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Crop concern takes farmers to classrooms - 12 more krishak pathshalas in the pipeline for East Singhbhum district

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By ANTARA BOSE
  • Published 15.01.11
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Jamshedpur, Jan. 14: Now, more farmers of East Singhbhum will go to school. Not to study though, but to get field tips.

The district administration has decided to open 12 new krishak pathshalas (farming schools) in addition to the existing eight on the basis of the farmers’ demand, who want to grow better rabi crops in winter. These new schools will come up across all eleven blocks of the district.

“The krishak pathshalas have become a huge hit with the farmers here. Hence, we have decided to come up with more such learning centres in the district. The krishak pathshalas teach farmers how to apply new techniques to increase their crop productivity and get rid of pests and insects during harvest seasons,” said Jemaliel Hansda, district agricultural officer, East Singhbhum.

However, the villages where the pathshalas will come are yet to be decided by the district agricultural department. The deadline for starting the project is February.

A batch of 25 farmers takes lessons every season. Classes are conducted whenever farmers face some problems on field.

The resource persons — experts in agriculture who generally belong to Krishi Vigyan Kendra, a wing of Indian Council for Agricultural Research or Agricultural Technology Management Agency, a unit of union ministry of agriculture — study the problems and suggest solutions. The proposed 12 centres will also function in a similar manner.

“The seating capacity of a class is 25. But this does not mean that others do not benefit. We encourage the farmers to share the lessons they receive in class with fellow farmers. Generally, six classes are conducted for one season as per demand,” said Gita, deputy project director, district agricultural department, East Singhbhum.

“Classes focus on both theory and practical demonstration. Mostly, farmers want lessons on rabi crops like cauliflower, tomato, brinjal and cabbage. They have less trouble with kharif crops,” Gita added.

“The expert tips have helped me a lot. Whenever we have problems, we contact officials of the agriculture department and a class is allotted within a day or two. I had a lot of trouble with brinjal plants. But ever since I started following the tips, ranging from using pesticides to grooming plants, my yield has bettered,” said Naresh Kisku, a farmer at Gorgora village.