Field day report: Village Dhobia, Datia (MP), Jhansi India
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The farmer’s day at Jhansi District, India was organized on Friday, 21 November 2017. Attending the farmers’ day were Drs. Sunil Kumar, A. K. Misra, Shahid Ahmed, Palsaniya and Vikas Kumar representatives of ICAR (Indian Grassland & Fodder Research Institute, Jhansi), Drs. Ashutosh Sarker and Sawsan Hassan (ICARDA representatives), and 69 farmers. Of the farmers present, more than 50% were female farmers. Dr. Sunil Kumar, Head, Crop Production Division (ICAR - Indian Grassland & Fodder Research Institute “IGFRI”, Jhansi) highlighted the importance of cactus as green fodder for animal feed and as an ideal alternative to control water erosion. Mr. Dasarath, the pilot farmer who initiated the cactus plantation three years ago mentioned the importance of research institutes like IGFRI and ICARDA in providing new technologies then he gave participants on the farmers’ day a tour of his cactus plantation, where they could witness the growth and adaptability of cactus at first hand. Drs. Ashutosh Sarker and Sawsan Hassan explained ICARDA’s mission to target poor farmers in the dry areas in order to improve their livelihoods with objective to give full support to farmers. The farmers showed interest in planting cactus, and they thanked ICARDA and IGFRI for their efforts to introduce new technologies that will help them enhance their livelihoods.