IIT-ISM academics extend farming tips, govt. program insights to drought-hit Jamtara villagers

Dhanbad: Faculty members from the Indian Institute of Technology (Indian School of Mines) have undertaken a commendable initiative to offer farming advice and inform villagers about government programs in the drought-affected Kanakend village of Jamtara.

This effort is part of their ongoing mission to uplift the lives of scheduled tribe farmers in Jamtara.

The initiative, which commenced approximately 15 months ago, aims to transform the livelihoods of tribal farmers in Jamtara. The team’s recent visit to Kanakend village in the Kundhit block of Jamtara aimed to educate villagers on increasing their income through farm-based entrepreneurial opportunities.

The workshop, held at the Bankathi Panchayat Bhavan in the village, was part of a project sponsored by the Department of Science & Technology. The project is titled “Improving the Well-being of Scheduled Tribe Communities Using Game Theoretics and Operations Research Techniques in Jamtara District of Jharkhand State.”

Rashmi Singh, Assistant Professor in the Department of Management Studies & Industrial Engineering and the principal investigator of the project, noted, “During our interaction with 30 scheduled tribe farmers who attended the meeting, we learned about their challenging circumstances due to two consecutive years of drought.”

“Agriculture being their primary source of income, they face difficulties, and we provided them with information on methods such as drip irrigation, mulching, the use of compost, cover crops, and cultivating drought-tolerant species and varieties, along with monitoring soil temperature and moisture for optimized watering,” explained Professor Singh.

Additionally, we provided information to the participating villagers, under the direction of Bhim Hembram, about various central and state government programs like the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojna, Rainfed Area Development Programme, and National Rural Drinking Water Programme, created especially for regions prone to drought.

Niladri Das, Associate Professor in the Department of Management Studies and Co-Principal Investigator, shared, “The fundamental objective was to apprise farmers of agriculture-based entrepreneurship opportunities.”

Safiq Ansari, one of the participating villagers, expressed, “Since rain serves as our sole source of irrigation, the irrigation techniques like drip irrigation explained by the IIT-ISM visitors during the workshop will greatly assist us in effective farming with limited water availability.”

The noble efforts of the IIT-ISM faculty members aim to empower the drought-affected villagers of Jamtara, offering them sustainable solutions and access to government support to enhance their livelihoods.

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