State Symposium West Bengal
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  • 1. Organized by BANGLAR SRI In collaboration with BIDHAN CHANDRA KRISHI VISWAVIDYALAYA (BCKV) & DIRECTORATE OF RICE DEVELOPMENT (DRD-PATNA) Supported by SIR DORABJI TATA TRUSTPDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 2. 1. Banglar SRI Collectivization of the SRI promotion efforts has become a felt need in the State of West Bengal. With the objective of promoting a state-level SRI learning forum, Banglar SRI has been evolving as a platform with the participation from the various SRI promoting and facilitating organizations .There are the representatives of academia in the “Bangalar SRI” adding values to the forum. The forum undertook to make consistent and persistent efforts toward SRI promotion and scale-up in the State. “The vision of Banglar SRI is to forge a broad alliance of organizations and collective action, from the village level up to the whole state, and across all sectors – public, private, academic, and grassroots, with civil society providing ‘glue’ for their cooperation – to banish food insecurity and create economic opportunities on a widespread basis as all citizens in West Bengal can benefit from increased productivity of our land, labor, water and capital resources”. 2. Background of the symposium and objectives The members from “Banglar SRI” has been putting an effort to facilitate a meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture (GoWB) to discuss upon the scopes for scaling up SRI in the State through the Govt. and Civil Society partnerships. The Minister-in-Charge (Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, GoWB) advised that a programme to sensitize the Agriculture Line Dept. Officer would ease the environment of discussion on SRI, across the table. Apart from that the members of the “Banglar SRI” also felt the need of a state level programme involving the Line Dept. officers at the State Head quarter and in the districts, farmers, political decision makers, Scientists, Academicians and Civil Societies. It was also thought off that the sharing from the representatives of other leading SRI States of the Country would add some positive value to the programme. The following objectives were set for the symposium: 1. Sensitizing the Govt. and potential SRI promoters of the State on SRI 2. Providing an opportunity to the farmers from different part of the State to exchange their experiences and appreciating the farmers harvested significant SRI-yield to encourage the farmer level replication of the technology 3. Providing an opportunity of mutual learning for the West Bengal govt. Agriculture stakeholders through the experience sharing from the Govt. Officers of the SRI-pioneering States 4. An opportunity for the Scientists to share their views and listening from the SRI farmers and the practitionersPDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 3. 3. Organizing the Symposium The symposium was organized by “Banglar SRI” in collaboration with Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya (BCKV) and Directorate of Rice Development (Patna) at State Youth Centre (Moulali Yuva Kendra), Kolkata from 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p. m. on 12th April-2010. 4. Reception on to the Stage The farmers (mainly the women) from different corners of the State (Dist. Coochbehar to the Coastal North and south 24 Parganas) received the following delegates onto the Stage. 1. Mr. Narendra Nath De,Minister-in-Charge ,Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Department,Govt. of West Bengal 2. Mr. Subhash Naskar, Minister-in-Charge,Irrigation and Waterways Department,Govt. of West Bengal 3. Prof. Saroj Kumar Sanyal, Vice-Chancellor, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalay 4. Dr. Gurbachan Singh, Agriculture Commission, Govt of India 5. Dr. Sanjib Chopra, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Govt. of West Bengal 6. Mr. Sarthak Barma, Director of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal 7. Dr. M. C. Diwakar, Directorate of Rice Development, Patna, Min. of Agri., GOI 8. Mr. Tarapada Chakraborty, Chairman, Agriculture standing Committee, Bidhansbha, West Bengal 9. Mr. Biswanath Sinha, Senior Program Officer, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Allied Trusts, MumbaiPDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 4. 