A two day National Level Meet of SDTT-SRI Partners was organized from March 21-22, 2014, at Raipur, Chhattisgarh. It was attended by 60 participants with representation from Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and allied Trusts, Mumbai, from various departments of the Government of Chhattisgarh; partner NGOs in the SDTT-SRI programme, senior officials and scientists from Indira Gandhi State Agricultural University, Raipur, and notable experts on SRI. The annual event supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) and allied Trusts, Mumbai, was organized by Livolink Foundation, Bhubaneswar and hosted by PRADAN, Raipur. The theme of the sixth SRI partners meet supported by the Trusts was “Mainstreaming of the SRI Program: Achievements and Constraints”. Key experts on organic SRI promotion, scientists from the State Agricultural University of Raipur and SRI farmers from Chhattisgarh were invited to share experiences. An exclusive poster competition was co-currently held during the two-day event in which partners displayed IEC materials developed for greater dissemination of SRI ideas and practices.
The SDTT-SRI partner NGOs in Odisha has initiated SDTT-SRI Partners’ Alliance Forum (Odisha). A one-day State Level SRI Meet with representatives from 13 partner NGOs and 40 farmers from 15 districts attended that meet was organized by Livolink Foundation on February 7, 2014. The event supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts, Mumbai, was organized in the Conference Hall of Odisha Farm Machineries Research and Development Centre (OFMRDC) in Bhubaneswar. Shri Ananta Nayak, Director and Shri Ganesha Prasada Das, Deputy Director (ER), IMAGE, Bhubaneswar attended as guests. The objective of this meeting was for reviewing progress in state level initiatives by partner NGOs on System of Rice Intensification, under the SDTT supported SRI programme in Odisha and chalk out future strategies for programme implementation in the state and exploring avenues to establish convergences with on-going state level programme of the Government both at the state and district levels. Farmers from different corner of the state shared their experience on the benefits of SRI, scaling-up of SRI, line transplanting vis-à-vis SRI, cultivation of SRI paddy in the organic way and application of SRI principles in crops like wheat and finger-millets. Representatives from various organizations also briefed the house on key issues on scaling-up of SRI, Government interventions and application of SRI principles on other crops. The Director and Deputy Director (IMAGE) discussed about the scope of scaling up of the methodology under different government schemes.
A three day National Level Meet of SDTT SRI Partners was organized at Amaltash, Ranchi, Jharkhand, from February 27 – March 1, 2013. The meet witnessed active participation of 69 participants representing the Government; partner NGOs in the SDTT programme, research institutions, scientists and notable persons from the social development sector. The meet was supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) and Allied Trusts, Mumbai and co-organized by Livolink Foundation, Bhubaneswar and Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development (SPWD), Ranchi. During the course of the event, the first two days comprised in-house discussions at Ranchi and on the final day a field exposure visit was organized to SWI project areas in Ranchi District.
The theme of this SRI partner’s meet supported by the Trusts was “Scaling up of SRI”. SRI has been gradually evolving as more and more actors have been showing interest and making earnest effort to promote SRI for the benefit of the farming community. Civil Society has been playing a very crucial role in this regard. Collaborative efforts with Government, related departments, NABARD and with civil society are getting strengthened. Farmers are moving ahead to bring in innovations into SRI. In this backdrop, this meeting was organized as an opportunity wherein the focus on agricultural extension mechanism could be strengthened and establishing a definite plan of action in this context. Representatives of partner-NGOs working under the SDTT-SRI programme were invited to share their experiences on SRI in their respective areas and thus facilitate greater cross learning. Specific thematic discussions with a focus on agricultural extension were duly accorded during the sessions. It helped partners to discuss about constraints in programme implementation and finding probable solutions. PowerPoint presentations, sub-group discussions, open-house deliberations and short films on SRI were showcased and formed part of the mode of deliberations in this two day meeting. Organizations engaged in production of paddy implements and machineries such as power weeders displayed relevant farm machineries was invited. An exclusive poster competition was co-currently held during the meeting in which partners displayed training and learning materials and other IEC materials on SRI for greater dissemination of related initiatives.
