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Veterinary Fishery Home  Science Agril. Contingency

Annual Report 2010-11

 
 

Introduction
          Agriculture is the back bone of economy in the district of Darrang. 85% of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities and they take it as their main occupation. Out of the total population of 12,98,860 in the district only 4,05,743 (i.e. 31.23 %.) constitute the workforce. The diverse topography and unique agro-climatic condition of the region has made it very conducive for growing various types of agricultural and horticultural crops.

               Darrang is one of the most important district of Assam in respect of agriculture and situated at an altitude of  
It is located at an altitude of 50 mtrs to 250 mtrs above MSL and at 20o9΄N to 26o95΄N latitude and  91o45΄ E to 92o22΄ E longitude 3,48,100 ha..  This district is blessed with plenty of natural resources which can be harnessed for the upliftment of the rural community.  

             The most important crops growing in the district are paddy, jute, mustard, sesamum, groundnut, toria, green gram, black gram, sugarcane, potato, banana, vegetables etc. Paddy is the staple food crop of the district.
The major field crops grown in Darrang district are cereal, pulses, oilseeds, jute and sugarcane.         

Cereal production system
          Among the cereals paddy stands as most important crop of the district followed very remotely by wheat and maize. Out of net cropped areas (198615 hectares) of the district the paddy alone occupies 105965 hectares and covers about 53.35 % of the net cultivated area of the district. On the other hand wheat and pulses occupy 2.36% and 4.55% net cultivated area of the district. The productivity of paddy in the district is 1390 kg/ha which is less than the state average (1475 kg/ha) and the national average (3040 kg/ha). The productivity of wheat in the district is 1275 kg/ha which is far below both the state and national average.

Paddy is grown in three distinct seasons viz. Autumn paddy or Ahu rice (March/April to June/July), Winter paddy or Sali rice (June/July to November/December) and Summer paddy or Boro rice (November/December to May/June). Out of 105965 hectares of total paddy area winter paddy is occupying an area of  54950 hectares followed by autumn paddy (31915 hectares) and summer paddy (19100 hectares). On the other hand with the introduction of Shallow Tube Wells (STWs) with the assistance of World Bank and NABARD during nineties an abrupt increase in area under summer paddy and Autumn paddy has taken place through out the district. Since autumn paddy grown traditionally as direct seeded crop under rain fed condition, therefore productivity is very low. After installation of STWs, the farmers also have shifted towards cultivation of summer paddy and hence the area under autumn paddy also gradually increased.

Existing cropping pattern and cropping sequences of the district
          The cropping intensity of the district is 143.49 % which is less than state average (152%). Rice, jute, toria, green gram, black gram and vegetables are the important crops and thereby double and triple cropping has to be initiated in the district. The major cropping pattern of the district is as under

Fertilizer Consumption Pattern in the district:
          With the increase in irrigated area and replacement of local variety by high yielding variety especially in paddy and vegetables crops it is expected that the fertilizer consumption may further increase in coming years. There is a need to mobilize the farming community to avoid indiscriminate use of fertilizers and therefore practices like integrated nutrient management shall have to be popularized. For rational use of chemical fertilizers, the knowledge about the use of fertilizers must be gathered among the farmers. To increase the productivity of different crops fertilizer consumption shall have to be increased.

Fertilizer Consumption Pattern in the district: 
 

Name of Fertilizer

2006 – 07 (in tones)

2007 – 08 (in tones)

Urea

3503

4294

SSP

3375

4694

MOP

1965

2720

DAP

1703

1954

Source: Deptt. of Agriculture, Darrang
Farm Mechanization
          Agriculture is the backbone of economy in the Darrang district. It provides livelihood to about 85% of the population. In most of the villages, farm machineries such as power tillers and tractors are in great demand to the farmers as they are now interested for double/ triple cropping system. The Govt. of India and the state Govt. are attaching due importance for promotion of such activities in its pursuit to boost up productivity and agricultural production. In view of high operation cost, the climatic condition under which the field works are undertaken, the use of farm machinery is necessary to achieve better level of production. The status of farm mechanization in the district may be viewed from the population of tractors, power tillers and sprayers as given below.
 

