Friday, December 30, 2011

House Hold Nutritional Security Model (36ftX36ft models)

This model is unique as it promotes nutritional security and round the year income to the family, in the smallest land extent possible.

 This model is developed based on the following principles:

1.       Different plants require different Photo candle light 

2.       Monocot – Dicot crop combination to maintain equilibrium for soil fertility

3.       Companion crops 

4.       Multi storied structure to harvest maximum sun light

5.       Crop diversity to manage pests

 The crops are arranged in six tiers based on the canopy and photo candle requirements.  As the crops diversity ranges from tuber crops to fruit crops, from vegetables to pulses, all the nutritional requirements for a family are met.

First tier: Root or tuber crops such as carrot, beetroot, zinger etc comes under this category. These plants require minimal sunlight.

 Second tier: Creepers, which cover the soil such as bottle gourd, cucumber etc. Creepers will act as live mulch.

Third tier: Leafy vegetables such as surrel leaves, spinach, coriander, amaranthus etc.

 Fourth tier: Vegetables such as Brinjal, Tomato, chillies etc

Fifth tier: Perennial Castor and Perennial Red gram etc

 Sixth tier: papaya, drumstick , clustered apple, guava etc
Plants and crop arrangement in 36X36 model:

Sufficient space should be given between fruit plants, Redgram, Castor, drumstick etc. In between fruit plants, tuber crops, vegetables etc should be grown in blocks. Care should be taken that all the plants get enough sunlight for photosynthesis. Crop arrangement should also be in such a way that monocots and dicots are placed adjacent to each other. Mono cot and dicot crops should be rotated in the blocks. Companion crops such as Maize and Cucmber, Citrus and osmium, Tomato and Carrot should be grown close to each other. Entire field should be covered either with creepers or with mulch. Creepers can be allowed to grow on the fruit plants.

1.       Four corners : Fruit plants such as papya, drum stick, guav etc

       2. For every 4.5 ft there should be a irrigation channel across the model

3       For every 90 cms P.Red gram and P.Castor alternatively can be grown starting from Mango or Cashew etc

4       On Red gram – creepers such as Bitter gourd can be allowed to grow

5.       On Castor  - Creepers like beans can be grown

6.       Between two fruit plants  or Red gram/Castor –  vegetables such as Tomato, Chillies, Onion etc can be grown

7.       Along the irrigation channels Creepers such as cucumber, bitter gourd etc can be grown

8.       Along the border green leaf manure crops such as Gliricidea, Subabul, Casiasemia etc can be grown


The incomes from this model range from Rs.4000-Rs.12000.

 The variation is due to the cropping pattern.

 The models where leafy vegetables were grown extensively are on the higher side incomes earned.

 The highest income so far from 36*36 models is Rs.19000.

Cost involved in developing this model is for seeds, layout preparation and preparation of dung based inoculants and botanical extracts for pest management.

Total cost per year ranges between Rs. 700- 12,000/-.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Over view of Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh in 2011

Extreme drought:
 2011 witnessed one of the worst drought situations. All most all crops dried up due to extreme drought condition. Paddy, Groundnut and Cotton crops are the worst sufferers. According one estimation farmers incurred around Rs.7,000 crores loss in this Khariff season. Situation is aggravated with regular power cuts.

 Many farmers ploughed the crop or fed their cattle. Initial rains created hopes among the farming community and they sown huge areas but after one month i.e from mid July there are no rains. Farmers tried several ways like pumping water from tanks with diesel pump sets,  hired generators to run electric bore wells, carried water in head loads, hired water tankers to irrigated their fields, but none of these efforts saved farmers and their crops. 

Hikes in Fertiliser prices:

Fertilsier prices were hiked thrice in the Khariff season. Urea prices were hiked by almost three times and DAP prices were hiked by two times. This raise in prices leads to increase in costs. Further there is a huge gap between supply and demand. Many farmers depend on block market for fertilsiers.

Crop holiday:

Farmers in Konaseema region of East Godavari, parts of west Godavari and Khammam announced crop holiday. The main factors contributing to this includes increase in labour costs, low minimum support price particularly in case of Paddy, credit cards to tenants etc.  Crop holiday resulted in loss of more than on lakh tones of Paddy. Govt commissioned a study headed by Shri.Mohan Kanda,IAS farmer chief secretary of Andhra Pradesh but the recommendations of committee are not accepted by many farmers. 

Failure of minimum support price operations:

Lack of infrastructure facilities coupled with institutional inefficiencies is the main reasons for failure in providing minimum support price to farmers. Farmers able to get minimum support price where Women SHGs operated procurement centers.

Tenancy act:

Government announced prestigious tenancy act. The main objective of the act is to recognize tenant farmers as “Farmers” and to provide them institutional credit. East Godavari district administration is able to issue tenancy cards to farmers on a large scale but other districts are failed to issue cards to all tenant farmers. This act neither created confidence in the bankers nor in the tenant farmers.

Farmer’s suicides:

 Many farmers particularly cotton farmers committed suicides due to crop failure and debts. Cost of cultivation is increased tremendously due to increase in labour costs and fertilsier prices. Crops failed due extreme drought. Increase in costs, poor institutional credit and extreme drought are the main reasons for farmer’s suicides.

 Overall the situation is pathetic. Farmers are in distress, they are looking for support from governments. Failure of institutions, failure of support systems, failure in monsoons created distress in the farming community.