INDIA: Don Bosco College of Agriculture students hold agriculture forum to help educate local farmers and address challenges they face
(MissionNewswire) Several students attending their fourth year at the Don Bosco College of Agriculture, located in Sulcorna, India, organized an agricultural exhibition at Somnath High School. The goal was to provide high school students and local farmers education and awareness about farming techniques and address challenges farmers are currently facing.
The agriculture students exhibited what they had learned during their studies, illustrating to the participants the various parasites that affected crops grown in the Indian State of Goa, including coconut, mango, sugar cane and cucurbita. The students explained how to manage pests and how to recognize the symptoms of the diseases.
They also presented sericulture, or silkworm breeding on mulberry leaves, and beekeeping, which is a profitable commercial option in the region. Students also explained the advantages of vermicomposting, low-cost biotechnology that uses earthworms and is easily replicable and affordable for everyone.
The high school students in attendance at the exhibit engaged in an interactive workshop and were invited to collect and identify plants and insects. Later, the students participated in a competition, which consisted of creating posters to illustrate indigenous technological knowledge. This helped them to learn about and recognize effective knowledge implemented by their ancestors.
In addition, assistant professor Rajan Shelke gave a lecture focusing on how to recognize the symptoms of diseases transmitted by parasites. During the exhibition, Don Bosco College of Agriculture students discussed fertilizers and insecticides so that local farmers could learn to use them responsibly.
“This exhibition is a great example of how Salesian students are able to support their local communities,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “The students were happy to make their knowledge and experience available to solve and advise farmers on the agricultural problems they face.”
Don Bosco College of Agriculture offers students agriculture education, focusing on best practices in the industry and new ways of farming. Thanks to its innovative programs and high-quality teaching, the Don Bosco College of Agriculture has been evaluated as “the best agricultural university” by the Indian Agricultural Research Council of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.
Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.
India has the world’s fourth-largest economy but more than 22 percent of the country lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a new report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.
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