It’s a 1.5 hours ride from the hotel to R Village. About 30-40 farmers had already gathered at the compound to welcome us. Each of us then gave a very brief introduction of ourselves before the farmers started asking questions. ( please see below)
Panel discussion with the native farmers
1. How to ensure enough Water storage for mango farm ( India suffers from droughts)
– dukes, create water tanks with shade n plastic base
2. GM cotton seeds creating a pollution problem affecting Health n skin problems of farmers???
-problem doesn’t lie with the cotton seeds! It’s the way pesticides usage is being abused!
-nationalization of research in crops n fertilizers
– start a farmer co op to start own research
– political reasons
3. Challenges with extreme climate – excess rain or drought
– know how on the type of crops to grow in different climates
– limited by $ n simple mechanization
– try diff crops in diff season.
– water ditch channeling
– drip line for intensive crops very efficient and cost efective
4. How to increase Padi production
– crops rotation – water melons
– resting n re fertilizing the soil with buffalo du
– Break the common disease / cycle
– organic rice to rest the earth
– soil testing ph lime application
– organic matter / dung / green/fallow crops increase water holding capacities of soils they also break disease cycles/resistance
– breed different varieties far more resistant to disease
5. How much land is needed to raise how much quantity of frogs?
LOL. Hilarious that they asked. My only concern is the water quality here which will bound to affect the quality of livestock!!
Fellow delegates were very helpful to offer suggestions feasible to the Indian farmers in terms of cost and efficiency. Farmers’ responses however was lukewarm as they don’t seem ready to embrace the changes!
We then travelled to the child labour school where again the host prepared a feast for us!! We ate among ourselves while the children sat on the floor to have their lunch. After which we waited for about an hour while they tidied up the same dining area to set up the seating area for us. To entertain myself and the 50 bright eyed kids, Mcloud and I started asking them to translate the words below to telenggu.
Goat – meka
Horse – gurram
Sheep – gorea
Cow – aavu
Chicken – kodi ( looks easy but I can never get it right!!)
Egg – guddu
Dog – kukkaa
The kids did have a lot of fun embarrassing me cos the Indian Rrrrr thingy is one thing I can’t do! The children know very minimum english but were very excited to interact with us. After that there were then a few sharing of the residents about how this NGO had helped changed their lives. Were deeply heartened that there are people like Mr xxx who is believe fervently in this cause. Sadly, we didn’t see any part of the children being educated or the Embroidery Training Project taking place.
We had such a lovely connection with some of these Children, wondering how these innocent lives are ever going to be provided with equal opportunities to education, food and a safe environment. Realizing that they eventually will need to fend for themselves was indeed a poignant moment for me, not knowing where the future of these children will lie.