CIWA develops women-friendly sustainable farming technology in Odisha- The New Indian Express

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Scientists of the Central Institute for Women in Agriculture (CIWA), Bhubaneswar, have developed a novel technology that will substantially benefit landless farmers by providing them with multi-sectoral income generation avenues.

The technology-integrated vertical nutrient-farming system (IVMFS) can be used for both indoor and outdoor farming. The system ensures dietary diversity and household nutritional security to landless farm families.

It is a low-cost durable structure of iron that can easily be set up in the homestead backyard. It will provide year-round availability of nutrient-rich vegetables, mushrooms, eggs and meat while offering a subsidiary source of income to the farm families.

The system involves a three-layered 7ft fabricated iron structure that can be fixed on a 6×4 meter area. Low-income families can meet their needs for vitamins, minerals and plant protein through regular access to nutrient-rich vegetables, mushrooms, eggs and meat obtained from this system, principal scientist at CIWA Arun Kumar Panda said.

“They can cultivate vegetables on the top layer, mushrooms in the middle and back of the poultry on the bottom. If they want to do only vegetable farming, they can cultivate tubers on the top layer and green vegetables in the remaining two layers. The farming can be done using controlled-environment technology,” he said.

He said since cultivable land is shrinking due to increasing population pressure, urbanization and industrial growth, vertical farming technology can be beneficial for farmers, who possess a small piece of land beside their homes and depend on agriculture and allied activities. With the help of technology, farmers can produce good quantities of nutritious and quality fresh food all year round, without relying on skilled labour, favorable weather, high soil fertility or high water usage.

CIWA director Mridula Devi said IVNFS technology will ensure dietary diversity and household nutritional security to landless farmer families. A team of scientists consisting of Panda, Tania Seth and Chaitrali Shashank Mhatre has developed the IVNFS.

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