Minutes SDTT - SRI PARTNERS’ MEET Hotel Aketa, Dehradun 22-24 February 2011A three day National Level Meet of SDTT SRI Partners was organized at Hotel Aketa,Dehradun, Uttarakhand, from 22nd to 24th February 2011. The meet witnessed activeparticipation of 71 participants from the Government, NGO, Civil Society organizationsand several other notable persons working in the development sector. The meet wassupported by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) and Allied Trusts, Mumbai and organizedby the SRI Secretariat (Livolink Foundation), Bhubaneswar and Peoples ScienceInstitute (PSI), Dehradun. During the course of the three days, the first two dayscomprised of in-house discussions at Dehradun and on the final day a field exposurevisit was organized to a project area of Haridwar Block.The objective of organising this meeting at Dehradun was to share experiences ofpromoting SRI from different parts of India. This meeting presented an opportunity tochalk out ideas aiming towards meaningful attempt by NGO partners working forpromotion and greater adoption of SRI. It also aimed at application of the same SRIprinciples to other important crops for ensuring food security. Additionally, this platformnecessitated contextual review of current activities under the project at the national level.Representatives of partner-NGOs working under the SDTT-SRI programme were invitedto share their experiences on SRI in their respective areas and thus facilitate greatercross learning. This event helped partners discuss about constraints in programmeimplementation and finding out probable solutions. PowerPoint presentations, groupdiscussions, short films on SRI were the mode of deliberations in this two day meeting.NGO partners also exhibited a wide range of teaching and learning materials like trainingmanuals, booklets, pamphlets, posters, implements and machineries etc. for informationdissemination on SRI in a small display-exhibition co-currently being displayed in theSomerset Hall of Hotel Aketa, Dehradun.Day 1Inauguration and WelcomeAn overview of the SDTT SRI programme along with core objectives of organizing thismeet was provided by the SRI Secretariat. Dr Ravi Chopra, Director-PSI, Dehradunchaired the inaugural session of the meeting.Overall experience of SDTT SRI ProgramMr M. Biswanath Sinha, Senior Programme Officer, SDTT & AT, Mumbai provided abroad overview of experiences from the SRI programme initiated by Sir Dorabji TataTrust and Allied Trusts. While mentioning about all the collaborations made in the SRIprogramme with various State governments, Jharkhand has made notable strides. Healso cited collaborations in research on SRI being made with Bidhan Chandra Krishi
Vishwavidyalaya (BCKV), Kalyani amongst others. Mr Sinha emphasized on the need toincorporate SRI in programmes of various Government agencies. He provided details ofthe geographical outreach and state-wise farmer coverage in the SRI programme. It wasworth mentioning that in the plains, expansion could be made possible rapidly incomparison to hilly or mountainous regions. Intensifying crop productivity by applyingSRI principles to other major crops has also been a distinct feature of this programme.He also highlighted on the fact that small and lesser known NGOs were successful inpromoting SRI and also in leveraging funds from NABARD.Learnings of NABARD SRI ProgrammeMr Sanjiv Dhameja from the NABARD Regional Office, Dehradun, provided an overviewof NABARDs intervention on SRI. The role of NABARD has been to broad-base the SRImethodology and creation of volunteers for the spread of SRI at the grassroot level. Asof now NABARD has initiated SRI in 14 states of the country covering an area of 28,000hectares. The two dedicated funds available for the purpose are the FarmersTechnology Transfer Fund (FFTF) for enabling appropriate technologies for improvedproductivity through farmers clubs and the Farm Innovation Promotion Fund (FIPF)applicable for promoting innovations in the field of agriculture and farm sector activities.Comments from the ChairDr Ravi Chopra while addressing the house as the session chairperson praised SirDorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) with specific reference to supporting activities for researchpurposes on SRI. Dr Chopra expressed concern on the prevailing gap in production anddemand of essential food grains. He remarked that SRI should be adopted not as atechnology, but as a method on some set of principles only. He also expressedapprehension on the soil nutrient status due to increased productivity and yields arisingfrom practicing SRI. Dr Chopra stated the difficulty in roping the Government forcollaborations initiatives like SRI. He emphasized on the need to strengthen collectivegroups like farmers groups for upscaling SRI and towards its future sustenance.Partners’ PresentationsGO-NGO Collaboration for upscaling SRI in UttarakhandUpscaling SRI in Uttarakhand through GO-NGO collaboration was rendered by MrDebashish Sen who commenced with PSI’s upscaling