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NMIMS SAST Hosts Workshop on Good Agricultural Practices for Papaya Farmers

20th March 2024: The NMIMS School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (SAST), Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra, and Jai Swaminarayan Banana Farmers’ Producers Company, Tardi, jointly organized a ‘Farmer-Scientist-Industry Workshop on Good Agricultural Practices for Papaya Cultivation’ on 18th March 2024 at Agricultural College Farm, Tardi, Shirpur, Dhule district.

In Shirpur taluka, farmers grow papaya in about 12000 to 15000 acres annually. As the papaya planting season is going to commence soon, the workshop covered all aspects of papaya cultivation, from selection of the right variety, crop health management, and healthy fruit production for realizing higher productivity of quality fruits and also meeting export market demands. More than 300 farmers from Shirpur, Dhule, and Nandurbar areas attended the event.

Mr. K.M. Tadavi, The Senior District Agricultural Officer, of Dhule district, was the Chief Guest of the event while Dr. Suseelendra Desai, Dean, of SAST, presided over the event. In his address, Mr Tadavi explained to the farmers about various government schemes for the benefit of papaya farmers. In his presidential address, Dr. Desai highlighted the need to identify the problems of the farmers so that the right research is done by scientists leading to developing products useful for farmers. He also highlighted the vision of Shri Amrishbhai Patel for enhanced livelihoods of the farming community and high-quality agricultural education to the students. Dr. Udyansree Prakash Kulkarni, with more than 50 years of agro-industry experience has provided support to draw experts from different parts of the country. Expert lectures were delivered by Mr. Tanaji Naikanwate, Mr. Sanjay Biradar, Mr. Anil Chitnis, Mr. Yashdipsingh Girase, and Mr. Vasant Kumar as they deliberated on balanced nutrient application, use of biologicals, critical stages of water management, pest and disease management including viruses and care to be taken to produce export-quality fruits. A handbook on Papaya Good Agricultural Practices was released.

The farmers brought their irrigation water quality samples which were tested by the students of B.Sc. (Hons.) Agriculture under the faculty guidance. An exhibition of various products was also organized during the workshop for the benefit of the farmers in which more than 10 companies participated.

Mr. Padmakar Patil, President, of Jai Swaminarayan Banana FPC, extended full support in organizing the event while Mr. Ganesh Nazrikar helped in organizing the event. The event was coordinated by faculty and students of the School of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. Many farmers felt that the workshop was very useful and expressed their satisfaction.

The meeting was organized with extensive support from the University administration and MPTP- Shirpur Campus.
Speaking about the unique workshop, Dr. Suseelendra Desai said, “With evolving challenges in agriculture, it has become important to bridge the gap in knowledge transfer systems to benefit needy farmers by identifying and understanding the needs of our farming community, we can develop cost-effective and innovative solutions that enhance farm profitability and ensure sustainable livelihoods. Looking at the success of the event, we are enthused to organize many more such events for focused crop and dairy farmers of banana, cotton millet, etc. In our endeavor to train agricultural graduates, we involve them actively in such outreach activities so that they hone their skills for effective and efficient engagement of the stakeholders. Our collaboration with farmers and industry partners reflects our commitment to high-quality agricultural education and meaningful contributions to the agricultural sector.”

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