The students of Don Bosco College of Agriculture (DBCE), Sulcorna who are currently in the 7th semester of their four-year degree have to study the farmer’s problem and give solutions related to marketing of produce, crop management, and transfer of new technologies among the farmers community. The 7th semester consists of RAWEP (Rural Agriculture Work Experience Programme) in which students have to stay in the allotted villages and study different aspects related to agriculture.
Students who were placed in Uguem and nearby villages conducted a survey to find out the problems of farmers of Uguem village, where they came to know about that management of crop, pests and diseases, marketing of produce, shortage of irrigation, schemes related to agriculture, dairy animals management, preparation of silage, and the increased use of chemical fertilisers.
As per demand and knowledge to be shared, different topics were selected as solutions to problems. Small land holding farmers were introduced to beekeeping, besides drip irrigation, schemes on crop and dairy animals and where to sell their products to get fair prices.
For the management of crops we selected the major crops grown by Uguem farmers such as paddy, tomato, chilli, cashew, etc. For cashew, the major part was cashew stem and root borer which causes the significant losses to cashew farmers. Hands-on training was provided to control cashew stem and root borer.
Information on preparation of organic inputs and their use for crops and to reduce the chemical fertiliser was also provided.
The green fodder for dairy animals are not available throughout the year, therefore students demonstrated the live preparation of silage by which crops can be stored throughout the year with enough moisture. They were also told about preparation of dairy products and tagging of animals.
Students conducted a cleaning activity in the village and a tree planting activity which focused on medicinal plants.