Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Scientists, farmers urged to work together

Thiruvananthapuram: Minister for Agriculture Mullakkara Ratnakaran has stressed the need for a platform for agricultural scientists and farmers to exchange knowledge. Speaking after inaugurating the Rural Agricultural Work Experience Programme (RAWEP) for students of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) here on Wednesday, he highlighted the importance of combining modern agricultural technology with traditional knowledge of farmers.

Mr. Ratnakaran called on agricultural scientists to focus on climate change-based research. He underlined the need to prepare a database on water bodies for irrigation and to take up restoration activities.

The Minister urged scientists to ensure participation of rural folk in the activities to be taken up under RAWEP. He also exhorted them to carry out follow-up programmes. He said the government had sanctioned funds for promotion of rural agriculture in Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts. Swarup John, Dean, College of Agriculture, Vellayani, presided over the function. Implemented through five colleges under KAU, RAWEP offers a platform for students and farmers to share knowledge.

The semester-long programme involves watershed management analysis, farm planning, agri clinics, industrial attachment, research station training, EDP and project management, media attachment, Self Help Group (SHG) training and village stay. The programme seeks to equip agricultural graduates to take up challenging jobs in the changing agricultural scenario.

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