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One day Farmer Field School on “Vermi-composting techniques for promoting entrepreneurship” was organized on 27th September 2023 at village Jhabrani Raipur Block Thano under the Farmer FIRST project by ICAR-Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation (ICAR-IISWC), Dehradun.

Dr Bankey Bihari, PI of the Farmar FIRST project encouraged the farmers on taking agricultural activities to the next level to make it more business oriented with profits and quality supply of agriculture produces. He spoke on the success stories of the interventions introduced at the villages under the Framers First project of the ICAR.

Dr M. Muruganandam, Principal Scientist and Member of the FFP team gave insights on how collective efforts by the farmers could help in taking the compost making venture forward. He cited the success of the project interventions with which farmers are made master trainers of fellow farmers.

Dr Trisha Roy, Scientist and Member of FFP team urged the farmers to come forward and adopt the technique of creating wealth from farm waste through vermi-composting. Sharing her experience in making the vermi-compost intervention a success in the adopted villages, she shared the benefits of fungal-consortia-based decomposer in decomposing crop residues and other litterfalls while composting.

Sh Rajpal Singh Solanki and Sh Subash Kothari, progressive farmers, who have established themselves as farmer cum entrepreneurs in vermicomposting on the technical guidance and inputs from the Institute shared their experience on this occasion. Sh Subash Kothari, another progressive farmer gave a detailed description about the process of vermicomposting, specifying the quality of composting inputs, cow dung, composting beds, preparation of vermi-beds, maintenance and harvesting and collection of earth worms and composted matter. Acknowledging the support extended by the FFP team Dehradun to establish his vermicomposting unit he shared his experience about the journey beginning from one pit and now maintaining almost 6 mobile composting units and sustaining as an enterprising unit. He highlighted how his business has grown in a year and the demand for the compost has risen over time.

Sh Rajpal Solanki a veteran farmer encouraged the participants to take up vermi-composting at a large scale citing the benefits of vermi-composting in enhancing production and quality of produce in terms of taste and nutritional values. He spoke about the high value of vermi-compost at his farm and how its application can have a positive impact on the entire soil-plant-animal system making it more sustainable.

The program ended with field visit to the composting sites and demonstration of waste decomposer and composts prepared by different methods for experiential learning of the farmers. The team also visited the various crop demonstration sites of newly introduced crop varieties such as uld dhal and rice in the project area and provided advisories related to problems of rice stem borer, rice blast etc. The FFP team assured their cooperation to the farmers related to these kinds of activities. The program was coordinated by Dr Trisha Roy and Sh Anil Mallick under the guidance of Dr Bankey Bihari, PI of the Farmer FIRST Project. A total of 28 progressive farmers participated and deliberated in the program. Farmers appreciating the efforts of the Institute thanked for the continued support extended.

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