Friday 16 December 2011

Poisoning of Rivers and Streams Water for catching Fishes: Great risk to the Human Health

      There has been one important news used to flash out in the local news paper during the dry spell is an obnoxious method of catching fishes from the rivers and streams using poisonous substances by certain groups of unscrupulous people causing lots of ecological damage to the aquatic ecosystem of the area.
    Generally, fishes from the pond, lake, river and streams are caught by using traditional nylon nets by the fisherman and of course, in earlier times, some people also applied plants extracts for poisoning the streams water for catching of fishes.
   Using of plant extracts for catching of fishes in earlier days were also no doubt deleterious to the aquatic species but due to mild effect of such plant extracts appalling affects for which was not so apparent.
    But, now-a-days it has been reported that certain groups of people applies pesticide chemicals for catching of fishes from river and streams causing enormous damage to the different species of fishes and other aquatic species.
    Another dire task these unscrupulous people undertake is the time of their activities, it is generally in the dry season that is when the water level is down. Application of pesticides during this time is highly effective due to the fact that chemical concentration due to low level of water in the rivers and streams brings highly lethal affects to the fishes.
     Rivers like Manu and Deo of Dhalai and north Tripura districts are in the news of such unscrupulous activities. This has greatly impacted the aquatic ecosystem of Tripura, results of whch are as follows:-
      • Many fish species are under the threat of extinction
      • Water become polluted and non-suitable for use
       • It poses health risk to human health.
     • Many other aquatic species disappeared.
     • Fish yields from river and streams reduced drastically.
     • Drinking water treatment plant which comes up using river water has become risky for human consumption.
     This is the high time for the Government to intervene and people to come out for protecting the aquatic ecosystem. All the people whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian should come out and participate in the cause of greater interest. By doing so it would not only help the valuable aquatic species to flourish but also to save the human lives for forth coming danger that has been posing great risk to the human beings.
    Agritangkol dated 26.11.2011 at 10.00 A.M

Wednesday 14 December 2011

Mushroom Cultivation: Few Scenes and Scenario in Tripura.

Know the mushroom:-

     Mushroom, the fruiting body of fungus is widely known edible protein rich food. In terms of suitability for consumption, there are two types of mushroom; edible and non-edible. In edible mushroom, there are two types, one, wild edible mushroom and edible cultivated mushroom.
   In edible mushroom also there are two types, one, pleuratus and two, button type of mushroom. Of course, there are many more types of mushrooms that are available naturally.

Mushroom in Tripura:-

   In Tripura both wild and cultivated mushroom are available .Cultivated mushroom available in Tripura belongs to Pleuratus group. Of course, in the market another type of mushroom is also available and it is Button mushroom which is available in the processed form.
   In nature, the Button mushroom is not available in Tripura; some say it is for the fact button mushroom is grown using horse manures. In Tripura, wild edible mushrooms are found during the monsoon season in the forest areas.
    In addition to the edible mushrooms, there are many non-edible mushrooms that are available in Tripura and grows abundantly in the shoddy areas of forest. However, wild edible mushroom is seasonal as said; it is only during the monsoon season those wild edible mushrooms grows and are available in the market for sale.

Acceptability and popularity of mushroom in the state

   In Tripura, mushroom is accepted and liked by all, it is for that reason during monsoon season wild edible mushroom is sold in sky rocketing prices. Presently, in the market cultivated mushroom could not be said as available, it is very meager and production is carried out by handful of people of the state. Thus the produce availability in the market is very less posing lot of demands.
   Whatever is available in the market, mushroom is sold within a moment of its appearance in the marketing by the sales person. As said, it is the enthusiastic people/farmer who produces this cultivated mushroom otherwise getting cultivated mushroom in the state is matter of dream only.

Activities of the Agriculture Department:-

    The state department of agriculture has established many mushroom laboratories for production of mushroom spawn and supply to the mushroom growers of the state. In addition, training is also conducted to the farmers about the technical know how of the mushroom cultivation in the state.
   Agriculture department is the primary department for ensuring the spread of mushroom cultivation in the state.

