Maharashtra, India – ASSIST and Same Deutz-Fahr (SDF), leading manufacturer of agricultural machinery, trained farmers in the Indian State of Maharashtra on Sustainable Sugarcane Initiative (SSI), a more productive and profitable way of farming.
About 1200 to 1600 mm of water is needed every year for sugarcane cultivation, but farmers are currently using 3000 to 4000 mm yearly. Farmers are also planting sugarcane between 1.5 and 2.5 feet apart instead of the recommended 4 feet, resulting in decreased sun exposure and reduced air flow to the roots. These methods are inefficient and may result in poor yield but farmers continue such practices due to lack of technical know-how, ignorance or simply adhering to age-old practices without analysing ways to improve and innovate.
SSI is an innovative method of sugarcane farming that promotes the use of less seeds, less water and optimum utilization of fertilizers and land to achieve more yields. ASSIST conducted a two-day sensitization workshop for around 85 farmers from Pune and Ahmednagar on SSI concept, and the role of mechanization in sugarcane cultivation and its advantages.
ASSIST Project Head, Mr Karan, along with the SDF team led the two-day workshop. Guest speakers educated farmers on the pilot farms which will serve as a model for sustainable sugarcane cultivation practices. The workshop was part of the SMARt Technologies for GREEN Agricultural Practices (SMART 4 GREEN) project.
Contributed by Nandhini Shanmugham