Gram Unnati, Gurgaon-based agri-tech solutions company, organised a one-day training program on pest and disease management for soyabean farmers in Rajasthan’s Baran district by partnering with the local Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) as part of its capacity building project.

Aneesh Jain, CEO and founder of the agri-tech company said, “Gram Unnati has been focusing on bringing good practices and partnerships to all small holder farmers especially the ones in aspirational districts. The support and guidance from KVK, Anta and DS Spice gives us confidence to transform the lives of farmers in Baran.”.

Golden crop

According to Jain, the company selected the crop because, Soyabean, belonging to the legume family, is recognized as golden or miracle bean due to its high nutritive value, and various uses such as, for feed, edible oil and food products. He also said that Baran is one of the main soyabean-growing regions in Rajasthan, the third largest producing State overall.

In the current kharif season, soyabean acreage has reached 11.51 lakh hectares (lh) exceeding the government target of 11.5 lh until August 16. The area may cross last year’s total of 11.55 lh at the end of the sowing season (June-September). In Baran, farmers have planted soyabean in 2.54 lh so far, against target of 2.61 lh. In the year-ago period the planting was in 2.45 lh.

Training farmers

Jain said farmers have brought up the problem of pest and disease infestation in soyabean during interaction with his field team on several occasions. As this problem affects the quality and productivity of the crop, which makes it difficult for the farmers to sell their produce at a profit, Gram Unnati decided to hold the training session.

During the workshop, farmers were explained about proper agronomic procedures to be followed in soyabean to improve the crop’s quality and overall productivity with emphasis on Integrated Pest and Disease Management such as, usage of Yellow Sticky Cards and Pheromone Traps which are environment-friendly and part of sustainable agricultural practices.