Type of machineries

Nos. (approx.)

i) Tractors

49

ii) Power Tillers

265

iii) STW

14824

iv) LLP

246

Source: Deptt. of Agril. Engineering, Darrang
HORTICULTURE SCENERIO OF DARRANG DISTRICT
          Assam is a traditionally horticultural State and the socio – economic fabric of its people is largely constituted by horticultural components. The horticultural beauty lies in its history, culture, traditions and in the mindset of the people – which has imbibed a lot from this colorful science of fruits, flowers, vegetables, spices, plantation crops, root & tuber crops, nut crops, medicinal, aromatics, mushroom, bee keeping and lately bamboo. With a mere acreage of 5.46 lakh hectors under horticulture, out of gross cropped area of 36.37 lakh ha, it is only 15% of this area. Horticulture has a commitment that no other sector may perhaps can come up as parallel i.e. in terms of its importance to achieve nutritional security and as a most viable component of environment friendly industrial base. This is a sector gaining importance day by day and the reason behind for calling it as sunrise area are – diverse nature of its products to suit different agro climatic situation, higher bio mass production per unit area and thereby more income per unit area, scope for improvement in rural diet with least investment or any extra effort, scope for massive employment generation, unveiling new horizons of value addition and the science itself being intellectually satisfying with aesthetic outlook has an universal appeal for both developed and developing nations. The situation can be looked under Assam’s perspective as here under :
1. Horticultural sector which includes fruits, vegetables, tuber crops, floriculture, mushroom, medicinal & aromatic plants, spices and plantation crops have proved beyond doubt to be the best diversification of agriculture for better land use.
2. The soil and climate is so ideal for a wide range of horticultural crops that experts comment Assam as a ‘Sleeping Giant’.
5. Sustainable approach to raise productivity is best suited when horticulture is taken into account due our existing production system approach.
6. The natural flora of Assam have huge number of hitherto unexploited medicinal and aromatic plants including minor fruits and orchids. Any strategy to boost up this sector will particularly help local and more particularly tribal farmers. This has a bearing on preserving genetic variability that exists in case of many horticultural crops also.

Area, production and productivity of Horticultural crops
          Development of horticulture provides the key to commercialization of agriculture. It paves the way for additional employment opportunities by gearing up the food processing sector. The district offers good scope for plantation and horticulture, as the agro-climatic conditions are conducive for growth and development of some of the important horticultural crops. There are approximately 2000 ha Khas land, 4890 ha cultivable wasteland, 5149 ha of cultivable fallow and about 250 ha needing replacement of old plantation areas totaling 12289 ha still available for horticultural development. At present, the district has about 70 small orchards (0.5 to 4 bighas) and 30 medium to big orchards (above 4 bighas) growing fruits and plantation crops. The area, production and productivity of different horticultural and plantation crops are increasing. Irrigation potential credited in the district is 35.41%. Commonly grown horticultural crops are banana, orange, pineapple, papaya, jackfruit, guava; mango etc. major plantation crops include areca nut & coconut besides tea and rubber, which are grown commercially. Major species include ginger, turmeric, green chilly and others including black pepper and coriander.

Production Target of horticultural crops in Darrang district (kg/ha)
 

Crops

2005

2010

2015

2025

 

Productivity (Kg/ha)

Productivity (Kg/ha)

Productivity (Kg/ha)

Productivity (Kg/ha)

Fruits

9840

11000

12500

13505

Vegetables

13150

15210

18162

20120

Tuber crops

6130

7650

9950

12000

Other vegetables

6850

8729

10668

12569


Approaches for Horticultural Development:
There is a vast scope for development of horticulture in the district which can contribute substantially in the economy of the   farmers. The approach of horticultural development should be different from other crops.
a)
      Growers should be supplied with credit by bank finance/ Kishan Credit Cards, planting materials, other inputs through KVK or farm/
         Nurseries and Technology Mission by state govt. department.
b)
      Facilities to be supported by proper marketing, cold storage and proper processing of perishable crops.
c)
      All the needs for establishing strong growers cooperative where farmers are economically backward
d)
      Quick and speedy technical advisory services with the help of mobile Van for reaching to the growers or farmers level and to
          facilitate the scientific network of production and marketing.
e)
      Encourage to grow fruits and spices as alternative feasible crops in most suitable areas.
         In addition to that use of improved cultural techniques including improved varieties with good quality and nutritional value should

      be the aim in the developmental programme.
 

