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NMIMS SAST organizes workshop on good agricultural practices for papaya farmers

NMIMS SAST organizes workshop on good agricultural practices for papaya farmers

The NMIMS School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SAST) along with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra, and Jai Swaminarayan Banana Farmers' Producers Company, Tardi, joined forces to host a 'Farmer-Scientist-Industry Workshop on Good Agricultural Practices for Papaya Cultivation' on 18 March 2024.

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DHULE, 20 March 2024: The NMIMS School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SAST) along with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra, and Jai Swaminarayan Banana Farmers' Producers Company, Tardi, joined forces to host a 'Farmer-Scientist-Industry Workshop on Good Agricultural Practices for Papaya Cultivation' on 18 March 2024.

The workshop, held at the Agricultural College Farm in Tardi, Shirpur, Dhule district, catered to the needs of papaya growers in Shirpur taluka, where papaya cultivation spans over 12,000 to 15,000 acres annually. With papaya planting season approaching, the workshop offered a comprehensive overview of papaya cultivation, encompassing variety selection, crop health management, and techniques to produce high-yielding, top-quality fruits that meet export market standards.

Over 300 farmers from Shirpur, Dhule, and Nandurbar attended the event. K.M. Tadavi, Senior District Agricultural Officer, Dhule district, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, while Dr. Suseelendra Desai, Dean of SAST, presided over the event.

Focus on Farmer Needs and Industry Standards

During his address, Mr. Tadavi apprised the farmers of various government schemes available to support papaya cultivation. Dr. Desai, in his presidential address, emphasized the importance of understanding farmer challenges to guide research efforts by scientists towards developing solutions that directly benefit farmers. He also highlighted the vision of Shri Amrishbhai Patel, which focuses on improving the livelihoods of the farming community and providing high-quality agricultural education to students.

Expert Knowledge for Improved Yields

The workshop benefitted immensely from the expertise of Dr. Udyansree Prakash Kulkarni, who has over 50 years of experience in the agro-industry. Her contributions facilitated the participation of experts from across the country. Renowned speakers like Mr. Tanaji Naikanwate, Mr. Sanjay Biradar, Mr. Anil Chitnis, Mr. Yashdipsingh Girase, and Mr. Vasant Kumar delivered insightful lectures on balanced nutrient application, the use of biological control agents, crucial water management stages, pest and disease management including viruses, and specific care required to produce export-quality papaya. Additionally, a valuable handbook on Papaya Good Agricultural Practices was unveiled during the workshop.

Interactive Learning and Support

The workshop provided an interactive platform for farmers. B.Sc. (Hons.) Agriculture students, guided by faculty members, tested the irrigation water quality samples brought by the farmers. An exhibition featuring various relevant products by over 10 companies was also organized to benefit the attendees.

Collaboration for Success

The event's success stemmed from the unwavering support of Mr. Padmakar Patil, President of Jai Swaminarayan Banana FPC, and Mr. Ganesh Nazrikar. The faculty and students of the School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology played a pivotal role in coordinating the entire workshop. Many farmers expressed their satisfaction and acknowledged the workshop's immense value.

Looking Ahead: Continued Support for Farmers

The workshop was organized with the extensive support of the University administration and MPTP- Shirpur Campus. Dr. Suseelendra Desai, expressing his views on the unique workshop format, stated, "In the face of evolving agricultural challenges, it's crucial to bridge the gap in knowledge transfer systems. By identifying and understanding the needs of our farmers, we can develop cost-effective and innovative solutions to enhance farm profitability and ensure sustainable livelihoods."

Encouraged by the event's success, Dr. Desai announced plans to organize similar workshops focused on crops like banana, cotton, and millets, catering to both farmers and dairy producers. He highlighted that involving agricultural graduates in such outreach activities is an integral part of their training, equipping them with the necessary skills to effectively engage with stakeholders. The collaboration between NMIMS SAST, farmers, and industry partners underscores their commitment to high-quality agricultural education and meaningful contributions to the agricultural sector.


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