Farmers-Scientists Interface meeting for establishment of Bio-resource production unit

Establishment of a small-scale Bio-resource production unit can offer various benefits to farm women by providing them with opportunities for income generation, skill development, and empowerment. In this context a Farmers-Scientists Interface meeting was organized at Dhanahara village in Balipatna block of Khordha district on 21 August 2023. During the farmers-scientists interaction the farm women were sensitized about the sustainable benefits of organic farming and were asked to identify their issues in organic production of horticultural crops. Amongst several issues, majority of farm women expressed their concern over non-availability of bio-inputs and market constraints as most prevalent challenges. To address the issues of bio-inputs availability for massive adoption of organic practices, the women group was encouraged for formation of a farm women interest group to establish a small scale bio-resource production unit at their village. To sustain the FIG, the women farmers were enlightened about various dimensions of successful group formation approaches viz., careful planning, continuous engagement, regular meetings, diverse activities, participatory approach, resource sharing and addressing need of the member farmers involved. To sustain the operation of the production unit, the women group was assured of proper training, initial input support and technical guidance by ICAR-CIWA. For ensuring market linkages for their products, convergence with Kusabhadra FPC was facilitated to provide the initial market support to sell the bio-inputs. The meeting was attended by 50 farm women of Dhanahara village. The interface meeting was also attended by Mr. Kartika Chandra Mallik, CEO of Kusabhadra FPC, who ensured the marketing support to women group. The meeting was successfully organized by Dr. Ankita Sahu, Scientist & PI and Dr. L.P. Sahoo, Senior Scientist & Co-PI.