Category: Agriculture
MAKE THE PLANTS BETTER IRRIGATED AND THE WORLD BETTER FED

Shweta Adhikari and Shreena Pradhan

Agriculture and Forestry University, Chitwan

Agriculture in Nepal has for so long been dependent on rainfall. A drought year brings along
famine with it while a deluge year brings along diseases and destructions of crops. Either way,
rain-fed farming isn’t a safe bet for a country as under-nourished and food-insecure as ours.

Considering these conditions, a permanent solution of providing the plant optimum water is a
must. Plants can be well watered not only through irrigation but by protecting them from further
loss. Mulching has been mentioned in the video as a method not to provide water, but to save it
from the soil. And rain water harvesting has been mentioned as a solution to uneven distribution
during drought period.

Drip irrigation, whose information hasn’t made it into the short video is a new technique taking
the rural part of Nepal by storm recently. It provides right amount of water to the right part and
at the right time. This not only ensures water prevention but also effective use of limited water.

Another method mentioned in gist in the video is the using of sewage processed water in agricultural
fields. This ensures minerals are recycled back into the nature.

We made this video for an assignment from an organization we volunteered for. Looking back, we’ve
realized a lot of things we didn’t know a year ago. And irrigation scenario isn’t all we’re lacking on.
It’s about video making, using of the internet, using social media and fully expose to ICT. Back then, we
weren’t as adept not only in sharing knowledge but also acquiring it. We didn’t realize what a vast
platform the internet is.

One more realization we had was that the only way to learn is by initiating first. Making mistakes
and lacking coordination is the best initiator of learning. We now know what vast opportunities are
open ahead of us for leaning and exposing. We’re glad to have done this mediocre first attempt for
we’re now more flexible to changes and more accepting of new challenges.

STEROTYPICAL FARMING NOT SPURIOUS ENTIRELY,, AGREED?
Traditional Farming by Plough in Nepal

Photo: Author

Author:

Suraj Akhir

B.Sc Agriculture

Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU)

Nepalese agriculture is itself in the phase of making taste of new mechanizations and new technologies n Agriculture System. Still acres of our soil in country is dependent over the oxens and the wooden plough. It is being a subject of concern for the people working in sectors of agriculture development that we are still in the conventional phase of farming?

In this miserable era of feeding lots of heads from limited land without adopting new methods of cultivation , Nepalese farmers are still struggling to be able in subsistence level of farming. Beside, the aspect of food demand , for instance we can  take Nepalese farming practice as a sound example of Eco-friendly cultivation practice, isn’t it?

Ploughing, harrowing and planking of land fragments is making soil more fine but in other hand carbon issuance from the deep ploughed land  is another problem due to modernization in agriculture system. In conventional practices, using wooden plough make rarely 10cm  deep spots in soil but using MB plough( a modern ploughing tool) can make upto 30 cm deep spots. This condition directly results in loss of moisture from soil surface and also the death of many advantageous soil microbes and organisms like earthworm.

We can take other example too, Using dung manure( which we generally called “BHAKAARE MAAL” in Nepali) it neither harmed soil status nor killed any microbes of soil but instead it is completely free of many disadvantages like nitrogen toxicity that is common problem in modern granules fertilizers.

Nowdays, Mulching is rarely practiced in commercial farms because it seems a bit tedious job but actually, Mulching is among the top ways for preserving moisture status of soil so as in increasing the organic content.

The theme is that, We all are in need of more grains and more production but we mustnot forget about the beneficial traditional methods of farming too.

It is wiser to adopt advantageous practices like mulching, using dung manure along with commercially available fertilizers. We all do know that we must make our soil sustain for cultivation but in practical level few among few farmers are found to be working with soil in balanced way.

We should always keep in our mind that, modernization is not the word denoting about the sacks of chemical fertilizers, whats wrong in adopting eco-friendly cultivation practices along withthe moto of increasing production in sustainable ?

Modernization is not just adopting new things of market, but it should be better than that of yesterday. For making better tomorrow it will be better to adopt modern technologies with better practices of yesterday,, None of the sound cultivation practices that we used to follow in past days should not be left behind.We all should be dedicated for a sustainable tomorrow..Kudos!!!

 

From being consistent consumers to being reasonable producers: Permaculture Ethics

-Saurya Karmacharya
B.Sc Agriculture, Third Semester
Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU), Rampur, Chitwan

 

In the name of feeding the hungry planet, the conventional agricultural practices has now set the world on the verge of its carrying capacity. Modernization in agriculture for bumping the productivity of crops by the use of excessive fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides, excessive mechanical tillage and mono cropping all of these “agricultural interventions” are making us humans a voracious consuming species of resources gifted by nature, secretly degrading the “natural” world we live in. Permaculture is an emerging concept which believes in natural way of farming, that not only mitigates the harm of such threats but also fulfills the need of food and other natural products transforming us into producers from being constant consumers of the nature.

