Utilize village attachment to learn about nuances of hill farming- Dr. Kaushal
51 Horticulture students to work with farmers during month long RAWE programme
Nauni (Himachal Pradesh), September 20, 2021: With an aim to familiarize students with the socio-economic conditions of farmers and their farming techniques, 51 final year B Sc (Hons) Horticulture students of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni will be attached to villages. This will be a part of the four week Rural Awareness Work Experience (RAWE) programme. RAWE is a compulsory part of the degree as per Indian Council of Agricultural Research norms and the students are paid a stipend during the programme.
The students, who have been divided into two groups, will be visiting all the four-agro climatic zones of the state. The Regional Research Stations/ Krishi Vigyan Kendras at Kullu, Jachh, Chamba and Kandaghat will be hosting each group for one week each. After a period of one week, the students will shift to a new climatic zone thereby covering all the zones in the stipulated period.
A group of villages under each zone has been selected and small sub groups from main groups will be attached to each village. The objective is to learn about rural social-cultural settings, rural development, topographical variations, climate change, animal husbandry, fruits, vegetables and cooperatives working along with understanding the culture. Scientist farmer’s interactions will also be a part of the programme.
Dr. Parvinder Kaushal interacted with the students after their departure for the one month village attachment. He urged the students to make the most of this practical exposure.
“Go with an open mind, as this is a fantastic opportunity to learn from the people who are working on the fields. This will not only help to broaden your horizons as you will get to interact with the end users and the biggest stakeholders of the know-how and novel technologies developed in institutions like ours. Being ambassadors of the university, you must cherish this opportunity to interact with farmers, analyze their problems and look to provide easily applicable scientific solutions to them with consultation with experts,” said Dr Kaushal.
Dr. Kaushal added that the programme provides a unique opportunity to understand the rural setting in relation to horticulture and allied activities in different agro-climatic climatic zones. He asked the students to strictly follow all the COVID protocols in order to ensure the safety of the group and the villagers hosting them.
Programme Coordinator Dr. KK Raina said, “The programme aims at understanding rural situations, status of horticulture technologies adopted by the farmers along with prioritizing farmer’s problems, develop skills and attitude of working with the farm families for all-round development in rural areas.”
Dr. Anju Dhiman, Dean College of Horticulture said that due to COVID restriction, the practical aspect of the study was hampered but this present opportunity must be utilized to gain significant knowledge which will help to implement the knowledge gained in the classes into real world situations. She said that the knowledge gained during the programme will help the students to grow professionally.
Dr. Harish Sharma, Dr. MK Brahmi, Dr. Rasmi Chaudhary, Dr. Pramod Verma and Dr Aditika Sharma also addressed the students and shared tips with them.
In addition to familiarizing students with socio-economic conditions of the farmers and their
problems with reference to horticulture development, RAWE would also help in imparting diagnostic and remedial knowledge relevant to real field situations through practical training.
Development of communication skills in students using extension teaching methods in transfer of technology and acquaint them with the ongoing extension and rural development programmes is another important aspect of RAWE. The students have already undergone a two week orientation. After returning from village attachment, the students will also undergo industry attachment for 2 months after which each group will have to submit a report of the work undertaken.