10. Dr. Babaji Giri, Additional Director, Dept. of Agriculture, Govt. of Orissa 11. Dr. Paritosh. Bhattacharyya, Additional Director of Agriculture (Research), Govt. of WB 12. Prof. C. Shambu Prasad, Xavier Institute of Management ,Bhubaneswar, Orissa 13. Prof. A.Zaman, Head, Department of Agronomy, BCKV 14. Mr. Narayan Samanta, Joint Director (Extn),Dept of Agriculture, GoWB 15. Mr. Chittaranjan Mondal,MLA-Gosaba, South 24 Pgs. And the Member of the Agriculture Standing Committee, Bidhansabha, West Bengal 16. Mr. Lokman Mollah, Member of the Sundarban Development Board 17. Mr. Asish. Hui, Joint Director of Agriculture (Plant Protection), Dept. of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal 18. Mr. Madhab Dhara, Joint Director Rice Development, CRRS, Hooghly 5. The Programme 5.1 Welcome address by “Banglar SRI” The representative of “Banglar SRI” welcomed all the delegates, farmers from 15 districts of the State, representatives from more than 25 NGOs from different districts to the first West Bengal SRI symposium. Dr. Saroj Sanyal (Vice- Chancellor, BCKV) took the president’s chair for the inaugural session. 5.2 Speech-Dr. Sanjib Chopra (Secretary, department of Agriculture, Govt. of West Bengal) ♦ Greeted the guests and dignitaries, the farmers and the Officials of Govt. Dept. ♦ We can use SRI as a tool to increase our food production ♦ SRI increase production to an extent of 50% to 75% ♦ It’s a great technology that saves water ♦ Thanks to Vice-Chancellor. BCKV and all other Private Sector Actors extended help to organize this kind of SeminarPDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 5. ♦ Farmers participation in these programmes is most important ♦ There is a gap between the Researchers and the Implementers; and we are trying to fill that ♦ In West Bengal almost 100 000 ha. Of land has been covered under SRI ♦ Private Sectors like Ambuja Cement Foundation has been sponsoring SRI in different places ♦ We shall hear the detail on SRI from Dr. Gurbachan Singh,Directorate of Agriculture,Govt. of India 5.3 Speech- Dr. G. Singh, Agriculture Commissioner, Directorate of Agriculture, Govt of India ♦ I am pleased to get such a chance to meet all the people (especially the farmers) gathered here ♦ The SRI technique can bring Second Green Revolution ♦ All will have to work with a specific aim,this just a start to that ♦ This message should be conveyed by Press and Powerful Media to the larger mass ♦ Our resources are vast need to be managed judiciously ♦ We can increase our production using less water through the technologies like SRI ♦ The Govt. is giving stress on SRI. In the 11th Plan allocations have been made through different schemes like National food Security Mission (NFSM) so that the existing Agriculture system can see the further progress. Now steps ahead, we have to work in close collaboration with Govt. Private Sectors, NGOs etc. so that the objective of increased food production is achieved. ♦ We have good quality of lands but we can use 29% of water in India so we have to increase the Water Use Efficiency. The issue is increasing the crop yield with decreased expenses. Mixed farming can increase the productivity of land. SRI is a programme under NFSM of GoI and we should take full advantage of it. ♦ I convey my thanks to all and assure my full support to you all.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 6. [By this time Mr. Subhash Naskar (Minister-in-Charge,Irrigation and Waterways,GoWB) reached onto the stage and formally inaugurate the “Symposium”. Mr. Naskar, Dr. G.Singh, Dr. S.Chopra, Dr. S.Sanyal and Mr.Chittaranjan Mondal lighted the ‘diya’ as a symbol of inauguration.] Fig. Formal inauguration of the Symposium In between two farmers from different Agro Ecological Zone of the State shared their SRI experience of the 09-10 kharif. Fig. A Farmer from West Midnapur district sharing her SRI experience Irrespective of zones they reported an incremental yield to the extent of 50%. They reflected their mental states at different phases of the crop period while sharing.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 7. 5.4 Speech - Mr. Tarapada Chakraborty, Chairman, Agriculture standing Committee, Bidhansbha, West Bengal ♦ My greetings to the guests and the participants ♦ I could know the SRI programme in West Bengal from PRADAN a few years Block when I was an MLA from Birbhum. ♦ Stagnation in food productivity, water bodies loosing water holding capacity and the ground water level depletion, population growth are the critical issues to address ♦ SRI is a promising technology ensures higher crop yield and address some of the critical issues ♦ Agronomists from BCKV working hard to increase the crop yield in the State 5.5 Speech - Mr. Subhash Ch. Naskar (Minister-in- Charge, Irrigation and Waterways, GoWB) ♦ I am deeply concerned about this year’s rice production and role of PRASARI towards rice productivity enhancement is impressive indeed. ♦ I can say without water it is not possible to grow crop and we are going to face a severe water crisis in the coming five years. ♦ One of the reasons are most of the major water storages contributing water to West Bengal are in other states and siltation of the structures is a big problem needs inter State dealings to address. We shall seek the intervention from the Central Govt. to overcome this problem. ♦ Use of water in power and industry is another problem towards storage of water. ♦ SRI is a good system as it requires less water and takes care of the soil and environment-it is the appropriate technology in the current days. ♦ There is also a need to invent the rice seed that can tolerate salinity. ♦ Mixed cropping and mixed culture (like rice and fish together) may also be a viable option for the farmers.