Permaculture, or Permanent Agriculture, in a layman’s word is mimicking the nature. It is a holistic approach to life where agricultural and social design principles are centered around simulating or directly utilizing the patterns and features observed in natural ecosystems. The three primary ethics of permaculture: earth care, people care and fair share suggest that it is thus a sustainable way of running the world.

You might have heard the term organic farming these days quite often and even more frequently when it comes to the agenda of sustainable agricultural development. While permaculture offers more than just organic farming, this is the base of doing farming in the nature’s way. The extravagant use of chemicals is avoided. Cultivation is done in a naturalistic way. We use the recycling of existing sources like Farm Yard Manure and organic manures for nutrition supply. Tillage is done conversationally, ploughing is reduced. It’s about capturing all the available energy provided by the nature and making the best use of it reducing the waste and hazards. For instance, the waste/dirty water from the basin in washroom can be utilized for flushing toilet. The biodegradable waste can be utilized to produce methane for cooking and compost for crops. The rainfall can be captured on your roof and can be channeled for irrigation the home/kitchen garden. These are indeed few examples of the eco-friendly methods of farming and daily living which is the focal theme of the ethic “Earth care“. With this thought into practice, the world would become a natural place to live in again.

In permaculture, you work with the elements of nature for gaining the product you want up to your level of need and not more than that. You would rather take a fair share of your own and all others would take their piece. This is the theme of the “fair share” ethic. Sharing has to be a must in today’s world traumatized with the fear of food security. This ethic basically suggests that the food you are storing for luxury recipes might work out ten plates of supper for the needy otherwise, and so you had better grow a fruiting tree that supplies fruits for years to come and hence, everyone can take their fair share.

The other ethic is the “people care” ethic which suggests the need for collaboration and cooperation among people if reasonable change and improvement is to be brought to the present environment. One should take initiative and responsibilities of himself, his kin and the community. A community with every individual of this attitude shall prosper its environment very fast.

This description of permaculture is merely a cup of water taken from the ocean of vast principles and methods that are designed for transcending the present age of food insecurity, pollution, global warming, deforestation, soil erosion etc. to a world resembling paradise, the paradise that mimics nature, that too: sustainably. Well, if these ethics and examples didn’t get you motivated for a “natural” change, it might be a symptom of this version of yourself not fitting into the nature-loving category but why would you bother against it? You are the sons of nature aren’t you? However, if you are a permaculture-resistant breed (literally) take your time to criticize this system and of course why wouldn’t you. You might be thinking that this thing is lagging behind in production and all… but again think for a moment, fruiting trees grow excessively in forests, more than that grown in your orchard. Now does the soil of the forest get fertilizers?

The Informator: Dynamic combo of offline-online agri-infotainment

Saurya Karmacharya
AFU 3rd Batch
Agriculture and Forestry University
Rampur, Chitwan

Information and communication technology has just upgraded our world of agri-infotainment to a whole new level. Around many corners of the globe, where, there exists an ever-reigning constraint of access to information, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) has been delivering considerable treatments to this problem every nanosecond. With the approach to “right to access for information”, AgriYouthNepal in collaborative support of YPARD Nepal and Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU), inaugurated Informator- an offline, online wall magazine on 12th April, 2016.

Informator Wall magazine of AgriYouthNepal

Informator wall magazine on Agriculture and Forestry University

 

 The “Informator” is basically a rectangular notice board-like frame placed by the entrance of the central library in Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal. The agriculture related information find themselves home at the informator. Nevertheless, it is more than “just another notice board in the campus”, It is a bank of thoughts and opinions, a swimming pool of knowledge, where you can dive in to witness the wonders agriculture has bestowed the world with. Now you can always find a variety of information regarding agriculture easily while you pass by this lively info-bank that is updated twice a week.

AgriYouthNepal has set out on a high with this project with a vision of filling the online and offline gap between the user group and the info-givers (Of course, you guys complain of network problems and all). With this on mind, the enthralling prospect is the availability of QR code to access the same information on the web via your pocket pet (err…thats the reality!). If you are unknown of this mysterious sounding code, it is a barcode, machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. And I bet you know many Magazines which have their objective of entertaining its viewers and readers through interesting stories. The informator although a wall notice board is analogous to such magazines regarding its objective of infotizing its passerbys on a regular basis. So you wouldn’t hesitate calling it your wall magazine with a digital access.

This wall magazine would have been the aforementioned “just another noticeboard” without the effort of Madan Paudel, the president of AgriYouthNepal. “There is a huge gap between the online and offline world” says Madan Paudel, who is also a youth representative of YPARD “and we people, being students of agriculture, need to minimize the gap through ICT if we are to extend new information to the user group.” This is a great contribution to us agriwannabe’s and it couldn’t have been possible without the help from the dean of the university, Prof. Dr. Dilli Ram Baral who states that the University is planning to start Department of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) very soon.

It is a mere footstep to a huge project and with combined efforts and knowledge of all of us, development through ICT is inevitable. And for your articles to be published like mine (just saying) you are free to mail [email protected]l.com

Cheers to the Informator!