BHUBANESWAR, DEC 2, 2021
Earning enough to sustain his five-member family was not an easy task for Nimai Charan Mohanty, a farmer from Giria Village under Rajkanika Block of Kendrapara District in Odisha.
Forty-five-year old Nimai is a small farmer who holds 3.5 acres of agricultural land in which he grows paddy in Kharif season and vegetables like ladies finger, tomato and brinjal in a patch of land in the traditional method.
Giria village being a remote place, no agriculture officer from State Govt visits the place to sensitize farmers on crop cultivation and other livelihood issues. So, farmers like Nimai suffered huge losses as they were not aware of key agricultural practices like varietal selection, seed treatment, integrated nutrient management, pest and disease control and crop management during adverse weather. Their best advisors were the local fertilizer and pesticide dealers, whose improper recommendations failed to control crop pests and diseases, leading to crop loss and lower yield.
But the situation changed for the better for Nimai when he came to know about Reliance Foundation Information Services from one of his friends.
“In May 2018, I got Reliance Foundation Information Services toll free Helpline number 1800-419-8800 from one of my friends. For the last two years, I am using this helpline number and mobile based audio advisory regularly to address my various crop issues. Interaction programme through virtual platform (Audio/Video conference) connects me with experts who help me a lot in agriculture farming in a smooth and scientific way,” said Nimai.
During last Kharif season, as Nimai faced the Brown plant hopper (BPH) issue in his paddy field, he sought expert advice through Reliance Foundation Helpline. Based on the expert advisory, he could manage to control the BPH issue. This timely and proper guidance from the experts of Reliance Foundation not only saved him from yield loss of nearly 10 quintals of paddy, but also fetched him 6 quintals additional yield as compared to the previous year, he said, adding that from then on, he has been seeking expert advice by calling the helpline number to address his queries related to paddy and vegetable farming.
Similarly, during last Rabi season, with expert advice from Reliance Foundation, Nimai could manage to control bacterial wilt disease in brinjal and tomato, and harvested 1.5 quintals and 4 quintals of additional yield, respectively compared to previous year. He also got an additional yield of nearly 13 quintals of ladies finger by following selection of proper variety and nutrient management.
“Whenever I ask for a solution to the issues related to cultivation the Reliance Foundation experts provide with the right knowledge at the right time. Reliance Foundation Helpline services and Voice SMSes are always helpful with weather information and address livelihood issues through expert interaction. Presently, I am sharing my experience with fellow farmers, who seek agricultural information to address their crop issues. I wish the Reliance Foundation team visit my village and address livelihood issues related to farming, livestock rearing and pisciculture for more individuals,” said Nimai.
Notably, the interactive programmes organised by Reliance Foundation, including audio/video conferences, connect farmers with agricultural experts. These experts provide information about best agricultural practices that help rural farmers increase their crop yield and protect crops from pest and disease attack. Reliance Foundation Information Services provides validated information services to different livelihood information seekers using modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), thus bringing about much needed synergy in the development sector.