DHARMAPURI: Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) in Dharmapuri has taken a 'Digital Agricultural' approach to introduce and educate farmers on innovations in agricultural technologies.
The training to farmers, which was earlier given in offline mode, is now available online and the sessions are uploaded on applications like YouTube and Spotify. Farmers have welcomed this approach, which keeps them posted on the latest agricultural techniques.
According to sources, ATMA under the Agriculture department is aiming for sustainable agricultural development by focusing on educating farmers on the latest technologies, tips and techniques for cultivation.
ATMA training programme is conducted in all eight blocks in Dharmapuri district, where researchers and resource persons from various fields directly visit each block. Here they discuss and demonstrate the various new technologies in Agriculture providing a hands-on approach. Now to ensure that these innovations reach a broader audience, ATMA has taken its training and techniques online.
Commenting on the approach, Deputy Director of Agriculture Gunasekhar said, "In the past six months, 151 farmers from eight blocks have completed training from us. The training focuses on sustainable development through the latest Agricultural technologies. The agenda or the lesson plan is decided by the Block Level ATMA committee members, our role is to connect the resource person and farmers."
"The resource person could be a veteran farmer, a scientist or a professor well versed in the field. They would provide theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge on issues faced by the farmers in a particular block," Gunasekhar said.
"Recently we have taken a digital approach to ensure that this training reaches more farmers. Every session of our training is uploaded on 'YouTube', 'Spotify' and other Social Networking sites. Farmers having issues with understanding the cultivation techniques can directly learn from the videos," he said.
"Some farmers may not be able to attend our training camps or people who have attended our training could have trouble recollecting the training. These videos and audios could help them improve their understanding. So far we have uploaded over 90 videos in the past month," he added.
V Samikannu, a farmer from Pappireddipatti block said, "Over the past two years mealy bugs have been an issue in our locality. ATMA along with various researchers had conducted a training programme at our block, where we were introduced to a cost-effective means to eliminate mealybugs."
I had learnt various pest management, but at times I may forget some key points, at these times these videos could be crucial. Further farmers who do not know the mealy bus issue could learn through the videos themselves," he said.
Another farmer, D Ramu from Balajangamahalli said, "An online approach to spread farming techniques will benefit farmers greatly. Many farmers, who were not able to physically attend the meeting which is held across the district will benefit from the online videos."