Celebration of World Soil Health Day

ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneswar celebrated World Soil Health Day on 5th December, 2018 at village cluster (Hariharpur, Godipali, Karada, Katrajhari & Abhimanpur) of Odogaon block,District Nayagarh, Odisha where farmers are mostly involved in production of pulses like green gram, Black Gram, Arhar, Lathyrus, Horse Gram contributing for maintenance of soil health. Celebration of World Soil Health Day in these villages was a true recognition for their endeavour in keeping the soil alive over generations. It also motivated other farmers and farmwomen of the locality. In this programme more than 100 farm women participated. Mrs. Sanjukta Sitha, Sarpanch, Hariharpur Gram Panchayat graced the programme as chief guest and emphasized on the importance of soil health and role of farmwomen in taking care of it. She also mentioned about the Mo Bari initiative taken by gram panchayat for community composting by women. She requested the gathering to spread Mo Bari to more villages. She expressed her gratitude to women for conserving the health of soil through pulse cultivation.
Demonstration of seed treatment with Rhizobium and azospirillium was given by Dr. Laxmipriya Sahoo. Through a deliberation, she explained the farm women that if the seeds were treated before planting, then lesser amount of fertilizer as well as insecticides will be required at later stages. This will result in conserving the health of soil. Er.Chaitrali S Mhatre insisted on usage of mechanical weeding instead of chemical which will not only reduce the permeation of poisonous weedicide and insecticides in the soil but also will incorporate the weed residues in the soil thus enhancing the quality of soil. Farmers were also encouraged to follow crop rotation to ensure conservation of soil nutrients. They were exposed to the concept of conservation tillage insisting on importance for reduction of soil erosion.
Importance of soil testing as well as soil health was explained to farm women by Mr. Sanjaya Kumar Behera and Ms. Tapaswini Sahoo. Various central government sponsored soil health schemes was also explained to them for their awareness. The farmers who did not have soil health card were encouraged to avail the facility and the method for the same were explained. The Chief Guest Mrs. Sanjukta Sitha, Sarpanch, Hariharpur Gram Panchayat distributed the soil health card to farm women. Farmer Scientist Interface was also organized wherein different aspects of soil health were discussed in detail and the ICAR-CIWA team (Dr.Laxmipriya Sahoo, Scientist Seed Technology, Er. Chaitrali S Mhatre, Scientist, FMP, Mr. Sanjaya Kumar Behera, Technical Assistant and Mrs. Tapaswini Sahoo, Technical Assistant) answered the questions raised by the farm women regarding maintenance of soil health and general crop production practices. The programme enlightened the farmwomen on soil health and the experts could understand the practical problems of soil in villages. The interaction proved fruitful as discussions in a single platform could open options for addressing issues of soil. The celebration was highly successful in exchange of knowledge, awareness generation and enhancing women participation for the cause of soil health.
Valedictory of the program was done with a beautiful song recitation by farm women.