Cliff Love, Agricultural Specialist from Israel was in Mysuru at the invitation of Raitha Mithra Farmers Producer Company Limited recently to advise Indian farmers about the innovative farming techniques being practised in Israel.
The workshop was inaugurated by Dr K M Indresh, Dean, Horticultural University and College, Ilvala, Kurubur Shanthakumar, Chairman, Raithamithra Farmers Producer Co.Ltd., presided. Chief Guests included D Manjunath, Deputy Director, Horticulture Dept., Dr Arun Balamatti, Program Executive, JSS KVK, Suttur and T V Gopinath, Senior Director, Raithamithra Farmers Produce Co. Ltd.
Cliff Love explained that Israel did not have proper water resources but has made remarkable progress in utilising every drop of water that it gets either through recycling and reusing. He gave a pictorial account of how Israel is in the forefront of producing varieties of mangoes, butter fruit/avacado and litchi through scientific farming. While mango had a history of 5000 years in India, it was only a few decades back that mango producing was taken up in Israel. He regretted that the farmers in India were not following scientific practices for cultivation of the vast land and other natural resources available in huge quantities, unlike Israel. He stressed the need of educating the farmers to adopt such improved practices in farming by the Government authorities.
Manjunath, Dy Director, Horticulture, in his address appreciated the farming techniques adopted in Israel and said that in Mysuru taluks, horticulture has made great strides and enough IEC activities are being undertaken in a systematic way at field level.
During interaction with Cliff love, Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, Convener, Anti-Tobacco Forum and Hon Adviser, Cancer Patients Aid Association sought clarification about the economics of cultivation of mangoes as alternate crop for tobacco that is killing people but farmers are giving up their traditional cultivation of food crops and are taking up tobacco due to its attractive price. Cliff Love said he would like to be careful in advising anything since it is a local issue. But Manjunath, while agreeing with the observation, cited efforts being made to wean away tobacco farmers by creation of clusters of farmers who have adopted alternate crops for tobacco, since cultivation of tobacco was being gradually reduced by 2020 and before a probable ban order could be enforced. He advised the farmers to be ready for any such eventualities and join their others friends who have enrolled into Papaya Cluster, Vegetable Cluster and Rose Clusters etc., that are creating equal income like tobacco.
In his Presidential address Kurubur Shanthakumar appealed to the farmers to understand the urgent necessity of adopting modern techniques and technologies in the field of cultivation, water utilisation and organic farming. He also appealed to the farmers to take up alternate crops for tobacco and stop cultivation of tobacco since it was not good for the community health.
About 200 farmers from all over the State took part in the Workshop. Cliff Love was honoured on the occasion by Raithamitra Farmers Produce Company Limited a Chairman Kurubur Shanthakumar presented Cliff Love with the farmer’s symbol of a green shawl and presents.