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ICAR's Impactful Program Paves the Way for Prosperity in Purulia

Based on livestock and mushroom-based integrated farming systems, the event promoted the livelihood improvement of Purulia farmers.

KJ Staff
Farmers Will Benefit from ICAR's Program in Purulia
Farmers Will Benefit from ICAR's Program in Purulia

In a concerted effort to address the challenges faced by small and poor farmers in the plateau region of Purulia, West Bengal, the ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region (RCER), Patna, in collaboration with Vivekananda Vikas Kendra, Kalimati, hosted a capacity building cum farmer-scientist interaction program. Held from March 13 to 15, 2024, the program, part of the Institute's flagship extension program PRAYAS under Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP), aimed at fostering sustainable livelihoods and empowering farmers, particularly women.

More than 250 farmers, predominantly women, hailing from the tribal communities of Santhal and Munda, actively participated in the program. The event was a platform for farmers to voice their concerns and exchange views with scientists and resource persons present, including representatives from ATMA.

Dr. Anup Das, Director of ICAR RCER, Patna, shed light on the Government of India's Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) program and its objectives, emphasizing the importance of low-water requiring agricultural components such as mushrooms, animal husbandry, fruits, multipurpose trees, and millets in enhancing livelihoods and employment opportunities for farmers. The adoption of the village for three years entails tailored training and inputs to uplift the livelihoods of the community.

Besides, Dr. Arun Kumar Singh, Head of FSRCHPR, Ranchi, encouraged farmers to diversify their crop portfolio by incorporating vegetables like tomatoes, brinjal, sponge gourd, ridge gourd, bottle gourd, pumpkin, and ash gourd, suitable for the region. Notably, sixty-two women farmers received high-quality chicks and starter feeds, alongside customized poultry cages and mushroom production houses, as part of the program's initiatives.

Dr. Ajit K. Jha, Sr. Scientist from FSRCHPR, Ranchi, provided comprehensive training on oyster mushroom production to women farmers while Dr. Rakesh, Scientist at ICAR RCER, Patna, educated farmers on poultry and cattle disease management, distributing essential medicines. Additionally, farm mechanization techniques, mulching technology, and drip irrigation practices were demonstrated and discussed with farmers by experts.

The day concluded with a vote of thanks extended by Sh. A Bhattacharjee, Secretary of Vivekananda Vikas Kendra, Kalamati, Purulia, marking a significant step towards sustainable agriculture and livelihood enhancement in the tribal communities of Purulia.

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