The 90-day Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programme by the students of the College of Agriculture (University of Agricultural Sciences — Bengaluru), V.C. Farm, prompted him to turn to low-cost and sustainable agricultural practice.
“I was using four quintals of chemicals on my two-acre plot. But, because of the girls are camping at my village, I have reduced the quantity of fertilizer by almost 50 per cent,” he said.
Eighty-one final-year B.Sc. Agriculture students, as part of their curriculum, have been trying to transform the traditional agricultural practices into scientific ways at Ankannana Doddi, Nyamanahalli, Raghuram Pura, Hosahalli, Muthaiahnaegere and Kannahatti villages.
The students were split into six groups. They have been conducting RAWEP camps since July 15.
A series of educational programmes on mechanised farming, eradication of parthenium, digging pits, preparing vermi-compost, controlling rats, pests and disease management, removing/eradicating weeds, cultivating improved varieties of crops, seed treatment, root-feeding, integrated nutrient management, mushroom cultivation, bee keeping, reclamation of problematic soil etc. have been parts of the programme. The students prepared kitchen garden, distributed Moringa and curry leaf saplings and planted pupil, champaka, honge and mahagony plants in villages.
“I opted for integrated farming because of the camp,” said Shivalinge Gowda from Ankannana Doddi.N. Leelavathi and her classmates have been displaying whatever they had learnt at Ankannana Doddi.
“We have been prompting farmers to grow azolla, besides disseminating information about various horticulture and agriculture-related schemes and subsidies available to farmers,” she said.
Students have also improved the knowledge of farmers on 10 varieties of paddy, eight of millets and several minor millets, oilseeds and pulses. They have decided to conduct some more programmes till October 15.