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    AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT

OBJECTIVE

To increase the productivity and income of the farmers per unit of land / per unit of irrigation water.

Plan
  • Diversification of high water low profit crops to low water high profit crops, especially to commercial crops.

  • Gap area coverage with irrigated crops.

  • Transfer of latest production technologies to increase the productivity through.

Strategies
  • Laying Demonstrations (in clusters) for transfer of technology (TOT) and to create impact area around the demonstration plots .

  • More paddy area SRI techniques.

  • Adoption of IMM and IPM (organic farming).

  • Distribution of critical inputs in time.

  • Distribution of farm implements & enhanced mechanization.

  • Contacting field Days.

  • Contacting harvest males.

  • Contacting IAMWARM days.

  • Identification and utilization opinion makers.

  • Trainings to farmers and field staff.

  • Frequent field visits.

  • Strengthening information and publicity activities.

  • Exposure visits.

  • Frequent review and documentation of reports and achievements.

Project Components of activities

Development components of activities are chosen based on
  • Outcome of the joint walkthrough survey.

  • Field issues.

  • Market driven.

  • Water Users Association (WUA) demands.

  • Agro climatic suitability.

COMPONENTS OF ACTIVITIES

The activities implemented under the project in 2007-08 were broadly grouped under.

  1. Demonstrations
  2. Distribution of Critical Inputs
  3. Distribution of Farm Implements and Equipments
  4. Communication
The above activities were finalized based on the joint walkthrough surveys and discussions in the sub-basins, on assessment of field reality, actual need and also on stakeholders demand.

1. Demonstration

To facilitate effective and quick dissemination of latest crop production technologies, 14475 ha. of demonstration plots in clusters were laid in the farmers’ holdings at the cost of Rs.307.288 lakhs under the direct supervision and technical assistance / guidance of the departmental staff for the following crops.

Sl.No. Demonstration Extent in ha.
1 Paddy 3881
2 Pulses 3931
3 Cotton 369
4 Hybrid Maize 3883
5 Groundnut 1091
6 Coconut INM 189
7 Coconut INM 104
8 Groundnut IPM 151
9 Organic farming 341
10 Coirpith composting 240
11 Vermi composting 287


The demonstrations were laid not only to merely transfer the latest crop production technologies and to educate / enthuse the farmers, but also to create impact area around the demonstration plots in which all the technologies as adopted in the demonstration plots would be spread / adopted by the nearby fellow farmers simultaneously / during the subsequent seasons. An impact area of 119907 ha. has been identified and is being followed up.

Besides field days in the demonstration plots during important field operations, harvest melas were also conducted and yield recorded in the presence of local farmers, departmental officers and a neutral person.

2. Distribution of Critical Inputs

In view of the cost constraints of certain critical inputs (eg. MN mixtures) and also due to lack of clear knowledge on the role of critical inputs in increasing the productivity of crops, many farmers skip the application of such critical inputs in time, though they apply all other major inputs and follow the technologies as recommended. Hence in order to educate and encourage the farmers, the following identified critical inputs were distributed to the farmers for 41775 ha. at a cost of Rs.63.145 lakhs

Sl.No. Critical inputs Extent ha.
1 Paddy MN Mixture 8046
2 Paddy Bio-fertilizers 12448
3 Paddy Green Manure seeds 1144
4 Groundnut Bio-pesticides 384
5 Groundnut Bio-fertilizers 1990
6 Coconut MN Mixture 1398
7 Coconut Bio-fertilizers 1040
8 Groundnut Gypsum 2825
9 Bund pulses 12500


Distribution of Farm Implements and Equipments

As assessed and demanded by the stakeholders, 4666 Nos. of following drudgery reduction farm implements and equipments were distributed to the WUAs / individual farmers at a cost of Rs.32.644 lakhs.

1) 528 Cono weeders / Markers, 2) 460 Green manure tramplers, 3) 3491 Hand Operated sprayers and 4) 187 Power Operated sprayers.

5. Communication

Publicity through different media, training, exposure visit, workshops, seminars, video conferencing, meetings etc. were conducted from time to time based on needs at different levels involving farmers, officers, TNAU scientists, experts, District Collectors, World Bank Experts and VIPs etc. Printed publicity materials, PAD, POM and Annual Planners were distributed to the nodal officers / field officers in charge of the project for effective use. 330 IAMWARM Days were conducted to give exposure to the farmers on the salient features of the project activities and also to motivate them to participate in the project to avail the services, infrastructure, technologies needed to get the increased productivity and income.

2102 locally influential, educated, innovative farmers who command respect among the fellow farmers were identified as opinion makers to convince local farmers to adopt the latest crop production technologies. These opinion makers were used as para extension workers to assist the local departmental officer to spread the needy technologies from time to time. 210 Commodity Groups were formed. 28 for Paddy, 79 for Maize, 53 for Pulses, 15 for Groundnut, 24 for Coconut, 9 for Cotton and 2 for Sunflower. The Commodity Group members were given exposure on the latest crop production technologies for the crops of their interest and also on the market avenues, value addition, project services and infrastructure facilities available to get the best price for their produce.
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