24 Aug, 2023
In a significant development aimed at sustainable farming practices in the spice industry, the DPP Spices project, jointly executed by GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), AVT McCormick (AVT McC), and McCormick, conducted a one-day Training of Trainers (TOT) session on sustainable Cumin Cultivation Practices. The event took place on 24 August 2023 at The Sarovar Hotel in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.
The primary objective of this TOT session was to equip farmers with the essential knowledge, skills, and techniques required to promote sustainable and organic farming practices effectively. This initiative forms a crucial part of the broader DPP Spices project, which aims to enhance the capacities of smallholder spice farmers across six Indian states, namely Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan while promoting economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable production practices.
A total of 42 master trainers from 10 clusters in the Jaisalmer district participated in the training. These trainers were selected based on a comprehensive matrix that considered factors such as skills, education, experience, leadership qualities, and their willingness to share information.
The training session commenced with a warm welcome and a project overview provided by Pradnya Thombare, Agriculture Advisor at GIZ. Subsequently, Mr. Santosh Gupta from Ecociate Consultants conducted an engaging introduction exercise for the participants. The training program consisted of several technical sessions covering various aspects of sustainable spice cultivation.
The initial session introduced the concept of sustainable agriculture, explaining its key principles and differentiating it from conventional agricultural practices through group exercises. Subsequent modules explored best crop management practices, with a focus on soil fertility management and soil testing for Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), supported by illustrative examples.
The module on irrigation and water management in cumin cultivation encouraged participants to share their existing irrigation methods, while the integrated pest management module offered insights into effective pest control measures. Participants were encouraged to explore improved crop management practices, including the use of yellow sticky traps, deep summer plowing, seed drill sowing, and seed treatment by biopesticides to reduce pest infestations. Ms. Pradnya provided detailed guidance on preventive and curative measures for pests and disease management, along with instructions for preparing natural remedies like Neem Ark, Dashparni Ark, Agni Astra, and more.
In the final module, Mr. Rajesh from AVT McCormick elaborated on post-harvest management practices, discussing essential dos and don'ts during the harvesting and threshing of cumin. He stressed the importance of cleaning threshers before use and highlighted the significance of proper drying and cleaning of cumin post-harvest.
Mr. Rajesh also emphasised appropriate storage methods for cumin, advocating the use of PP bags and hermetic bags for maintaining the quality and longevity of the produce. These post-harvest practices are vital for ensuring the quality and market value of cumin, thus contributing to the sustainability of cumin cultivation.
In conclusion, representatives from Ecociate, GIZ, and AVT McC summarised the key takeaways and outlined the way forward. The program concluded with the issuance of certificates to the participants, feedback collection on the training, and a vote of thanks by the organisers.
This training event marks a significant stride toward the sustainable future of cumin cultivation and spices farming in Rajasthan, aligning with the broader mission of empowering smallholder farmers across India with knowledge and skills for sustainable agriculture.
Introductory session by Pradnya Thombare, Agriculture Advisor, GIZ India © GIZ India
Participants engaging in the discussion on effective pest control measures © GIZ India
Group photo of the participants and trainers © GIZ India
The ‘Enhancement of Smallholder Spice Farmer’s Capacities in Sustainable Farming’ aims to strengthen the production of cardamom, cumin, and turmeric in four states of India - Kerala Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Rajasthan - to increase the capacities of spice farmers to make production practices more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
The project is part of the develoPPP.de Programme implemented by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The lead executing agency for this project is AVT McCormick. develop.PPP was set up by BMZ to involve the private sector in areas where business opportunities and development policy initiatives overlap. Read More
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