A team of 20 participants consisting of 16 farmers and 4 NEN staff from 9 different communities from Nagaland, went on a training cum exposure trip to Pabhoi Greens, Pabhoi, Biswanath Chariali, Assam. The residential skill enhancement training on organic farming was held between 26th-30th September 2021, and was facilitated by the Pabhoi Greens Team.
The focus of the training was to build second generation farmers by introducing new techniques and methodologies to boost their existing skills to continue organic farming in their respective communities. The curriculum was tailor fit to help cope and adapt with the changing climate and farming scenario and to motivate youngsters to take up farming professionally.
The farmers went through practical session on propagation methods – cutting , layering, grafting, pisciculture, nursery management, apiculture, bio pest & fertilizers, and seed management to equip them with the skills and knowledge to take up economically viable agro-allied enterprises suited to their areas, which is the need of the hour to preserve the existing traditional knowledge. At the same time the aim is to make far ming an economically sustainable profession for younger generations to take up as a successful livelihood option.
At Pabhoi Greens, the participants were given hands on experience in the field, where the session started as early as 6 am in the morning and discussions went on till late in the evening. Pabhoi Greens founder Neelam Dutta unceasingly dedicated his time and shared his knowledge of over two decades as a farmer with our young upcoming farmers from Nagaland.
The participants also had the opportunity to visit a tea processing plant McLeod Russel India Limited giving a unique insight into the different processing levels of tea from the plucking of leaves to the packaging of the processed tea.
The sessions proved to be resourceful and beneficial for many of the participants. They shared their experiences as following: “ It has helped to look at new avenues like pisciculture and vermicomposting besides my experience as an organic farmer” shared a participant.
Many of the participants found the session on propagation particularly helpful as it will be an added skill for the farmers to take up back at the community level. The participants also committed to sharing their newly acquired knowledge among their peers and community members to further inspire and encourage farmers to take up farming professionally instead of waiting for white collar jobs, a stereotypical mindset which needs to be shaken from its roots.