Mr. Mithare Prasad
Currently working as Assistant Professor (Agronomy) @ Karnataka Veterinary Animal & Fisheries Science University, Bidar, Karnataka (INDIA).
Currently working as Assistant Professor (Agronomy) @ Karnataka Veterinary Animal & Fisheries Science University, Bidar, Karnataka (INDIA).
Assistant Professor (Agronomy), Department of ILFC, Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Science University, Bidar Karnataka (India)
· Water scarcity in agriculture is increasing day by day for which, various factor are responsible; like climate change, improper rainfall, excess runoff, decline in water table, extensive use of water without necessary (Wastage of water), water logging, salinity-alkalinity and reduced in water flow in rivers & lakes and increased water pollution.
· The emerging scenario from different parts of the globe, which shows the scarcity of water for irrigation purpose in agriculture for crop production and livestock production. Indigenous or traditional practices which address the scarcity of water which follows certain practices like: Stone bunding, stone-cum vegetative bunding, Spur structures, Grassed water ways, Brushwood water ways, contour bunding, terracing, trenching, basin-listing and check dams etc. These are the knowledge based and skill based practices which are come from our ancestors and even today these are working very effectively in rural areas of India.
· Ground water is most important source in agriculture sector for various purpose but day today the water table has lost its stability to supply the sufficient amount of water for livelihood, for this purpose the ground water recharge is very necessary aspect for the future purpose: The various measures are followed for recharging the ground water are Rejuvenation of streams, inter-linking of rivers, construction of check dams, construction of percolation tanks, and farm pounds. Other way soil and water conservation measures are also very essential for water storage & avoid soil erosion; Construction of Farm bunds, contour bunds, graded bunds, mulching with crop residues and planting with erosion restricting crops all along the bunds (ex; Vitever grass).
· Water scarcity can also be reduced with proper grazing management in livestock production: Livestock need abundance of water for its various purpose so restricted use and efficient use of water in dairy & livestock will be ultimately profitable to tackle the water scarcity in agriculture.
· Picture Irrigation practice is an ancient and traditional system followed in Karnataka, kerala & Tamilnadu states of (India). It is extensively used in plantation crops like coconut, Areca nut, Cocoa, Black pepper, Beetle wine, cardamom, vanilla, cinnamon and many vegetables etc. It consist of small porous earthen pots which are 10-15 liters carrying capacity of water and a small trench is dugged in the root zone of the plantation crop, by which a drop by drop water is supplied to the plant directly to root zone so that the maximum water use efficiency can be achieved during the water scarcity.
· Forest Ecosystem and Bio diversity will play an important role in fight against water scarcity: When it comes to the water, the rain is the only major source of water for all agriculture sectors, for which the forest & biodiversity will play an important role in rainfall occurrence. The forest areas receive the high amount of rainfall and also involved in the water cycle which contribute to rain formation in the atmosphere.
· In India approximately 35-40 % of agriculture land is irrigated & 60% of area is entirely dependent on rainfed ultimately (Dryland farming). India is having two types of mansoon; South west mansoon (75%) & north east monsoon (25 %). Large of the rainfall is received by south west monsoon and cropping intensity will be more during it, but also the large amount of rain water is lost in the form of runoff & soil erosion, for collection & storage of excess water there are various traditional or indigenous practices are playing an vital role in conservation of water and utilization of such water during the lean period for agriculture & livestock for: Addressing Water Scarcity in Agriculture.
Note for kind information: These bold letters sub-heading are typically a Sanskrit/Hindi local words of India which cannot be translated as similarly in English.
Jhalara: Jhalaras are typically rectangular-shaped stepwells that have tiered steps on three or four sides. These stepwells collect the subterranean seepage of an upstream reservoir or a lake. Jhalaras were built to ensure easy and regular supply of water for religious rites, royal ceremonies and community use.
Talab/Bandhi: These are reservoirs that store water for household consumption and drinking purposes. They may be natural, such as ponds at Tikamgarh in the Bundelkhand region or man made, such as the lakes of Udaipur (India). A reservoir with an area less than five bighas is called a talai, a medium sized lake is called a bandhi and bigger lakes are called sagar or samand.
Bawari: Bawaris are unique stepwells that were once a part of the ancient networks of water storage in the cities of Rajasthan and Deccan region of India. The little rain that the region received would be diverted to man-made tanks through canals built on the hilly outskirts of cities. The water would then percolate into the ground, raising the water table and recharging a deep and intricate network of aquifers. To minimise water loss through evaporation, a series of layered steps were built around the reservoirs to narrow and deepen the wells.
Taanka: It called as tank in English is a traditional rainwater harvesting technique indigenous to the Thar Desert region of Rajasthan and Gujarat (India). A Taanka is a cylindrical paved underground pit into which rainwater from rooftops, courtyards or artificially prepared catchments flows. Once completely filled, the water stored in a taanka can last throughout the dry season and is sufficient for a family of 5-6 members. An important element of water security in these arid regions, taankas can save families from the everyday drudgery of fetching water from distant sources.
