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Bhubaneswar: In a first, students of the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology  (OUAT) can be seen working on agri fields along with the farmers as part of their ten-week long village stay programme that aims to help the students get familiar with the socio-economic conditions of the farmers, diagnose their field problems and suggest remedial measures.

During their stay in the villages, each student will adopt five farm families and implement agro ecosystem based technological modules along with the farmers.Titled 'Rural Agricultural Work Experience (RAWE),' the programme aims at developing skill of the students for the effective transfer of technology on agri fields while helping them get acquainted with various ongoing schemes and programmes by the government.

"We believe this will help the students gain self confidence and competence in addressing issues on agriculture and allied sectors," said Vice Chancellor of the varsity S. Pasupalak.

The 10 week RAWE will be carried out in five phases. During the first week, the students will undergo an orientation at the district headquarters. The second and third weeks will require them to stay in the villages to assess problems and prospects of the farmers while the fourth week will be about consultation with experts and scientists at the headquarters for finding solution to the problems identified during their village stay," explained the VC.

The Agriculture Production Commissioner, Gagan Dhal who flagged off the programme said that this would be a more realistic approach to prepare a village agriculture development plan and at the same time an opportunity for students to gain experience in real world problem solving.

"It will help us to learn through education, exposure and experience enriching us in many ways. It will understand sharing, team work, leadership, critical thinking & problem solving besides improving our communication," said Suvendu Dalei, a student.



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