Guided farming works wonders in Agency

Taking up organic farming under the guidance of research agencies and using biological control agents, tribal farmers in six villages of Visakhapatam district have reaped a rich harvest.

The three-year programme in paddy, rajma and ginger was carried out in 183 acres with 233 farmers in Kothavalasa, Gunjariguda, Nandiguda and Ramaguda of Araku and Idulabudu and Asarada of Chintapalle.

The project was carried out by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research- Tribal Sub-Plan programme implemented under the All-India Coordinated Research Programme (AICRP) by Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University in coordination with the National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR), Bengaluru, the main centre of AICRP on biological control of crop pests.

Paddy registered the most impressive higher yield of about 95 %. Organic paddy farmers produced 4,025 kg per hectare compared to 2,100 kg without bio fertilizer and plant protection. They got an additional income of Rs. 19,250 with higher cost benefit ratio, according to M. Visalakshi, Principal Scientist (Entomology) of AICRP on Biological Control, Regional Agricultural Research Station of ANGRAU, Anakapalle .

When it came to rajma, farmers of Gunjariguda and Asarada recorded higher yields of 568.75 kg/ha and an additional income of Rs. 7,500 compared to farmers who got only 443.75 kg/ha who did not adapt it.

Ginger farmers of Kothavalasa, Gunjariguda and Asarada got a higher yield of 3,311 kg/ha, 486 kg more, and an additional income of Rs. 19,440.

A number of training programmes and demonstrations were conducted during the period to help farmers adapt the non-chemical farm practices, according to her. Bio control agents (trichocards), bio-pesticide and bio-fertilizer were produced in the laboratory of RARS, Anakapalle.

ICAR had footed the total of cost of Rs. 9 lakh, including Rs. 2 lakh for construction of a bio control agent making unit at Asarada. Director of RARS, Anakpalle, N.V. Naidu trained youth in the process.

To mark its silver jubilee, NBAIR has been conducting meetings with farmers in all the States. As part of it, NBAIR Director Chandish R Ballal made a field visit to the villages.

A farmers’ meeting at Pedalabudu, adopted by Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, with its Ms. Ballal participating. After the success of the programme in the six villages, it is now proposed at Pedalabudu and Kollaput.

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