Bhubaneswar, Sept 13 (LocalWire): In a move to extend technical support to farmers, the state government has roped in agriculture students to assist the farmers to increase their yield.
237 meritorious students from three agriculture colleges have been deputed in 57 blocks across the state. The programme forms the part of their innovative two-month internship.
In a joint initiative, the Odisha University Agriculture Technology (OUAT) and the state agriculture department have begun deploying students from agriculture colleges at the village level to provide various technical inputs to farmers for the overall growth in produce.
The batches of students roped in are performing the role of first hand advisors to the farmers from the ground level. The two month student-farmer interaction initiative will come to an end next month, said officials.
The students are imparting knowledge on seed treatment, soil testing and pest surveillance in a series of awareness meetings with farmers. Besides the farmers are being made aware of various government schemes for agrarian and farmers’ development.
The decision to send out the agriculture students to the fields to teach and guide the farmers as well as send feedback to the government has worked wonders, Dr M Muthukumar, Director of state agriculture and food production, said.
‘It has been a unique experience both for the students and the government. The students interacted with farmers and sent their feedback from the field through mobile apps provided to them to keep in touch with officials,’ he said.
‘Students have learnt a lot from experienced farmers. They have also guided farmers with their scientific knowledge. We hope the interaction with farmers becomes a regular feature,’ said Prof K K Rout, OUAT’s Dean of College of Agriculture.
Programmes of this nature would go a long way in framing policies for agriculture and the farming community, he added.