Existing Horticultural Practices in the District:
            
Cultivation of crops is done under technical guidance of field staff as well as farmers own indigenous method .Traditionally cultivation is done organically in the district. To increase production generally inorganic fertilizers are used in agricultural crops but it has some disadvantage. To remove these detrimental effects organic concepts like extension research and production will come. The existing practices are discussed below:

Land Preparation:
               In low lands, ploughing is mainly done with bullock driven cart 3–4 ploughings are given at a time for fine tilt. Tractor is used in case of large scale cultivation. For new cultivation clearance is done with dao and jungle is removed.

Planting:
              Planting of crop is done during a particular crop season. In places like major pocket areas planting of vegetables are practiced in hectares. Standard planting distance is not followed.

 Irrigation:
            Assam being a rain fed state there is not much alternative for source of irrigation. Vast portion of the cultivated land are still rainfed. Approximately 1, 19,678 hectare areas are under irrigation system in the district according to the survey conducted by Department of Agri. During 2006-07. The rest of the area are either rainfed or irrigated through natural precipitation in case of plantation crops and fruits.

Fertilizers and Pesticides:
            Fertilizers and pesticides are used very nominally during plantation. According to the survey of agriculture dept. during 2007 – 08 in the major pockets than largest area brought under fertilizer.
           Whereas Darrang has the largest area brought under plant protection. The proper dose of fertilizer and pesticide application are not followed by the farmers due to lack of proper training an awareness of the subject.

Integrated Nutrient Management (INM):
                Assam has the lowest per unit fertilizer consumption in the country (about 57.2 kg/ha in terms of nutrient) as vast portion of cultivated area are still rainfed where fertilizer has not much role play. Stress is now given on organic farming under which use of organic manure, vermi compost, green manuring, micro nutrient and bio fertilizer is promoted. Thus, effort will be to promote the use of organic inputs along with popularization of organic farming in bigger way for overall fertility management so also to make agriculture sustainable.   Green manuring like dhaincha are also used in some part of the district. Organic manure (farm yard manure) is most commonly used manure in the district. Now a day’s vermi compost are being used by the farmers to some extent. Some entrepreneurs are now a days culturing and producing vermi compost for sale.

Integrated Pest Management (IPM):
               IPM holds the corner stone of crop protection effort apply all components or method of IPM in order to keep the plant enemies below economic threshold level. There is need to reduce the use of chemical pesticide replacing by biopesticides and plant pesticides having no adverse effects. In the district neem based pesticides like neembicides are used. Indigenous technologies are used and thereafter kill them by burning down the whole trapped insects.

Intercropping:
         
In major part of the district it is followed by intercrops like brinjal, colocasia, chillies, bhindi, turmeric, ginger, cabbage, cauliflower, etc. During summer season, vegetable like cowpea, bitter gourd, pumpkins are grown and during winter season cauliflower, carrot, radishes are grown as inter crops in new plantation like banana , areca nut and coconut.

 Indigenous Minor Fruits / Vegetables of Assam:
           
Besides the above mentioned crops, some indigenous minor fruits and vegetables are grown naturally by the farmers. These are much suited to the existing climatic condition. Most of the local varieties do much better than the improved varieties.
           Many wild relative of edible fruits and vegetables are found growing luxuriantly in the open field as well as in open forest areas. The indigenous vegetables are common part of the diet of the people. Most of these vegetables are eaten for their medicinal properties. Proper documentation is need for these probable endangered indigenous crops.  

Technological Interventions:
          
In joint venture of Assam Agricultural University and Department of Agriculture recommended a full package of practices of Horticultural crops besides these different varieties of coconut, cucumber, ridgegourd, brinjal, tomato have been evolved for cultivation. Tissue culture banana is also recommended. In “Bari” level multistoroyed cropping is gaining popularity. Poly houses for off season vegetables are highly demanded for high market prices.

