Interview

Banda-Making Sustainable Agriculture a Reality

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The district administration of Banda is making an all out effort to make agriculture sustainable in the parched district through innovations and implementing schemes and programmes that are focused to improve crop yield. A K Singh, Deputy Director, Agriculture, Banda, shares his experiences with Elets News Network (ENN).

A K SinghThe economy of Banda district is based mainly on agriculture. The soils here are mostly fertile, but theuncertainty of irrigation and its dependence on rains has made this tract adopt mostly the traditional farming. This is one area where despite the government’s push for hybrid seeds and commercial agriculture and despite several droughts and floods which affect the seeds most, the farmers have been able to save some of their traditional seeds.

There are two main crops – Kharif and Rabi. The first is sown between July and October and the other between November and March. The old records in the imperial gazetteer or the district gazetteer mentions cotton as one of the major crops here. But that has vanished now. The main crops grown presently are as follows:

Kharif: Paddy, Jowar, Bajra, Til, Moong, Urd, Arhar asnd Sanai are the maincrops taken these days. Paddy is normally taken as mono crop while others are mixed sown. 100 years ago cotton was taken as a mixed crop along with other crops in Kharif. Presently Government is pushing Soyabean replacing all other Kharif crops. This tendency ultimately will starve this district.

Rabi: Wheat, barley along with gram, linseed, mustard, Masoor and Peas are the major crops. There is a tendency for mixed cropping and regional variation in choices of the crops depending upon the geographical situation and the availability of irrigation.

Zaid: the third crops are usually taken in the river beds; that includes Kakri. Tarbooj (water melon), Kharbooja and some vegetable.

The Agriculture Department in Banda has launched several initiatives to overcome the challenges and improve crop production in the district. These include:

Rashtriya Khadya Suraksha Mission Registered farmers are entitled to get Rs 9,000 per hectare for lentils and oil-based crops. For farming techniques, they are entitled to a sum of Rs15,000.

Rashtriya Khadya Suraksha Mission (Tilhan)

The Uttar Pradesh Government is providing a grant of 50 percent of the price of the crop upto maximum of Rs 3,000 for mustard seeds and mustard crops. The State Government is also giving a grant of Rs 10,000 for diesel pump sets.

Sub Mission on Agriculture Extension Project

The implementation of National Mission of Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET) was started in the district in 2014. Sub-Mission on Agricultural Extension (SMAE) is one of the four sub-missions under the National Mission. The common threads running across all four Submissions of NMAET are Extension and Technology. These are inextricably linked to each other at the field level from farmer’s Perspective.

Sub-Mission for Seed and Planting Material

Sub-Mission for Seed and Planting Material (SMSP) under National Mission on Agricultural Extension and Technology (NMAET) covers the entire gamut of seed production chain, from production of nucleus seed to supply of certified seeds to the farmers, to provide support for creation of infrastructure conducive for development of the seed sector, support to the public seed producing organisations for improving their capacity and quality of seed production, create dedicated seed bank to meet unforeseen circumstances of natural calamities, etc.

National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture

The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) has been formulated for enhancing agricultural productivity especially in rainfed areas focusing on integrated farming, water use efficiency, soil health management and synergising resource conservation.

NMSA derives its mandate from Sustainable Agriculture Mission which is one of the eight Missions outlined under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC).

Sub-Mission on Agricultural Mechanisation

The scheme will be implemented in all the states, to promote the usage of farm mechanisation and increase the ratio of farm power to the cultivable unit area up to 2 kW/ha. The Mission aims to increase the reach of farm mechanisation to small and marginal farmers and to the regions where availability of farm power is low. It also aims to promote ‘Custom Hiring Centres’ to offset the adverse economies of scale, arising from small landholding and high cost of individual ownership.

Khet Talaab Yojana

This project aims to inspire farmers to effectively use water for crops. It also aims to promote rainwater harvesting for irrigation and to increase the underground water level.In the first phase being implemented in the Bundelkhand region, more than 2000 ponds are being constructed at a cost of Rs 12.20 crore.

Distribution of sprinkler sets

To irrigate large farms with less water, sprinkler sets are provided to farmers with upto 80 percent subsidy.

Enhancing organic matter in the soil through vermi compost

Every village is entitled to receive Rs 6000 for the establishment of vermi compost plant.

Solar Photo Voltaic Irrigation Pump Scheme

This scheme has been implemented only in Uttar Pradesh. There is a proposal to provide grant to the farmers on solar photovoltaic irrigation pump to strengthen irrigation facility in the state.In those area of the state where ground water is 10 meter to 70 meter deep, surface and sub mersible pump of solar photo voltaic irrigation pump work very well.

Traditional agriculture development scheme

Under the scheme, for organic farming in an area of 50 acre, a farmer is entitled to receive Rs 14.95 lakhs for three years.

Soil Health Card

Every farmer is entitled to free soil health check up. He will receive Soil Health Checkup Card.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

The scheme aims to provide insurance coverage and financial support to the farmers in the event of failure of any of the notified crop as a result of natural calamities, pests & diseases. It also aims to stabilise the income of farmers to ensure their continuance in farming. There will be a uniform premium of only 2 percent to be paid by farmers for all Kharif crops and 1.5 percent for all Rabi crops. In case of annual commercial and horticultural crops, the premium to be paid by farmers will be only 5 percent.

Also Read: WHEN INNOVATION AND START-UP SUMMIT EXPLORED SMART, INNOVATIVE APPROACH FOR BANDA

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