Cactus field day in Bhopal-India
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The farmer’s day at Bhopal, India was organized on Saturday, 23 November, 2017. Attending the farmers’ day were Drs. Ashutosh Sarker and Sawsan Hassan and 31 farmers. Dr. Sarker highlighted the importance of cactus as green fodder for animal feed and as an ideal alternative to control water erosion. He gave a detailed outline of the activities being carried out by ICARDA and encouraged farmers to actively take part in the planting of spineless cactus on their land. He mentioned that cactus dissemination started four years ago and since then, the number of farmers growing cactus has steadily increased. This reflects the great potential of cactus as both a crop and livestock feed resource in India. Dr. Sawsan explained ICARDA’s mission to target poor farmers in the dry areas in order to improve their livelihoods. she mentioned that the adoption of cactus is now worldwide as it has been proven that cactus has the potential to mitigate climate change, to reduce the green fodder gap and to also enhance farmers’ income. Dr. Sawsan explained the benefits of cactus as a green fodder, and highlighted how it has shown growth adaptability to the dry conditions. The farmers showed interest in planting cactus, and they thanked ICARDA for the efforts to introduce new technologies that will help them enhance their livelihoods.