In order to develop a roadmap for the services to farmers in agro climatic zone – X which comprises on parts of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Indian Council of Agricultural Research organised a workshop at ICAR- Indian Institute of Oilseed Research(IIOR), Hyderabad.
Chairing the workshop, Dr. KML Pathak, Deputy Director General (Animal Science), ICAR invited farmers to put forth their problems related to production systems, field technologies and extension modules. Highlighting the objectives of workshop, Pathak said, on the basis of interactions with farmers and further deliberations with scientists, recommendations will made for overall agricultural development of the zone with primary focus on sustainable income of farmers. This will also help prioritisation of researchable issues and identification of new areas which need immediate attention by scientific institutes and policy makers alike. Enhancing income and livelihood security of small and marginal farmers is our major concern, he added.
Dr. KS Varaprashad, Director, IIOR highlighted major issue confronting agriculture in this zone. He said, this zone predominately depends on rainfed farming(80 percent) in which fluctuations of climatic condition and recurrent drought cause low productivity across all crops. Along with major issues, he also highlighted availability of technologies to address these problems and elaborated on ICT tools being used for dissemination of information and knowledge.
Dr. A Padma Raju, Vice-Chancellor, Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad suggested farmers to adopt integrated farming system approach to safeguard their income in case of climatic adversities. Livestock ensures income even during crop failures, he added. He also elaborated on various initiatives of the University to extend supports to farmers for addressing their specific problems.
Dr. BS Prakash, ADG –Animal Nutrition Physiology, ICAR stressed on the role of value addition in enhancing income of farmers and livestock owners. He stressed on the need to make available quality seeds of improves fodder varieties to farmers for improving materials and health status of livestock. He also urged farmers to adopt climate proofing technologies.
Dr. Chairi Appaji, Incharge, Director, Agriculture Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI), Hyderabad and nodal officer of the workshop, highlighted on the creation of farmers producer companies which aim higher income for farmers. He also elaborated on initiatives being undertaken by ATARI and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) for implementation of ICAR’s new scheme, like ‘Mera Gaon, Mera Gaurav’ and ‘ARYA’.
Progressive farmers from various districts of the zone participated in the workshop and put forth their specific problems and issues which need attention and solution. Recurrent droughts, limited availability of quality seeds of suitable crop varieties, limited availability of machines for small farmers, loss of crops by wild animals and need of location specific integrated farming systems were some of the major issues deliberated upon.