Craft Education (Agriculture)

Gandhiji considered self-reliance a test of the success of Nai Tamil. so sincere efforts are made here to provide our students work experience and impart education through correlation it was an objective of our institution that our institutional farming, its goshala become a laboratory for the development of the society. Craft education has a special place in Nai Tamil with this view point. The students get correlated and life-oriented education through farming and animal husbandry. As a result, the students develop qualities of doing manual labour, self-reliance and self-respect.

Objectives of craft education :

  1. To develop the students’ understanding of self-reliance and become self-supporting in their needs.
  2. To impart education of hand, head and heart through craft-education and enable them to develop self-confidence for self-reliance.
  3. To remove their nausea for manual labour through scientific approach and create an understanding in them that no work is mean or low that all people are equal and to inspire them for social service.

With a view to imparting correlated education to the students and achieving the above objectives, we have allotted 75 acres of land at Ratanpur Campus. Farming and animal husbandry are the backbone of the rural life in a backward district like banaskantha. So craft is taught in such a way that the students get full knowledge and demonstrate it to the surrounding area.

Craft-education :

For imparting education in agriculture, different projects are taken up and the students are taught to do all the various processes in such farming projects.

The student prepare land, select seeds and give necessary treatment, do sowing work, prepare manure and apply it in proper proportion, give irrigation, weed the useless grass, do inter-culturing, identify various crop-diseases and take necessary measures to control them, take precautions for crop protection etc. wherever they find any difficulty, they get guidance from the teachers. In this way, from sowing up to harvesting they do all various jobs and prepare necessary notes of their plot-work. They reach proper conclusions of their plots. They get scientific knowledge coupled with self-experience passing through various farming practices.

Land given to our schools :

Sr. No. Name of the School Land in acres Total
Irrigated Non-irrigated Fallow
1 Lokniketan Mahavidyalay 65 - - 65
2 Vinay Mandir, Ratanpur 10 - - 10
3 Vinay Mandir, Virampur 10 10 10 30
4 Ashramshala, Sembalpani 03 02 - 05
5 Vinay Mandir, Lavana 10 02 - 12
6 Vinay Mandir, Paldi 10 03 - 13
7 Vinay Mandir, Dhuva 10 04 - 14
8 Vinay Mandir, Samdhi 10 - 03 13
9 Vinay Mandir, Dangiya 10 - 03 13
10 Vinay Mandir, Kuvala 05 08 - 13

There is a bore-well at each school and irrigation is given. Main crops of wheat, mustard, castor and millet are sown. Moreover different vegetable crops are sown. Mango-trees, Chikoo trees, berry trees and lemon trees are grown and other beautifying and fire –wood trees are always grown.

Experiments in Farming and their Results :

The students carry out various experiments of different crop varieties under the guidance of their teachers and evaluate them. The crops are tried to find out whether they are suitable to the soil and climate of the area and how much is the production. During such trials, the students try to understand the effects of manures and fertilizers on the crops and production, impact of hormones treatment, benefits of irrigation, mixed crops, inter-culturing etc. They perform various production-oriented experiments and see disease-resistance ability of the crops. The results which are encouraging are demonstrated to the farmers through extension work.

Organic farming, hydroponics, drip irrigation and producing certified seeds were the new trends of farming in this area. We have carried out many trails and experiments of improved farming on our farms. Some details are given below :

  1. In 1988 we made an experiment in berry-tree farming. On the local variety of berry trees, grafts of an improved ‘gola’ variety were applied. It was complete success. Till that time the farmers of the area believed that there could be no berry-tree farming.
  2. In 1988, a production trial was taken for the four millet varieties – G.H.B. 27, G.H.B. 30, G.H.B. 32 and B. K. 560. The last variety was the top yielding one.
  3. In 1988, at the time of Gandhi mela the farmers were invited to witness a trial of hydroponics farming.
  4. In 1989, hormones treatment was given to the vegetable crops and to the berry trees. Very encouraging results were obtained of the pleno-fix hormones on the berry trees.
  5. Demonstration plots allotted by many seed companies are prepared on the institutional farm. The purpose behind this is to improve agriculture in this area and the farmers get pure seeds and consequently get richer.