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 8. At this juncture three farmers from different AEZ shared their experiences on SRI and set the tune of SRI as a farmer’s friendly technology in the entire auditorium. 5.6 Speech - Prof. Saroj Kumar Sanyal, Vice- Chancellor, BCKV Dr. Sanyal expressed his thanks to Mr. S. Naskar (Minister of Irrigation and Waterways, GoWB) and other delegates mentioning their names and designation. He exhibited special thanks to Prof. Ratikanta Ghosh (Convenor of the Symposium) and other “Banglar SRI” members. He discussed about the collaborative roles of different Govt. Departments. He praised the video documentary on SRI based on Sundarban’s experience displayed in the auditorium. He focused on water use in commercial agriculture and for domestic purposes. Water has been a decaying resource and he mentioned, it’s the crucial time we look consciously on judicious management of the water resources. He talked about the technicalities of SRI, higher production through SRI and use of weeder machine and its contribution in the crop yield. In this method cow dung and other organic nutrients are used and resulting in the higher yield. He cautioned to take care of the balance between the “biomass” supplied and harvested from a particular piece of land while practicing SRI. He added we can track nutrient status of a field before and after the SRI cultivation and design the nutrient supply accordingly. [Ministerin Charge (Irrigation and Waterways, GoWB) departed from the Auditorium at 12.40 pm and the Minister in Charge (Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, GoWB) arrived-in the auditorium at 12.50 pm.] 5.7 Speech - Mr. Lokman Mollah, Member of the Sundarban Development Board ♦ I am delighted PRASARI and “Banglar SRI” with BCKV could draw the attention of the highest level officers in India towards SRI. We should make use of the improved technologies and improve the crop yield through SRI.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 9. ♦ The best part is, today the Organizations like Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Ambuja Cement Foundation and Govt. of West Bengal together advocating the utilization of this system. ♦ Salinity and “Ayla” (the cyclone) has made the life miserable for people of the Sundarbans and productivity enhancement is an issue. ♦ Government should draw plans at length to cover SRI in a wider area in the State and the Country-as it is not possible for the NGOs only. ♦ We hope that using this technique West Bengal would be achieving a crop sufficiency in near future. 5.8 Felicitation Programme There had been an exclusive felicitation programme in the Symposium. The State Minister-in-Charge (Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Department,GoWB) felicitated the MLA from Gosaba, South 24 Parganas for his outstanding efforts to popularize SRI in different districts and at the Bidhansabha (Assembly) as well. Twenty three (23) farmers from different districts were felicitated for their SRI achievements. The best SRI farmers for felicitation were nominated by the respective NGOs from different districts of the State. The felicitation Programme included a special recognition to Mr. Laxmikanta Mahato (from Purulia), the first SRI Farmer in West Bengal. 5.9 Speech - Mr. Chittaranjan Mondal (MLA and Member of the Agriculture Standing Committee- Bidhansabha,West Bengal) He introduced himself as a Farmer and described the SRI experience in his own land. He is thrilled with the enthusiasm displayed by the farmers (mainly women) when he visited the SRI Fields in Bankura and Purulia District. He highlighted the land-human ratio andPDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 10. environmental degeneration due to the present traditional agricultural systems. In this context he said, SRI is a proven and very useful technology that can ensure sufficient supply of food and save the earth. 5.10 Speech - Dr. M.C. Diwakar, Directorate of Rice Development, Patna, Ministry of Agriculture, GOI I am fortunate to be a part of this programme. Almost All the dignitaries from the State Dept. of Agriculture are here. I am optimistic that the Scenario in West Bengal will be changed soon and the farmers will experience a new dawn. The Govt. is always with you. Jai SRI-Jai Kishan. 