strategy for SRI and relatedobjectives. While outlining GO-NGO collaborations, targeting 10,000 farmers from all 13districts, orientation workshops for agriculture officers, training programme for ADOs atthe Block level, exposure visits etc. was mentioned. In case of ATMA few partnersreceived support in the form of seeds, equipments and conducted training in sevendistricts. Training programmes in two districts for farmers and master trainers were doneunder Uttarakhand Decentralized Watershed Programme. Linkages with AgriculturalUniversities and Research Institutions have been initiated. NABARD is also supportingnine partner organizations to promote SCI for the year 2011-12. In the state of HimachalPradesh also, PSI could leverage funds under the RKVY programme of the HimachalState Government.GO-NGO Collaboration for upscaling SRI in Orissa
A PowerPoint presentation on GO-NGO collaboration in the State of Orissa wasrendered by Ms R Pradhan, CWS, Bhubaneswar. While speaking on interventions madewith PRIs, activities under SRI being taken for inclusion in village level plans,involvement of PRIs in mobilizing critical input support etc were mentioned. Formation offarmers clubs, federations and SHGs has also been a feature to propagate SRI. WomenSHG leaders have been capacitated to act as trainers for upscaling the methodology.Collaborative events such as with Department of Agriculture in organizing State levelSRI symposium, district level workshops, exposure visit of Government and media mento SRI fields, publications in print as well as coverage in electronic media has been doneby them.GO-NGO Collaboration for upscaling SRI in BiharMr Anil Verma, PRADAN, Gaya, discussed on the GO-NGO collaborative modalities onSRI upscaling in the state of Bihar. Some of the broad strategies undertaken in thisregard have been the use of audio-visual aids, village campaigning, associatinggovernment extension and KVK officials, organizing workshops and participating inKisan melas of the state government. Notable organizations with whom collaborationscould be taken up are Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Technology ManagementAgency and DRD, Patna.Findings of On – Farm ResearchThe detailed research findings were undertaken by the SRI Secretariat, Bhubaneswar.Mr Ashutosh Pal, Executive, SRI Secretariat rendered a presentation on the subject. Adetailed overview of the objectives of undertaking this research was outlined. The SRIResearch is in the second year of its trial and it can be validated only after trialsundertaken for a period of three years. For the present year, six partners had undertakenSRI research on several aspects. The partners who had undertaken research trials forKharif 2010 are PRADAN-Gaya, PRADAN-Raigarh, Harsha Trust-Kalahandi, RajarhatPRASARI-Kolkata, PRAGATI-Koraput and PSI-Dehradun.Partners’ PresentationsParallel Session IThe first parallel session comprised of five presentations from partners. Mr Anil Vermawas the session moderator and Mr Girija Nanadan Upadhyay was the rapporteur.Presentation by SPWD JharkhandMr Sharat Panda, Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development, Ranchi rendered apresentation on their activities in the SDTT-SRO Program. At the onset Mr Singhprovided a detail on the three agro – climatic sub-zones prevailing in Jharkhand andtheir characteristics. Target wise achievement for all the partners under SPWD wasprovided. In terms of convergence, training to 2200 farmers through ATMA on SRI hasbeen provided. Poor monsoon has resulted in few numbers of drop-outs from the
methodology. Amongst future strategies enlisted atre senstization for Panchayat leaders,linkages with government programmes and initating SRI in un-served distrcists ofJharkahdn.Presentation of MVDA UttarakhandMr Avtar Singh Negi, Secretary, Mount Valley Development Agency, Tehri Garhwal,commenced with the project objectives and implementation stategies adopted. Beforeproceeding to the SRI activities, Mr Negi also mentioned important milestones reachedby his organization such as formation of a milk marketing federaton, more than a 1000member women CBO, more than three dozen bal panchyayats and five successfulmodels of livelihoods. 5420 farmers are promotiong SRI in an area coverage of 367 Ha.MVDA has also applied SRI principles to wheat. Some of the challenges faced by themhas been initial dis-trust of the people, prevalent traditional agriculture practices as wellas inefficency of people while operating SRI implements.Presentation of RNBA ManipurMr Gaikhangjang Gangmei, Rongmei Naga Baptist Association, Imphal discussed aboutthe project implementing partners and operational areas under the SRI programme. Atotal of 1625 farmers has been their achievement as of now. He also provided graphicalrepresentations of grain and straw yields resulting from SRI and that of conventionalpractices. Some of the major impact while implementing SRI has been improvedagriculture extension in hill districts of Manipur and awareness of farmers to intensifyagriculture