Smallholder farmers are a crucial part of the food value chain and economy in Assam. The COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown created many hardships for our farmers like severe shortage of labor and equipment plus loss of crops. To mitigate this, North East Network has extended its livelihood support through an agricultural programme to enable farmers with additional training on organic practices. NEN collaborated with Pabhoi Greens in Biswanath Chariali, Assam to train 101 farmers from 5 districts of Assam during the first phase in November-December 2020.
Pabhoi Greens is an agro-based organization whose vision is to safeguard indigenous seeds. To achieve this, they have started the first organic seed production and seed bank in North East (NE) India. Their primary goal is to replicate the best adaptable varieties in the region.
The farmers were trained in 6 different batches and each training was held for 3 days. The training included following activities:
- Land preparation for seed germination
- Land preparation for filling the vegetable plant
- Land preparation for sowing seeds
- Vermin compost
- Cutting, Grafting and Layering
- Learning different kinds of organic pesticides
- Bee Keeping
- Urban Gardening
- Paddy and fish rearing
The participants understood the difference between traditional faming practices that they have been practicing and the new techniques in organic farming. The training will help the partcipants to dissemminate knowledge on the best practices to other farmers in their community as well. Besides this, being independent and self reliant will further help in reducing gender based discrimination and violence against women and also facilitate women’s decision making.