5.11 Speech - Mr. Biswanath Sinha, Senior Program Officer, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) and Allied Trusts, Mumbai The Trust started supporting NGOs on SRI in West Bengal and Jharkhand. In the last couple of years Trust’s support on SRI has reached out to many NGOs across 10 states of the country. In the last two years SDTT has covered over 56000 (fifty six thousand) SRI-Farmers through the NGO partners in India. Last year being a drought year, the results of SRI were better than the traditional method of Rice cultivation. The Trust’s supported SRI programme was evaluated by the ICAR (Dr. B.C.Borah) and DRD Patna (Dr.M.C.Diwakar) and revealed that the small and marginal farmers have harvested an incremental yield to the tune of 70%. An estimate indicates that an amount of Rs.11 Crore investments by SDTT has generated an earning of Rs.15 Crore for the farmers through this SRI programme. The findings of the last couple of years initiative on SRI from the Trust has been encouraging and an amount of Rs.24 Crore has further been approved to support the NGOs and the State Universities to widen the coverage of SRI. Apart from this the GoI is deliberating on the possibilities of supporting Umbrella Organizations and the NGOs for SRI under the NFSM-programme. NABARD is also willing to work and fund for SRI expansion. I am in the same opinion that SRI can bring revolutions and hopeful that West Bengal would comply to the proverb “What Bengal thinks today, India thinks tomorrow”.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 11. 5.12 Speech - Dr. Paritosh. Bhattacharrya, Additional Director of Agriculture (Research), Govt. of WB He mentioned about certain opportunities and threats to deal with i.e. technology-limited water-organic manure- pesticides. Thereafter he made a vivid presentation how SRI can perfectly balance all these parameters so easily. He ended with a note that indicated the beginning “we may have a detail future line of action to put the things in place”. 5.13 speech -Mr. Asish. Hui, Joint Director of Agriculture (Plant Protection), Dept. of Agriculture, Government of West Bengal Mr. Hui highlighted the reduction of Water resources, food production vis-à-vis the 4% population growth. He expressed his hope that the Govt. would take care of this matter. More precisely he explained the available organic measures to take care of the crop health management in a very lucid language. 5.14 Speech - Mr. Narendra Nath De, Minister-in- Charge (Dept. of Agriculture and Consume affairs), Government of West Bengal ♦ Greeted “Banglar SRI” for arranging this event with BCKV ♦ In comparison to India we have 3% land but 8% of the country’s population; this is a challenge to all of us ♦ We should emphasize on use of land properly, discovering the tools and ways for proper water management, pest management, less expenditure- increased production ♦ Two things we need to emphasize on: Increasing productivity and crop diversification ♦ Reduction of rice productivity, Population growth, marginalization of the land holding is the challenges we need to addressPDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 12. ♦ Role of Scientists is crucial and the technologies should reach at the doorsteps of the farmers ♦ It’s time that the farmers not only follow the traditional methods but should adopt the new technologies to counter the situation ♦ SRI is a good method as it consumes low water and gives higher yield; there are plenty of scopes and opportunities to expand SRI ♦ Through demonstration & awareness will help to spread SRI ♦ Post-Ayla situation saline resistant paddy varieties are required for a vast area in the coastal West Bengal ♦ Water scarcity is a great problem and reducing ground water use in agriculture is a compulsion”. We have 11 lakhs of pond etc. this will help to feed the population growing 1.2% per annum ♦ Vegetable cultivation increased 115% but oil seed, pulses etc are produced less. The first session of the day ended with a break for lunch and a vote of thanks from the representative of “Banglar SRI”. 6. Post Lunch Session The post lunch session started with a panel discussion. The people on stage as the panel members were: Fig. The panel discussion; panelists on board 1. Mr. B.Sinha 2.Prof. A.Zaman 3. Dr.M.C.Diwakar 4. Prof. C.Shambu Prasad 5.Dr.Babaji Giri 6. Dr. Paritosh Bhattacharya 7. Mr.A.Hui 8. Mr. Chittaranjan Mondal 9. Prof. P. Bandyopadhyay, BCKV 10. Dr. D. Pal, BCKV 11. Dr. P.K.