Saturday 18 February 2012

Monsoon Rain: Rain Water Run Off loss should be minimized

       Like everywhere and elsewhere, monsoon rain is the deciding factor, it is deciding the future of the farming communities in most of the cases. It is around the expected monsoon or rainfall, farmers hopes and aspiration is weaved.
       Well distributed rainfall! Good harvest so is good rural economy. This is the general assumption of all and it is appropriately so in many cases.
       Tripura is fortunate to have such natural bounty due to the fact that rainfall pattern in Tripura is quite uniform with little variation or exception here and there in some years or seasons.
       Now, the basic question is; how this natural resource is utilized? In the farming context, the answer would be; yes, it is utilized for growing of crops and other utilities.
       But, what is the share of usage of this natural resource in terms of total volume of rainfall that the state receives? Of course, in this case, expected answer would be “contrast and imaginary”. People feel, their ponds are full and filled, natural lakes are filled and river and streams are full or well above the normal level. Means, everything is enough and sufficient for now and days to come.
       But, what happens is; within a period of three to four months after the Monsoon, River & stream water is down, pond water is slowly down and by the month January and February, most of the rivers become a small canal. Vast land resource is remaining non-cropped due to want of water.
       This is the condition that is being observed all over the state. The affect of this is; your Boro Paddy is affected, your vegetable cultivation becomes very expensive drawing water from distant source. Rabi crops suffer and production reached to the lowest level. And, there is also scarcity of drinking water in various parts of the state during this time.
       In recent times, there has been news that water table in general is going down in many areas of the state. Decades ago where pulling of water was possible by installing sixty to seventy feet pipe depth in plain area has changed drastically due to decrease of water table.
       Some points out; it is due to the loss of vegetation that is affecting by way of lowering the water table.
The most important aspect that is being observed in the state is; there is no much awareness for harvesting the rain water. There is no whispering amongst the general people to conserve or preserve this precious natural resource. Whatever rainfall the state receives is subjected to loss due to rain water run-off.
       Although, Government is seriously pursuing to improve this situation through construction of rain water harvesting structures and watershed management etc but, these concept of improving the water table has not been making a kind of success in the state.
       Resultant affect; the best cropping season as far as day length and temperature “the Boro season” has remained in the stagnant condition due to want of irrigation or water supply.
       Improving the total cereal production would not solely rely on good Agronomic practices but some of the pre-requisite should also be in place to ensure this to happen.
       Paddy production during Boro season could have been excellent had the irrigation or other potential sources are in place to ensure this. Boro paddy is grown in water scanty due to lack of water resource and this has affected total rice production in the state.
       Farmers of the state do know; water is also a problem in crop production but they do not know how to preserve and conserve this resource for better crop production and other utilities.
       The need of the hour is: creating awareness, people especially farming communities should be aware of the fact as to how to prevent or minimize the rain water run-off and create structure for rain water collection and harvesting for future cropping and also other utilities.
                                         Agritangkol dated 10.02.2012 at 5.20 P.M

Friday 17 February 2012

Timely decision and execution: Trendy farmers’ traits

         In the post titled “Nutritive Sweet Potato trailing behind Potato” one paragraph was devoted to the disposing of sweet potato crop in the field is the real insight of timely decision and execution in farming prosperity.
         Now, the market is welcoming one costly vegetable “Drumstick” in the state. Price of Drumstick! It is really speculative and outrageous in all markets like Agartala and elsewhere including different rural markets.
     A five hundred or half kilograms of fresh & tender drumstick is sold in rupees one hundred forty to one hundred fifty. It is too much for the vegetable like Drumstick.
    But, looking to the previous years marketing trends of drum stick, it is easily perceptible that this exorbitant price of drumstick would come down to below one hundred per kilogram within a couple of months. The reason of such exorbitant / excessive price of drumstick is the matter of the topic with the trendy farmers’ perspective.
           In every crop seasons, there are certain groups of farmers who are able to take the market opportunity with their decision making skills and timely execution with respect to farming / crops to be taken up in the particular time / season of the year for maximizing the profit.
          These particular farmers do not do any extra ordinary things to reap the farming profit what they take up and construed as extra ordinary by others are actually their ability to feel the marketing pulse and, act in accordance with decision, execution and finally reaping the good profit from the farming.
         What happens in the cropping season and their subsequent marketing in the particular season are; their crops are cultivated at an early so is early marketing. Product marketed during early part of main season fetches good market price compare to the mass group who takes entry into the market in little later.
Let us see the market during winter season, during the time of early fall winter, vegetable crops like cauliflower, cabbage, tomato and of course many other fetches good price which is sufficient for that particular farmers to take a handsome profit from their vegetable crops.
          These farmers; based on the previous season’s market behavior, positions their cropping pattern, they start growing crops calculating to harvest their product at the early winter and selling their produce in exorbitant price.
        One small example and easy to grow crop is coriander “during early part of the winter season, it sales up to one thousand per kilogram but slowly market eases up through entry of more such produce”.
         However, these easily adopter and time & market conscious farmers do subjected to several risk factors during their farming journey.
        One aspect that this farmer faces and considers risky is; by the time they start preparation for winter vegetable crops, it was the time of post monsoon; means field preparation for winter vegetable crops become very difficult due to sudden post monsoon rain.
        Nevertheless, these farmers tackle the situation because of their will power to excel and earn profits from the early winter crops.
        Now, the other side is the general growers; what they do is; they start preparation for winter vegetable immediately after the harvest of kharif paddy crop.
        Paddy, if it is long duration one stands in the field up to the month of December so, switching to vegetable crop after paddy crop means, such growers would be taking entry into the vegetable market when the market is in down ward trends in terms of vegetable price.
      In the farming, some critical decisions with respect to choosing of crops and their subsequent cultivation in time keeping the marketing aspects are must to do for remaining competitive in the agricultural farming.
   The farming profitability goes with good decision making and time honored execution.
                                      Agritangkol dated 17.02.2012 at 02.33 P.M