Need to encourage use of green farm inputs

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 May 2018 11:08:35


By Piyush Shrivastava

Fresh guidelines on food production practices have been issued by the Government of India, encouraging use of green and carbon-rich farm input material. The availability of green input is very low. Against this, food grown with green inputs has high demand, especially, in urban markets. The wide difference of demand and supply has emerged as opportunity for the production of green farm input material. Especially, the opportunity has ample scope for the agricultural and veterinary science graduates. The new line of enterprises is taking shape in the State with rise in demand to switching to chemical-free farming.

In Madhya Pradesh, four units of microbial inoculants or green farm input production are operational, including one at Seoni and another two units in Damoh district and first at Jabalpur in JNAU. Similarly, bio-fertilizer, animal or bio waste manure manufacturing units are also operational in Panager, Jabalpur while the vermin-compost units are also getting popular amongst farmers to produce their input using farm waste also gaining popularity. In encouraging progressive farmers, agriculture graduates towards development of enterprises for modern farming input products, the Jawaharlal Nehru Agriculture University (JNAU), in association with the Veterinary Science University, National Agriculture Bank of Rural Development, Indian Council of Agriculture Research is providing training and technical assistance right from the incubation level to successful operations of enterprising system through its Business Development and Planning Unit.

Ashish Patel, an entrepreneur running the first microbial inoculants production unit in Seoni, said that owing to need of changing farming practices to bring quality in agriculture production, the education of end-users and development of belief is very important. As market has been strongly captured by the in-organic products. Enhancing proper education of farmers’ community on use of such products is needed. Government runs various training and exposure programmes through different institutions, but there is need for lot more.Ravi Gupta, President, Mahakoshal Chamber of Commerce and Industries (MCCI) opined that Government is providing support through various schemes and programmes to new entrants. But challenges are there for the new entrants in establishing their brands like enterprises of other sectors. For education of farmers too, exposure trips and agri-technology park like areas should be developed by Agriculture Department and educational institutions for experiential learning of farmers so that they could see and believe the performance of new product range. Besides this, some subsidy on the use of new range of eco-friendly products could help in attracting attention of farmers.

Dr B Sachidanand, Director, Bio-Fertilizer Production Centre, JNAU opined that mainly, progressive farmers are the prime users of these products as they are aware about the market demand of quality products. The agriculture graduates are being encouraged through different schemes to enter in farm input production sector. Besides this, technical assistance is being provided to new entrepreneurs in development of market and maintaining quality standards of products. These three units are in operation at Seoni and Damoh districts and are being given technical assistance and production training by the JNAU team.