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HindustanTimes Wed,30 Jul 2014

ATMA helps man get new lease of life

Punkaj Bhaartiya, Hindustan Times  Hamirpur, June 24, 2013
First Published: 23:47 IST(24/6/2013) | Last Updated: 23:49 IST(24/6/2013)

After his wife's death in 2005, Bhalna village resident Amar Singh thought that he would not be able to lead a peaceful and happy life anymore.

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However, after retiring from Escorts, where he had been working at the time of his wife's death, he decided to work in his fields to earn his livelihood.

Though he possessed 57 kanals, he was unhappy with the productivity of crops, so he approached the department of agriculture for assistance, following which experts from Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) stepped in and changed his life completely.

They helped him construct a check dam costing Rs. 80,000, and get hybrid seeds of various vegetables, including tomato, brinjal, lady finger and bottle gourd (ghiya).

The ATMA experts also organised a workshop for him and other local villagers and trained them in latest agricultural technologies, especially those pertaining to vegetables.

Singh also set up a sprinkler to irrigate his thirsty land, costing Rs. 50,000, out of which he was given Rs. 40,000 as subsidy.

In the first phase, he sowed lady finger. By selling the harvest, he started getting a net income of Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 12,000 per month.

Satisfied with the result, Singh started growing other vegetables, and is now content.

Now, he has married his daughter and his son, who also helps him in the fields, is getting higher education in a local school.

Singh has now also engaged a family from Uttar Pradesh to help him in the fields. The family is leading a happy life and thanks Singh for helping them during a crisis.

Giving credit to the experts of ATMA for his success, Singh says, “Whatever I am today is all due to them. I wish other farmers would also seek help from the department of agriculture to get good crops and live a good life.”

ATMA is a registered society, the members of which are involved in research and extension activities for sustainable agricultural development.

It is also responsible for day-to-day management of the public agricultural technology system under the chairmanship of the deputy commissioner. The society also maintains revolving accounts that are used to collect fees to recover operating costs.

The main goals of ATMA are to decentralise decision-making, increase farmer input for programme planning and resource allocation, increase programme co-ordination and integration so that issues such as innovations in farming system, farmer organisation and technology gaps can be addressed efficiently.


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