Integrated Farming Strategies for Climatic Resilient Agriculture under Rainfed Conditions in North West Himalayan Regions

Gulshan Kumar1 and Hem Chander2*

1 CSKHPKV Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hamirpur (H.P.), INDIA

* 2 Department of Bio-Sciences, Career Point University, Hamirpur (H.P.), INDIA

* Correspondence: E-mail: hemchander78@gmail.com

(Received 20 Apr, 2018; Accepted 17 May, 2018; Published 22 May, 2018 )

ABSTRACT: The results of the National Innovation on Climatic Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) investigations on integrated farming strategies to cope with rain-fed conditions of Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh are being described. On the basis of hydrological and technical as well as social and cultural conditions, appropriate technological strategies have been implemented to combat the effects of climate change. The main objective was to enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture. The top most priority of the present study was to way out the source of water for meeting minimum critical water needs of crop diversification and maintenance of ecological balance under rain-fed condition and to analyze their technical and economical feasibility as well as their affordability for future users. The present study reveals that it is economically feasible to apply decentralized technologies and strategies in farming system for climatic resilient agriculture universally.

Keywords: Crop diversification; Livestock; NICRA; Rain-fed and Resilience.

INTRODUCTION: The climate change issue is global, long term and involves complex interaction between demographic, climatic, environmental, economic, health, political, institutional, social and technological processes. 1 It has significant international and intergenerational implications in context of equity and sustainable development. Climatic change will impact social, economic, and environmental systems and shape prospects for food, water and health security.2 Socioeconomic and resource development technological characteristics of populations strongly affect CO2 emissions, explaining the pace and capacity of societies to adapt to and mitigate climate change. 3-6 In addition, extreme climate events are registered and some proxies representing local climate at different places across the world reveal that the 20th century is probably neither the warmest nor a uniquely extreme climatic period of the last millennium. 7-11 A variable sun through changes in solar irradiance and processes such as biological regime shifts may have caused the observed climate variability and climate fluctuations over much of the Holocene. Indeed, geophysical, archaeological and historical evidences support a solar output model for climate change during a large part of the Holocene. Climate fluctuations are not necessarily anthropogenic as inferred from biological and geological proxies, terrestrial palaeo-temperature may have been higher due to natural variability. 12 Himachal Pradesh is comparatively a small state in North-West Himalayas.13-15 Rain is the first and the ultimate source that feeds all rivers, lakes and ground water which are all secondary sources of water and hence remains ignorant of its value, so it is necessary to understand the value of rainwater at the place where it falls. Mittal and Sharma proposed watershed management plans in Shivalik foothills to avoid drought situations.16 Tied ridging had been found beneficial for moisture conservation and in increasing yield of cotton.17 Approximately one-third of the irrigated area of Tamil Nadu is watered by eris (tanks).18 Previous studies have shown that substance agriculture in hilly region could be successfully transformed into a profit-earning enterprise by tapping and utilizing rainwater in limited quantities.19 Hence, World Development Report (2008) emphasized that the potential of agriculture to contribute to growth and poverty reduction depends on the productivity of smallholder farmers.20 And raising that productivity will require a much higher level of adoption of new agricultural practices and technologies than presently observed in the smallholder farming population.21 Certified organic agriculture and polylined tank techniques must meet certain standards in the production, processing and handling which developed in accordance with basic standards established by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.22,23 It would be useful investing in decentralized facilities, efficient technologies, policies and human capital to improve overall productivity rather than to find new sources of water supply. 24,25 Traditionally, such systems have been integrated with agro-forestry and ethno-forestry practices, and remain useful in contemporary conservation and ecological restoration of degraded ecosystems.26,27 The low external input and sustainable agriculture (LEISA) approaches involve limiting the use of external inputs such as inorganic fertilizers and pesticides as well as rain harvested water through polylined tanks relying more on local and naturally available resources and a combination of traditional and improved methods to manage soil fertility, water, pests and other agronomic needs.28,29

Climate change is being witnessed all over the world and its impact on agriculture is more vulnerable in countries like India in view of the huge population dependent on agriculture, excessive pressure on agriculture, excessive pressure on natural resources and poor coping mechanisms.30-36 The results of the National Innovation on Climatic Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) investigations on integrated farming strategies to cope with rain-fed conditions of Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh are being described. On the basis of hydrological and technical as well as social and cultural conditions, appropriate technological strategies have been implemented to combat the effects of climate change which are developed, discussed and evaluated. Farmers need to adapt quickly to increasing frequency of drought, flood, variations in rainfall and other extreme events to stabilize crop yields and farm income.37-42 National innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture have been aimed to enhance resilience in agriculture to climate change and climate variability through strategic research and technology demonstrations. 42-45 The objective of the project were:

· To enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture covering crops, livestock to climate variability and climate change through development and application of improved production and risk management technologies.

