KOLLAM: A model capacity building programme for farmers in organic practices has been launched in the district. The beneficiaries are farmers covered by nine Krishi Bhavans under the Kollam corporation and Mukhathala block panchayat.
The programme is part of the Bhartiya Prakritik Krishi Padhati (BPKP), a joint initiative of the union and state departments of agriculture. It began with a day-long training for selected farmers in the preparation of organic manure on Friday.
The programme will introduce sustainable and affordable methods for farmers which will reflect in the market in the future, said Preetha L, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Eravipuram. "The prices of organic produce are high and hence unaffordable to a majority of the population. If farmers can develop organic manure on their own, the cost of cultivation can be brought down. Consumers will get the crops at affordable prices," she told The New Indian Express.
The project area, 500 hectares of land under the nine Krishi Bhavans, has been divided into ten microclusters. The farmers will be trained in the production and use of 15 types of organic manure during three years. On Friday, twenty selected farmers were given training in the preparation of six types of manures. The next step is community-level training and production at the Krishi Bhavans. The Farmer Interest Group in each Krishi Bhavan will be given Rs 87,500 for the preparation of selected types of manures which will be distributed to local farmers. Later, demonstrations will be held in individual plots. Eighteen plots will be selected in each microcluster.
The state Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers' Welfare also plans a Karshika Mela for the display and sale of the crops produced under the programme. The programme will help in revitalising the earth through the production of beneficial microbes, says Preetha. "The demonstrations will help us to take the message of organic farming benefits to the farmers falling under the 500 hectares. Results will be collected and there will be an organic certification for farmers," she said.