Rainfed agriculture network launches farmer awareness campaign in Himachal

Updated on Jun 06, 2020 06:12 PM IST

The programme aims to motivate farmers to grow food crops in some portions of their landholding along with others crops

A farmer plowing a field at Dadlaghat village in Solan district on Saturday(Deepak Sansta/HT)
A farmer plowing a field at Dadlaghat village in Solan district on Saturday(Deepak Sansta/HT)
Hindustan Times/Shimla | By, Shimla

In order to boost the immunity of the people of the state amid coronavirus pandemic, HimRRA - a state group of Revitalising Rainfed Agriculture (RRA) Network has decided to run a state-wide farmers awareness campaign incorporation with various NGOs, civil society organisations and individuals of the state to motivate farmers to grow food crops in some portions of their landholding along with others crops.

Various tools such as video, posters and pamphlets are prepared for information and communication purposes under this campaign to answer questions such as what are the source of good nutrition, why to grow food crops, which crops to prefer, how to grow and process the millets and why it is important to grow local varieties and likewise.

Sukhdev Vishwapremi, member of Parvatiy Tikau Kheti Abhiyan said that through this campaign, the civil society organisation will reach out to farmers’ families and request them to keep a small portion of their landholding under food crops cultivation as well as will provide the information on their importance to fight coronavirus.

He said that many experts stated that people with good immunity can better fight the viruses. So, it is of utmost importance to prioritise the immunity of individuals to mitigate the potential infection of viruses. Himachal Pradesh is an agrarian livelihood dominated state with 70% of its working population indulged in the same but in the past few decades, priorities were given to cash crops in place of food crops. At present approximately 1/3rd of its total sown area is under horticulture and commercial farming, which is highest in any mountain states of India.

To build a sound immune system it is important to consume nutrition rich content such as millets, vegetables, pulses, oilseeds and milk products. Historically, they were the inherent part of the food system in the Himalayan region but over the years the same got replaced with cash crops and people shifted towards processed food, he added.

This campaign will be covering as many as 10 districts of the state and will be carried out before the sowing of Kharif crops. Seeing the limitation of physical meetings and discussion, associates of NGOs will reach out to various farming families, Self-help groups, Mahila Mandal, farmers’ club, FPOs and PRI representatives through telephonic calls and messaging tools such as Whatsapp.

The campaign had already started in most of the targeted areas in the state. Along with the awareness around the cultivation of nutrition crops, farming families are also motivated to get involved in the various contemporary agrarian livelihood programmes of the Himachal Pradesh government such as “Mukhya Mantri Ek Bigha Yojana”.

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