· To demonstrate site specific technology packages on farmer’s field for adapting to current climate risks.

· To enhance the capacity of scientists and other stakeholders in climate resilient agricultural research and its application.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: To address the climatic vulnerabilities of the district, National Innovation on Climatic Resilient Agriculture (NICRA –KVK Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh), selected village cluster for the project implementation. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) have been undertaken along with survey at household level. A baseline had been established, constraints were flagged and an action plan prepared in construction with the farmers and VCRMC (Village Climate Risk Management Committee) in year 2011. After a careful study of the gaps, specific interventions from each of the module are selected and an integrated package from all modules formulated as per need of farming community of the village (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3, Table 4).

Table 1: Project village agro-statics.

Name of the village and district

Mann Panchayat and Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, INDIA

Number of households

483

Total cultivated area

117.87 hectare

Area under rainfed cultivation

104.79 hectare

Major soil types

Sandy soil and Silty clayey loamy soil

Climatic vulnerability of the village and the extent area affected

Drought condition, a total of 104.79 hectare area affected during the study period (2011-16)

MODULES OF INTERVENTIONS:

Module I: Natural Resource Management (NRM): It consists of interventions related to in-situ moisture conservation, rainwater harvesting and recycling for supplemental irrigation, improve drainage in flood prone areas, conservation tillage where appropriate, artificial ground water recharge and water saving irrigation methods, mulching, crop residue recycling, land and soil health management (Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, Figure 4, Figure 5).

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Figure 1: Demonstration on polylined tank

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Figure 2: Demonstration on RCC tank.

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Figure 3: Demonstration on in situ plastic mulch.

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Figure 4: Demonstration on ridge and furrow cultivation in vegetables.

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Figure 5: Demonstration on vermin-tetrabed.

Module II: Crop Production Systems: It comprises the introduction of stress tolerant crops, resilient cropping systems, stress tolerant cultivars to drought/flood, high temperature, cold stress, pest and diseases, contingency crop planning, crop diversification, water saving paddy cultivation methods (SRI, Aerobic, Direct Seedling Rice), advancement of planting dates of Rabi crops in areas with terminal heat stress and frost, site specific nutrient management, community nurseries for delayed monsoon, location specific intercropping systems, integrated pests, disease and crop management (Figure 6, Figure 7, Figure 8, Figure 9, Figure 10, Figure 11, Figure 12).

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Figure 6: Demonstration on line sowing in maize crop.

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Figure 7: Demonstration on hybrid wheat crop.

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Figure 8: Demonstration on Oilseed crop.

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Figure 9: Demonstration on pulses.

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Figure 10: Demonstration on rhizome crop.

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Figure 11: Demonstration on Okra crop.

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Figure 12: Demonstration on Pheromone trap for fruit-fly.


Table 2: Rainfall received in mm (no of rainy days) during 2011 to 2016.

Month

Normal rainfall (mm)

Actual-2011

Actual-2012

Actual -2013

Actual-2014

Actual-2015

Actual 2016

January

41.74

33 (1)

58.75 (7)

42.45 (3)

60.4 (2)

77.8 (5)

8.6 (2)

February

63.62

132.5 (7)

15 (3)

79.8 (6)

104.8 (5)

77.5 (5)

17.2 (2)

March

48.44

40.5 (2)

-Nil-

50.7 (3)

76.1 (6)

154.2 (5)

64.4 (50

April

42.93

38.75 (1)

64.75 (4)

7.5 (3)

34.4 (2)

47.5 (3)

20.6 (1)

May

32.16

33.25 (2)

-Nil-

13.27 (2)

69.8 (4)

22.8 (3)

