Accent on organic farming techniques

To cultivate flowers and vegetables

A workshop on using organic farming techniques to cultivate flowers, paddy and vegetable cultivation was organised at Arul Anandar College in Karumathur near here by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Funded under its Farm Innovation Promotion Fund (FIPF), this programme saw more than 200 farmers from in and around Madurai taking part in it. It was conducted by Model Integrated Organic Farm and Training Centre in association with Arul Anandar College and Vaigai Farmers Association.

Inaugurating the programme, NABARD Assistant General Manager R. Shankar Narayan urged farmers to utilise modern farming techniques to increase yield. They should look for ways to take up inter-cropping, drip irrigation and System of Rice Intensification (SRI) methods of paddy cultivation.

Farmers should also utilise NABARD's Farmers Clubs to obtain technical inputs and details on how to cover their risks. Mr. Shankar Narayan also briefed the participants about the importance of using pesticides in a safe way.

S. Mannar Mannan of the Model Integrated Organic Farm and Training Centre spoke about organic methods of farming and safe spraying of pesticides.

He said that farmers and workers undertaking the spraying activity were exposed to health hazards such as cancer, burning/itching/irritation of eyes, wheezing, skin disorders, stomach pain and body and muscle weakness.

R.P. Maruthamalai Murugan, a senior consultant in East Resource Group, dealt with appropriate methods of spraying pesticides and use of organic farming methods while raising flowers and vegetables. Lakshmi Narayanan, retired Joint Director, Agriculture Department, took questions on SRI methods of paddy cultivation.

Rev. Xavier Vedam, Principal, Arul Anandar College, Jayakody, Deputy Director, Horticulture Department, and John Joseph, Department of Rural Development, Arul Anandar College, spoke, a press release said.

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