‘Knowledge, information and experience bring success in farming’

The farmer in his 50s was struggling with crop loss almost every season till he gets in touch with the Reliance Foundation Information Service

Information, knowledge, and experience are the three key elements to get success in farming.  Farming is a respectable profession and while experience counts a lot, you need knowledge and proper guidance to be successful in this field, said Abhaya Kumar Samal of Chatola village under Kujanga block in Jagatsinghpur district.

The 50-year-old is working hard and earning a good livelihood for his four-member family. But things were not that easy for the ardent farmer.

A couple of years ago, he was struggling with crop loss almost every season till he gets in touch with the Reliance Foundation Information Service (RFIS).

Despite having a long experience and vast farmland measuring 12 acres, harvesting a good crop was a dream for him. He tried every means to get good suggestions for farming, but all went in vain. He used to listen to mobile voice messages regularly but nothing helped him.

“While insects would damage my crops in a season, next season one disease or another would damage it. Weather also used to play a spoilsport many a time. My frequent visits to the local government offices to seek their advice to check crop loss also did not yield any result,” he lamented.

But things changed a couple of years back. “While reading a local newspaper two years ago, I got the toll free number of RFIS and immediately called them. Following the expert advice, “I could save my crops on 3 acres of land that was affected by the root-rotted disease. I got a benefit of over Rs 70,000 from that land that year.”

Sharing another experience, Abhay said, “In another incident, green gram crop on my 12 acres of land was affected by the yellow mosaic disease. I called the experts and followed their advice and not only I could save the crop from the disease, but I also got a benefit of over 1.5 lakh from it that season.”

Farmer Abhaya Samal at his paddy field

“In the last two years of my association with the RFIS, I have called the toll-free numbers more than 80 times to get ideas, suggestions, and advice regarding the crops to grow and use of fertilizer and pesticides. I apply pesticides and fertilizers on my crops following the weather forecast. Apart from paddy, pulses, and vegetables, I am practicing aqua farming following expert advice. Besides, 12 acres of my own land, I am also cultivating on three acres of land on a share basis,” the proud farmer added.

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While I get a bumper harvest every year, the good practices I follow maintain the health of soil for sustainable farming, he pointed out.

“Fish farming can become a money-making proposition with the correct use of technology and experts’ guidance. It requires less manpower which is an advantage for a fish farmer. Fish farms only require night watching to prevent theft,” the ardent farmer, who grows fishes on his 1-acre pond, said.

He regularly seeks advice from experts on disease control and the proper growth of fish and gets a good profit every year. “I have applied for government assistance to improve my aquaculture facility. It is the RFIS expert advice, which made me apply for government assistance.”

Observing my success in farming, my co-villagers also seek my assistance to deal with crop loss. I help them with my ability. I explain to them that information, knowledge, and experience are the key tools to succeed in farming.

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