Friday 2 December 2011

Agriculture Mechanization: Timely Intervention for Small Land Holding Farms.

     How does agriculture mechanization help small land holding farms? Of course, this question may be little inappropriate in the place where term itself is restricted to the power tiller only. Agriculture is labor intensive activities; it demands lots of un-skilled to highly skilled labors for powering the farming prosperity.
     Now the question is; where do we stand in manpower resource scale? Obviously, there are work forces in rural areas but still agriculture is passing in a critical situation of labor resource crunch.
   This is manly due to various populist schemes of the Government that many work forces who were otherwise dependent on agriculture activities have diverted to other schemes oriented activities.
   Now the most actively pursued and supported activity is the MGNREGA, this is the Act where unemployment in rural areas is taken care off. This is surely a holistic approach for the benefit of the rural unemployed masses but in search of one better option other erstwhile activity has remained in the stagnant condition.
    There is shortage of labors in agriculture activities, farmers often finds it difficult to complete the farming operation due to labor shortage. Of course, there is also another side of story; in high remuneration/wages, labor is available.
    But higher wages means higher investment which detracts farmer especially small land holding farm owner due to the question of farm profitability.
   In agriculture sector especially in Tripura context some activities are in the subsistence form like rice cultivation. Farming activities like vegetable cultivation is still profitable compare to rice. In Tripura, presently the most profitable farm activity is the Rubber which is proved to be highly profitable and labor intensive.
   Profitable farming endeavor however can sustain the farm operation with even higher wages rates but those in the subsistence form hardly leaves any scope of employing labor in higher wages rates.
   Now, how do we solve these labor shortages, wages rate and maintain small land holding farms in the present context?
  Can mechanization help in the present context? Let us see the case of rice harvesting manually and rice harvesting through harvester mounted in the power tiller.
    From the own statement of rice farmers, it can be stated that the using of power tiller mounted rice harvester is less time consuming, affordable and wages saving.
  Similarly, power tiller operated rice threshing is easy and time compared to traditional system of threshing using bullock or through manual beating.
   Now-a-days due to decline in drought animals in the state, land preparation is being done through power tiller, threshing is also taken care off using power tiller and in some places rice harvesting is being carried out through machine. That means there is some kind of mechanization that is already in place.

    It is the observation that there should be some kind of mechanization in some way or other form to sustain the farming sector otherwise it would very difficult by some farmers to cope up the pressure of labor shortages, labor wages and continue the farming activities.

Wednesday 30 November 2011


Jackfruit Then:-

    Jackfruit is the name widely known in Tripura because of its popularity and availability since long time. In Tripura, there are different types of Jackfruit like soft pulp, hard pulp and small sized to large sized with unique flavor, taste and reducing sugar content.
     Jackfruit being the summer fruit comes up during the month of May to July and sometime extends up to August.
Usage of Jackfruit:-

     Both ripened and tender fruit are used in the state. Tender fruit is used as vegetable delicacy and ripened fruits are consumed in fresh. There is a saying that every part of the jackfruit is useful due to its various usages starting from fresh ripened fruit to timber of the Jackfruit plant. Even the left over part of the fruit i.e., the pericarp is also used as animal feed.
     One of the important bye products of the ripened Jackfruit is the seed which of good nutritive value with good starch content. A mid sized fruit gives about 500 Grams of Jackfruit seeds.
Present scenario of Jackfruit:-

     There was a time; Jackfruit was considered to be one of the cheapest fruit in the state. A fruit used to be sold in mere two to five rupees however; this has changed over times due to declining trends of Jackfruit plantation in the state.
Jackfruit Value Addition:-

    The department of agriculture is pursuing to produce value added items from Jackfruit like Pickle, Beverage and Juice etc. In the present market, it is full with Pineapple, Orange, Apple and Litchi juice; a good and value added jackfruit product would fill the vacuum of canned juice demands in the market.
    The state Government is supporting the entrepreneurship in this sector. Entrepreneur of the state can take up the venture with diversified agriculture product based activities that would be much appreciated in the state by ensuring employment and income avenues.

Monday 28 November 2011

Cotton the Crop of Misery: Bypassing Should be the Option

    Cotton farmers of Andhra Pradesh have been facing the onslaught of several factors like biotic, a-biotic and many other natural calamities.
   Recent media reports indicated that within one month more than 90 farmers of Andhra Pradesh have taken ultimate steps by ending their lives due to these unforeseeable forces.
    Media reports further indicated that it was the Cotton crop which was the reason of misery and dismay.
    The reason of their succumbing to the ultimate was due to insect pest damage on Cotton crops, depth crisis and crops loss due to flood (during last year) and many other natural calamities.
    This is not the first case of farmers taking their own lives, since many years, cotton farmers of Andhra Pradesh and elsewhere had taken this ultimate step due to cotton ( in maximum case) crop failures.
    It is not that sufficient steps had not been taken by the Government and concerned department, there had been many initiatives to arrest the most unfortunate trends but everything seems resulting very fewer.
     The time has come to think otherwise and take alternative approach to solve this burning problem. Cotton is not food crop; it is cash crop, if in a given area cotton is susceptible to a pests and diseases and also sensitive to other a-biotic factors then it should be replaced with other suitable crops.

    Let us come out from the un-realistic obsession and longings to particular crops. If particular crops are susceptible to particular pests and external intervention also does not bring fruitful results then changing the host plants (crops) is the alternative.