Present scenario and scope of Mushroom cultivation:-

    In Tripura, looking to the acceptability and popularity for wild edible mushrooms and also the edible cultivated mushroom, it may perhaps be assumed that the mushroom cultivation is quite promising in the state. Any scalable production would definitely find good markets in Tripura due to huge demands by the people.
   However, the concept of mushroom cultivation and its popularization in the state is yet to turn up even after several years of persuasion by the agriculture department.
     Cultivated mushroom spawn is available in the mushroom laboratories of state agriculture department in almost all agriculture sub-division of the state. Although the techniques of mushroom cultivation is very easy and affordable but and adoption is the aspect that is yet to materialize in the state.
      But, why the concept is taking so long time should be examined in relation to the extension mechanisms that have been applied for imparting training and adoption mechanisms.
     Mushroom cultivation does not require huge investment and spaces, the only requirement being the fine rice straws, polyethylene bag, mushroom spawn and time watering.
      There is market demands, mushroom spawn is available in cheap and affordable rates, production procedures are easy to follow and implement but still mushroom cultivation is not in the right trajectory of adoption by the people of the state is matter of concern.
     This is the only practice that any one can take up on their own without requiring the tag of farmers but due to unknown reasons it is not yet adopted in the scale.
     Farmers, diversification is the mantra for increasing the farm income and economic self reliance and mushroom cultivation is undoubtedly one of the profitable diversification activities.
     Agriculture department, finding the clues for delaying the adoption by the farmers are the reasons to be studied and refined for acceptance and adoption by the farmers.
    Agritangkol dated 26.11.2011 at 10.00 A.M

Monday 12 December 2011

Vermi Compost: The Last Option of Organic Manures.

Vermi compost:-

   Vermi compost is the organic manure produced using earthworms in semi decomposed organic matters. Vermi compost is known to have rich nutrient contents and other elements compared to other organic manures like cow dung manures.
    It is a new way of producing value added organic manure for enriching the soil health for increasing the crop yields especially in the highly valued horticultural crops and other potted ornamental plants.
     It is quite economically feasible as the process does not involve heavy investment by the farmers to have vermi compost produced in his farm or backyard.
    Now-a-days, vermi compost is packed and sold in higher prices to the orchard owners. It can be produced commercially in large scale too as an activity to increase the farm income by the farmers.
    Now-a-days due to small scale production of vermi compost, its use is restricted and applied in the potted ornamental plants and highly value added horticultural crops for obtaining quality products by the farm owners.
    However, vermi compost can be used in all fields for enhancing the soil fertility thereby increasing the productivity of the crops.

Vermi compost production:-

     The requirement for vermi composting are shaded area, pits with well drained channel, decomposed bio-matter or organic matter, rice straws, cow dung slurry and finally the earth worms.
   Vermi compost can be produced in small place without much investment using locally avail material except the earth worms which can be obtained from the farm of agriculture department.
   Rice straw the locally available bio-matter can easily be used for production of vermi compost. Cow dung slurry may be applied in every layer of rice straw or other semi-decomposed bio-matter for easy decomposition by the earth worms.

Compelling situation to go for Vermi compost:-

     In the present context as far as Tripura state is concerned, vermi compost can be an effective alternative to the cow dung or other types of organic manures. This is because of decline in livestock population and its subsequent affects in reduction of cow dung manures.
     In Tripura, there is a declining trend of livestock population due to several factors like decline in Pasteur lands etc.
     Due to decline in livestock population in the state there is sharp decline in cow dung manure. This has affected severely in crop production as most of the crop fields could not be enriched with manures. Now most of the farmers had to go solo with chemical fertilizers and this has affected the soil health.
     Now the situation is quite compelling to find out suitable alternative for organic manure and vermi compost is the best option which can be easily taken up by farmers.

Present adaption scenario:-

   The state department of agriculture and horticulture is pursuing to spread the vermi compost in the state for adoption by the farming communities of the state.
    Different training and exposure trips have been conducted to create awareness and interest by the farming communities of the state.

Why vermi compost?

     This is the only last option available by the farmers to fill the void created due to decline in livestock population of the state. While the department of animal resource development department has been constantly persuading to increase the animal resource in the state but due to decline in over all Pasteur lands and conversion of many fallow lands into other cropping activities has pushed the livestock activities drastically.
   However, the vermi compost the next alternative of organic manure is yet to take off in the state. There has to be effective extension mechanism for persuading and draw the interest of the farming communities for the new concept.
   Agritangkol dated 25.11.2011 at 10.00 A.M