Highlights of recent PRDIS activities
The Society of Extension Professionals (SEP) has Honoroured Pror.S.V.Reddy , president of PRDIS for his dedicated service of 50 years and achievements in Agricultural Extension and Rural Development . The citation presented has described his contribution to Agriculture extension and Small scale farmers in India and Africa as well as his contribution in Teaching and Research in Agricultural Extension. The award was presented by Dr.Danial Guestfson , DDG, FAO, Rome and Dr.A.K. Singh, DDG, ICAR,New Delhi, in the presence of former Vice Chancellors, Extension professionals and research scientists.
Prof.Venku Reddy, representing PRDIS which is one among the four NGOS invited from Andhra Pradesh, briefly explained to the President of India about the various rural development activities undertaken alongside the sustainable agricultural interventions carried out in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh through Farmer Field Schools (FFS). In an interesting probe of the farmers suicides in Andhra Pradesh by the President of India. Prof. Reddy apprised him about a study undertaken by PRDIS in this regard and impressed on him with reasons for such suicides and remedial measures suggested there on.
PRDIS, on the request of Chhattisgarh Tribal Development Agency (supported by IFAD), organized Farmers Field Schools (FFS) on Integrated Crop Management (ICM) of paddy in Udaipur , Surguja and Raigarh districts during 2004-05 and 2005-06. This effort resulted in increase of paddy (rice) yields by two to three folds. About 300 participating tribal farmers were benefited directly by acquiring knowledge and skills besides improving their social capital. The farmers were also involved in participatory technology development process and able to select promising varieties suitable to their areas. In addition, this process enabled the farmers to be aware of health, environment and other topics useful to their daily life. Encouraged by this experience, PRDIS has further strengthened its activities in Chattishgarh during 2007-2008.
PRDIS has established contacts with JN Agri tech International (P) ltd, Syngen Bio fuels (P) ltd and Neha International to promote diversified cropping in the project areas of PRDIS. In addition, PRDIS had unique opportunity to provide consultancy to these organizations in Uganda and Ethiopia of East Africa.
PRDIS has strong linkages with Departments of Agriculture, Horticulture, Animal Husbandary, State agricultural universities, Ministries of Agriculture, Rural Development, science and technology of GoI, MANAGE, NIRD,NIPHM,EEIs, FAO, world bank,IFAD, WHO, ICRISAT, UNDP, BCI, Solidaridad, IDH and Syngenta foundation.
Prof. S.Venku Reddy, President, PRDIS, has been nominated as member of working group on Agriculture for formulating the XII th Plan of planning commission, GoI. He also served as member of agricultural working group of knowledge commission of GoI. At present he is the Expert member of Agri Biodiversity committee of National Biodiversity Board.
Participants can be seen while getting hands experience on the selected trades
PRDIS ever since its inception has been making the Agripreneurs through training and hand holding of unemployed agricultural graduates, diploma holders and youth. Towards this end, about 700 participants were trained and about 40% of them have established agriventures and also helping the farmers with advise and guidance.
In addition, about 1200 rural youth including farmers were trained in Entrepreneurship skills in different trades. About 50 % of them were employed and self employed.
A Rural Young Professional training sponsored by CAPART, GoI implemented by PRDIS is also a significant highlight in the process of making the agripreneurs.
A Better Cotton Initiative (BCI ) programme is being implemented by PRDIS with about 25000 covering an area of about 50000 hectors in different districts of Telangana , Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka states. The purpose of BCI is to promote strong supply chain linkages with measurable improvements in productivity and reduction in costs. PRDIS as an implementing agency is poised to form Farmer Producer Companies to connect farmers directly to the Gins by eliminating middlemen and in future also add value to the commodity. The Farmer Producer Organisations will also be dealing with other commodities with value addition and supply chain management this is a big step forward towards freedom of association, bargaining power and sustainability.
Since a decade PRDIS has been promoting sustainable agriculture with a focuss on economics and ecology, the reduction in pesticide use is on the top of the agenda. In boothpur mandal of Mahabubnagar distric PRDIS has successfully able to not only convince farmers on non-pesticide management but also moving in the direction of creating pesticide free villages addressing health and environmental concerns.
The PARENT: A net network organization of NGOs PRDIS has initiated and formed a Network organization of 10 NGOs operating in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states as Participatory Rural Empowerment Network ( PARTENT). To guide and implement major innovative initiatives in different parts of the states. They are also engaged as Partner NGOs ( eg, Krushi foundation- Karimnagar, WCS- Raichur, SVFD –Guntur) in implementing Some of the programmes of PRDIS
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Advance in Agricultural Extension Book Release
A book on " Advance in Agricultural Extension (Towards changing the lives and livelihoods) " was released by Dr.Daniel J.Gustafson, DDG, FAO, on the occasion of Foundation day of Sarvareddy Venkureddy Foundation for Development (SVFD). Foreword was written by Dr. M.S.Swaminathan while edited by Prof.S.Venku Reddy and Dr.M.Surya Mani.