The ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack & M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai jointly organized one-day training programme on riceXpert mobile app at Cuttack and established a Village Knowledge Centre (VKC) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Cuttack.
Dr. Himanshu Pathak, Director, ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack inaugurated the training programme by lighting the holy lamp. In his inaugural address, he emphasized on the use of ICT tool like mobile app, decision support system in farming. He also informed about the riceXpert app developed by NRRI and wished the farmers to make the best use of the different applications of riceXpert app. Speaking as Chief Guest in the inaugural function of Village Knowledge Centre (VKC) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Santhapur, Cuttack in the previous day, VKC will cater the need of a location specific problems being faced by the farmers and suggested that the VKC should be a role model to every village and it must be self sustained by developing a business model, he stressed. He was impressed on the on-going plant clinic activities of MSSRF which has helped the farmers to use appropriate control measures against particular insect pest and diseases.
Dr. AK Nayak, PI of RESILIENCE project (a multi-institutional Norway funded project) and Head Crop Production division of NRRI explained about the objectives of RESILIENCE project i.e. “To improve agricultural productivity, adaptive capacity and livelihoods of smallholders to climate and economic changes, by building resilience and strengthening the agri-product market value chains”. Then, he explained about the project partners and funding agency and what are the benefits getting from VKC. Later, he explained about riceXpert app benefits and how it is useful to farmers.
Dr. R Rajkumar, Senior Scientist of MSSRF explained about the ICT activities of Village Knowledge Centre like audio conference, video conference, phone in programme, help line number, plant clinic etc. He explained about the mobile app Fisher Friend Mobile App developed by MSSRF which is a unique, single window solution for the holistic shore to shore needs of the fishing community, providing information services on weather, potential fishing zones and market related information. He also told that as an initiative to promote the riceXpert app to the famers of RESILIENCE project villages to the participating Seed farmers, the hands-on training on riceXpert app will be very useful in implementing the different work packages of the RESILIENCE project.
Mr. PC Sahoo, Deputy Director Agriculture, Cuttack in his deliberation in VKC inauguration emphasized the use of both print and electronic media for popularization of latest farming technologies suited to the local environment.
Dr. SD Mohapatra welcomed the dignitaries and briefed about the riceXpert app and the efforts made to popularize this technology among farmers and other stakeholders. During the training session, he also given the hands-on training to the participating “Seed farmers” on how to use different modules such as rice varieties, insect pests, diseases, weeds, pest solution etc. of the riceXpert app. Dr. Sangita Mohanty, Dr. R Tripathi explained how to use the fertilizer calculator module in the app and Dr. S. Priyadarsini elucidated the retrieval of the different farm and post-harvest implements from the riceXpert app which are being used in rice farming.
Drs BB Panda, Md. Shahid, TR Sahoo, RK Mahanta from ICAR-NRRI, Cuttack and Mr. T Omkar and Mr. Rabindra Behera from MSSRF, Chennai and officials of Agricultural department also participated in the programme.
Around 40 Seed farmers representing six villages under two districts of Odisha and project staff of RESILIENCE project were imparted the training on the use of riceXpert app.
Dr. DR Sarangi, Head of KVK, Cuttack coordinated the inaugural function of VKC in Krishi Vigyan Kendra.