SWADHINA/ERM : Training On Organic Farming:
A two day training on Organic Farming was held at Ghatsila area on 8th and 9th April, 2018. The programme started with registration of participants who were invited from among the
working villages of Swadhina of East Singbhum, Jharkhand. The participant arrived at the venue at 9 a.m. Introducing the programme of the workshop Ms. Saswati Roy, Secretary of
Thereafter, Ms. Smriti Sarkar conducted an interesting session on Organic Farming using the Training Booklet named “Jaiba Chaas” prepared specially for training on the subject. She explained that Organic Farming helped all lives present on earth – human, animals, birds, and fish, by way of providing them with required safe food and nutrition. Moreover it helps preservation of ecological balance, sustain healthy environment and repair the damage already caused by the so called modern forms of hybrid chemical based farming.
Ms. Rina Acharjee, the next facilitator expained on “compost fertilizers. Explaining her personal experience on this she said Swadhina had earlier helped villagers to make a large number of compost pits in Patamdah rural area in the East Singbhum district. This can easily be replicated in this area, she added. Explaining the technical details she said it should be ideally 3 feet long, 3 feet broad and 3 feed deep pit. All available waste like dry leaves, hay, paddy husk, cow dung, chicken or duck droppings and, anything that is naturally available. It should then be covered with lose soil, after adding a little water just to make it moist.
Hereafter there was a lively session on the question raised by the ERM team “what are the organic fertilizers the Swadhia using at present ?”. Yeshoda Mardi, one the village participant and also who herself maintain an kitchen garden explained various types of fertilizers. She was one of the 6 participants who attended Organic Farming training held in Tirupati. Some of the fertilizers were using: “Rotten Fruit and jaggery”, “Fermented Rice”, “Egg Shells”, “Rotten Fish”. For pesticides, simple things like neem leaves, tobacco leaves, common village oven ash etc.
Ms. Sreemoyee Bhattacharya, ERM made a very interesting power point presentation on organic fertilizers and pesticides and the immense benefits we get through them.
There was a very informative discussion on Green Revolution which was fostered in India a few decades ago. No doubt it helped producing high quantity of food grains in the country, and, it also provided great profit for the farmers. But the irony is that it also made long range damage to the soil due to heavy usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
The second day session was held on May 9, 2018, at the Benasole village, a few kilometer away from Ghatsila. The session started with a small ceremony as this was the birth anniversary of poet and nobel laurette Rabindranath, and the participants sang together the poet’s song “ Aguner Parashmoni”.
Sri Laduram Mahato who was supervising earlier the Kitchen Garden programme of Swadhina in the area explained the formation of the garden. He explained that there is a need formaintaining a specific area for the garden. The recommended size is 24’x14’. Each bed should be 4’ broad. There should be 2’ passage in both the sides and middle. It is suggested that there should be bamboo made fence all round, and, discarded fish-net is available in the market for nominal cost. This net can be used for covering to prevent small chiken harming the saplings. Soil should be made very lose and “Rotten Fruit Fertilizer’ with half cup : one large bucket ratio can by sprinkled with hand, a week before sowing the seeds. The idea of kitchen garden is to have many varieties of vegetables – the idea is not quantifying the yield. But to have limited number of plants of many varieties so that there is regular vegetables in the kitchen for all in the family ! A few marigold can be planted on the sides which will prevent insects and pests. Neem water can be sprinkled from time to time to prevent the invasion of insects and pests.
Each participant was given a small seed packet as a token of involvement.
The training came to end with the participants singing together a social song.
The participants were : Yeshoda Mardi, Lalita Purty, Sarth Soy, Kapura Tudu, Saraswati
Mardi, Dipika Soren, Champa Murmu, Sunita Murmu, Jamuna Soren, Bali Soren (Benasole), Soma Karmakar, Sabia Sundi, Mari Bari (Fouzi) Karmi Kisku, Sulekha Kisku (Kadamdih)
Papia Sharma (Latia) Madhumita Sarkar (Mosaboni) Supriti Murmu (Burudih), Rina Acharjee (Purulia), Laduram Mahato (Hurumbil), Saswati Roy (Ghatsila), Smriti Sarkar (Kolkata), Sonia Bhattacharya, Sreemoyee Bhattacharya, Soumi Ghose (ERM)