The means to help farmers improve their livelihoods are not developed in offices and laboratories alone, but rather on the fields with indigenous innovative ideas and implements, as was demonstrated during a recent Farmers’ Field Day in Manhalli village, Bidar district, Karnataka.
Project Bhoosamruddhi conducted a field visit to update stakeholders on the innovations and recent developments in the agricultural fields of a few farmers in the above village. Local development officers, scientists and other farmers viewed agricultural implements that made a significant difference in the efforts put in and the outputs derived by the farmers using them.
The ICRISAT Development Center (IDC) has been working on the multi-stakeholder project Bhoosamruddhi in Karnataka since 2015, forming a consortium with other CGIAR centers in India. The goal was to operationalize research for development (R4D) to benefit small and marginal farmers in the region. As part of the project, among other activities specialized implements for farming were made available to the farmers and capacity-building training provided to them for optimum use of the technology.
During the visit, Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT; Dr Sreenath Dixit, Head, IDC; Dr ML Jat, Principal Scientist, CIMMYT; Dr AN Rao, IRRI; Dr Gajanan Sawargaonkar, District Coordinator for Bidar, ICRISAT; Mr Ansari, Assistant Director of Agriculture, Bidar; Dr Vidyanand, Joint Director of Agriculture, Bidar; Mr Malikarjun Bavage, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Bidar; other officials from Bidar district administration and scientists from ICRISAT Development Center, several other officials, farmers and even students of agriculture observed demonstrations of the various technologies used by the local farmers.
Dr Gajanan Sawargaonkar, District Coordinator for Bidar, ICRISAT, explains the aerobic composting intervention to Dr Peter Carberry, Director General, ICRISAT. Photo: Rajani Kumar, ICRISAT
The relay planter is a multi-tasking implement that is a ridgemaker, cultivator, planter/sowing machine, rotavator for intercultivation, and a water pump; all this at a nominal price affordable to small and marginal farmers. Photo: Rajani Kumar, ICRISAT
Farmer Bhimrao Mulgi and Mr Raghavendra, Scientific Officer, ICRISAT, demonstrate the seed dibbler, a lightweight handheld tool to quickly and easily sow seeds. It can be adjusted to release one or more seeds at a time. Photo: Rajani Kumar, ICRISAT
A farmer checks out an ICRISAT-modified Broadbed Furrow (BBF) machine. It can cover 1½ beds at a time, as opposed to one bed in regular ones. BBF machines help in on-site moisture conservation, especially for black soils like in Bidar. Photo: Rajani Kumar, ICRISAT
Local farmers observe a multi-crop digger for its features. Photo: S Punna, ICRISAT