The number of farmers opting for organic manure preparation and using it has been increasing by the day thanks to the efforts of agriculture officers, IPM and NPM volunteers and progressive farmers as part of the Polam Badi (Farmer Field School) Programme, in the district.
The programme, introduced in 2005, proved fruitful with team work at several villages. Farmer Field School is a continuous process and is carried out for 14 weeks in every season covering almost all villages.
Every Friday, the agriculture officers together with volunteers and progressive farmers visit a particular village and conduct demonstrations for the benefit of farmers on organic manure preparation, pest control systems, judicious use of chemical fertilizers and reduction of input costs in cultivation.
They later hold an interactive session under the shade of a tree in the field and clear doubts of farmers. There is a festive atmosphere in the village on that day with farmers and their families collecting at one place and discussing different things regarding agriculture and other allied activities with visiting officers.
According to A. Surender Reddy, Assistant Director, Agriculture, “The programme was designed to make farmers like scientists and encourage organic farming to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and input costs.” Taking 30 farmers in each village, training was imparted in making bio-manure and creating awareness on the need for getting soils tested once every two years.
The programme could also establish close contacts between farmers and agriculture scientists and officers. Over a period of time, it is useful for the protection of the environment and echo balance.
Addressing the gathering of farmers at one such programme on Friday, the Project Director, ATMA, Dr. M.Y. Khadeer Ahmed said that they needed to use bio-manure excessively in the coming years.
Earlier, the field staff demonstrated how to prepare trichoderma viridi (organic manure) and pin trichograma egg seed sheets in paddy fields.