Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Trending Shift in Agriculture Sector: Plantation Crop is Most Desired Activity

       There was an issue of property settlement between two siblings in rural Tripura, place is of course not mentioned here due to privacy reason, the parents were to empower their two sons with equal share of available land.
      The land under possession was of two categories 1. Plain land suitable for farming and 2. Tilla or high land which used to be kept as fallow in the recent past.
       One sibling informed his wishes for taking the possession of Tilla Land or High Land sacrificing his share of valuable plain land.
       The aforementioned typical situation has happened due to many socio-economical changes in rural Tripura. It was the outcome of such radical changes that this shift in interest for tilla land over plain farm land has taken the shape in the mind of the people in general.
       If the settlement was to happen one decade ago, there would have been outcry for plain farm land and there would not be any takers for tilla land at that time.
       It was not as if the farming during that period was very profitable but the fact is; at that time there was no awareness or knowledge of utilizing the land resource that is tilla land.
       Now, the importance of tilla land is proven fact, people already has the sweet success utilizing tilla land in plantation crop particularly with Rubber.
       This has happened due to popularization rubber plantation in the state. Profit earned from a hectare of rubber plantation is manifold high when compared to one hector plain land farming.
       Naturally, there has been a demand for tilla land for plantation crop like rubber in most of the areas of the state.
       This shift of Agriculture farming to plantation crops has happened due to profitability factor. Now, farming is under critical juncture of existence. Well to do farmers, who holds farm lands and grow different food crops and other have slowly stopped their farming (direct) involvement.
       Now, what these once prominent farmers do is; they give on lease to the other non possessor of farm land for growing crops, what the owners get is half of the total produced by the non-possessor of land.
     Means, whatever has been produced has been shared equally both by the farm land owner and growers of that particular crop. This is particularly observed incase of plain farm land meant for paddy. Here, the objective of the farm owner is; he/she get food grain to meet his yearly requirement.
       As mentioned, the changing shift from Agriculture farming to plantation crops, another factor that also influenced this trendy situation is socio-economic improvement incase of certain once established farmers.
        The farm which has pushed the socio-economic level of once established farmer that is; on the basis of farm income, youth of that particular farm family has been educated and finally employed.
      Once, the present generation secures his/her future, they leave their fathers erstwhile farming profession. What happens to the farmers at the end is; the aged farmers look after the farm as long as he/she is able physically and mentally but after certain time, farm continuity is maintained through subsistence type by giving seasonal lease base as mentioned.
       The affect of such leasing is the competitiveness of farm declines once the responsibility is handed over to the others. No variety and new augmentation takes place, finally whole farming becomes non-profitable and lastly abandoned in one sense.
       Now, the reason for people opting out for plantation crop are; plantation crop which may require more investment during early part but once, harvesting starts; recurring expenditure on plantation crop reduces.
       Secondly, with the increase of age of plantation to the harvesting stage, maintenance becomes easy. Thirdly, profitability from the plantation crop is huge when compared to the agricultural crops as mentioned.
       Here, of course, plantation crop means rubber; it is rubber which has created craziness in the mind of the people of Tripura. This non-fruit / non-food plantation crop is the centre of attraction and making the wave in Tripura.
       So, here is the plantation crop which would be making this wave until such times when field crops and Agricultural farming in general are able to compete with the level playing field in the state.
                                       Agritangkol dated 18.02.2012 at 03.45 P.M

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