Training sessions provide essential knowledge and skills that ensures communities not only meet Fairtrade standards but also thrive in a competitive global market. In a concerted effort to impart technical knowledge on scientific production practices of cashew nuts, Fairtrade NAPP in collaboration with Odisha University of Agricultural Technology (OUAT), organized a comprehensive training program for the farmers of Maa Bhagwati Jaivik Producer Company Ltd. This initiative empowered local farmers with advanced agricultural techniques to enhance their productivity and sustainability.

45 producers from five different villages attended the cashew nut training program. This training provided a valuable platform for farmers to gain practical insights into scientific farming methods. A key highlight of this training was the usage of the local languages for the interaction between farmers and OUAT scientists. This training made concepts clarity on crop diversification, irrigation management, and solutions to horticultural farm management for the producers.  Farmers also had the unique opportunity to engage with technical experts during field visits to their farms. This proved invaluable in demonstrating variety shifting and scientific plantation methods essential for reducing pest infestations and disease. In addition, producers received guidance on adhering to Standards compliance requirements, ensuring their practices meet established standards and compliances.

The impact has been widespread, creating a hope of alternatives in increasing livelihood options.  The farmers also gained various new information based on the research published by the OUAT scientists. The creation of a WhatsApp group facilitated ongoing communication between farmers and OUAT research scientists for continuous support and problem-solving. Farmers began incorporating efficient agronomical practices, especially in orchard management and adapting new cashew nut varieties. Farmers are also interested in demonstrating flowers as new crop in their farms through OUAT tribal outreach program.

The training strengthened farmers’ confidence and inclination towards increasing productivity through the application of learned techniques. Scientists expressed satisfaction in participating in the program as they were able to impart knowledge to previously unreachable areas, bounded by the geographical constraints. Dr. Kavita Sethi, a OUAT scientist expressed her happiness with the overall training arrangement and have insisted on introducing such training programs in every quarter for knowledge upgrading.

Through this collaborative effort, Maa Bhagwati Jaivik Producer Company Ltd, Fairtrade NAPP, and OUAT have taken significant step in enhancing agricultural practices and fostering sustainable farming in the region. In fact, Dr Kabita Sethi and Dr. Ramanath Mohopatra from Odisha University of Agricultural Technology was surprised to know about small scale farmer who were producing the export quality cashew in limited resources. Hence, she was more than happy to serve the farmers and impart more knowledge as required. This initiative not only provided immediate benefits but also paved the way for long-term improvements in agricultural productivity and farmer empowerment.

“I am surprised to know about export quality production of cashew form Angargoan. I am committed to support farmer in my full capacity. Extended thanks towards NAPP for organizing Training.” – Dr. Ramakant Mohopatra. Ex. Scientist Cashwenut Research Station OUAT Bhuwaneshwar Odisha.

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