73.6 (6)

June

145.88

133.25 (7)

26.25 (3)

228.68 (12)

104.5 (20)

140.8 (8)

99.1 (8)

July

302.65

221.75 (5)

169 (7)

207.8 (13)

428.0 (14)

281.0 (9)

338.6 (11)

August

420.13

317.5 (10)

319.9 (13)

745 (13)

260.6 (12)

371.3 (8)

516.5 (11)

September

136.30

102.5 (5)

229.2 (8)

102.5 (4)

63.0 (7)

73.6 (5)

76.4 (5)

October

29.03

-Nil-

-Nil-

28 (1)

-Nil-

5.2 (1)

-Nil-

November

5.41

-Nil-

5.4 (1)

22 (1)

2.0 (1)

11.0 (1)

-Nil-

December

26.41

-Nil-

47.7 (2)

32.3 (3)

61 (1)

21.6 (1)

-Nil-

Total

1294.7

1053.45

935.05

1560

1264.6

1284.3

1215

Table 3: Variability in precipitation during the cropping period from 2011-2016.

Month

Date

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

February

25

-

-

-

-

Hail and Storm

-

March

16

-

-

-

-

Hail and Storm

-

April

16

-

-

-

-

Hail and Storm

-

May

25

-

-

-

-

-

Hail and Storm

September

26

-

-

-

Hail and Storm

-

-

July

14

-

-

-

Lodging

-

-

August

15-16

-

-

Lodging

-

-

-

October

14

-

-

-

Hail and Storm

-

-

October

-

Dry spell

Dry spell

-

Dry spell

-

Dry spell

November

-

Dry spell

-

-

-

-

Dry spell

December

-

Dry spell

-

-

-

-

Dry spell

Table 4: Soil nutrients status of the project village.

Soil pH

Organic content (%)

Nitrogen (kg/ha)

Phosphorus (Kg/ha)

Potassium (Kg/ha)

Sulphur (Kg/ha)

Boron (ppm)

5.3-6.9

0.3-0.5

78-470

11-35

78-316

3.0-15.0

0.23-4.4


Module III: Livestock and Fisheries: In this module interventions include introduction of stress tolerant breeds, improved feed and mineral supplementation, fodder production, silage making, preventive vaccination, improved shelters for reducing heat stress in livestock, innovative fish production systems, use of community lands for fodder production during drought/floods (Figure 13, Figure 14, Figure 15, Figure 16, Figure 17).

Module IV: Institutional Interventions: It maintains support systems in the village include strengthening of existing institutions or initiating new ones VCRMC (Village Climate Risk Management Committee), establishing and management of custom hiring centre for farm implements, seed bank, fodder bank, creation of commodity group, initiating collective marketing by tapping value chains, introduction of weather index based insurance and climate literacy and advisory services using data from automatic eater station and village level manual weather station.

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Figure 13: Demonstration on Azolla cultivation.

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Figure 14: Backyard Palam strain poultry.

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Figure 15: Animal health checkup camp.

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Figure 16: Routine Vaccination in goatry.

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Figure 17: Beetel breed up-gradation in goatry.

RESULT AND DISCUSSION:

I. Natural Resource Management: Drought is the major constraint. Climate variability in terms of historical rainfall trend over the last three decades indicated that dry spells of 10-20 days are increasing particularly during Rabi season. Therefore in order to mitigate drought to some extent major focus was on water harvesting for life saving irrigation through small scale water harvesting structures like farm ponds and roof water harvesting structures. These structures enable reuse of harvested rainwater during critical period of vegetable crop growth stage by ridges and furrows method of irrigation or for providing pre-sowing and life saving irrigation to Rabi crops. The farmers were motivated to construct water harvesting structures through awareness cum training programme which resulted in construction of six poly lined tanks (10m X 6m X 1.5m) and twelve RCC tanks (3m X 3m X 3m). This intervention helped the farmers for diversification to vegetable crops (Table 5, Table 6).


Table 5: Water harvesting interventions taken up in the village.


Structures/Years of Construction

Category

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

No. of farm ponds/Jalkund

Constructed

-

6 (poly-lined Tanks)

-

12 (RCC Tanks)

-

Table 6: Details of water harvesting structures constructed.

