Call to boost traditional farming practices

Call to boost traditional farming practices
Highlights

Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu, the Executive Director of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Expert Director of Sahaja Aharam Producer Company, has pointed out ground realities of farming and the distress in the rural farming communities, at a meeting organised by Rotary Club of Secunderabad.

Secunderabad: Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu, the Executive Director of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture and Expert Director of Sahaja Aharam Producer Company, has pointed out ground realities of farming and the distress in the rural farming communities, at a meeting organised by Rotary Club of Secunderabad.

A distinguished scientist, Ramanjaneyulu has a PhD in Agricultural Extension from Indian Agricultural Research Institution. In a brilliant, information-driven presentation, he discussed farming practices, policies and market realities that are responsible for farmer distress.

He presented practical, working solutions and emphasised the need for urban individuals and organisations to support the farming communities and farmer producer organisations.

He suggested that Rotarians shop at farmer-producer companies like Sahaja Aharam, or contribute even a few days of their time volunteering for Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, in their domain of expertise. He informed that several IT professionals from the United States volunteered remotely to aid their activities.

His presentation focused on: Models of agriculture which are local resource and knowledge-based and economically and ecologically sustainaaable; Networking people and people's organisations towards universalising agro-ecological approaches to farming rather than as exclusive production; and, Working on policy issues and building grassroot experiences into global campaigns and global issues into grassroot campaigns.

It may be noted here that Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu has pioneered the concept of Non Pesticidal Management (NPM) in agriculture. Due to his efforts, Punukula, a village in Khammam district became completely pesticide free without affecting the yields.

He established the first completely organic village, Yenabavi, in Warangal district. He had collaborated with the Government of AP in designing and establishing Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture in 1500 villages covering 200,000 ha across 18 districts during 2004 to 2007-08 and the programme is today implemented in over 35 lakh acres. He helped the Government of Chhattisgarh in designing and establishing Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture in 10 villages in Raipur district.

He acted as the consultant to FAO and World Bank for stock taking of agriculture initiatives in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar in the livelihoods projects.

He was responsible for setting up community seed banks in more 70 villages. He was also instrumental in establishing 10 farmers cooperatives which are into production of food and fibre and seeds.

At present, he is working on establishing community managed marketing system for food and seed. He coordinated Open Source Seed Initiative in India. He is a member of National Knowledge Commission. Dr Ramanjaneyulu and Center for Sustainable agriculture have won numerous awards from Bihar, Maharashtra, World Bank etc.

At the meeting, he advocated organic farming instead of spending on fertilisers and pesticides. He suggested ancillary activities like bee keeping, poultry, sericulture, azolla cultivation etc. He wanted farmers to form cooperatives.

He mentioned about the nutritional counselling and sales being taken up by their Sahaja stores. He also mentioned about the training being imparted by them on urban gardening. He explained about the Farmer Distress Helpline - KISAN MITRA – in Vikarabad Adilabad and Mancherial Districts of Telangana. Balachandran, the Secretary of Rotary Club of Secunderabad, facilitated Dr Ramanjaneyulu on the occasion.

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