Placed at: Bijapur, Chhattisgarh
Education: BTech (Hons) in Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
Prior work experience:
- Worked for 3 years in Qualcomm India Pvt Ltd, Bangalore as a VLSI Design Engineer before joining PMRDF.
One key work during fellowship
- Gaps in Agriculture Extension activities, policy vs implementation. Most of the extension activities follow a target based approach ignoring the indigenous knowledge systems of the local farming communities.
What was done:
- Conducted field level analysis of the current limitations in agriculture extension and identified scope of mitigating them through strengths of indigenous traditional knowledge.
This gave us scope to build on two themes in agriculture one is Organic Farming, and other is to promote farmers’ collectives. Later consensus was built on promoting organic farming and promote local groups through Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) based group organic certification process. This consensus was established among all concerned field staff in agriculture and allied departments as well as the interested farmers (from 12 villages).
Farmer mobilization on these lines has been taken up for a period of one month in these 12 villages and informal groups have been marked for training further.
- Although we could not proceed with PGS certification due to unavoidable reasons, the mobilized farmer groups in two of the selected villages (about 100 farmers) are now being group certified through departmental certification (CG-CERT).
Even if the outcomes were not as expected, the importance of these two themes has been felt among the field staff of agriculture and allied departments.
There is an absence of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the district to mobilize farmers on the lines of organically evolving collectives. But at least after the initiatives taken, the orientation of the departmental field staff has now shifted from building collectives organically (by invoking interests from farmers within) rather than just to meet targets. Which, to some extent filled the gap created due to absence of CSOs.