1. Farming Assistance
To disseminate the recent agricultural technologies from the faculty to farm, Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programmes are being conducted for the students of FAR, in which students conduct various training programmes, demonstrations and Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA’s) for the benefit of rural farmers. Opportunities are provided to the students to engage in various activities at neighborhood villages as a part of curriculum. The RAWE programme enables the students to have direct experience about farming and extension work. It helps them in gaining knowledge in practical way of solving farming problems also enhances interaction skills with farmers and analytical skills, etc.
Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programme: Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programme is conducted for students in the final year for a period of 90 days with the following objectives:
- To provide an opportunity to the students to understand the rural setting in relation to agriculture and allied activities
- To get the students familiar with the socio-economic conditions of the farmers and their problems with reference to agricultural development
- To impart diagnostic and remedial knowledge to the students relevant to real field situations through practical training
- To develop communication skills in students using extension teaching methods in transfer of technology
- To develop confidence and competence to solve agricultural problems
- To help students to acquaint with on-going extension and rural development programmes
During this period, the students stay in the villages and study the rural situation, climate, resource availability, cropping pattern and the farming systems practiced by marginal, small, medium and big farmers. Students also visit the State Development Departments, Agricultural Institutions, Agro-Industries, Sugar Factories, Nurseries and other Allied Departments. Three Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE) programmes were organised for the passed-out students in selective villages (10 to 15 students/village) in Tamil Nadu. During RAWE, students demonstrate various agricultural technologies and practices to rural farming communities and conduct awareness programmes through Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA).
3. Training Programmes
Besides teaching, FAR undertakes outreach programmes in order to help the farming community in and around the Coimbatore District. The faculty members and students in collaboration with various institutions organized various training programmes, guest lectures, demonstrations for the service of the farming community. Trainings were imparted to the farmers and farm women in collaboration with ICAR- KVK, Coimbatore and in collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and ATMA scheme. FAR is having a strong linkage with the ICAR-KVK, Coimbatore situated at Karamadai village and has organized several programmes for the benefit of students and farmers.4.
4. On Farm Demo
A field demonstration is usually established by researchers and/or extension workers preferably in collaboration with farmers to validate and demonstrate new technologies. Field demonstrations are an effective way to enhance farmer awareness about new technologies to adopt. Demonstrations on root feeding of coconut bio-tonic, seed treatments, vermicomposting, coconut mulching, azolla cultivation were conducted for the farmers in and around Coimbatore districts by our faculty members and students.
5. Organic Farming
Organic farming is a farming method that involves growing and nurturing crops without the use of synthetic based fertilizers and pesticides to maintain soil fertility. It relies on ecologically balanced agricultural principles like crop rotation, green manure, organic waste and biological pest control. Our students cultivated the rice crop (variety: Thangasamba) under organic farming during their crop production course in which they used only the bio inputs like Vermicompost, Green manures, Panchakavya, Jeevamirtham, Neem oil and Bio potash for field application. They obtained the paddy yields of 2940 kg in 1.3 acres.