The Telegraph
Friday, December 15, 2017

Organic push to tilling

First published on 19-Nov-2017
RICE CHEER: Agriculture minister Prem Kumar inaugurates the Tarumitra festival with students on Saturday. Picture by Manoj Kumar

Patna: The thrill was evident on the faces of over a hundred students who took part in the organic rice harvesting festival at Tarumitra on Saturday.

For many, it was their first visit to a farm. Even teachers and other participants tried their hand at harvesting. Students from St Joseph's Convent High School, Don Bosco Academy, May Flower School, St Michael's High School, Litera Valley School, Veena Vidya Niketan, St Xavier's High School and others took part.

Agriculture minister Prem Kumar inaugurated the festival. After aarti in reverence to Mother Earth, he started dhan katni in Tarumitra's organic farm amidst harvest songs and slogans sung by students and Tarumitra officials.

An organic farmer from Darjeeling and one of the Tarumitra officials, Margaret Molomoo, briefed everyone about organic farming practices through a presentation.

"Since 2011, organic farming is being practiced in Tarumitra where all the sowing, harvesting and threshing is done by the students. It is an effort to strike an emotional chord between Mother Earth and students so that they practice ecological sensitivity. This is the seventh consecutive year of organic farming where the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method is used for growing rice. This year, the students experimented with three varieties of rice, Bauna Mansuri, Kunjunju, Kakhan and all of them fared extremely well," said Tarumitra founder Father Robert Athickal.

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