| Gaurav Gogoi (in green kurta) and Jorhat deputy commissioner R.C Jain at the inauguration of The Farmpreneur Club at Dr Manmohan Singh auditorium in Titabar on Monday. Picture by UB Photos |
Jorhat, March 18: Students in 10 schools of Titabar sub-division will grow fruits and vegetables in the school garden for their midday meal. What’s more important is that students will also get to learn entrepreneurship skills through this exercise.
This project, which will be linked to the school curriculum, is part of an initiative by Gaurav Gogoi and his Farm-to-Food Foundation, in collaboration with Delhi-based NGO Dhrity.
The Farmpreneur Club was launched today with students from 10 elementary schools of Titabar. These students will be taught organic farming and they will grow fruits and vegetables on small plots, allotted by the schools.
In the process, they will gain hands-on knowledge of how to plan, produce and market their produce. They will also learn how to open bank accounts and apply for loans.
The club was launched at the Dr Manmohan Singh auditorium at Titabar. Jorhat deputy commissioner R.C. Jain said it would not only promote entrepreneurship skills at a young age, but also help in supplementing nutrition in children.
Dhrity project adviser and director (fund-raising) of Farm to Food Foundation Dipjyoti Sonu Brahma said 20 children from Classes VI to VIII from each school would be directly involved in the project.
Students will be taught how to make vermicompost in a cost-effective manner from garbage and then apply it on plots measuring at least 50 feet by 50 feet.
“In the first phase, we will be get 2,500 square feet of area in total. The 20 students of each school will be brought into contact with those working in the field of vermicompost. They will get lessons on how to fix prices of their produce and at the end of the year, they will hold exhibitions of vegetables and fruits,” Brahma said.
Regarding the link with the school curriculum, Brahma said in Class VIII the first chapter in science is on agriculture production and management. This will fit well with the project.
Likewise, in maths, students will calculate how much produce can be grown on a given area of land. They will learn how to chart the growth of plants in graphs. Financial literacy will be extended to pricing, selling and taking loans and saving in bank accounts.
Gaurav Gogoi is chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s son and founder-member of Farm to Food Foundation. He said the move was aimed at moulding minds, which were still in the formative stage, in what entrepreneurship entailed.
“Many businesses, which start off with promise, fall apart because entrepreneurs are not able to do some basic calculations in marketing, in catering to demand and supply, in reinventing and moving with the times. This is just one step in making students self-dependent ,” he said.
Gogoi said this pilot project is probably the first of its kind in the country and if successful, it could be emulated in other parts of the country.
Ten schools were given kits comprising basic gardening tools today. The schools that are part of the project include Simanta Borty Janajati ME School, Raidangjuri Nagabat ME School, Thakur Prasad Public ME Schol, Basa Govt Senior Basic School, Mohanting Saraipathar Mising Gaon ME School, Chai Prep Shyam ME School, Dr Abdul Munaf ME School, Nagadhuli Janajati ME School and Gorajan ME School.