productivity through improved methods. Covergence has also beenestablished in the case of one partner which has collaborated with NABARD forpromoting SRI.Presentation of PRASARI West BengalMr Rajeev Sharma provided a presentation on behalf of the organization PRASARI inWest Bengal. Mr Sharma gave an overview of the geographic coverage of activitiesunder PRASAR and mentioned that apart from 1833 farmers who have undertaken SRI,many farmers especially in Coochbehar District are applying SRI principles in crops likemustard and wheat also. Problems encountered are like almost no availability of waterfrom March onwards, saline soils especially in the Gosaba and Basanti Blocks of theSunderban region, failure of local seeds etc. He gave the concept of SRI Kendras whichwould be promoted and managed by farmers clubs. The concept is however, is yet to beexplored by PRASARI.Presentation of AAAS MaharastraMr H Siddhanti from Amhi Amhcya Arogyasathi, Kurkeda, gave a presentation in whichthe background of the project and geographical expansion was mentioned. More than2400 farmers are undertaking SRI in four of their project districts viz. Chandrapur,Gadchiroli, Gondia and Bhandara across 1200 acres of land in eastern parts ofMaharastra. Applying principles of SRI to other crops like millets is on the cards. One ofthe major positive impacts mentioned by the organization has been the growingpopularity of SRI amongst farmers in the Vidarbha region.Parallel Session II
Presentation by PRADAN ChattisgarhMr Kuntal Mukherjee rendered a presentation on behalf of the Chattisgarh’s PRADANteam. At present a total number of 12 partners are involved in promotion of SRI inChattisgarh. Approach for extension, SRI steps follwed by farmers was highlighted.Comparison between yields resulting from traditional and that of SRI practices wasindicated. He mentioned about a “SRI Manch” formed in Chattisgarh comprising of 11NGOs that is emerging as an effective forum for policy advocacy on the subject.Presentation by ASA BiharRepresenting Action for Social Advancement, Mr Shreesh Tripathy commenced hispresentation by stating the organization’s mission, areas of intervention and provided anoverview of their achievements on SRI. ASA has covered more than 1000 farmers forKharif 2010 season on SRI in an area spanning 73 Ha. They have also doneconsiderable application of SRI principles to wheat and successfully covered more than2000 farmers on an area of 181 Ha till rabi season. ASA’s intervention is in three districtsof Bihar and they have been able to promote 60 farmers groups as of now.Convergences with NABARD and Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society (BRLPS)have been initiated.Presentation of RC MaharastraOn behalf of Rural Communes, Mumbai, Ms Trupti Kadam provided an insight on theirSRI activities. Rural Communes works with 12 other NGO partners in Maharastra andfor Kharif 2010 season they have intensified paddy in six districts. 132 VLRPs have beentrained on SRI and support to farmers in terms of exposure, arranging SRI implements,organic fertilizers, quality seeds is being done. She highlighted on strategies forupscaling SRI like wall paintings and writings in 55 villages, slogans for village levelawareness, training programmes, street plays etc. Application of SRI principles to othercrops like wheat and vegetables has also been initiated. Organizing state levelsymposium on SRI and intensification of the principles to minor millets and othervegetables tops the future agenda of Rural Communes.Presentation of GVK UttarakhandMr Parendra Saklani provided an overview of the work done in System of CropIntensification (SCI) by his organization Garhwal Vikas Kendra based in Tehri District ofUttarakhand. Against a set target of 5000 farmers in SRI, GVK has achieved 4766farmers for 2010-11. In SWI, they have achieved 1126 farmers, more than the stipulatedtarget of 1000 farmers. Trials with other crops notably tomato, cabbage, maize, chilli andrajma (kidney beans) has also been experimented by farmers. Mr Saklani mentionedthat heavy floods have affected around 766 farmers over an area of 61 hectares.Presentation of PRAGATI Orissa
Mr Prabhakar Adhikari provided a presentation on the activities of PRAGATI based inKoraput District of Orissa. He highlighted three major issues prevailing in tribal areasthat are food insecurity, low productivity and migration. Some of the initiativesundertaken by the organization to promote organic SRI are village meetings, videoshows in villages, farmer’s trainings, ToTs and conducting exposure trips. District levelSRI symposium, block level interface between PRIs and farmers, media consultation aswell as street plays has been organized. Till Kharif 2010 the coverage has been morethan 2300 farmers on SRI. PRAGATI is one of the six organizations undertakingresearch trials on select aspects with the SRI Secretariat under the SDTT-SRI Program.Summary of Parallel Session IMr Anibrata Biswas provided the following observations from the five presentations