The adoption of Agricultural technology for increasing crop yield and land productivity is greatly facilitated by training and adequate dissemination of knowledge. RCF sought to bridge the gap between Research Scientist and the farmer by setting up its State of the Art Farmers’ Training Centre (FTC) in 1988 at Nagpur and in 1998 at Thal. These early steps have paid rich dividend since then. More than 30000 farmers have attended & benefited from these training Programmes conducted at the two Farmers Training Centre in the last half decade and have used the knowledge to upgrade their farm practices and have succeeded in drastically reducing their overheads and increase their wealth. These institutes are equipped with the latest audio-visual aids, classrooms and also hostels providing residential accommodation to the farmers The Company’s dedicated training facilities are manned by in-house professionally qualified faculty, eminent research scientists from agricultural institutions, Agro experts, progressive farmers and senior Agriculture departmental officials are invited on regular interval as visiting faculty members. The curriculum covers aspects of farm management and specifics of farm technology, with special reference to regional needs. The programmes are designed to cover both general aspects as well as region specific aspects of farming technology. These are supplemented by training with regard to moonlighting in subsidiary occupations and the lucrative, futuristic option of food processing. The regional agricultural universities take an active part in the farmers’ training process and case studies with regard to geological situations, cropping pattern, socio-economic problems etc. are discussed regularly. Field visits to research centers, agricultural institutes and subsidiary occupation centers are also organized. Special programmes designed for women farmers and the scheduled caste and scheduled tribes are also organized on a regular basis so that they too join the bandwagon of the country’s agricultural renaissance. This is a unique way to disseminate information and educate farmers as regards the various services available to them to enhance their crop yield and soil fertility. Approximately 3000 farmers are trained every year at both the institutes and total annual expenditure is in the range of 40 lakhs.
Wide publicity to this kind of programmes is given through radio, newspapers and television.
Soil testing helps diagnose soil health and evolve soil specific and crop specific solutions. It helps to identify problematic soils, their nutritional status, texture and structure. Based on the analysis, farmers are advised on soil fertility management through rational use of manure, fertilizers and amendments to make agriculture more productive and sustainable.
Recognizing this paramount need, RCF has established six static soil testing laboratories since 1967 at Mumbai, Kolhapur, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Hassan and Vijayawada. Soil testing reports (Soil Health Cards) are mailed directly to farmers after analysis. This enables farmers to make informed decisions about soil health management and maintenance depending on the crop to be sown. Presently with the strength of 6 Soil testing Labs on an average over 70000 soil samples are received & the same is analyzed. This is a part of our MOU with Government of India. RCF spends approx Rs 68 lakhs per annum on this project.
RCF has dedicated itself in participating in “The National Project on Management of Soil Health & Fertility” by setting up of state of the art Static & Mobile Soil Testing Laboratories, Capacity Building through training of STL staff/extension officers/ farmers and field demonstration/ workshop etc. on balanced use of fertilizers. As part of this project, RCF is engaged in setting up 6 Static Soil testing Labs at Satara (Maharashtra), Nanded (Maharashtra), Kolar (Karnataka), Nalgonda (A.P.), Nawarangpur (Orissa) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh) and 6 Mobile Soil Testing Units. These will be in addition to the 6 Static Soil testing Labs that are operational. We plan to analyses additional 60000 soil samples in these laboratories.
It has been observed that with this scientific data, farmers have benefited from having crops growing conditions under control & avoided excessive fertilizer usage. RCF has analyzed more than 50 lakhs soil samples in the past 40 years.
As a part of this 5 to 10 tribal and backward villages are adopted each year from different states. These programmes are carried out in association with Agricultural department, Zilla Parishads, District Rural Development Financial Institutions and NGO's.
This provides basic needs of the community like construction of community hall, drinking water facility, lift irrigation facility, shelter for small and marginal farmers, water shed development programmes, financial help to self help groups etc.
Medical camps,veterinary camps,vaccination camps etc are organized. Appropriate sanitation facilities are created and use of Bio-gas is encouraged.
Aims at supporting the farmers to increase their productivity by providing them the latest development in agriculture. If necessary inputs like quality hybrid seeds, fertilizers, agricultural implements etc. are also provided. In addition to this fertilizer/crop demonstrations are conducted to show the effectiveness of scientific practices to the farmers.
Training and support is given to the farmers to develop subsidiary occupation to augment their income. Some of the areas where training has been imparted are weaving, Bee keeping, Tailoring, Dairy, Poultry, Goat keeping, etc.
Labour plays a very important role in farm productivity and are trained to enhance their effectiveness.
The denudation of forest is posing a serious ecological threat to the country. The afforestation of waste land is achieved through plantation saplings.
This facilitates the formation of youth and mahila mandals at village level. Different competitions are organized in the village periodically. The youth are also imparted the training in sports/cottage industry etc.
Along with economic development, the company encourages the organization of social / cultural activities in the adopted villages.
During last five years RCF has adopted number of villages in the state of Maharshtra, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh.