Tribal woman pioneers organic farming

Jeypore: Raimati Ghiuria, a tribal woman of Koraput district, has launched a sort of movement by adopting organic methods of farming and encouraging others follow suit.

So far, the woman farmer of Nuaguda village has succeeded in persuading more than 740 farmers to go for organic farming when cultivation has become a daunting task in the absence of pesticide and fertilizer, a report said.

“Staying away from chemicals has not only added to the nutritional value of crops, but also increased the harvest,” said a farmer trained by Raimati.

Raimati has now become an expert in raising crops like traditional paddy varieties, millet and other grains. She has conserved 53 traditional varieties of paddy and 12 varieties of millet for future.

The farmer had formed a self-help group (SHG) 10 years back and took part in a skill development programme organised by Swaminathan Research Foundation (SRF).

Later, the SHG founded started successfully managing micro projects under Raimati’s leadership and went on to become the best group of the district in 2013.

At present, she is managing Farm School, a training centre for farmers, at her village after getting training from an organisation run by SRF at Dharwad, Karnataka.

Meanwhile, Raimati has imparted training to 27 SHGs in Boipariguda and Kundura blocks about organic method of paddy and millet cultivation.

Besides, the members of these SHGs were given training on preparation of pickles from mushroom, mango, jackfruit, rearing of sheep, goat, poultry and off-season vegetable farming. These members earn about Rs 4,000 a month after getting trained by Raimati, it was learnt.

Due to her accomplishments, Raimati had received an award for conservation of traditional seeds at New Delhi.

Other accolades she won in past few years include a district-level award for strong leadership in 2013, the Jamshedji Tata National Skill Fellowship Award in 2015, best farmer award at a conference on traditional food preparation at Sukinda in Jajpur district in 2015 and best farmer award by the Indian Agricultural Research Centre in Sunabeda in 2016.

SRF’s agriculture scientist Prashant Kumar Parida said Raimati is associated with the organisation for 12 years. “She acquired knowledge and trained others to become self-reliant. Raimati deserves all awards and accolades,” Parida added.  PNN

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