Volume of water harvested i) Poly lined ii) RCC tanks respectively

58000 litre, 12000 litre

Area covered with supplemental irrigation in Kharif

0.16ha

Additional area brought under irrigation in Rabi

0.16 ha

No. of times filled in the year

3

Cost of tanks i) Poly lined ii) RCC tanks respectively

Rs 48000/tank, Rs 58700/tank

Table 7: Extent of adoption/spread of interventions year wise.

Before NICRA

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016-17

No. of units existing in the village

4

-

6

-

12

-

-

Area benefited in the village (ha)

0.2 ha

-

0.96 ha

-

2.16 ha

-

-

Impact of Intervention

Area under crop diversification shifted from 2.0 ha to 10 ha

Table 8: In-situ conservation measures demonstrated in the village.

Interventions

demonstrated

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

No. of Farmers

Area (ha)

No. of Farmers

Area (ha)

No. of Farmers

Area (ha)

No. of Farmers

Area (ha)

No. of Farmers

Area (ha)

No. of Farmers

Area (ha)

Mulching

Plastic

Biomass

-

-

-

-

-

2

-

0.2

-

7

-

0.8

-

8

-

1.0

25

11

1.2

1.2

-

22

-

2.5

Ridge& Furrow

2

0.08

7

1.0

8

1.5

2

1.48

16

1.48

18

1.8

Table 9: In situ moisture conservation through biomass mulching.

Intervention

Demo

Check

Crop in which mulching is done

Turmeric, Colocasia, Ginger

Turmeric, Colocasia, Ginger

Nature of biomass

Locally available leaves of fruit & forest trees, grass and Lantana

Turmeric, Colocasia, Ginger

Area (ha)

3

1

Biomass quality (q/ha)

20-22 ton./ha/season

-

Method of irrigation

Rain-fed area

Rain-fed area

No. of irrigation reduced

20

25

Water saved due to irrigation

-

-

Yield (q/ha)

Turmeric-190

Colocassia-215

Ginger-130

Turmeric-165

Colocassia-180

Ginger-105

Weed infestation

10%

100%

Table 10: Effect of biomass mulching in vegetable crops (No. of farmers involved = 25).

Treatment

Crop

Yield

(Kg/ha)

Gross returns (Rs/ha)

Net return (Rs/ha)

B:C ratio

Improved Practice of Biomass mulching

Bitter gourd

Bottle gourd

Cucumber

35500

31500

17200

305000

315000

172000

213000

227000

104000

3.3

3.5

2.5

Farmer’s Practice

Bitter gourd

Bottle gourd

Cucumber

26000

24000

11800

222000

240000

118000

134000

154000

53000

2.5

2.8

1.8


These tanks were able to provide irrigation to transplanted cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, tomato, cucurbits, okra and other vegetable crops. Earlier to construction of rainwater harvesting structures, farmers were reluctant to opt for vegetable cultivation in rainfed situation in study village. They also faced a big challenge to cope with irrigation problems especially during critical period of growth. However, after construction of rain water harvesting structures, the farmers use harvested rain water for irrigation by ridges and furrows method in their vegetable crops. Hence, there is an increase in irrigated area of the village as well as enhanced production of crops (Table 7). Through this intervention, there has been a significant change in the cropping pattern as the area under vegetable crops has increased, replacing area under cereals. About 30-35 percent vegetable growers have been adopted technology of rain water harvesting for use in their kitchen gardening.

In-situ moisture conservation through plastic mulch: Plastic mulching technology in vegetables especially cucurbits (bitter gourd, bottle gourd and cucumber) help in conserving soil moisture and also reduce weed infestation. The farmers get better yield by adopting this technology. The water losses are reduced besides saving labour employed for hand weeding. The extent of adoption of this technology varied from 20-22 per cent among vegetable growers of NICRA village. By adopting plastic mulching technology, the number of irrigation was reduced to 30-35 per cent as compared to earlier frequency of irrigations. Similarly weeding and hoeing operations which employ at lot labour were also reduced to nil after adopting this technique.

