February 10, 2020

SPIC – Steering a Reskilling Movement for India’s Farmers

February 10, 2020

SPIC – Steering a Reskilling Movement for India’s Farmers

India’s Agriculture sector employs 58% of the population but contributes only 14.6% of the gross domestic product (GDP). One of the reasons for this disparity is the implementation of inefficient farming practices. A significant portion of smallholding farmers is unaware of the technological advancements that can enhance their farm output and harvests.

For India’s Agri-sector to realise its full potential and compete globally, we need to usher in a reskilling movement for the country’s agriculturists. Our farmers need to be equipped with the latest know-how and integrate modern advancements in their farming practices.

Southern Petrochemicals Industries Corporation Limited (SPIC), the flagship company of AM International and one of India’s foremost Agri-nutrient manufacturers, has been steadfastly pursuing this agenda. The company regularly holds workshops in which participating agriculturists are updated on current farming practices and provided with guidance on topics such as crop and soil management, optimal use of fertilisers etc. For five decades, since its inception in 1969, the company has benefitted thousands of farmers through such workshops.

SPIC’s soil testing laboratory was established in Chennai in 1992. Over the last three decades, their team of experts has advised farmers on measures to improve their farm productivity. Further, the company also operates Mobile Soil Testing Lab (MSTL) which enables farmers to get on-spot analysis of their farm soil and receives recommendations to enhance the productivity of their lands. SPIC also engages with farmers on a long-term basis through the Soil Health Programme. Under this scheme, farmers are provided with soil health cards and are guided on soil health management and the latest best practices.

The company additionally publishes a bi-monthly farm journal ‘Pannai Cheithi’ since 1989. Published in Tamil, the magazine provides farmers with updates on current agricultural practices. It lays particular emphasis on high-income yielding crops. The publication’s subscriber base of over 10,000 comprises of farmers, academicians and consultants.

In addition, SPIC organises field demonstrations and workshops at the village level. Through this platform, the company demonstrates the latest farming technologies and best practices to farmers. The company organises regular farmer meets where experts disperse information about the latest trends in agriculture. Popular topics include commercial farming, alternate and high-profit crops, export-oriented agriculture, etc. Farmers find these interactions insightful for their day to day Agriculture activities.

The Agriculture service team at SPIC has also set up a model farm to demonstrate the application of the latest technologies in the production of high-income generating crops. Further, the company provides real-time guidance to farmers through short messaging services (SMS) on their mobile phones. These include daily updates and tips on plant protection measures and fertiliser recommendations.

As per GOI’s direction under “Swach Bharat Mission”, domestic waste accumulated in city dump yards are converted into compost and marketed as an important source of organic manure with rich carbon and humus content under the brand name “SPIC Jyothi”, which Improves and sustains farm productivity by altering the soil structure of farm lands.

In addition, 21 Nos. of SPIC Model Fertilizer Retail Shops (MFRS) are being opened and operated at 21 Districts of Tamil Nadu to create awareness about our products and services among farmers and ensures availability of all our products at MRP. Further, it is planned to expand to other districts and other States in the coming years.

Through these outreach programmes, SPIC endeavours to strengthen India’s agriculture community at its grassroots levels. The longevity of the programmes is a testimony of their success. This motivates SPIC to work harder for the prosperity of our country’s farmers. After all, India will prosper only when its farmers thrive and succeed.

As SPIC celebrates its golden jubilee, we re-affirm our commitment towards working alongside the Indian farmer for increased and sustainable farm-productivity.

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