ICRISAT plans to replicate Bhoochetana in other states

ICRISAT plans to replicate Bhoochetana in other states
Highlights

Project yields GOOD DIVIDENDS in KARNATAKA Hyderabad : After achieving significant increase in crop yield...

Project yields GOOD DIVIDENDS in KARNATAKA

Hyderabad : After achieving significant increase in crop yield between 30 to 60 per cent in Bhoochetana pilot project in Karnataka, the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) seeks to try out the same in other States and poor countries in Asia and Africa. ICRISAT in coordination with the Government of Karnataka (GoK), JSW Foundation and Anandana Coca-Cola India Foundation launched three knowledge sharing and watershed projects at ICRISAT headquarters at Patancheru on Thursday.

Briefing the mediapersons, Karnataka Agriculture Minister Krishna Byre Gowda who launched the Krishi Gyan Sagar (KGS) and Krishi Vani (An Innovative Extension System) to facilitate about 10,000 farmers across the Karnataka said that it is part of the solution for 'sustainability' of farmers.

"The pilot project launched three years ago created network of farm facilitators, who help farmers in helping self sustaining activity. The project generated new knowledge platform and ways for optimal production in unfavourable soil conditions", the Minister said. Explaining about the Bhoochetana project ICRISAT Director General William D Dar described it as a 'platform for green revolution in dryland areas'. "Last economic analysis suggest that each dollar spend had a return of between $ 3 - 14", claimed Dar.

The project covered 3.7 million hectares in Karnataka covering 30 districts. Productivity was increased largely through soil test-based integrated nutrient management, improved seeds and soil-water management interventions.

Launch of new projects

The newly launched KGS aims to support Bhoochetana II, will educate farmers and strengthen communication in order to prove them with constant support. It will be a 'tablet based extension system'. This gets updated information in local language and English. Besides this, the KGS records geo-positioning during training and other important activities. Monitoring and evaluation will also be done as part of this. Later the process also generates reports, which will be recorded and transmitted. "This will help strengthen the two way communication", exclaims Dr Suhas P Wani, principal scientist (Watersheds).

Over the Krishi Vani, which is a voice based system, the communication of the farm facilitators will be recorded. The Airtel's green SIM cards will be provided to farm felicitators for helping farmers, which would be an innovative idea of conversation. The Bhoochetana-II, aims at increasing the farm production of 20 per cent and net income of each farmer by 25 per cent in Karnataka in next five years. Later the project will be extended to Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharastra. Besides this the Far East countries like Philippines has already chosen three benchmark locations. According to officials, as part of South-South Cooperation, ICRISAT is working closely with organisations from African continent.

Other projects launched during the meeting include Launching of JCS-ICRISAT-GoK Project, 'Integrated Watershed Management in Bellary District' and launching of Coca Cola India-ICRISAT-GoK Project, 'Integrated Water Resource Management in Kolar District'. According to Sajjan Jindal, JSW Group Chairman and Managing Director, his group was spending 12 crores in the Watershed project during five year pilot project.

"It is part of the upliftment farmers through increased crop yields in most dry area in the State. We shall be increasing our contribution, if the project gets expanded to other areas", explained Jindal.

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