In-situ moisture conservation through biomass mulch: Biomass mulching helped in in-situ soil moisture conservation and as consequence during dry spell, no adverse effect on standing crops of turmeric, colocasia and ginger noticed where as in check plots withering of plants observed, resulted in higher yield of demo fields (Table 8, Table 9). Likewise, less number of weeds also contributed to enhance crop yield. After use of biomass mulch 20 number of irrigation were reduced as earlier 25 irrigations in cucurbits (Table 10).

Ridge and furrow technology: Ridge and furrow method of cultivation has been promoted in the study area (Table 11). The technique resulted in obtaining higher yield, water saving up to 25-10 per cent and better crop management as compared to farmers’ practice of direct flooding.

Table 11: Effect of Ridge and Furrow technology in cucurbits (No. of Farmers involved = 24).

Treatment

Crop

Yield (kg/ha)

Gross returns (Rs/ha)

Net returns

(Rs/ha)

B:C ratio

Improved practice of Ridge and Furrow technology in cucurbits

Bitter gourd

Bottle gourd

Cucum-ber

35500

31500

17200

305000

315000

172000

213000

227000

104000

3.3

3.5

2.5

Farmer’s practices

Bitter gourd

Bottle gourd

Cucum-ber

26000

24000

11800

222000

240000

118000

134000

154000

53000

2.5

2.8

1.8

Interventions of vermi-composting: This intervention has been adopted in study area through pit method and tetra vermin-beds. It resulted in 1.2 quintals vermin-compost on dry basis from one unit in one season and reduced nutrient application by 30 per cent.

II. Crop Production System: Wheat and maize are the major crops grown in study area. Farmers are getting low remunerations from existing varieties of cereals. High yielding varieties of maize and wheat (Early, timely and late sown group) have been demonstrated in the village. In order to conserve the residual moisture after harvest of maize, a Zaid crop of Toria was also introduced and demonstrated. Toria variety Bhawani has been resistant to drought and yielded good returns to marginal farmers. Crop diversification to oilseed and vegetable crops has enhanced economy of farmers.

Interventions related to crop production: Vegetable growers face big challenge to combat fruit fly menace especially in cucurbits crops. Therefore, KVK demonstrated the technology of pheromone trap as a low cost and eco-friendly alternative to manage this insect. The farmers have been able to harvest more yield. About 60-65 per cent farmers have adopted this technology. As far as progressive farmers concerned, the adoption rate is above 90 per cent. Earlier farmers restored to indiscriminate application of insecticides for control of fruit fly in cucurbits. Spray application of 5-7 numbers were applied under cucurbits cultivation. However, with the adoption of pheromone trap of fruit-fly, numbers of spray applications have been reduced to 2-3 only (Table 12, Table 13, Table 14, Table 15, Table 16, Table 17).


Table 12: Summary of Crop production interventions.

Interventions demonstrated

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

No. of farmers

Area (ha)

No. of farmers

Area (ha)

No. of farmers

Area (ha)

No. of farmers

Area (ha)

No. of farmers

Area (ha)

No. of farmers

Area (ha)

Improved varieties of crops Maize

Plant Gene (2465)

-

-

33

2.5

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Vyas

64

5.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

4640

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

0.96

13

3.0

-

-

Polo gold

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

16

2.5

Girja

-

-

2.5

29

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Proline (3440)

-

-

-

-

3.0

25

-

-

-

-

-

-

Wheat

(Early sown )

VL 829

20

0.2

-

-

6

1.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

HPW 360

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

1.0

-

-

HS 542

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

2

1.0

Wheat

(Timely sown )

HPW 236

8

1.5

25

4.0

9

2.0

-

-

-

-

-

-

HPW 349

-

-

-

-

-

-

6

2.0

28

3.0

-

-

VL 907

7

0.25

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

HPW 368

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

17

2.0

Wheat

(Late sown )

HS 490

6

0.25

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

VL 892

2

0.2

-

-

5

1.3

-

-

6

0.36

-

-

Short duration variety of Toria (Bhawamni) as Zaid Crop

45

3.3

-

-

-

-

-

-

20

1.0

21

0.83

Gobhi Sarson (ONK-1)/GSC-7)

42

2.0

23

1.0

-

-

22

1.0

50

2.0

19

1.0

Brown Sarson (KBS-3)

-

-

37

2.0

22

2.0

19

1.0

25

1.0

18

2.0

Okra (P-8)

