It has been pretty long time since we’ve communicated with you about the progress of SRT-SRF team with the farmers in various areas; mainly because every one of us with our all capacities of mind, body and energy were occupied with the farmers. We began extension of SRT knowledge to farmers in 2013 with a very small group of 30 farmers. Whereas during last April-May-June Team SRT (8 locations) have been meeting at least 50 farmers per day throughout Maharashtra. All these meetings to orient the farmers for Zero Till SRT technique was in the form of meeting with one to one or group of farmers; either in field demonstration or documentary screening.
Present SRT team includes 6 agricultural graduates, 1 IT professional and three expert farmers working in 11 thrust areas as follows:
- Salav – Murud
- Alibaug – Pen
- Vasind – Shahapur
- Tarapur – Vasai – Mokhada
- Pune – Maval – Mulshi
- Roha – Karjat
- Satara – Kolhapur
- Chandrapur – Gadchiroli – Nagpur
- Ratnagiri – Dapoli – Khed – Chiplun
- Nasik – Ghoti
- Rest of India
We are not able to confirm the exact number of farmers in all these areas today but we should be able to finish this work by the end of this crop season. We are going to give a permanent serial number to each farmer with his/her GPS location and farm details. Progressive photographs of each farmer will be available for analytics and checking progress. As of now the participating farmers have completed bed making and sowing operations. The handholding of farmers enters into second phase which is weed management, gap filling and fertilizer application; the important stage for success of the whole exercise.
Other than field crops we are attempting Carbon Sequestration by SRT principles and live contour bunding on hill slopes at four sites. The projected objectives are:
- To stop wildfire completely.
- Assured increase in green cover with low maintenance plants.
- Confirming probability of use of cliff Banana, Vetiver grass, Karvanda bush and Phoenix palm in combination as live contour bund to prevent soil erosion.
Also, effective Carbon Sequestration in Horticulture projects with SRT principles is being tried at three different locations.
It is a Conservation Agriculture (CA), Zero Till method of farming which does not cause atrocity of tillage, completely stops soil erosion, promotes natural production of earthworms, increases organic carbon of the soil, considerably increases productivity of the land and added effect of amazing happiness and confidence to the farmer.