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Smart Farming: Youth and ICT way!

Aditya, IndiaAgriculture needs change and yes, it is changing. I am a young researcher at Bihar Agricultural University, India also actively engaged with YPARD as working board member. I am researching on areas to catalyse youth leadership for accelerating agricultural growth with the use of modern ICT tools.

The contribution of small farmers to total farm output in India exceeds 50%, while they cultivate 44% of land. Small farmers are the ones who have lesser capital but require higher use of labour and other family-owned inputs, and is seen to have a higher index of cropping intensity and diversification. Youth play a crucial role in mobilizing families to take agriculture as a vocation. Family farms grow a variety of cultivars, many of which are landraces. The modern era of farming is said to belong to the youth and family farmers around the globe. I have organized a National Seminar on “Rural Youth in Family Farming: Need and Challenges” in December 2014 which was quite instrumental in motivating youth to take agriculture as an enterprise. Reference: RYFF Book of abstracts

I am also working on a research project “Catalysing rural leadership for accelerated dissemination of information” at Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour. The findings of the project are suggesting that youth have immense capability to perform if they have efficient technical guidance and moral support. Through the project, the youth were motivated to act as leaders and torchbearers for promoting agricultural innovations for profit. The schemes of the government often fail to reach the needy because of lack of proper publicity measures and guidance. The project operational in three downtrodden district of Bihar, India was quite successful in initiating a new dimension for innovative farming. Reference: Research resource server, BAU, Sabour

One of my photograph from my project area was nominated for Nature India Journal photography contest. The photograph was titled “Hybrid Happiness”. The picture shows a good crop of scientifically developed hybrid varieties that farmers are growing in Banka district of Bhagalpur, India.  It shows rural children in the lap of nature – the beneficiaries of India’s scientific interventions in agriculture.

I have written success stories of youth farmers and have publicized it on several platforms. The success stories have generated lot of responses from people outside the farming community as well. People from engineering background are seen to be fascinated from the success stories leading to several agricultural-based initiatives in the state. Reference: Agri-entrepreneurs of Bihar

Organic farming is also a promising area which has fascinated farmers in the state. A bank professional in Saharsa, Bihar was so impressed with farming that he left his lucrative job for the sake of farming. “Farming is fascinating. The only thing is that it requires continuous hard-work and devotion without any distraction” says Mr. Barun Singh, a government bank manager-turned-farmer. He makes a net profit of Rs. 12 lakh from his composting unit alone which includes sales of above Rs. 25 lakh in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand together with supplies to the government in the recent years. Reference: The Hindu daily; May 31, 2013

I believe that social media has the power to influence people with ease. I share the innovative practices through several social media channels for effective dissemination of information. My videos on YouTube has become very popular in the recent past. I have never participated in any global platform to discuss the issues related to youth and agriculture. I firmly believe that my participation will provide a voice to the youth I am working with and will also provide me better ideas for work. I have good reporting skills with me which is evident from my publications and press reports Google Scholar GCARD3 will be a game changer for me and my farmers. It will help me broaden my outlook in general and on the theme “Ensuring better rural futures” in particular. It will be a welcome opportunity for me to apply the lessons learned in our country for sustainable development.

Bio

I am Aditya, age 29 years working as Assistant Professor-cum-Junior Scientist in the Department of Extension Education at Bihar Agricultural College, Sabour affiliated to Bihar Agricultural University, Sabour, Bihar, India. I am also the working board member of YPARD India. I have completed Masters in Agricultural Extension Education from BHU, Varanasi, India. I am an IT enthusiast and love to integrate technologies in training and research. I work on rural leadership development among the youth, family farming and Information & Communication Technologies in agriculture. 

This blog post is part of the GCARD3 Youth blogpost applications. The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.