12

0.6

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tulsi

26

1.6

-

-

8

0.32

-

-

-

-

-

-

Drought escaping / tolerant varieties

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Heat / Flood

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Intercropping systems

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

1Maize (4640) +Soyabean (Harit Soya)

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

1.04

-

-

-

-

Crop diversification

Okra (P-8)

12

1.6

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Tulsi

26

1.6

8

0.3

Turmeric Palam- Pitamber

-

-

22

0.12

37

0.16

-

-

-

-

-

-

Caoliflower (626)

-

-

-

-

-

-

7

0.4

12

1.2

9

0.8

Cabbage (Green Voyager)

-

-

-

-

-

-

7

0.2

-

-

-

-

Cabbage (Charmant)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

10

0.6

4

6

0.4

Broccoli

(Green Magic)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

4

0.2

Onion Seed

(N-53)

-

-

4

0.16

-

-

20

0.24

-

-

-

-

Bitter Gourd (Palee)

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

1

5

0.4

-

-

Cucumber (Malav)

-

-

-

-

-

-

9

0.4

6

0.4

-

-

Summer Squash (Korean germ)

-

-

-

-

-

-

3

0.2

-

-

-

-

Bottle Gourd (Sharda)

-

-

-

-

-

-

5

0.4

5

0.48

-

-

Elephant Foot Yam (Narendra2)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

8

0.04

-

-

Management of Fruit Fly by use of BAT and male annihilation technique (Pheromoe Traps)

59

2.4

82

3.3

25

1.0

95

2.0

19

0.6

Table 13: Impact and performance of the demonstration on crop production.

Year

Crop

Variety

Demon. Yield (Q/ha)

Gross Return

Net return

BC ratio

2011-12

Maize

Vyas

22.2

26536

9289

1.54

2012-13

Plant Gene (2465)

29.2

26577

9316

1.55

2012-13

Girza

22.3

26566

9294

1.54

2013-14

Proline (3440)

19.2

31500

10680

1.57

2014-15

4640

25.1

31108

14658

1.89

2015-16

23.0

33504

11508

1.52

2016-17

Pologold

23.1

33561

11561

1.52

2011-12

Wheat

(Early Sown)

VL-829

25.7

36087

16712

1.92

2013-14

25.6

36008

16342

1.94

2015-16

HPW 360

26.7

37500

17500

1.87

2016-17

HS 542

27.9

41850

19350

1.86

2011-12

Wheat

(Timely Sown)

HPW 236

26.8

31441

12041

1.62

2011-12

VL 907

25.7

36114

16614

1.94

2012-13

HPW 236

25.8

31439

12039

1.61

2013-14

26.0

31286

11886

1.61

2014-15

HPW 349

27.3

41126

19126

1.86

2015-16

27.2

41300

18800

1.84

2016-17

HPW 368

27.4

42150

19650

1.87

2011-12

Wheat

(Late Sown)

