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Agriculture Information : Punjab farmers using WhatsApp group for farming solutions

Farmers in Punjab can now get immediate advice via a WhatsApp group about soil health, use of fertilisers and pesticides and from crop health to seed procurement.

The group, ‘Young Innovative Farmers’, was set up by Gurdaspur Agriculture Development Officer Dr Amrik Singh. “I started it with a few farmers, but it has now increased to 100 members, including 90 farmers and 10 experts. Moreover, the farmers in the group have set up their own groups with local farmers to disseminate the information,” said Singh.

Besides farmers from across Punjab, there are even farmers from Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. “We have a shortage of staff in our department. If we visit a few villages daily, we can only meet a few dozen farmers. But on WhatsApp we can interact with several farmers daily,” he added.

Some farmers upload photographs of their disease-hit crops to seek advice. Whatever problem coming that can be solved with the help of experts. Besides solving farmer’s problem, information is also provided on new techniques of cultivation of different crops. Crucial information on seed treatment of wheat and paddy, soil test-based fertilisers is made available.

On the group good agricultural practices are also shared. Jagroop Singh, who returned to his village in Gurdaspur after spending seven years in Australia, said that Dr Amrik Singh’s four research papers, published in various journals, have also been made available to the group.

Another farmer, Sarwan Singh, said he has been using the easily available information to improve his yield.

Source: http:// indianexpress.com/