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ICAR-Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute, Kolkata organised Review Workshop-cum- Field visit of Farmer FIRST Programme in the conference hall of ICAR-CIFA during 21- 22 March 2023. It was attended by all 4 implementing centres viz. ICAR-Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture; ICAR-National Rice Research Institute; ICAR-Indian Institute of Water Management and Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology. The Principal Investigators along with Co-PIs, farmer representatives, research scholars, field assistants of these 4 centres participated. Dr. P.K. Roul, Vice Chancellor, OUAT, Bhubaneswar inaugurated the workshop. He conveyed great satisfaction about the way the project is achieving its objectives and motivated the farmers to build greater coordination with institutes for achieving desired outcomes in farming. He emphasized on adopting one or two villages and converging the efforts of all four centres in Odisha so that a replicable model emerges. This would certainly draw the attention of other stakeholders and help us establish the contribution of scientific farming practices towards enhancing income. He urged the farmers to act not as a beneficiary but as an active partners in research and development. Voices of farming community must be heard, if agricultural development is to be fast tracked, said Dr Roul.

Dr. P. Dey, Director, ICAR-ATARI made brief remark about the project status, its implementation and suggested that centres will have less varietal replacement programmes and more of crop/livestock management interventions. A proforma of structured impact assessment for the entire project can be prepared to gauge the differences the project has made with regard to livelihood improvement of the targeted beneficiaries. Dr. A. Sarangi, Director, ICAR-IIWM said how technology should be properly disseminated to the farmers to create an impact in each and every enterprises they have undertaken.

Dr. P.J. Mishra, Dean Extension, OUAT in his address said that farmer’s innovations should be given first priority and to be documented. He stressed on building data set in a structured 2 manner not only from institute level but also by ICAR-ATARI Kolkata which will enhance the quality of research papers from this project.

Dr. P. Das, Director (I/C), ICAR-CIFA also interacted with the audience by explaining the sustainability of the project so that the good work continues in the long run even without the support. He also stressed on covering the whole panchayat instead of a few villages for visible impact. Earlier Dr. K.S. Das, Principal Scientist, ICAR-ATARI, Kolkata gave a brief overview about the FFP programme by explaining its motto, objectives, fund allocation as well as its progress.

In the technical session PIs of the four centres of FFP Odisha presented salient achievements of 2022-23 and action plan of 2023-24. The farmer representatives from all the centres have expressed great sense of satisfaction from the project and support associated with it and assured for sustainability of the project in the coming years.

The meeting was attended by 55 participants and it was coordinated by Dr. H. K. De.

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