University of Agricultural Sciences plans to cover one lakh farmers under the programme
An ambitious experiment in agricultural extension is set to unravel in the State with the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, deciding to launch a distance education programme for farmers on integrated farming systems.
The programme, which is said to be the first of its kind in the country, is set to commence on October 2.
The university plans to cover a minimum of one lakh farmers under the programme that will have a duration of six months to one year. To begin with, an estimated 25,000 farmers are expected to enrol under this education programme, according to UAS Vice-Chancellor K. Narayana Gowda.
Need of the hour
Pointing out that integrated farming was the need of the hour to make farming a sustainable activity, he said that the course would provide relevant details to farmers on the trends and developments in integrated farming and recent technologies.
The subjects proposed to be covered include farming and allied sectors such as horticulture, fisheries, animal husbandry, food processing and value addition.
The course would help farmers to become agri-entrepreneurs, he said. “Our intention is to empower farmers to become self-reliant,” he noted.
While the university will prepare the course content, the process of imparting education would be carried out through the district-level krishi vigynana kendras so that farmers need not come to Bangalore for this course.
Any farmer who is literate or has passed seventh standard can take up the course. A unique nature is that the course is going to be region-specific.
While the coastal region farmers would get information related to crops and farming systems as well as practices which are conducive to their region, this would vary for those from Malnad region or old-Mysore area.
It is possible to give accurate information to farmers through such courses.
They would also get written material for their reference, Mr. Narayana Gowda said.
The course would involve visits to technical centres and farms of innovative farmers.
Technological practices for taking up sustainable integrated farming on different sizes of land such as two acres and five acres would be provided so that the course would be beneficial for all the farmers.
The details of the proposed course which are in the process of getting finalised would be announced soon, Mr. Narayana Gowda said.