A two day Consultative Meet on Research Issues in System of Rice Intensification under the SDTT-SRI programme was organized from 16th to 17th June 2012 at Hotel Suryansh, Bhubaneswar. The meet witnessed active participation of 20 participants representing partners NGOs working on on-farm research in the SDTT-SRI programme and notable scientists associated with DWM and OUAT, Bhubaneswar. The meet was supported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) and Allied Trusts, Mumbai and organized by Livolink Foundation, Bhubaneswar.
The objective of organizing this meeting at Bhubaneswar was to discuss on the various research issues on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) under the on-farm initiatives in the SDTT-SRI programme being undertaken by various partners. The on-farm research by partners in different agro-climatic zones have been in operation since the past three years and therefore the need was felt to validate the research results, the research methodology and also for chalking out strategies from the next season onwards. The meeting also sought to explore the efficacy of various technical aspects in SRI to assess the potential of the methodology and social issues towards adoption of SRI in the country.
Based on the feedback received from the participants, the on farm research design on SRI to be implemented by the research partners in the select geo-climatic zones of five states was also finalized.
The Fifth SDTT-SRI Partners Meet was organized from 23rd to 25th January 2012 at Bodh Gaya, Bihar. The meet was attended by 93 participants representing partner NGOs working in the SDTT-SRI programme, officials from Government of Bihar, ICAR, BRLPS and notable persons from the sector. The event was supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts, Mumbai and organized jointly by Livolink Foundation, Bhubaneswar and Professional Assistance for Development Action (PRADAN), Gaya.
The objective of organizing this meeting was to share experiences of promoting System of Rice Intensification (SRI) from different parts of the country. The event presented an opportunity to interpolate ideas with scope for meaningful attempt by each of the SDTT-SRI partners to introspect its own activities in terms of acceptability. Additionally, this platform recognized justification for contextual review of current activities under the SDTT-SRI Programme. PowerPoint Presentations from partner organizations, promotion of SRI by the Government of Bihar, by BRLPS, System of Crop Intensification (SCI), conservation agriculture and SRI, coping mechanism for rain-fed SRI and on the National Consortium for SRI (NCS) were some of the major thematic discussions during the event. Sub-Group discussions amongst participants and experience-sharing by selected SRI farmers from Bihar also formed part of the programme.
The first two days were devoted for in-house discussions at Bodh Gaya and participants got the opportunity on the final day to exclusively explore the field based initiatives and engage in community based interactions with farmers – on SRI activities of PRADAN as well as on Gravity Flow Structures of IGS in Gaya District.
One-day State Level Workshop on “Addressing Food Security in Uttarakhand and Bundelkhand Regions through System of Crop Intensification (SCI)” was organized on September 7, 2011, at Hotel Aketa, Rajpur Road, Dehra Doon. The Workshop was attended by a diverse group of participants including SCI farmers from Uttarakhand and Bundelkhand, representatives of partner organizations, agricultural scientists and SCI experts as well as officials from other states. Mr. Puran Bartwal, PSI, presented details of efforts initiated by PSI over the last five years to upscale the SCI method in Uttarakhand state and more recently in Bundelkhand. This was followed by sharing of experiences by PSI’s partner organizations and the SCI farmers. In particular, SCI farmers were encouraged to share and discuss their experience in SCI paddy cultivation with other workshop participants. During this session, participants gave a brief presentation on their personal as well as organizational experiences in SCI paddy cultivation in Uttarakhand and Bundelkhand.
The farmers who spoke on the occasion include Mr. Bhopal Singh, a farmer from Garud village, Bageshwar district, Shri Babadin, from Panna district, Bundelkhand, Shri Mahavir Singh from Rudraprayag and Mr. Bishan Singh, Bageshwar district.
Speaking on the various benefits of SCI method such as seed saving, water saving, less disease occurrence, better grain quality, increased grain and straw yield etc., these farmers expressed their satisfaction at the results and made further commitment to upscale SCI and enhance its spread to the nook and corner of the state. Chief Guest at the event, Dr. B.S Bisht, Vice Chancellor, GB. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, said that the State Level Workshop had been a good exposure to new things and that the SCI experiment had indeed been a successful one. Dr. Bisht assured the gathering of all possible support from the state university for the promotion and upscaling of the SCI technology. He further stressed on the need to carry out comparative study on economics of cultivation, quality of produce and increase in productivity between SCI and traditional practices.
