Training cum demonstration on ‘Vermicomposting’ and Input distribution under SCSP and celebration of World Soil Day on 5th December 2023

Training cum demonstration on “Vermicomposting” was organized by ICAR-Central Institute for Women in Agriculture, Bhubaneswar at village Dhanahara in Balipatna block of Khordha district of Odisha on 5 December 2023. In this programme, the technique of Vermicomposting was popularized among 70 SC farm women of 3 villages viz., Sodhua, Dhanahara and Majhihara of Balipatna block of Khordha. The officials from line department and NGOs actively participated in the progrmamme. The participating women farmers received hands-on training in establishing vermi-beds, preparing bedding, and layering compost for introducing earthworms into the vermi-beds. As part of the initiative to ensure widespread adoption of the technology, 75 High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) vermi-beds were distributed among the 70 farm women, enabling large-scale production of vermicompost (approx. 150 tonnes annually). Moreover, a strategic plan was devised to encourage the entrepreneurship of women groups by branding, packaging, and establishing market linkages for vermicompost production. The training aimed to empower the farm women of the region to set up small-scale vermicompost production units in their homestead areas, aligning with the activities of development of Horticulture (Fruits)-based Organic Farming Model for Entrepreneurship and Strengthening Self-Reliance (Atmanirbhar) among Farm Women." On this occasion other critical inputs such as vegetable seeds (French bean var. Arka Arjun, 50 kgs), drudgery reducing tools like improved sickle (70 nos.), shovel (60 nos.), wheel barrow (10 nos.) and plastic jerry can (40 nos.) etc. were also distributed to supplement their rabi cultivation. The women farmers were also sensitized about the soil health, emphasizing the importance of soil testing. A demonstration on the process of collecting a representative soil sample from the field was also conducted. The farm women were educated about the process of recycling of farm waste for sustainable agriculture production as well as green house gases mitigation. The women farmers gained an understanding on the importance of soil testing, recycling farm waste into vermicomposting and natural farming for long term benefits. The programme was successfully organized by Dr. Ankita Sahu, Scientist and Dr. L.P. Sahoo, Senior Scientist from ICAR-CIWA.