• Farmer’s Handbook on Basic Agriculture
          نویسنده / نویسندگان: B. Srinivas, IAS Director General MANAGE
          Agriculture is an important sector of Indian Economy as more than half of its population relies on Agriculture as principle source of income. Research and Extension systems play major role in generation and dissemination of Agricultural technologies aiming at enhancing the income of farmers. The extension system adopts series of extension methods such as Training, demonstration, exposure visit to transfer the technologies from lab to land. Majority of these extension efforts mainly focus on location and crop specific technologies, and mostly on solution to problem basis. However, there is a need for equipping the farmers with Basic knowledge of Agriculture in order to create a better knowledge platform at farmer level for taking appropriate farm management decisions and to absorb modern technologies. In view of this, Desai Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. (DFV), India, in cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in close cooperation with National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE- An Organization of Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India) brought out Farmer’s Handbook on Basic Agriculture to impart technical knowledge on Basic Agriculture to farmers to provide holistic perspective of scientific Agriculture. This handbook is a product of series of brainstorming workshops and consultative meetings with various stakeholders such as Researchers, Academicians, Extension Functionaries, Agripreneurs, Master Trainers and Farmers. Based on the identified needs, the topics were prioritized and contents were developed with the help of experts. The farmer-friendly content has been written in simple language, using more pictures with practical examples for the benefit of farmers. The book contains six chapters, each focusing on a particular topic. The first chapter, “General conditions for cultivation of crops”, talks about the basic needs of farmers and farming sector, by providing basic knowledge on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), enhancing the awareness of farmers on critical factors in selection of crops and cropping patterns, judicious use of natural resources such as soil and water, and emphasizing the importance of mechanization in the field of agriculture. The second chapter “Soil and Plant Nutrition” is aimed at increasing the awareness and understanding of farmers about soil, it’s structure, physical, chemical, biological properties, soil fertility and managing the soil fertility in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. It also focuses on the need for soil ******ing, plant nutrition requirement, organic & inorganic fertilizers, and Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) for efficient, economic and sustainable production of crops. The third chapter of the book is about Pest Management, and focuses on enhancing the awareness of and understanding among farmers about the crop pests, diseases and weed management through Integrated Pest Management. It also aims at sensitizing farmers on safe handling of chemicals and plant protection equipments as also elaborated further in the fifth chapter on “Occupational health and safety of farmers”. It creates awareness about causes, preventive measures of health hazards, risks & fatalities in agriculture, and use of first aid in emergencies. It further includes safety tips and care to reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities while handling machineries and pesticides by farmers. Time and resources management is an integral part of each and every activity, be it service sector, business or day-to-day activities of life. Farming sector too has not remained untouched by it. Therefore, the fourth chapter of the book is devoted to “Farm Management”. It is to educate and equip the farmers to make proper plans, take appropriate decisions and also to take advantage of the improved technologies to increase production, assure food security for the family and market opportunities to increase income considering available resources, anticipated risks, including market fluctuations. “Farmer’s access to services”, the last chapter of the book, aims at enhancing awareness among farmers about sources of extension, information and services, public and private extension services, agricultural credit, insurance and legal aspects through Information & Communication Technologies. The content is useful not only for farmers but also for other stakeholders involved in farm advisory services such as Agri input dealers, Agripreneurs, Kisan Call Centers and extension functionaries working at grass roots level. We trust that this Handbook will benefit maximum number of farmers to make farming economically and environmentally more sustainable.