Jun 8, 2022
As a part of the World Environmental Day 2022 celebrations at the University, NUCSER in association with the Institution Innovation Council, Nitte DU and Sarvam Life organized an interactive session on 8th June, 2022 for the farmers of this region with representatives from research institutes and cooperative societies on problems associated with Arecanut Farming.
A "Jatha" was organized to spread the message of the importance of saving water, soil and energy and to create an awareness on global warming and climate change. About 250 students of the institute along with the faculty members of NUCSER and other constituent colleges participated in the march, which was led by Prof. Dr. Satheesh Kumar Bhandary, Vice Chancellor, Nitte University.
The march was followed by a formal inauguration function. Prof. Dr. Anirban Chakraborty, Director, NUCSER welcomed the gathering of students, academicians, gardeners and farmers. Prof. Dr. Srinikethan, President IIC, Nitte DU spoke on climate change and its effects on the environment. Sri T.G. Rajaram Bhat, President, Ammembala Seva Sahakari Sangha, Mudipu was the Chief guest of the day. He expressed his concerns about the escalating trend of indulging in excessive farming practices for immediate and short-term gain. He stressed upon the need to have sustainable agricultural practices meant to improve soil quality and to reduce incidence of diseases.
The president of the function, Dr. Bhandary informed the audience that Nitte University is committed to social causes and concerns. He extended a helping hand to the local farmers to resolve their problems related to pests, yield etc. and urged NUCSER to set up a dedicated water and soil testing facility for the benefit of the farmers in and around the region. Prof. Dr. Smitha Hegde, Member Secretary of NUGIP proposed the vote of thanks.
The formal function was followed by presentations and interaction with areca growing farmers where scientists from ICAR-CPCRI, Mr. Bhavishya, Senior Scientist and Dr. KB Hebbar, Head, Plant Physiology, explained about the role of microorganism in soil fertility, reducing the usage of chemicals to prevent soil toxicity, and how accumulation of carbon-di-oxide is contributing to the climate change and on the benefits of planting areca trees as they help in carbon sequestration thereby reducing atmospheric carbon. The representatives from cooperative societies - Mr. M. Mahesh Chowta, Director, CAMPCO and agriculturists - Dr. Chandrashekar Chowta, Founder of Chowtara Krishi and Samskriti Vedike emphasised on initiating processes towards afforestation & soil conservation and opined that till the farmers get equivalent income comparable to mainstream workers in different areas, it is unrealistic to expect the current generation to take up farming as a profession.
The final session was conducted by Sarvam Life, a for-profit organization that specializes on Regenerative Farming. The team presented the story of their project conducted at Anantapur District in Andhra Pradesh, where they successfully converted a barren land to fertile field through the concept of soil enrichment and permaculture that supported the growth of diverse varieties of fruits and vegetables. The team also conducted a live demonstration on how to enrich soil through an organic approach. The event was highly productive and beneficial with students, farmers and academia deliberating on the pressing issues pertaining to climate change and its affect on the farmers' livelihood.