HS 490

27.0

31422

12022

1.62

2011-12

VL 892

25.2

35700

17200

1.93

2013-14

25.8

31356

11956

1.61

2015-16

26.3

41277

18772

1.83

2011-12

Toria

Bhawani

6.2

19741

7090

1.56

2015-16

6.0

19776

6846

1.53

2016-17

6.5

19500

7500

1.62

2011-12

Gobhi Sarson

ONK-1

6.8

19750

6750

1.51

2012-13

6.9

19795

6795

1.50

2014-15

6.5

21060

7360

1.54

2015-16

GSC 7

7.2

21750

6750

1.45

2011-12

Okra

P-8

180

180000

1300000

2.6

Tulsi

160

155000

150000

2.4

2013-14

210.3

210000

140000

3.00

2012-13

Turmeric

Palam Pitamber

315

252000

172000

2.15

320

320000

227500

3.4

2012-13

Cauliflower

F1-71

290

290000

210000

2.63

2014-15

626

172

265000

184400

3.2

2015-16

185

270000

188000

3.3

2016-17

205

280000

195000

3.2

2014-15

Cabbage

Green voyager

200

225000

144400

2.79

2015-16

Charmant

190

230000

148000

2.8

2016-17

170

250000

140000

2.7

2016-17

Broccoli

Green magic

135

170000

130000

2.6

2012-13

Onion seed

N-53

270

190000

150000

2.9

2014-15

265

192000

155000

2.8

2014-15

Bitter Gourd

Palee

340

282000

194400

3.2

2015-16

355

305000

213000

3.3

2014-15

Cucumber

Malav

160

160000

93000

2.3

2015-16

172

172000

104000

2.5

2014-15

Summer Squash

Korean Green

280

280000

207000

3.8

2014-15

Bottle Gourd

Sharda

330

330000

245500

3.9

2015-16

315

315000

227000

3.5

2016-17

Elephant

Foot Yam

Narendra 2

500

450000

200000

1.8

2014-15

Bitter Guard

Pheromone Traps for fruit fly

265

265000

175000

2.94

2015-16

Cucumber

150

225000

144000

2.78

Table 14: Extent of spread/adoption/Scaling up of intervention of crop diversification to vegetable crops year wise.

Before NICRA

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Area under intervention (ha)

2.9

3.2

3.5

4.2

4.5

5.5

7.0

No. of Farmers adopted

5

7

8

9

11

12

14

Table 15: Characters and attributes of crop varieties demonstrated.

Variety

Characters and attributes

Year of release

Potential Yield (q/ha)

Benefits/Remarks

Date of Maturity

Days to

Maturity

Wheat (HPW 360)

2015

32

Early sown variety, uses residual moisture, yellow rust resistant, high yielding

1st week of May

160

Wheat (HPW 349)

2011-12

35

Timely sown variety, yellow rust resistant, high yielding

Last week of April

150

Maize 4640

Pvt. Hybrid

45

High yielding, medium height, comparatively resistant to lodging

Till 25th September

100

Gobhi Sarson GSC-7

2014

14-15

High yielding and quality oil content

1st week of April

150-155

Toria (Bhawani)

>10 years

7-8

Zaid crop, short duration, less water requirement

Till 15th December

80

Cabbage (Charmant)

Pvt. Hybrid

270

High yielding , synchronous maturity and disease resistant

1st Fortnight of February

Varies depending upon time of translating/seeding

Bitter gourd (Aman)

Pvt. Hybrid

355

High yielding and disease resistant

June-September

-

Bottle Guard (Sharda, Shambu)

Pvt. Hybrid

370

High yielding and disease resistant

June-September

Cucumber (Malav)

Pvt. Hybrid

160

High yielding and disease resistant

May-July

Table 16: Impact of crop diversification through vegetable cultivation.

INTERVENTION

BEFORE NICRA

AFTER NICRA

Area

Yield (q/ha)

Area

Yield (q/ha)

Cauliflower

1.28

247

2.0

290

Bitter gourd

3.00

180

3.5

250

Cucumber

0.64

150

1

190

Okra

1.31

105

1.5

130

Table 17: Extend of Spread/adoption/scaling up of interventions year wise.

Before NICRA

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Area under intervention (ha)

0

-

2.4

3.3

1.0

2.0

0.6

No. of farmers adopted

0

-

59

82

25

95

19

Table 18: Summary of livestock interventions taken in the NICRA village.

Interventions demonstrated

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

No.

Area (ha)

No.

Area (ha)

No.

Area (ha)

No.

Area (ha)

No.

Area (ha)

No.

Area (ha)

Improved annual fodder crops (Guinea grass) demonstrated

-

-

16

36

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Azolla (Culture) as green fodder in lean period

-

-

28

-

47

-

18

-

7

-

7

-

Perennial fodder crops introduced

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Improved Beetel breed introduced 0n dated 26-04-2013

-

-

-

-

2

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Silage units demonstrated on dated 27-09-2013

-

-

-

-

84

-

11

(refilling)

-

2

(refilling)

-

-

-

Mineral mixture demonstrated

371

-

228

-

128

-

73

-

47

-

48

-

Improved shelter for animal

-

-

-

-

-

-

02

02

-

-

-

-

Backyard poultry birds introduced

-

-

250

-

-

-

09

45

-

-

-

-

Animal health camp taken up

46

-

31

-

22

-

41

-

44

-

25

-

Table 19: Details about individual interventions demonstrated.

