Chennai: The Agriculture Department of Dharmapuri district of Tamil Nadu has hit upon the idea of online training on new agricultural tips and the latest farm techniques for the farmers of the district.
The farmers are now being educated on innovations in agricultural technologies through digital agriculture mode. Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), the agency under the state agriculture department is acting as the nodal agency for conducting training for farmers in the online mode.
The online training sessions to farmers of the district are uploaded on YouTube and Spotify keeping the farmers always updated with new videos on agricultural practices and innovations that are introduced in the farm sector.
Officials in Dharmapuri district agriculture department told IANS that the department is aiming for sustainable agricultural development by focusing on educating the farmers on the latest technologies as also techniques and tips for cultivation.
ATMA has roped in researchers and resource persons in the district and training is conducted for farmers for all the eight blocks of the district. New technologies that are emerging in the farming industry are being discussed through YouTube videos and live demonstration is provided by these researchers and resource persons whom ATMA has roped in.
The main idea of the programme being taken into an online platform is to ensure that the programme is reached to a wider audience. The resource persons that the ATMA is roping in for imparting knowledge to the farmers are veteran farmers, agriculture scientists and experts with domain knowledge.
An official with ATMA told IANS that the farmers will be able to watch the videos repeatedly that are uploaded on YouTube and Spotify if they don’t understand the content while watching it for the first time.
According to resource persons in ATMA, the farmers are happier when the videos are uploaded in the online mode as repeated watching helps them to have a better understanding of the latest techniques in farming.
Another factor that the proponents of online agriculture classes moot is that through online mode, experts from even outside the country could be roped in as also well-known academics in the industry.
The farmers also said that they were happy with the online training programmes as attending the classes offline was sometimes difficult. The tips given by the online training programmes to eradicate pests have also been of major use to farmers.
Karuppuswamy R., a farmer from Dharmapuri district 6th block, while speaking with IANS, said: “Agriculture department used to conduct physical classes earlier but due to time constraints we were not able to attend them. Now the online classes are highly helpful and we are getting important tips to eradicate the pests that are creating problems in our area.”
He said that tips given for pest management were of huge help and that one can always watch the uploaded videos on YouTube to effectively implement the tips in the farmlands.