ICAR- Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) has awarded 36 farmers from all corners of India with IARI Innovative Farmer Award-2022 at Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela, organised by the institute in New Delhi today. The Mela was organised on the theme ‘Self-reliant farmer with technical knowledge’ during March 9-11, 2022.
During the mela, nearly 40,000 farmers from different regions of the country participated and learned about varieties and technologies of IARI and 100 ICAR institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs). IARI gave live exhibitions on drone technology, precision farming, wheat varieties, fruits, vegetables, flowers, different agricultural models and farmer advisory services. The major attractions of the fair were: smart/digital agriculture, agri startups and farmer producer organisations (FPO), innovative technologies of IARI, such as the solar-powered ‘Pusa-farm sun fridge; Pusa decomposer, Pusa complete bio-fertiliser (unique liquid formulation providing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium). About 1500 quintals of Pusa seeds were purchased by the farmers during the mela.
Two technical sessions were conducted today. The first session was on “Innovative farmers meet”. Addressing the session, Dr. AK Singh, Director, IARI told about technically empowered farmers to take harness the potential of technology. He informed about the key information disseminating portals like Pusa Sarathi, the 24-hour helpline, Pusa Samachar in solving agricultural problems.
Presided over the session, Dr KV Prabhu Chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), Ministry of Agriculture, stressed on the synergy between farmers and scientists. He highlighted the importance of curiosity and strife. According to him, new horizons for farmers are opening with the advent of new technologies. Government is always ready to help farmers wholeheartedly to access facilities, funds, and technical knowledge. He narrated the importance of PPVFRA and value of IPR, rights of farmers in plant breeding and seed development which is recognised worldwide.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr DK. Yadav encouraged the spirit of innovation and partnership between indigenous technological innovations by farmers, backed by technical know-how. Innovative farmers from across the nation who were awarded by the institute addressed the gathering and shared their experience and expertise. They highlighted the role of IARI technologies in leveraging their journey towards success and better income.
The last technical session of this mela was on agri-startups and farmer producers organisations. Addressing the session, Dr AK. Singh, DDG (Extension), Indian Council of Agricultural (ICAR) reiterated the benefits of FPOs, especially for small farmers who are nervous in entering the big market and farmers in general. He stressed on cluster-based facilitation centre for farmers for helping them in processing and value addition to achieve the 10,000 FPO goals set by the Government of India. The recent ODOP (One District One Product) programme initiated by the government would only be successful if proper market support is accessed and that is only possible for farmers of all economic levels through FPO only. The success of FPO in maximising the income can be achieved by direct selling to the consumers of the industrial scale. Also, the ordinary consumers are eager to purchase food products with traceable quality parameters which can only be guaranteed by the personalised approach of FPO having a familiar face. FPOs should collaborate among themselves in business to business approach in balancing the supply level among areas of over-production and areas of dearth within the country.
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