Friday 13 July 2012

Farm diversification through Duckery & local hen

    Repeated appearance of Bird flu, the avian influenza has almost threatened the very existence of local duck and hen in west and south Tripura district of Tripura.
   It is due to these reasons that many local duck and hen got perished and it has greatly affected the people at large economically and nutritionally too.
   The price of local egg & chicken therefore are excessively high for normal people to afford for consumption.
  Now, the situation; at least market situation at local market is favorable as far as price index of the product like egg and meat are concerned. This is with the business point of view of the people who deals or wish to deal with such product in future.
  Now, let us see the local egg market in Agartala is concerned; whether local hen and duck are concerned, price of local egg is almost double as compare to the available  poultry egg brought from outside state, same is with the local chicken; it is more than double the rate of broiler chicken.
   Even at the double the rate of poultry / farm egg, the demand for local egg is continuous and imparellel, it throws a special scope of profit making through local duck and hen farming by local people at large. This is especially appropriate for farming family to look into and follow up.
    One demerits /  disadvantage of local duck or hen is; numbers of egg per year is less compare to improved varieties White leghorn  & Campbell and there is also time span for attaining the maturity for laying eggs of local duck and fowl.
It is comparatively more incase of local breeds.
   But, with the little disadvantage, these local breeds of duck and hens are also advantageous in many ways compare to highly improved breed. This is because, these local breed can be managed with low cost feed and other requirement for rearing of duck and hen is also manageable.
  Another fact is; the main motto for utilizing and keeping of local duck and hen are to have better utilizing the farm resources. In the process farmer can earn some extra benefit or income from the diversified activity and at the same time nutritional requirement of the family or more precisely protein requirement is fulfilled through this process.
   One of the important considerations that come into favour of the farmer is; he can save lots of money which might have been spent had he not maintained all these diversified activities in his farming endeavor.
    Typically, a well diversified farm owner will not require to purchase any outside food stuff because , the produces and all the needed food staff are produced in his farm thereby he is stabilizing his income as well as family needs..
   But, fact of the matter is; you hardly find any ideal farm where there are diversified activities creating a continuous flow of energy and nutrition required for the family members.
Agritangkol dated 07.07.2012

Wednesday 11 July 2012

Right information at right place is the basic necessities to rescue the farmers in need of good income source.

   Like marketing executives, agricultural farmers should also have the right information for future cropping and marketing of the produce. Marketing executive has enough data either on or offline but, farmers are devoid of such information readily available in every medium.
  Farmers have to rely on agriculture department or otherwise different radio or TV talk show (less prevalent) for having new ideas which would transform his/her fortune. Of course, in periodical farmers training where some concept used to be discussed.
   Take the case of farmers of less motivated and economically weak, if ever they wishes to have rubber plantation in his or her land would not be possible unless some lending or money is borrowed or some department supports.
   But, there could be some other way out to solve these problems. Let’s consider by completely forgetting the rubber, start with other potential crop which, if not best at least would create a flow of income for the family to earn a good source of income.
 But, who will guide and give right information to the farmers? Is it department or some other organization? Again, repetition that is to say that right information is the matter to be worried for by all farming community.
 Take the case of kanak-aich bamboo in Tripura. Tripura is considered to be natural source for this species of bamboo. This is highly priced; in fact Tripura meets the requirement of all India as per report of the cane and bamboo technology.
   The positive part of the kanak-aich bamboo is, its clump or bamboo shoots are not preferred for vegetable purpose for consumption by the local people. Therefore, it can be grown without many disturbances.
   The bamboo is little in diameter but very sturdy and could be used in variety of utilities like fishing stick, bamboo craft items etc. In Tripura, it is naturally found in the forest area of Mohanpur Sub-Division and adjoining region.
    Another positive part is; it could easily be grown in sloppy hills, it grows profusely and harvesting is expected (first round) within two year round. It fetches good price and marketing is also not a problem.
   Once established, it grows sporadically with circular spread due to new clumps which comes up every year during the monsoon season.
    But, the problem is; very few farmers have the access to this information. This easiest, low cost investment could be a huge return to the farmers if they ever mind to switch to this natural balancing kanak-aich bamboo in their sloping land.
   In the age of information; good information tend to gets lost in the overly data source of information. When there is situation, there exist a myriad of agony amongst the farming community at large.
   Everybody is running or pursuing behind the proven thing for earning extra pie but, do they ever introspect cost of chasing costlier thing! Whereas, there are cheaper things but worth enough to earn good return from the same.
    The point is; find out competitive model which can run and smoothened up the farmers’ agony in the time of more competitive activities.
    Kanak-aich fits nicely for the small and marginalized farmers without much worry towards investment part.
Agritangkol dated07.07.2012

Monday 9 July 2012

Sandalwood Tree cultivation: A New Breed of Farmer Eying instead of Rubber

    In Tripura, Rubber is undoubtedly the most preferred plantation crop and, looking to the out look of the Rubber in the state, it is expected that it would continue to be the favorite of the people. This is the general trend as on date as far as Tripura in concerned.
   This is basically due to profitability of the Rubber compare to other crops. Rubber price of course fluctuates sometime but stabilizes very shortly due to which confidence on rubber is still intact.
    In the primetime of Rubber, a new breed of farmers, fairly educated, access of information of surrounding who do not want to be named as laggard in adopting Rubber Plantation or any thing new had been thinking for starting with new plantation crop of the stature of rubber tree.
   These so called farmers have been eying for sandalwood tree plantation in their homestead land. Of course, the concept of Sandalwood cultivation is very new to the local people but it may gain momentum if given proper exposure.
   Reason, highly prized, rarely available sandalwood would bring double the income of Rubber from the same unit area of Rubber within the period of fifteen to sixteen years. Moreover, once established, it requires less maintenance like Rubber.
   Their expectation is, an acre of sandalwood tree plantation with a plant population of 400 to 500 would make fortune of rupees seven to eight lakhs or even more within 15 years of plantation. But the problem with the sandalwood trees as apprehended by the people is:
1)      Seedling is available only in the government nursery.
2)      Cost of seedling is much more costly than that of Rubber Seedling.
3)      Sandalwood tree is semi parasitic so host plant would be required in the periphery of Sandalwood tree / Seedling.
4)      Seedling mortality is quite more.
5)      There’s prevalence of theft of sandalwood seedling.
     There’s also another hesitation that sandalwood produced in sub-tropical region with more rainfall and less prevalent dry spell would yield inferior quality of heartwood in terms of oil content in the heart wood.
   Nevertheless, beginning should not take further delay. There are plenty of high lands suitable for Sandalwood Tree cultivation.
  Rubber is economical no doubt but Sandalwood is economical too with aesthetic value that people usually look and nurture for.
          Agritangkol dated 07.07.2012