BHUBANESWAR, Odisha—The Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) conducted a workshop to develop 40 master trainers for scaling-out rice mat nursery entrepreneurship and mechanical transplanted rice (MTR) in the state. The activity was held to help meet the enormous challenge of disseminating the technologies that effectively addresses two major concerns of farmers in Odisha that use traditional methods of rice cultivation: increasing labor scarcity and production cost.
To help fill the gaps in awareness and extension services, CSISA, the Institute on Management of Agricultural Extension (IMAGE) and the Department of Agriculture (DoA) in Odisha organized a training in Bhubaneswar, Odisha on 15-17 February. A total of 40 participants comprising training officers of IMAGE, three members of Regional Institute for Training and Extension (RITE), and agriculture extension officers from different districts appointed by Deputy Director Agriculture attended the workshop.
MTR is a fast and efficient method of planting young rice seedlings in fields that requires considerably less time and labor than manual transplanting while the mat nursery uses less land than traditional field nurseries and less labor for transporting and replanting seedlings. In addition, involving women and young farmers in developing mat-type nursery entrepreneurship will create new opportunities for employment, livelihood, and further boost the adoption of MTR.
The CSISA Hub Team in Odisha shared its practical experience in nursery management and MTR as business options. Improved agronomic practices, machine operations, and mechanical troubleshooting were also part of the training. Relevant communication materials and a field demonstration were also provided to the participants.
“Our continued linkage with CSISA and deliberations through collaborative training will help improve the knowledge, skills, and capacity of extension workers,” said Dr. B.N. Dash, director of IMAGE. “This information will be carried forward on a long-term basis by IMAGE, RITE, and DoA staff.”
During the kharif season of 2016, CSISA, in collaboration with the DoA, trained around 200 service providers and covered more than 3,200 hectares under MTR. In addition, the project trained 50 service providers of mat-type rice nursery.
Coordinated by the International Rice Research Institute, CSISA provides an overall strategy for contributing new science and technologies to accelerating short-and long-term cereal production growth in South Asia’s most important grain baskets.