In a bid to provide field knowledge to the students, a total of 204 students of four colleges under Birsa Agriculture University (BAU) studying undergraduate agricultural courses for the first time in the State under the uniform agricultural education model across the Country participated in the Student Ready Program for Skill Development.
BAU Vice Chancellor Dr Omkar Nath Singh said that this is an initiative towards upgrading the skills of the students. The main objective of this is to provide practical experience and employment-friendly training to agricultural graduate students, while making them skilled during academic studies, he added.
After the three-year classroom course, the fourth year students have to gain practical knowledge in the field. Despite the coronary period, four agricultural college students of BAU have been successful in completing the Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAVE) course under this program in the 7th semester. This experience of the rural areas of 24 districts will prove to be helpful in boosting entrepreneurship development among the students and giving impetus to the agricultural development of the State.
Due to the lockdown, the students were instructed to complete the RAVE program in their nearest villages. For the first time agricultural graduate students made direct contact with the farmers in the villages of all the districts of the State. To know the traditional and indigenous farming techniques of villages, the status and resources of agriculture, government planning, other agricultural enterprises, problems and difficulties in agricultural work. The students shared experiences with the scientists of the local Krishi Vigyan Kendra located in the district. Individual detailed project report (DPR) of this survey has been submitted by the students to the concerned college. Students have mentioned many information and experiences on agriculture related situations in rural areas in their report.
Under the guidance of the course coordinator, Dr Nibha Bada, the teachers of the Faculty of Agriculture evaluated the DPR of the students for five days and took an online interview. In this work, Dr MK Varnwal, Dr Vinay Kumar, Dr BK Jha, Dr Asha Sinha, Dr Poonam Horo, Dr Irfan Ansari, Dr Nayyar Ali, Dr Neha Pandey, Abhilasha Deepa Minj, Dr SK Singh, Dr Sarvesh Kumar and Dr Neeraj Kumar contributed. In the online interview conducted due to Kovid-19, the students presented the experiences collected from the villages to the teachers.
In the survey report, the students have described the change in the agricultural scenario of the villages adjacent to the cities as very positive. The farmer is aware of advanced breed, pest and disease management and some farmers are associated with summer, kharif and rabi season cultivation in a year. Are adopting advanced farming techniques. The area of Rabi crop has increased with crop production. Farmers are also doing commercial floriculture. Cultivation of off-season vegetables is also taking place on a large scale. Unbalanced amounts of vegetable farming and the use of indiscriminate fertilizers and chemicals are affecting sustainable farming. Income of farmers has also increased. Despite this, better results can be achieved by effective and concerted efforts in the field of beneficial agro-technical technology towards the demand and employment generation of the urban population. There is a lot of potential in these areas towards soil health management, drip irrigation, protected cultivation and innovation.
Students have indicated many possibilities in the remote villages of the State with special focus in the field of agriculture. Efforts have been made at the district and block level to spread the reach of agricultural technology to village to village agriculture department, agricultural science centers, regional research centers and stakeholders associated with agricultural activity.
But the percentage of farmers adopting it is low. Farmers are unable to spend on advanced seed purchase, fertilizer purchase and pesticide medicine due to high cost in advanced farming and lack of funds, even if they are aware. Vegetables are cultivated in limited quantities in remote villages of the State. Similarly, there is also a shortage in improved variety and maintenance of animal wealth. Farmers are unable to bear the benefits of commercial and profitable farming.