Mukti, on the request of the farmers, has organized four training sessions on organic pesticides and seed collection & preservation from 28th August to 1st September 2022 at 4 villages – Herembogopalpur, Kuyemuri, Purba Surendranagar and Dakshin Kashinagar of Herembogopalpur GP. The training has been scheduled under ACV (Amplifying Community Voices) project. 48 farmers from these 4 villages have enrolled their names and receive training. Everywhere the ratio of women and men farmers has been 1:1 which has proven to be a very promising aspect for Mukti In terms of women’s self-reliance.
The training session has been parted into two slots. In the first slot the farmers gain knowledge on how to control harmful insects with organic pesticides, they are made aware of rice plant diseases and they have been identified with the beneficial and harmful insects of rice plants. A practical session has been held in the field to enhance their knowledge of these issues. In the second slot, they have been encouraged to make a community-based seed bank and its importance of it.
Under the trainers and ACV field workers Mr. Apurba Karan, Shibu Das and Pinaki Naiya the farmers are provided training.
In the first slot of the training, insects have been identified through photography. The farmers have been asked about diseases of the rice plant that they usually notice and they have been provided knowledge about the different types of diseases. Then they are taken to the paddy field to gain practical knowledge about insects. The trainer shows them the method how to catch insects with a net to know the ratio of beneficial and harmful insects. The insects are then anesthetized with methylated spirit and are kept on white paper so that the participants can easily recognize them.
They have been informed that if the ratio of harmful and beneficial insects is 1:2, then there is no need to give any external insecticide. This entire ecosystem is built on the paddy field itself. Beneficial insects can kill harmful insects. In this way, they are given a basic idea about the ratio so that they do not give insecticides as soon as they see insects, as a result of which beneficial insects can die along with harmful insects. When the whole ecosystem becomes imbalanced, nature does not work anymore. Then humans have to start giving inputs externally. The farmers are asked to do this process once every month to check if the ratio of the insects is correct. They are also taught about remedies if they notice any changes in the insect ratio. In order to avoid insect infestation, they have been taught to prepare some organic insecticide mixture or solution which can be sprayed on the rice plants to control the harmful insects.
Seed collection & preservation methods have been explained in their second slot. They are given a basic idea of creating a community-based seed bank and the process to be followed if they want to initiate it. This means they need to save varieties of seeds. They are encouraged to create seed banks so that in case of any natural calamity, crops are destroyed, they can use the seed bank for future cultivation. All registered farmers of Seed Bank will get its facility free of cost.
The sessions are like a basic orientation program for the farmers. Mukti is planning another meeting in the near future to discuss how they would like to proceed and how Mukti can help.