system assures dietary diversity and household nutritional security to landless farm families.

It is a low-cost durable formation of iron that can easily be set up in the homestead backyard. It will offer year-round availability of nutrient-rich vegetables, mushrooms, meat, and eggs while offering a subsidiary source of income to the farm families.

Arun Kumar Panda, Principal Scientist at CIWA said that the system comprises a three-layered 7 feet fabricated iron structure that can be fixed on a 6x4 metre area. 

Low-income families can meet their requirement for minerals, vitamins, and plant protein through regular access to nutrient-rich vegetables, mushrooms, eggs and meat obtained from this system.

He said, “They can plough vegetables on the top layer, mushrooms in the middle and rear poultry in the bottom. If they want to do only vegetable cultivation, they can farm tubers on the top layer and green vegetables in the remaining two layers. The cultivation can be done using controlled-environment technology.”

He said since cultivable land is dwindling due to rising population pressure, industrial growth, and urbanisation, vertical cultivation technology can be beneficial for farmers, who hold a small piece of land beside their homes and depend on agriculture and allied activities. With the help of technology, farmers can produce good quantities of nutritious and quality fresh food all throughout the year, without depending on skilled labour, high soil fertility, favourable weather, or high-water usage.

Mridula Devi, CIWA director said IVNFS technology will ensure dietary diversity and household nutritional security to landless farmer families. A team of scientists comprising Tania Seth, Panda, and Chaitrali Shashank Mhatre has developed the IVNFS.

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