Training of Master Trainers on Sustainable and Organic Turmeric Cultivation

06 Jul, 2023

Training for trainers in sustainable and organic farming is a crucial step in enhancing farmers’ capacities and making them self-sufficient, thus ensuring the program's sustainability. The objective of the training is to equip farmers with the necessary knowledge, skills, and techniques to promote and implement sustainable and organic farming practices effectively. In order to empower selected master trainers in the realms of sustainable and organic spice cultivation for Turmeric, Cumin, and Cardamom, GIZ and AVT McCormick jointly organised a two-day training on Sustainable and Organic Cultivation practices for master trainers (TOT) with Ecociate Consultants on 6 and 7 July 2023 at The Residency Tower Hotel, Coimbatore.

GIZ, AVT McCormick (AVT McC) and McCormick are jointly implementing the DPP Spices project in six states of India, namely Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. The project aims to sustainably strengthen the production of cardamom, cumin, celery, dill seed, and turmeric in these states while enhancing the capacities of spice farmers and making production practices more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.

Group Photo of the Participants ©GIZ India

The training session was attended by a total of 26 master trainers from 10 clusters in the Erode district, comprising 15 male and 10 female members. The selection of master trainers was based on a matrix that considered factors such as skills, education, experience, leadership qualities, and willingness to share information.

To commence the training, Dr. Poonam Pandey, the Project Manager of DPP Spice Project, GIZ, extended a warm welcome to the participants and provided a brief overview of GIZ's work. Subsequently, Mr. Ashok Nair, the Head of Sustainability at AVT McCormick, discussed the progress of the PDP Spices project and highlighted the substantial benefits farmers have gained by embracing sustainable and organic agricultural practices.

Mr. Santosh Gupta from Ecociate Consultants extended a warm welcome to all the master trainers and facilitated an exercise for the introduction of participants. Following the introductory sessions, the training program encompassed 10 technical sessions that covered fundamental aspects and themes related to sustainable and organic spice cultivation. The first session introduced participants to sustainable and organic agriculture, elucidating the key principles of both approaches and highlighting the synergies and distinctions between them through group exercises.

Participants sharing their learning from group-exercise

The subsequent module, led by Mr. Dorairaj, an organic expert, delved into best crop management practices. The significance of managing soil fertility and the importance of soil testing for Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) were discussed in detail using model examples. Mr. RM Subramanian, Consultant at GIZ, emphasised the advantages of raised bed cultivation to avoid water stagnation and occurrences of rhizome rot disease.

In the module on irrigation and water management in turmeric cultivation, participants shared their existing irrigation practices. Fruitful discussions were held on the diverse irrigation management practices currently employed by farmers for turmeric crops, as well as the challenges associated with adopting drip irrigation. Some farmers shared their successful cases of efficient irrigation management. Inputs were provided by Mr. Ravindra Singh, Head of the Biodiversity Cluster at GIZ, and Ms. Pradnya, Technical Expert at GIZ, to promote the efficient use of water for irrigation.

The module on integrated pest management provided participants with detailed insights into the steps and practices that can be employed for implementing IPM practices. They were encouraged to explore better crop management practices like raised bed cultivation to avoid infestation of rhizome rot disease, trap crop cultivation (Caster, marigold), use of biopesticides like neem ark, neem cake, and Dashparni ark.

The biodiversity module comprised both lectures and a group exercise. Subsequently, the benefits of biodiversity for turmeric crops were explained to the participants.

A dedicated module focused on different training dissemination methodologies for master trainers, emphasising the importance of effective planning and scheduling of training sessions, considering seasonality factors when developing training calendars, and determining the appropriate modules to be covered. The objective was to equip master trainers with the necessary skills to effectively plan and deliver training to fellow farmers. Several participants shared success stories related to the adoption of labour-saving machinery and tools and cost savings on pesticides due to the usage of formulations prepared on their own farms.

In conclusion, Ecociate, GIZ, and AVT summarised the key points and outlined the way forward. The program ended with the issuance of certificates to the participants, feedback on the training, and a vote of thanks by the organisers.

Participants drawing the biodiversity at their farm ©GIZ India

Participants receiving certificates for their participation. ©GIZ India | Pradnya


About the project

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 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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