The Indian Council of Agricultural Research has stated that providing technical training to a farmer will have a cascading effect on rural development as many more farmers will get to learn from a trained farmer.
KisanMitr or ‘Friends of the Farmers’ aims to ensure that farmers become self-reliant. Photo: By arrangement
In a webinar series, Deputy Director-General, (Agricultural Extension) Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), an autonomous organisation under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, AK Singh mentioned that KisanMitr is helping technological solutions for farmers’ problems. Singh was speaking at the 28th edition of a webinar series on agriculture technologies on July 3.
KisanMitr or ‘Friends of the Farmers’ is an initiative of the central government to ensure that farmers become self-reliant by giving them agricultural insights and recommendations from various data sources of the government.
The press statement issued by the Office of Principal Scientific Advisor yesterday on July 7 highlighted that one of the biggest challenges for agriculture technology start-ups is reaching out to the farmers, Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs), and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). These kendras (centres) are supporting initiatives of public, private, and voluntary sectors for improving the agricultural economy at the district level.
“Kisanmitr was conceptualized and has been successful in linking the Supply with the Demand side. The start-ups can support the farmers through the KVKs and the farmers can find solutions to some of their challenges,” read the statement.
ICAR has stated that providing technical training to a farmer will have a cascading effect on rural development as many more farmers will get to learn from a trained farmer.
During the webinar, Singh said that “…one farmer will help train many more farmers. So, if we train one with technology, they will help transfer knowledge too”. He also called out to the KVKs to be the flag bearers and ensure that these solutions reach the farmer by organising their visit to the KVK offices for farmers for a demonstration of technologies. So far, 75 KVKs have partnered for this outreach.
In the webinar, Balraj, a farmer from Punjab spoke about the impact of deploying a sensor to detect moisture in the atmosphere. The press statement highlighted that his village doesn’t have electricity and they use diesel-run pumps for irrigation.
Deploying this sensor, as claimed, has saved both diesel, and water, which he quantified as 15-20 hours of running the pump. The sensor was able to detect moisture in the lower layers of the soil and the farmer observed an improvement in crop yield and soil health. As per the press release, this sensor is a product of an agritech startup.
The series of agricultural presentations by technology developers across the Indian research institutes and their start-ups have been claimed to have helped showcase around 150 agricultural technologies across different themes such as farm management, post-harvest management, allied agriculture.