भाद्र १७, २०७८  |  Prakash Sejwal
Rice is one of the most important cereal crops and one of the major staple food crops in Nepal. Not only is rice a key source of carbohydrate and essential nutrients, but also a major source of employment for those who are involved in the agro sector. Nepal's economic growth depends upon rice production as rice has more than 50% share of total food production. As per the Fiscal Year 2020/2021, rice was grown in 1.47 a million hectares of land with the production of 5.621 million metric tons with a productivity was 3.81 tons/ha. These low yields in rice can be attributed to a gap that exists between what farmers are harvesting in their rice fields and what has been demonstrated by research.
Farmers lose an estimated average of 37% of their rice crop to pests
and diseases every year. Lack of access to timely advisory service on disease
identification and access to basic inputs together with post-harvest loss
credits for much of the annual dividend on what could be provided versus what
the market received. In addition to good crop management, timely and accurate
diagnosis can significantly reduce losses (http://www.knowledgebank.irri.org).
GeoKrishi is a digital agri-advisory service
platform that assists farmers to access the right information at the right time through
multiple channels in the most understandable manner. Out of its many approaches
to connect with farmers, GeoKrishi also operates through a social media network
through a Facebook group called 'GeoKrishi e-Chautari'. Recently there have
been growing concerns regarding a rice disorder (disease and pest) in our
e-chautari (GeoKrishi) platforms by rice growers’ farmers. Hence, in order to
establish a tailored information supply and respond to a large audience, a
digital webinar was organized.
GeoKrishi with the help of CEAPRED organized a
webinar series entitled 'e-Chautari Meet' (ई चौतारी भेटघाट) for the
Rice disease and pest: with their management practices. Mr. Kiran Bhusal
(Programme Coordinator, RMS, CEAPRED) joined our hand as the facilitator and
expert for the webinar where more than 120 rice-growing farmers accompanied our the online webinar which comprised of 6 farmers groups and cooperative members from
the distinct parts of Nepal like Kathmandu, Dang, Rupandehi, Kanchanpur, Gulmi,
Salyan, Banke, Bardiya, Morang, Dhanusa, Kavre, Kailali, etc.