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 13. Patra, BCKV 12. Dr. P. K.Mukharjee, UBKV 13. Mr. Madhab Dhara, CRRS, Hooghly; 14. Mr. Malay K. Bhowmick, CRRS, Hooghly 15. Dr, K. Bhramhachari, BCKV 16. Dr. S.R.Sarkar, SAO, Barrackpur- Barasat Sub division, Directorate of Agriculture. Prof. Ratikanta Ghosh,Convenor of the SRI Symposium was coordinating the discussions. Mr. B.Sinha was presiding over the session. The Session started with a presentation by Dr. Babaji Giri, Addl. Director-Agriculture Govt. of Orissa, Dr. Giri shared his experience since the beginning of the SRI programme in Orissa. He clearly stated the role of NGOs in the state as far as the SRI promotion is concerned in Orissa. The interesting part of his presentation was the “scale of SRI” has been reached in their state through the collaboration between the Govt. agencies (specifically the Agriculture Dept.) and the NGOs. He specifically articulated the achievements on SRI in the state and strategies of the Govt. (present and future) to widen the SRI promotion. Thereafter an interactive question answer session took place. In this session farmers requested the Scientists and the implementers to suggest the mechanisms to address certain crop management issues. The issues encompassed: ♦ How to manage some of the rice diseases organically-example stated by the farmers, specific to the area and crop season ♦ What are the maximum numbers of tillers possible from transplanted rice seedling in SRI? ♦ How to increase the percentage of effective tillers in SRI ♦ What are the best nutrient management practices for SRI The scientists tried to provide their suggestion based on their on field experiences. There were a couple of presentations (Power point) from Prof. R.K.Ghosh and Dr. P.K.Mukherjee answered some of the quarries from the farmers.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 14. Fig. Prof. R.k.Ghosh and Dr. P.K.Mukherjee (left to right) explaining the farmers Prof. Ghosh explained the Science of tillering and possible number of tillers from single rice seedling. Dr. Mukherjee emphasized on special care during transplantation and presented the research findings on proper and improper SRI transplanting. Under this open session there was a feed back -there was no women representation in the panel and a request from the Audience (Ronali Pradhan from Centre for World Solidarity/CWS-Orissa) specifically to the representatives Fig. From left to right; Yaqub Mollah (Farmer), Ronali Pradhan (CWS) and Dr. Atanu Thakur (Banglar SRI) in Open Session during panel discussion of the Dept. of Agriculture from GoWB to share the strategies and future plan of the State Govt. towards SRI promotion. Dr. Paritosh Bhattacharya shared the options of scaling up SRI under Govt. programmes namely National Food Security Mission (NFSM), Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana (RKVY) and Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA). He suggested the Civil Societies to submit the proposals under these schemes. Mr. Chittaranjan Mondal (MLA-Gosaba) pointed out how SRI has been made a point of discussion in the Agriculture Standing Committee of West Bengal. He narrated his discussions with the State Agriculture Minister and committed to pursue the SRI agenda more rigorously so that a specific SRI policy can be made in the State.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  • 15. In this context Prof. A. Zaman (Head, Department of Agronomy, BCKV) emphasized the role of the “networks” like “Banglar SRI” and pursuing the agenda. Prof. C. Shambu Prasad (XIMB) made a very relevant presentation to provide more clarity on- how a learning alliance can work effectively. He took the case of -Orissa SRI Learning Alliance. He shared, the SRI was initiated in West Bengal well in advance comparing other States but the spread was limited to a particular district. He described it as “Purulia Paradox”. He shared in brief how the SRI Learning Alliance in Orissa has contributed to the larger spread of SRI even after starting later than Bengal. His presentation helped people to understand about the Dos and Don’ts for an alliance. At the end the representative from “Banglar SRI” appreciated the way the State Govt. of West Bengal coming forward for SRI promotion and it was shared that the idea of the State SRI Symposium generated from a suggestion by the Honorable Agriculture Minister of the State. The intention of extending the membership and incorporating more number of members from different sectors relevant with SRI was expressed. More specifically at the end it was shared that “Banglar SRI” would facilitate district SRI plans with its members in the State and would pursue it. The programme ended with the summary on SRI through a folk song by a couple of farmers from the Sundarbans and Vote of Thanks to the chair.PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com