Water Resources Minister P.J. Joseph inaugurated a farm school of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) at Settukunnu near Pozhuthana in Wayanad district on Saturday. The school is set up with the financial support of the Indian Overseas Bank (IOB).

Mr. Joseph said a majority of the farming community in the district was in a crisis owing to various issues such as low prices for their produces, various diseases that affected their crops; and an erratic monsoon.

But, at the same time, many a farmer among them had set a model in profitable practices, especially in organic farming and dairy farming, by adopting modern technology or indigenously developed techniques.

Such technologies should be shared among the farming community for its sustainable development, he said.

The MSSRF had made a new step in this regard and such ventures should help tackle the crisis in Wayanad, the Minister said. Launching ‘Karshika Jalakam’ a web portal for farming community developed by the students of the Government Engineering College, Wayanad, veteran agricultural scientist and founder and chairman of MSSRF M.S. Swaminathan said the farming sector in the country was following either a lab-to-land or a land-to-lab study.

But, a land-to-land study was the need of the hour to share the experiences of successful farmers with others in the sector, Mr. Swaminathan said. A confluence of modern science and ecological prudence was necessary for sustainable development of the community, Mr. Swaminathan said.

The farming school and the web portal were aimed at realising the concept.

N. Anil Kumar, director, MSSRF, spoke on the projects.

District panchayat president K.L. Poulose; District Collector K. Gopalakrishna Bhatt; NABARD Additional General Manager N.S. Sajikumar; and Thirunavukkurusu, Deputy General Manager, IOB agriculture and rural initiatives department, spoke.