Farmland for agri-research innovation: Hands-on training for B.Sc Agriculture students
At the ‘Farmland for Agri-research Innovation’ of Brainware University, 7.5 bighas of land is being prepared for agricultural research purposes. The practical classes of the current B.Sc Agriculture batch are also being conducted on the field.
As one enters the ‘Farmland for Agriculture Research Centre’, one gets to witness the orchand of mango, litchi, areca nut, jack fruit, coconut, wax apple, guava and other trees.
The remaining portion of the land is segregated into five plots for growing different types of crops. The calm and serene ambience provides the perfect setup for experiential learning.
Here is a description of the different plots with the crops that are being grown:
Plot 1 – This plot is designed for growing cash crops and leafy vegetables like black pepper, turmeric, ginger, coffee, dragon fruit, yam and leafy vegetables
Plot 2 – This plot is allocated for medicinal plants like bhringaraj, aloe vera, mint and green chiretta.
Plot 3 – This is a mix orchard area consisting of brinjal, okra, tomato, chilli and sugarcane
Plot 4 – This plot is used for growing green and black gram
Plot 5 – This is the cereal plot that is currently used for growing corn
B.Sc Agriculture : Developing a crop cafeteria and hands-on training
While talking about the farmland, Dr. Bidisha Majumder, Associate Dean, School of Agriculture, Brainware University said, “We are developing a crop cafeteria here as different varieties of crops are grown in individual plots. This is also very helpful for the students as they are getting hands-on training for each and every step of cultivation.”
Here are the different steps of cultivation that the current batch of B.Sc. Agriculture students are participating:
- preparing the first bed for crops
- nurturing the crops
- fertiliser management
- irrigation management
- irrigation (in the end)
Dr. Majumder also pointed out that for the 1st year Agriculture students, only identification is there in the syllabus. “However, our first year students at Brainware University are getting the chance of learning every steps of cultivation at our farmland for agricultural research centre,” she added.
The backbone of any educational institute is its research facilities. Various plans are in the pipeline with the ‘Farmland for agri-research innovation’. There are plans for using the farmland on trial basis for faculty research purpose.
Furthermore, this farm will also be used for various industry-based research purposes like fertiliser trial, seed trial, different bio-fertiliser and bio-pesticide trial. etc.
Apart from that, there are also plans for collaborating with the Biotechnology department in order to conduct germ-plasm conservation research.
Brainware University always believes in the holistic development of the students, as well as the neighbourhood.. There are future plans for training with the farmers of the locality so that they can get the option of growing different types of crops.
The agricultural sector of the country is expected to increase to US$ 24 billion by 2025 as per Inc42. It has to be noted that a large population and rising rural and urban income is driving export in the agricultural sector. This will also lead to immense employment opportunities. The career options in this field include Agriculture Officer, Horticulture Assistant, Research/Fundamental Analyst, Argo-Meteorology Observer, Junior Scientific Officer and others.
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