Farmers from Dindigul visit Ramanathapuram to learn about orchards
Exposure visits allow farmers from different agricultural backgrounds to share knowledge and learn from each other. There was one such opportunity hosted by MSSRF in Tamil Nadu. Over fifty farmers from Dindigul’s Rediarchathiram and Natham blocks were taken on an exposure visit on July 1 to Akal farms in Kamuthi, Ramanathapuram, as part of the NABARD-Plant Health Monitors (PHMs) initiative. The 350-acre orchard was started by Sikh farmers from Punjab in 2007. To manage drought conditions, the Punjab farmers used drip irrigation, micro-water management for every stage of plant growth, observed crop patterns for efficient land use, and also consulted local experts. The orchard now has mango, amla, guava, chikoo, papaya and coconut trees.
The farmers from Dindigul interacted and learned an ideal approach to optimum use of water during difficult weather and soil conditions. It was suggested that Punjabi farmers grow timber-value trees such as Sandalwood, Teak, and others as border crops for better commercial value as these trees will not require much water. Exposure visits like these will allow farmers from various agricultural backgrounds to get together and share their knowledge.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.