Imphal, June 20: A two-day farmers’ training programme gets underway today at the Directorate of Agriculture, Sanjenthong Imphal.
The training programme is being organised by Agricultural Technological Management Agency (ATMA) of Ukhrul District.
Speaking to IFP, Dr. Jiten Konthoujam, Project Director (ATMA) of Ukhrul District said, “around 70,000 families residing in the hills of Manipur practice shifting cultivation for their agricultural livelihood.
As a result the forests in the hills are diminishing. Though, there is a wide consensus that the practice has repercussion on the environment, there is no viable alternative suggested so far”
Dr. Jiten continued that the farmers also agree that it is not a good practice which involves intensive labour with low productivity.
He said if we are to train the farmer about sustainability, first we have to make them aware about the agricultural strategies involved in mitigating the climate change. We have to give the farmers an alternative to shifting cultivation, the alternative is Alley cropping, he added.
Highlighting on the theme of the training, ‘Agricultural Strategies towards Climate Change Mitigation in the Hilly tracts of Manipur’, Dr Jiten said conventional agricultural practices will not help in increasing food production.
The focus is on motivation and capacity building of the farmers, based on participatory approach module. It envisages exploring possible agricultural strategies towards climate change mitigations that are feasible in Manipur and Ukhrul District in particular, he said.
A.S Somi of Lungshangkong village of Ukhrul, who is one of the participants speaking to IFP said he look forward to learn practical lessons from the training programme. “The first session of the training was very useful, I am going to apply the methods as soon as I reach my village”, said Somi. Sharing his plight on water scarcity he experienced during the last few years as a farmer, he said last winter he planted 6 bags of potatoes but could harvest only 2 bags. And it is much the same for tomatoes and chilies that he had grown in his village. Production has been hard hit because of water scarcity, he said.
Around 39 farmers from Ukhrul District are participating in the two-day training. The training kicks off with an introduction by N.Biren Singh, Facilitator, ATMA Nodal Cell, Dept. of Agri, govt of Manipur. Dr. Jiten Konthoujam spoke on Alley Cropping System. Dr. RK. Dilip, Assoc. Prof of CAU spoke on ‘Sustainable Horticulture in Hilly Region’ in the concluding session of the first day.
ATMA is an institution empowered by the Ministry of Agri & Cooperation, Dept. of Agri, govt of India, Extension Division of Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi. Its principle mandate is to connect the scientist with the farmers. Besides the District Agricultural Action Plan (DAAP), ATMA is entitled to handle fund flow and look after the works related to National Food Security Mission (NFSM) and Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) schemes operational in the District.