Technology demonstrated and details of the practice

Improved annual fodder crops demonstrated as Azolla Culture as dietary protein inclusion for live stock in lean period

Farmer’s practice

Preparation of Azolla unit (3X1x0.2)m produced 1.5 kg/m2/week After continuous consumption increase 10-15 % milk yield

Year of start

2012


Significant observations about the performance of crop interventions are:

· The area under vegetables increased gradually due to availability of water harvesting structures and higher return as compared to traditional crops. The farmers show interest to adopt the crops which has less requirement of water and follow the technology of ridge & furrow and biomass mulching where water requirement is less.

· About 60-65 per cent farmers have adopted male annihilation technique (Pheromone traps) as eco-friendly method of management of fruit fly. The numbers of spray applications for management of this insect pest have been reduced to 2-3 only.

III. Livestock and Fisheris:

Intervention on Azolla Production: Azolla pinnata is a high quality protein rich aquatic fern which need minimal water requirement for its propagation and it serve as an effective fodder supplement for livestock and poultry. Besides containing around 21-23 per cent crude protein, Azolla is also reported to be rich in essential minerals and fibres. In contest to water scarcity situation especially in the lean period (month of April to June as well as November to February) it becomes an efficient source of green fodder. About 30-40 per cent livestock rearers have been adopted technology of Azolla cultivation. Demonstrations of Silage preparation, Hay-making, Uromol-bricks and Mineral mixture have also been implemented in the study area and prove adoptable technologies under rain-fed situations.

Intervention on Beetel buck breed upgradation: Beetel buck has been introduced in the study areas during the year 2014. The breed adapted and performed well in the rainfed conditions of study area. Mass by weight of this breed was found to be more than 1.5-2.5 kg of 6 month old and milk yield also has higher (200-250 ml/day) as compared to local breed.

Intervention on Backyard poultry in NICRA: Demonstration on backyard poultry for self employment has conducted with ‘Palam’chick procured from CSK HPKV, Palampur. The farmers were trained for this profitable venture to increase their income and for self employment avenue (Table 18, Table 19).

IV. Institutional Interventions:

Village level seed bank to combat seed shortage: Seed shortage of suitable varieties is an important limitation faced by farmers to implement contingent crop plans to tackle aberrant rainfall situations. Farmers trend to dispose of the entire produce of grain and then depend on external source for seed supply in the next season. Therefore participatory village level seed production of wheat verities occur by establishing community seed banks (Table 20).


Table 20: Community Seed bank developed in NICRA village.

Name of Intervention

Area demonstrated (ha) /qty produced (q)

Increase after demonstration

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Community based nursery (Onion & Cauliflower)

0.24

0.28

0.32

0.0

0.20

0.12 ha

Wheat HPW 236

Wheat HPW 349

3q

-

7q

-

10 q

-

0.0

3q

0.0

-

8 ha


CONCLUSION: The top most priority of the present study was to way out the source of water for meeting minimum critical water needs of crop diversification and maintenance of ecological balance under rain-fed condition and to analyze their technical and economical feasibility as well as their affordability for future users. This can lead to sustainable management of biodiversity i.e. the fauna and flora of Hamirpur district and also lead to substantial improvement in the socio economic condition of the small and marginal farmers of NICRA village district Hamirpur also. Poverty and lack of employment is a serious problem in the study region, to overcome this situation it is a necessary to enhance agricultural production through promotion of irrigation through climatic resilient strategies as people gain more cash crops, development of agro-forestry system on wastelands and livestock development with a special focus on generation of productive self-employment for the rural poor. These strategies should enhance the economy of rural poor by providing them gainful self employment opportunity in seasonal and off seasonal vegetables especially in protective cultivation year around. The remote areas are also deprived of basic infrastructural facilities so they should be the target areas of current development programmers. There is also a need to develop low cost economically, climatic resilient agriculture technologies as the target population is poor these technologies enhances the capacities of rural poor and enable them to take active part in the process of strengthening the regional economy. The present study reveals that it is economically feasible to apply decentralized technologies and adopted strategies in farming system for climatic resilient agriculture universally.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Authors are thankful to ICAR-KVK-NICRA (National Innovations in Climate Resilience Agriculture) for providing necessary grants. We are also thankful to CSKHP Krishi Vishavavidayala, Palampur for providing logistic facilities.

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