COIMBATORE: A group of 43 students from the Central Agricultural University, Iroisemba, Imphal, Manipur, which was on a visit to the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) here for nine days, was an informed lot when they returned to their university.
The third-year students of B.Sc. (Agriculture) from the north-east got a feel of agricultural practices and techniques promoted by the TNAU and adopted by the farmers of the region. There were 10 from Manipur, eight each from Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, five from Sikkim, and four from Mizoram.
The group went around the university premises at its own pace under the guidance of E. Vadivel, Director of Extension Education, TNAU, and got a feel of the various activities under-way there.
The water technology centre was an immediate attraction. The watershed model gave them an impetus to discuss water saving mechanisms, how to use water efficiently and also to consider water as a valuable resource in agriculture and allied sectors in India.
A live demonstration on preparation of edible mushrooms at the Mushroom Research and Training Centre was a quick hit.
The demo was followed by a short quiz to glean the knowledge they had acquired. They were briefed on the field experiences of precision farming techniques that were implemented in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts.
The students were impressed upon the need for value-addition of farm products by the scientists of the Post Harvest Technology Centre.
They also interacted with trainee women who were learning value-addition at the centre. Floriculture too took their fancy.
They got a peek at the medicinal plants at the Park, saw the vast array of fruit trees at the orchard, and showed interest in the vermicomposting unit at the Botanical Garden.
They were given an over-all picture of organic farming at the national and global level. How it could be implemented effectively at the grass roots level was also taught.
Various quizzes and competitions were held for the students by R. Vijayaraghavan,
Professor and Head, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, TNAU, to make learning and observing interesting.