Shimla, December 28
Rural women picked up as ‘Krishi Sakhis’ (community resourse persons) for agriculture-related activities under the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) have become the messengers of natural farming in Himachal.
Natural farming reduces costs and improves nutrition and we have to break that psyche and create awareness among farmers to take to non-chemical farming for better results. Chiter Rekha, pradhan, Tundal panchayat
The womenfolk associated with training in natural farming technique, concept seeding at village organisation level, training and promotion of ecological practices, promotion of agri-nutri garden and running seed banks by the Himachal Pradesh Prakritik Khushhal Kisan (PK3Y) Yojana are changing the mindsets, with sustainable agriculture, income, environment and nutrition in focus.
Kanta Devi, 58, from Kwara village in Mashobra block in Shimla, who has been doing natural farming in polyhouses and open fields with family members for some years, says, “I was designated as ‘Krishi Sakhi’ a few months ago and since then, I have trained seven self-help groups of women and members of village organisation in my area.
“Women are the main workable force in the agriculture fields across the country. So it is always effective if the women are trained and the message about farming is spread through women only,” said Dr Suneel Chandel, Consultant (Trainings) at the State Project Implementing Unit (SPIU), PK3Y.
So far, 23 trainings have been conducted for 502 ‘Krishi Sakhis’ in natural farming techniques in 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh. Their exposure visits to the farms are also being conducted. In all, 1.53 lakh farmer families in Himachal Pradesh have adopted natural farming partially or fully on 9,192 hectares. — TNS