22 October, 2012

Farmer's training programme on integrated productivity management of cotton-wheat cropping system organised

A one day kisan mela-cum-farmer's training programme on Integrated Productivity Management (IPM) of cotton-wheat cropping system was organised at Kheti Bhawan, Bathinda by the Reviving Green Revolution (RGR) Cell of Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust, Mumbai. Around 2,500 farmers attended the event. After implementing the Cotton IPM project in 1,100 villages, the RGR Cell is now promoting the cotton-wheat cropping system to maximise yield and income of farmers through adoption of a complete package of technology for these two crops. While highlighting the benefits of this approach, Dr GS Chahal, Executive Director, RGR Cell, informed that the Tata Trusts are providing financial support to the Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana and the Department of Agriculture, Punjab to help effective diversification in agriculture, to increase the income of farmers as well as sustainability of agricultural production of the state, which has far reaching implications on our national food security. The main emphasis is on need-based use of pesticides and fertilisers for effective control of pests and diseases to maximise yield and income from cotton and basmati crops, which now will also take care of wheat and paddy based cropping system. Apart from the popularisation of water saving technologies and crop residue management, the RGR Cell is also organising the farmers into groups for collective production, collective marketing and to set up producer companies for profitable and easy marketing of the crops.

In his inaugural address, Dr GS Kalkat, Chairman, Punjab State Farmers Commission, appreciated the concern and efforts of the Tata Trusts for the betterment of farming and farmers of "the granary of India." Dr Kalkat strongly advocated continuation of this generous support of the Tata Trusts, and its extension to the popularisation of maize and pulses (especially mash - black gram) which have strong potential to divert sizeable area from paddy.

FJ Gandavia, Secretary and Chief Accountant, Sir Ratan Tata Trust, speaking on the occasion, remarked, "The Trusts' association with the Reviving the Green Revolution Initiative goes back to 2002 and we are happy that this has been a great success story. It is our deepest conviction that our joint efforts will yield further promising results and significantly improve the livelihoods of farmers in the region through enhanced yields and lower costs of production."

Expressing her happiness on being asked to attend this august gathering, SK Bharucha, eminent lawyer and trustee of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust said, "The Tata Trusts control almost two-thirds of the shares of Tata Sons, the holding company of the group. The wealth that accrues from this asset supports an assortment of causes, institutions and individuals in a wide variety of areas." She was happy that the Trusts' support towards the Reviving the Green Revolution initiative had helped in enhancing the economy of the State of Punjab and also the livelihoods of the farmers.

Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu, Director, Department of Agriculture, Punjab informed the farmer of facilities like subsidized seed and toll free telephonic advisory available for them and exhorted them to consult experts while choosing seeds, fertilizer and pesticides; as incorrect choices or measures are a major source of wasteful expenditure.