Strategies Need for Horticultural Development:
1)      Establishment of nurseries in each district /blocks under state of horticulture for certified growers or progressive farmers
2)
      Arrangement of training/ workshop to propagate orchard management packages to support production and maximize yield.
3)
      Establishment of production site for organic compost in each identifies pockets to support organic nutrient management
4)
      Adoptions of advanced techniques of agriculture like crop diversification, contract farming, precision farming, fruits based  farming
         system and reach the unsearched in real time.
5)
      Development of wholesale market, rural areas market at district level near to t he city.

Post Harvest Technology:
          Being living organism, the condition and marketable life of fruits and vegetables are affected by temperature, humidity, the composition of surrounding atmosphere, level of damage before, during and after harvest and degree of infection with microorganism, insect etc. They will deteriorate during storage through loss of moisture, loss of stored energy (carbohydrate), physical losses through pest and disease attack, losses from physiological disorder, fibre development, greening in potato, seed germination etc. Therefore proper harvest management plays a pivotal role in rural economy.

Vegetables and fruits after harvest are either used for home consumption or sale in the local market. There is no concept of packaging. All horticultural produce is either transported loose in bamboo basket or in gunny bags which results in heavy losses during transportation. Fruits processing need more emphasis in the district as it is the integral part of horticultural development. The poor communication and transport problem necessitate immediate intervention.

Horticultural Markets in Darrang District:
          It is observed an unorganized fruits and vegetable market if price is concerned. Price is variable only on demand and supply in rural markets. Therefore there should be fixation committee of price for better management in the market. Time to time broadcasting and telecasting in radio and TV is most essential part for market review. The farmers either arrange their own marketing system or they sell to local or outside middle men at lower prices. Fruits and vegetables prices go down in nominal rates in rural areas and in urban market of the district the prices leads to the higher consumer price.  In marketing the garden owners sell the whole orchard like fruit and vegetables to private party at nominal price. The private parties or middlemen sell the whole orchard with profit. Prices of the horticultural commodities are highly fluctuating which varies from season to season. During the crop season the prices are lower but during off season price of the commodities rises to the double the original price.

Training Needs

•Nutrient Management.
• Cropping System.
• Integrated Farming system.
• Water Management.
• Fodder production.
• Integrated crop management.
• Production of Organic inputs.
• Integrated Pest management.
• Disease Management.
• Bio-control of pests and diseases.
• Post harvest technology
• Grading, Packaging and storing of field crops and horticultural crops.
• Off-season vegetables.
• Protective cultivation (Green house, Shade house etc.)
• Plant propagation techniques.
• Production and Management technology in potato.
• Processing and value addition.

Technological Needs:

Technology for Bio control of Potato tuber moth, Rice weevil.
Standardization of cultivation of wild edible mushroom.
Short duration wheat varieties.
Technology for Organic vegetable cultivation.
Medium duration Boro Rice varieties.
Reclamation of silt deposited soil.
Cold tolerant Boro Rice variety.
Acid tolerant pulse crop variety.
Low cost efficient weed management practices in Jute.
Scientific retting technique
Efficient IPM for different vegetable crops.
Establishment of medium scale processing unit.
Establishment of seed village


LAND HOLDING
          According to Agricultural census, 1990-91 there were 1.70 lakhs of operational holdings in the district and the total area under the holdings is 1.85 lakhs hectares. Thus the average size of the holdings is 1.08 Hectares.
 

CROP PATTERN AND INTENSITY OF CROPPING
          Rice is the principal crop grown in the district and Autumn paddy, Winter paddy and Summer paddy are the three main varieties of paddy grown in the district. Next to paddy, wheat, rape & mustard, sugarcane and vegetables are the main agricultural produce. Among cash crops Jute accounted for 4.35 %. And Sugarcane 0.38 % of the total cropped area.

MAIN OBJECTIVES OF KVK ARE

   Farm Advisory.
   To impart training to the farmers & farm women.
    To impart training to the Rural youth.
    To impart training to the Agricultural Extension functionaries.
   To conduct Front Line Demonstration (FLD).
   To conduct On Farm Trial (OFT).

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