Dr. Ravi Chopra, Director, People’s Science Institute, Dehradun said that the institute had been assisting various grassroots organizations in the state in promoting the SCI technique for the last five years and expressed hope that some of these organizations would start to promote the technology independently. He said that crop intensification had the capacity to make Uttarakhand a food-secure state, provided that farmers get proper institutional and financial support. He lamented that although decision to incorporate SCI in the annual agricultural plan for the state had been taken in 2009, no concrete efforts have so far been made by the government in this direction. Highlighting the issue of research in farm machinery, he said that assistance has been sought from the state university in designing of lighter equipment, especially weeders for the SCI farmers, primarily to enhance ease of operation and to ensure adoption of the SCI technology by farmers with larger land holdings. Dr. William Stoop, Agronomist, Wageningen university, Netherlands, Dr. P.S Bisht, Dean, VCS Garhwal University, Pauri, Dr. Pushkar Singh Bisht, Dean, Hill campus, Ranichauri, Dr. Vipin Kalia, Incharge KVK(Retd), Dhaulakuan, and Dr. D.S Tomar, Scientist (Retd), CSWCRTI, Dehradun, were among the other eminent dignitaries present at the event.
A Three-Day Training Programme for thirty five Garden Superintendents and Officials of the Jail Department (Prison) from different districts of Maharashtra was organized by Department of Agriculture, Pune, Maharashtra in the Office of the Agriculture Commissioner, Central Building, Pune, from 11th- 13th July 2011. The objective of the programme was to impart training regarding cultivation practices of various crops through SRI. It was organized with the aim of the trainees acting as master trainers for guiding short term prisoners, on agronomic practices. This acquired skill set is expected to help prisoners for rehabilitation once they complete their tenure in prisons.
Rural Communes – one of the Nodal Agencies of the SDTT-SRI Program working on SRI and various other NRM issues with field presence in several districts of Maharashtra facilitated this event. The Department of Agriculture, Pune, had earlier approached Rural Communes to guide the garden superintendents and officials on System of Rice Intensification (SRI) as an agronomic practice. On the first day, experts from Rural Communes provided in-depth training on SRI to the participants. Apart from in-house theoretical concepts in the lecture sessions, practical demonstration on seed treatment, raised bed nursery, transplantation & weeding were also part of the programme that took place in the Yeravada Jail farm of Pune District. Participants expressed interest and satisfaction on the subject of the training. They have also planned to cultivate the prison land area which is not cultivated by any crop as such. This event was significant as it was one where short term prisoners would ultimately be equipped with various agriculture technologies and farming models. More significantly, a training event where prison officials and garden superintendents have been trained on SRI is something quite unique in the context of our country.
A one day Consultative Workshop for Inputs to the 12th Five Year Plans for Upscaling SRI and Innovative Technologies for addressing Food Security at the Household Level was organized by Livolink Foundation, Bhubaneswar on 21st June 2011, Bhubaneswar. The event was supported by Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Mumbai. A total number of 27 participants including scientists, academicians and representatives from civil society organizations attended the workshop. The objective of the event was to deliberate on innovative technologies for effecting collaboration with mainstream organizations for wider replication of SRI and other such innovations.
The various Innovative Technologies that were discussed in the event are:
- Tree Based Farming
- Upscaling of Rain Water Management Innovative Technologies
- Upscaling Stress Tolerant Rice Varieties in Flood Prone Areas
- Promotion Khaichum (rice-fish cultivation)
- Scaling up Mariculture
- Promotion of Landless Garden
- Machan Vidhi (System of Root Intensification using Vegetables
- Promotion of Low Cost Kitchen Garden
- Integrating Poor into Marketing Systems
- Gravity Flow Irrigation (Diversion Based Irrigation – DBI Systems
- Alternate streams for upscaling innovations