Farmers'-scientist interface organized at village Kharibil, Block Niali, Cuttack under SC Sub-Plan

A farmers'-scientist interface was held at village Kharibil in Niali block, of Cuttack district, Odisha on 1st October 2019 by the MGMG-II team members to sensitize the farm women about the importance of homestead nutri-gardens. The interface was attended by 50 farm women of village Kharibil belonging to scheduled caste community. These farm women work as cultivator as well as farm labour for supplementing household income. The primary crop in the region is paddy grown during kharif and the farmers also cultivate groundnut green gram, black gram in winter along with vegetables which is grown throughout the year. The farm women play an important role in the cultivation by providing critical labour and also in the processing activities. As the farm women are actively involved in the agricultural activities, the meeting was organized to sensitize them about utilizing the space near their homestead for growing nutritionally rich seasonal vegetables to supplement their food basket and the importance of using adequate quantities of vegetables in their regular diet for improving the nutritional status of the family members.
The farm women were provided with high yielding seed kit of ten vegetable crops commonly grown in the area which was procured from ICAR-IIVR, Varanasi. The interaction meeting was organized under the SC sub-plan with an overarching aim of 'empowering farm women in agriculture' with a focus on homestead nutrition garden to enriching the knowledge of farmwomen. After farmers'-scientist interface a campaign on cleanliness was also organized under the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, (SBA)'. The participants were sensitized about the importance of cleanliness in keeping off diseases and making our surroundings neat and tidy. As part of the SBA, mass cleanliness drive was undertaken in the village with the active participation of women and children.
The interaction meeting was initiated by Dr. Sabita Mishra, who talked about the various gender issues in society and in the agriculture sector and the active role ICAR-CIWA is playing to address them for women empowerment. Dr. Anil Kumar spoke about importance of dairy, goat keeping and backyard poultry for supplementing the household income by farm women. Dr. L.P. Sahoo highlighted the importance of federating women collectives for accessing the technical know-how, procuring inputs and marketing of produce. During the interaction various queries related to cultivation, processing and marketing raised by farm were answered by the experts along with Sh. B.C. Behera and Mrs. Usha R. Maradana.