Extension agents from Grameen Foundation participated in a capacity development training centered around digital innovation, sustainable production technology, and best management practices for rice to help transform the agriculture system in Uttar Presdesh, India.
The training, Escalating digital innovation for sustainable rice production system, was conducted by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) Education in collaboration with the Digital Tools Cluster of IRRI South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) on 22 to 23 June 2022 in Varanasi. Using the Training of Trainers model, the program aimed to coach trainers with less experienced or limited skills so they can better assist more than 5,000 farmers in 10 districts of Eastern Uttar Pradesh for the 2022 kharif season.
The program included best management practices for climate-resilient and sustainable rice production, agronomic management for conservation agriculture systems, and identifying crop problems and generating actionable advice how to manage them through the diagnostics tools Rice–Wheat Crop Manager and Rice Doctor. Additionally, several low-cost insect and pest management options were discussed and presented for rice-based cropping systems. The participants also visited natural farming trials and explored multiple low-cost bio inputs for improving soil carbon and the fertility of the soils.
At the end of the program, the participants expressed gaining the confidence to cascade the learnings to the farmers in their districts.
The training was organized under Grameen Foundation’s Market Access eNabled by Digital Innovation Project funded by the Walmart Foundation. Grameen Foundation and IRRI aim to organize more training for the unreached stakeholders in Eastern Uttar Pradesh.
The program was inaugurated by Dr. Sudhanshu Singh, Director, ISARC, Mr. Rajni Kant Prasad, Project Director, Grameen Foundation, Mr. Gopesh Tewari, Head, IRRI Education, Dr. Sheetal Sharma, Senior Scientist & Research Lead (Interim), and Dr. Ajay Kumar Mishra, Associate Scientist-Soil Science.
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