INVC NEWS Khairimal/New Delhi
Addressing growing concerns of farmer welfare,CropLife India organised a stewardship program on “Responsible Use of Crop Protection Products”, which was attended by Mr.Pramod Kumar, Tourism Minister – Bihar and MLA, Motihari and other officials. Through the pilot project, CropLife India reached out to more than 2100 farmers (direct and Indirect). The program consisted of 28 field demonstrations, 230 classroom sessions in 4 villages namelyKhairimal, Bhaisala, Kuria&Chandrahiya, East Champaran district of Bihar and school awareness program in 12 schools covering more than 900 school students in a span of two years. The event today witnessed more than 200 farmers, public representatives;and representatives from the Agriculture Department;District Development Manager, NABARDand Agriculture University; KVK scientists and SWARD officials;CropLife India Members; Officials from other Agro-chemical Companies; opinion makers; Academia; Agriculture Input Dealers and Panchayati Raj representatives. Stewardship being one of the key engagements for CropLife India, the project aimed to impart grass root training to the farming community on Responsible usage, Secure Storageand Containermanagement. The two-year program aimed to create awareness among farmers, farm families, school children, dealers and distributors of Crop Protection Products on Responsible Use of Crop Protection Products. Mr. Pramod Kumar, Tourism Minister –Bihar and MLA, Motihari,present here today inKhairimal village, said, “I congratulate CropLife India for enabling farmers of these four villages ofEast Champaran district in Biharto responsibly use Crop Protection Products, to support the Government’s Grow Safe Food mission in Bihar. Such field training workshops not only help farmers but also create awareness amongst farmer families, villagers and State Government officials. While it is significant for the farmer to work towards enhancing productivity of the crop, it is also vital that the quality of the crops grown is preserved thus ensuring safe and secure food for a rising nation”. Mr. Kumar added, “In order to sensitize the issue at broader level, we will demand similar projects from the State Government”. Mr. BrijUberoi, CEO, CropLife India, while addressing the gathering said, “CropLife India creates awareness by engaging with farmers in building capacity on sustainable practices through its stewardship programs. Our project in Bihar has been highly successful. The farmer behavior has undergone the following changes – Judicious use of pesticides, in terms of category, discretion in quantity and need; Spraying is done at the exact time; Awareness about spurious pesticides, hence no purchase of pesticides without Bill; Complete use of Personal Protection Equipment while spraying; and No reuse of pesticide containers.” He also added, “Currently this training program has covered more than 2100 farmers in the district, thus encouraging a safe and scientific approach to crop development. The success of this project has further strengthened our commitment towards Indian Agriculture and farmers and we will replicate this project in other states of India.” Mr. Naga Singh, progressive farmer and Mukhiya, KhairimalPanchayat, said, “We will feel proud that Motihariis the leading district in the State and Nation in the production of safe food and responsible use of pesticides”. The project has gained a steady pace and has been appreciated by both the State Department Agricultural authorities and the farming community. Trainings for farmers include classroom teaching and practical field training sessions for farmers. The training curriculum includes 16 elaborative modules covering a wide range of topics such as Integrated Pest Management, role of beneficial insects including pollinators, judicious and responsible use of chemicals, secure storage of pesticides, impacts of counterfeit and illegal products, use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as masks and gloves, correct spraying techniques, maintaining sprayers and nozzles, and triple rinsing of used containers. CropLiIfe India has similar projects being executed in the state of Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and the endeavor is to extend them to other states across the country.