ofthis session: It was evident that food security is the common objective of most of the organizations undertaking SRI Tribals and vulnerable communities are being served by many of the partners All the organizations are emphasizing and motivating farmers to go for SRI. Use of organic manures are more pronounced for several SRI partners and there is an observation on the decreased use of chemical fertilizers System of Root Intensification must be emphasized and diversification to crops beyond rice must be encouraged to increase food security All the individual presentations provided encouraging insights and learning for all present in the meetSummary of Parallel Session II DAY-2Presentation on SCI and Food Security in mountain regions of UttarakhandMr Debashish Sen commenced his presentation on the subject by providing an overviewof the state whereby it was remarked that Uttarakhand is food deficit in terms of therequirement and production of important crops like rice, wheat, coarse cereals andpulses. SRI principles has been adopted and applied in Uttarakhand to various crops likewheat, finger millets, kidney bean etc. Results of trials on other crops have shown theaverage percentage increase in grain yield to be more than sixty percent. More than13,000 farmers have undertaken SRI and 1700 farmers were mobilized to apply SRIprinciples to other crops. Even during drought conditions, the SRI crop fared wellcompared to paddy under conventional practices. Research trials were also undertakenfor SCI. The BC ratio has been more than 2:1 for most SCI crops. Some of the criticalareas for upscaling SRI suggested by Mr Sen are research on SCI, improvement inpackage of practices, effective capacity building strategies, networking amongststakeholders and establishing convergences with other programmes.
Presentation on SRI ImplementsPresentation by IDE (I)Mr Girija Nandan Upadhyay representing International Development Enterprises (India)commenced by providing the advantages of weeding and its importance in SRI. Adetailed overview of the KB weeder was pictorized. To provide SRI adopters with easy touse and low cost implements, Mr Upadhyay mentioned that IDEI has identified anddeveloped manufacturers in various locations in West Bengal. While discussing aboutthe supply chain mechanism, it was mentioned that 22 dealers are present for sale ofweeders in remote rural locations. Strict quality control measures are adopted duringmanufacture of the SRI implements by the organization.Presentation by KGVK RanchiThe presentation was provided by Mr Rajesh Singh and Mr Mohit Kumar from the KrishiGram Vikas Kendra (KGVK), Ranchi, which was established as the CSR wing of UshaMartin Limited. Krishi weeder designed by KGVK is a prominent name in SRI circles inthe country and has now even reached international boundaries like Nepal and the UK.The Krishi weeder model was described as well as seed drill. A list of partners withKGVK in this regard was provided both in India and abroad. The plant andmanufacturing process at KGVK was also described in detail.Sub-Group PresentationsFour sub-groups were formed amongst the participants to evolve standard package ofpractices (PoPs) for four prominent crops to which SRI principles have been applied.The four crops selected were Wheat, Finger Millets, Mustard and Vegetables. Details ofgroup findings of the four sub-groups are attached in Annexure – I.Short Pictorial PresentationsNine short pictorial presentations were part of the event in which the nine select partnersprovided brief overview of their work, achievements and innovations on SRI throughphotographic illustrations with appropriate captions. The partners who provided the shortpictorial presentations were BoJBP Nayagarh, KSS Saharsa, PNVS Rudraprayag,WORD Kendujhargarh, RDA West Midnapore, NIRMAN Nayagarh, TRCSCJamshedpur, CARR Cuttack and PRAVAT Purulia.Discussion on coping strategies and risk mitigation in rainfed areas and dis-adoption in SRI and stratefgies for overcoming itAStatus of MIS submitted by Partners
Award for Best Display in teaching and learning materialsThree awards for the best display in teaching and learning materials on SRI that tookplace in the premises of the meeting hall were given away in the final session of the day.Dr Sanjiv Phansalkar, Ms Dolon Ganguly and Mr Rajesh Singh were the three judgeswho decided on the best three display items in the hall. The awards went to: 1) First Prize – Lok Prerna Deoghar 2) Second Prize – PRAGATI Koraput 3) Third Prize – PSI DehradunValedictory AddressMr Anibrata Biswas, SRI Secretariat at the end thanked all the NGO partners and theirrepresentatives for their active and participatory discussions over the course of the twodays, officials from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts-Mumbai, representativesfrom the Uttarakhand Government, NABARD and from the media for participating in thetwo day event and to PSI in supporting SRI Secretariat, Bhubaneswar in successfullyorganizing the event at Dehradun. *********************