There is an urgent need to create mechanisms to empower widows in Yavatmal and Vidarbha, and give them the support they need to pick up the pieces of their lives and move forward. However, such initiatives are rare. One of the few such projects for the welfare of the helpless women is run by Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) and its sister organization Sampada Trust.
Dr. Ananda Ganpat Wani was born in an agriculturalists family in 1950. He has made his entire career in agriculture, starting from 1972 and rose to become an HOD in the Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth Rahuri. He is currently an Agriculture Consultant with WOTR. Read to know his experiences and what he wishes for the future.
‘I was born in the small village of Gudhe in the Bhadgaon taluka of Jalgaon district. My entire school education, till class XI was in the village of Umberkhede in Jalgaon district. As my father and mother were both farmers, I got a very close exposure to the farming life and its challenges. Beside this, in school we had a very good teacher in agriculture called D.L. Patil.
Mr. Patil inspired me to take up agriculture studies as a career, and so in 1968 I went on to do BSc. in Agriculture from College of Agriculture, Dhule. In 1973, I joined the staff of the MPKV Rahuri as an Agriculture Supervisor. From then on, I stayed at the MPKV for over 30 years, rising from being a Supervisor to eventually becoming the Head of Department of Agronomy in 2010. I was HOD for about a year almost till the end of 2010, when I retired.
In my career, I have worked in research, extension services and teaching—the three branches of the agricultural university—but my favourite has always been extension, as it actually involves grassroots interaction with farmers. When working with extension services, one has to work with farmers and convince them to adopt eco-friendly practices like organic agriculture, drip and sprinkler irrigation, to name a few.
In 2011, I saw an advertisement for agricultural consultants by the Watershed Organisation Trust. I applied and was selected straightway.
Since then, I am doing the work that is closest to my heart: agriculture extension services. We work with farmers to promote organic agriculture, advanced water saving techniques like drip and sprinkler irrigation and adopt measures for better soil health like green manure, vermi-compost and mulching.
Over the last 40 plus years, I have been associated with agriculture and even now after retirement, I continue to be so. It gives me tremendous satisfaction that at WOTR, the scientific and agriculture knowledge gets translated into research insights that directly benefit farmers. However, one concern of mine has been that agricultural department schemes meant for farmers’ welfare do not always reach them on time. This is one of the major challenges. Health permitting, I would like to work for farmers till the last day of my life. This is my long term vision.’