In a move to help farmers to choose the right crop protection products for their crops as per their requirements and suitability, leading agrochemical company Insecticides (India) Limited (IIL) deployed more than 600 crop advisors across India. In 2021-22, the crop advisors will help more than 10 lakh farmers to understand every aspect related to crop protection ranging from seed treatment to pest, weed and disease management. The service to promote the judicious use of agrochemical products is available to the farmers and will reduce their input cost and increasing output as well as protect soil health, the company has claimed.
IIL has done this initiate as a part of its Mega Extension Activities Program (MEAP). Roping in crop advisors at a large scale also comes close on the heels of integrated pest management (IPM) research project, rolled out jointly in parts of Uttar Pradesh by IIL Foundation, the CSR wing of Insecticides (India), the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) before the pandemic. Participant farmers were trained on IPM and the right use of agrochemicals that reduced the number of sprays. The crop advisor also scouts the fields of the farmers to solve the issue that may arise during the growing season.
Highlighting the initiative, Rajesh Aggarwal, Managing Director, Insecticides (India) said, “Integrated pest management is an integral part of the agricultural practices in the tropical areas as they are one of the most pest-affected areas in the world but grows the most of the world’s foodgrains. As a part of our extension activities, IIL’s mission is to help farmers to understand the judicious use of agrochemicals and good farming practices to minimise the cost of inputs and maximise the outputs with good productivity which will help them increase their farm income.”
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“Our crop advisors are doing just that working in the field to provide the right information for better farming practices through various media like farmer meetings, demonstrations, field days among other activities. We continued this in the pandemic lockdown period as well digitally and helped more than seven lakh farmers last year. We also aim to bring in world-class technology and provide the agricultural sector with quality agrochemicals as well as guide and educate the farmers through our crop advisors,” Aggarwal added.
IIL has reached plans to reach out to more than 25 lakh farmers pan India. This year, the company aims to bring 10 lakh more farmers across India under its crop advisory coverage.
Sanjay Singh, General Manager – Market Development, Insecticides (India) said, “Advising farmers on the right use of agrochemicals has been a focus area of IIL since the beginning. This year we have increased the same to a large extent, understanding its need and our responsibility towards the farmers. Before the pandemic, experts could travel to the farmers and give them advice when needed. However, with the pandemic lockdowns, we formulated the idea of crop advisors to reach farmers through physical and digital meetings, using tele-calling and WhatsApp to prevent them from committing mistakes that can be detrimental to their and the crop’s health.”
“Our crop advisors created awareness and guided farmers to generate better output with minimal waste. We are receiving an overwhelming response from the market as well,” Singh added.