Allow agriculture college students to intern with industry too, say experts

Former additional secretary, agriculture, Dr GK Vasanth Kumar said, “For students, it is hands-on work experience and interaction with farmers."

Published: 03rd October 2022 02:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2022 02:03 AM   |  A+A-


Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: There is a time to sow, and a time to reap. This is that season of the year when young agriculture college students complete their village stay of over 12 weeks which is part of their curriculum but experts said they need to include internships with industry as well to take the sector forward. 

Former additional secretary, agriculture, Dr GK Vasanth Kumar said, “For students, it is hands-on work experience and interaction with farmers. Understanding the problems of farmers is beneficial for students. In the future, the universities should also include similar interactions with the industry.’’

Farmer leader Kurubur Shantakumar said, “There are around 1,150 farmer produce industries in the state and over 12,000 across the country. The government has invested about Rs 2 lakh crore in these industries and agriculture students could benefit from being given similar internships with them as well.’’

The objective is to provide students with an opportunity to understand the rural situation and grassroots problems of farmers and provide them with diagnostics and remedial knowledge. It is also to enhance the student's communication skills, self-confidence and competence. The long rural stay teaches them how to see through the transfer of technology to farm fields and makes farmers aware of rural development programmes.

Agriculture Minister BC Patil told TNIE, “This is a practical programme for agriculture students, like the horsemanship for medical students. The students earn valuable practical knowledge through this exposure, while farmers benefit from scientific knowledge that is offered at universities.’’

Shubha Dinesh, a student of Agriculture College, Hassan that comes under the University of Agriculture Sciences, Bengaluru, said, “We stayed and interacted with residents of six different villages in Arsikere taluk for three months as part of the Rural Agriculture Work Experience. Seventeen of us stayed at Thalaluru village, which has a population of around 1,600. We taught farmers how to benefit from the transfer of technology related to agriculture, while we learnt some traditional agricultural practices. We would appreciate it if they gave us some farming experience”

She said, “We gave farmers business ideas and also created awareness on parthenium eradication, crop insurance, agroforestry, green manuring, crop survey app, pests and diseases of major crops, like coconut and tomato.  We demonstrated Azolla production, liquid organic manures, root feeding in coconut, bio fertilisers and borewell recharging methods.

We conducted campaigns on the relationship between human health and soil health. We have been preparing a crop museum to exhibit newly released, high-yielding, hybrids of different crops from UAS, GKVK, and Bengaluru. We also developed the nutrition garden concept to stress the importance of nutritional vegetables in rural households.’’


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