In a CSR supported project implemented by S M Sehgal foundation under the program theme of local participation and sustainability in Punhana block, Nuh, Haryana, the team emphasized on supplementing knowledge gap that existed within the farming community due to lack of reliable source of information on quality seeds, fertilizers and plant protection methods. This lack of correct information often prevented the farmers to make optimum use of their money leading to poor returns from their investment. Besides, imbalanced use of fertilizers leads to soil health deterioration and crop damage.
The partnership attempted to address these issues through training sessions, crop demonstrations, and intensive capacity building exercises including hands on exposure to the farmers. Aabid Hussain, a farmer, has approximately 3 acres of land where he mostly grows staple crops like pearl millet, wheat, and others. In the Financial Year 2020-21, Aabid was selected for wheat crop demonstration during the Rabi season. As a part of this intervention, he received and applied package of fertilizers including micro nutrients like Ferrous Sulphate, Regent, K-mag, Zinc, Mycorrhiza, Boron among others, in half acre of his farm and in the other half acre he used his traditional method of Urea and DAP application only, for comparison. At the end of the crop cycle, Aabid found that the half acre demonstration plot yielded approximately 4.4 quintals more of wheat, compared to the other half. The extra income that he earned amounted to approximately INR 8600.
Aabid says, “When I first heard about package of practices and trial plots in agriculture, I did not have much hope of income increase. But once I actually tried it, I saw the increased yield, availed monetary gain, as well as I learnt about sustainable agriculture and how to maintain soil health.”
Authors: Ajeet Kumar and Debika Goswami
(Ajit is field assistant, Nuh and Debika is senior program lead, Local Participation and Sustainability with S M Sehgal Foundation)