The Gloves

How can emerging technology help us understand our surroundings better?

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Melghat back into spotlight after successfully modifying Tomatoes

Berda Balla, Dharni     |.     29 July 2028

Throughout human history, our relationship with the soil has affected our ability to cultivate crops and influenced the success of civilizations. This relationship between humans, the earth, and food sources affirms soil as the foundation of agriculture. To help tackle nutrient deficiency and plastic pollution in India’s soils, the country has one of the
best knowledge delivery systems and trained human resource power in agriculture research. And yet, over 59 percent of the farming households receive no assistance from either their government or the private sector, according to the 2013 National Sample Survey conducted by the Indian government, the latest and most authoritative of its kind.  Armed with new technologies and guidance from state-run research institutes, Indian farmers could help battle soil depletion by
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undertaking a soil health assessment, adopting sustainable management practices of natural resources, and identifying the right marketing opportunities. In 2015, the International Year of Soils, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization warned that we only have 60 years of farming left if soil degradation continues.
Mangesh Kasdekar took this as a challenge and is on a journey to revive the soil in Melghat. Mangesh has a bachelors degree in agriculture. He along with his elder brother 
Vilas founded The Soil Project in 2019. Taking his iconic DASTANA Glove Manesgh talks about his journey so far. Korkus were primarily hunter gatherers and the shift to agriculture hasn’t been easy making the farmers use access of Chemical fertilizers to increase the yield.
This has degraded the soil tremendously in the last decade he says. Mangesh has introduced Precision Farming in 21 villages of Melghat as of today. The DASTANA Gloves is a collaborative project with the Punjabrao Agriculture University. The students of the university have been traveling through Melghat creating awareness about soil health teaching the farmers to make their own sensors to monitor their soil. This project has provided a” direct platform for the budding agriculture researchers to connect with the grassroot level farmers.
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