    In 1990-91 foundation stage seeds of mustered were produced and sold to the farmers at concessional price.

  6. In 1990 a demonstration plot of two varieties of tuver I.C.P.L. 87 and I.C.P.L. – 8 was prepared. I.C.P.L. 87 proved to be superior in all respects.
  7. In 1991 a vetch variety of Navbharat-Seeds Co., ‘Pusa Navbharat’ was sown in two acres and the seeds produced were sold to the farmers.
  8. With the co-operation of Navbharat seeds company, six varieties of custor N.B.C.H. 3, 4, 8,9,10 and 11 were tried out for comparative production.
  9. In 1992, Azola bio-manure was applies in the lemon tree-crop. The results were profitable.
  10. In 1992, drip-irrigation was tried out for berry-trees. Seeing this experiment some farmers have now started drip-irrigation in vegetable and papaya crops.
  11. With the co-operation of the Agriculture University – Dantiwada, three varieties of castor – VI-9, SKI-73 and S.H. 41 were tried out for production. SKI – 73 proved to be superior.
  12. In a trial experiment of Jovar C.V.S. 15, G.J. 39 and C.S.H. 14, G.J. 39 proved to be best for production.
  13. In 1996 three mustered varieties Gujarat-2, Pusa Jaykishan and T-59 were tried out. T-59 was found to give highest yield. Its seeds were given to the farmers.
  14. In 1992-93 Navbharat millet-0.11 was tested with other eleven varieties for their disease resistance. Millet variety 919 showed ‘Kutul’ and ‘angaria’ diseases.
  15. Millef M.H. 179 was tested with other five varieties of millet for production comparison and M.H. 179 and Pro-agro-7701 were found quite successful.
  16. In 1992-93 certified seeds were produced of vetch variety Pusa Navbahar’s foundation stage and the seeds were sold to the surrounding farmers.
  17. In 1996-97, bio-manures Fertonik and Fertiworm were applied to the wheat crop and production increased by 15%.
  18. In 1999 biological pest control was applied in the cabbage crop and green worms of tricogama were controlled.
  19. In 1999 twelve varieties of Navbharat Castor were tested for production, N.B.C.H. 51 was found the top variety.
  20. In 2000-2001, 100 bags of seeds of millet –X 033 were sold to the farmers
  21. Crop museum – In order that the students and the farmers get to see different crops, a crop museum growing various seasonal crops is prepared in every season and the crops which are not grown in this area are grown in this crop museum.
  22. Gas-plant- Eight gas-plants are constructed in our different educational centers. These gas-plants help the students in preserving cleanliness; gas is obtained in the kitchen for cooking and bets compost manure is also obtained from this plant.

Effort to improve land :

Most of the land in Banaskantha is sandy soil which is very less fertile. There are very meager resources of irrigation in this district. Every second or third year is a drought period. These circumstances keep the people in perennial poverty. To remedy all these troubles our institution started various experiments in soil improvement.

To stop soil erosion and to make if plain and leveled, we made contour bunds. To increase its moisture retention capacity silting from the pond bed was added to it, stored rain water in small plots to decrease its salinity and added gypsum to it also. Moreover we have added compost manure and other organic manures for long years. Thus we have tried to make soil fertile and productive.

Most of the land in padan area is saline. The water available underground is saline. As a result the land becomes totally unproductive. By contour bunding and storing rain water in small plots, very good results are obtained. By adding gypsum in the soil, salinity has been decreased. The people in the surrounding villages also emulated this experiment.

The land in Virampur was rocky, stony and slopy. We have made great efforts there to make it plough able. Now our land is used for farming all the year round. The people also improved their land. As a result their income has gone up. In this way our institutions have show the way to economic development and played a significant role to that end.

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