‘We have a long way to go still,’ says society president Nandamuri Trinadha Rao
This nondescript upland village under Dwaraka Tirumala mandal of West Godavari district becomes a launch pad for experiments in cooperative farming. The modest beginning made by a small group of 15 farmers in cooperative farming by raising vegetable crops in an area of 30 acres has become a discussion within and outside the official circles.
The village has been chosen as a pilot project by the district administration under the State Horticulture Mission (SHM) for an experiment in the cooperative farming in vegetable crops.
“It is only a beginning and we have to go a long way still,” says the society president Nandamuri Trinadha Rao. “We are struggling hard to overcome certain impediments relating to the mindset of our farmers on cooperative farming. I am sure we will overcome such hurdles over a period of time,” adds Mr. Trinadhara Rao, an intermediate dropout, with a sense of hope. The village, which lost over 800 acres of fertile lands to the Indira Sagar Right Main Canal, is famous for a range of vegetable crops such as tomato, mirchi, cauliflower, brinjal, ridge guard etc.
The project is aimed at promoting quality management practices (QMP) among the growers so as to add export value to the produce. According to Kotaiah, the mandal-level Horticulture Officer, the government extends all the assistance to farmers under the SHM as part of the drive for gradual reduction of residual levels of the pesticides and fertilizers in the produce by promoting organic farming in a phased manner and adding export value to it by training the farmers in packaging in scientific methods. The society members are provided with vermicompost, bio-fertilizers, pandals for creeper plantations like snake guard and bitter guard, craters and vacuum packing equipment for safe preservation of the produce, perishable in nature, against damages during transportation to the market, he added.
“The first crop under cooperative farming is being harvested for the last one month. But we do not want to end up there.
“We still need to go a long way in promoting the concept of cooperative farming among the farmers and in elimination of middlemen in marketing the produce at the end of the day,” he said. “The members are still prone to depend on middlemen to market their produce and reluctant to accept a van and delivered by the government with subsidy and use craters for transporting the produce directly to the markets,” he said.
The project is aimed at promoting quality management practises among growers The society members are provided with vermicompost, and bio-fertilizers
The project is aimed at promoting quality management practises among growers
The society members are provided with vermicompost, and bio-fertilizers