Interventions: Climate Change and Sustainable Development:
Capacity Building...

Farmers Training Workshop, Uttar Pradesh

7-8 November 2014
A two-day training workshop was organized for small and marginal farmers in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh around the theme ‘Climate change and Agriculture’ by PAIRVI in collaboration with PANI.
The objective behind the workshop was three fold:
  • To share information on changing climate pattern and future climate scenario of Eastern UP.
  • To train farmers to access local/regional weather info to plan their agricultural practices accordingly.
  • To build resilience of farmers in changing climate by sharing innovative farming practices.
On day-one, around 60 farmers from village Maholi, and on day-two another 60 farmers from village Doraha, district Faizabad were imparted Climate Change and Agriculture Adaptation Training. The training started with introduction of the training team that comprised of Dr. Sheo Shankar Verma from Gorakhpur University, Sanjeev Tiwari and Ramkumar from PANI and Nirma Bora from PAIRVI.
In the opening session, Dr. Verma introduced the concept of climate change before farmers in local language, which helped to build a rapport with local people. He familiarized them with the causes of climate change, its process, and impact around the world. Using various audio-visual tools, he explained how climate change is already over us as the ice cover in Greenland and Antarctica is rapidly shrinking, Europe is gradually becoming warmer, and countries lying in desert are experiencing hailstorm. Our country, too, is witnessing climate change phenomenon through frequently occurring cyclones in the eastern coastline, record breaking rainfall in Northern India (Uttarakhand and Gorakhpur), sea level rise causing submergence of islands in Sunder bans, etc. Linking the topic to agriculture, Dr. Verma commented that climate change has also increased incidences of damage to crops, soil erosion, pest infestation etc. Even the quality of crop produced has be impacted as movement from field to storage and transportation to the market is dependent on the prevailing weather. Situation will become graver by century end when an increase of 3-4 degree Celsius is expected.
As all agricultural endeavors are influenced by weather and climate events, it is therefore very important for farmers to know daily, seasonal, and annual variations that play a vital role in crop response and survival. Keeping n view the above thought, the training proceeded to providing information on accessing weather forecast for agriculture. These forecasts can be directly available through extension services being provided by Government of India, like Kisaan Call Centre by calling 18001801551. Farmers can also register to receive regular agro-advisory by sending an SMS on 51969 or 7738299899. Registration can also be done through the web link ). Community Radio Station in Eastern UP has also been engaging with farmers through programmes like Kheti Badi.
Nirma Bora from PAIRVI encouraged farmers’ to register themselves for the SMS service. She took details of farmers, with access to mobile, to register them for availing the SMS service. Dr. Verma guided the Gram Pradhan of the village Doraha, also present during the training, to put up an agro-advisory board near Panchayat Bhavan where a volunteer, already availing the services, can update the message board with latest advisory received.
The second session on agriculture adaptation was conducted by Sanjeev Tiwari and Ramkumar from PANI. Sanjeev Tiwari trained farmers on Soil Management and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Under soil management, farmers were trained in preparing land for nursery employing the technique of Soil solarization, an environmentally friendly method of using solar power for controlling pests such as soil-borne plant pathogens including fungi, bacteria, insect and mite pests along with weed. Further, they were also trained in technique for collecting soil sample for testing. Under IPM, Ramkumar trained farmers in the preparation of various composts and solutions that act as pest resistant and increase soil productivity. Some of these were matka rasayan, vermiwash, NGT solution, amrit pani, and NADEP. While matka rasayan, NGT solution and amrit pani are solutions that act as herbal pesticides, NADEP method of composting recycles agricultural crop residues to enhance soil fertility, and vermi wash serves as a liquid bio-fertilizer.
The session ended with a brief round of discussion where the farmers put forth their query before the agriculture experts on issues being faced in agriculture. The experts personally attended to their queries. The two-day training ended by strengthening capacity of more than 120 farmers in Faizabad district on issues on climate change, accessing timely agromet advice, and adapting their agricultural practices to changing climate.