Johads: These are one of the oldest systems used to conserve and recharge ground water, are small earthen check dams that capture and store rainwater. Constructed in an area with naturally high elevation on three sides, a storage pit is made by excavating the area, and excavated soil is used to create a wall on the fourth side. Sometimes, several johads are interconnected through deep channels, with a single outlet opening into a river or stream nearby. This prevents structural damage to the water pits that are also called madakas in Karnataka and pemghara in Odisha (India).
Khadin: These are indigenous constructions designed to harvest surface runoff water for agriculture. The main feature of a khadin, also called dhora in India, it is a long earthen embankment that is built across the hill slopes of gravelly uplands. Sluices and spillways allow the excess water to drain off and the water-saturated land is then used for crop production.
Kund: A kund is a saucer-shaped catchment area that gently slopes towards the central circular underground well. Its main purpose is to harvest rainwater for drinking. Kunds dot the sandier tracts of western Rajasthan and Gujarat (India). Traditionally, these well-pits were covered in disinfectant lime and ash, though many modern kunds have been constructed simply with cement.
Baolis: These were secular structures from which everyone could draw water. These beautiful stepwells typically have beautiful arches, carved motifs and sometimes, rooms on their sides. The locations of baolis often suggest the way in which they were used. Baolis within villages were mainly used for utilitarian purposes and social gatherings. Baolis on trade routes were often frequented as resting places. Stepwells used exclusively for agriculture had drainage systems that channelled water into the fields.
Nadi: These are village ponds that store rain water collected from adjoining natural catchment areas. The location of a nadi has a strong bearing on its storage capacity and hence the site of a nadi is chosen after careful deliberation of its catchment and runoff characteristics. Since nadis received their water supply from erratic, torrential rainfall, large amounts of sandy sediments were regularly deposited in them, resulting in quick siltation.
Bhandara Phad: The system starts with a bhandhara (check dam) built across a river, from which kalvas (canals) branch out to carry water into the fields in the phad (agricultural block). Sandams (escapes outlets) ensure that the excess water is removed from the canals by charis (distributaries) and sarangs (field channels).
Zing: These can be found in Ladakh region of Himalayas (India), are small tanks that collect melting glacier water. A network of guiding channels brings water from the glacier to the tank. A trickle in the morning, the melting waters of the glacier turn into a flowing stream by the afternoon. The water, collected by evening, is used in the fields on the following day. A water official called a Chirpun is responsible for the equitable distribution of water in this dry region that relies on melting glacial water to meet its farming needs.
Kuhls: Kuhls are surface water channels found in the mountainous regions of Himachal Pradesh (India). The channels carry glacial waters from rivers and streams into the fields. An important cultural tradition, the kuhls were built either through public donations or by royal rulers. A kohli would be designated as the master of the kuhl and he would be responsible for the maintenance of the kuhl.
Zabo: The Zabo (meaning ‘impounding run-off’) system combines water conservation with forestry, agriculture and animal care. Practised in Nagaland and Indian sub-continent. Rainwater that falls on forested hilltops is collected by channels that deposit the run-off water in pond-like structures created on the terraced hillsides. The channels also pass through cattle yards, collecting the dung and urine of animals, before ultimately meandering into paddy fields at the foot of the hill. Ponds created in the paddy field are then used to rear fish and foster the growth of medicinal plants.
Bamboo Drip Irrigation: This is an indigenous system of efficient water management that has been practised for over two centuries in northeast India. The tribal farmers of the region have developed a system for irrigation in which water from perennial springs is diverted to the terrace fields using varying sizes and shapes of bamboo pipes. Best suited for crops requiring less water, the system ensures that small drops of water are delivered directly to the roots of the plants.
Jackwells: The Shompen tribe of the Great Nicobar Islands lives in a region of rugged topography that they make full use of to harvest water. In this system, the low-lying region of the island is covered with jackwells (pits encircled by bunds made from logs of hard wood). A full-length bamboo is cut longitudinally and placed on a gentle slope with the lower end leading the water into the jackwell. Often, these split bamboos are placed under trees to collect the runoff water from leaves. Big jackwells are interconnected with more bamboos so that the overflow from one jackwell leads to the other, ultimately leading to the biggest jackwell.
Mainstreaming biodiversity in agriculture, fisheries and forestry for improved food security and better nutrition
Biodiversity is a broad term in which origin of different species of plants (Crops), Animals (Livestock) and Microorganism are involved in it and also its genera and variety. When the biodiversity is related to agriculture sector it is called as Agro-Ecosystem which include Agriculture and Non-Agriculture aspects in which the aquaculture, soil ecosystem are also part of it. The major field of agro-ecosystem is Agro-Pastoral system, Aquaculture system, Different Cropping Systems and all together called as Integrated farming system or mixed farming system.
Integrated Farming System approach: It play a vital role in minimizing the risk of crop failure due to aberrant weather conditions. Cultivation of crops along with different components like Agro-Forestry, Dairy Farming, Goat/Sheep Farming, Poultry Farming, Aquaculture, Duck Farming, Sericulture and Honey Bee Farming will be a great source of generating continuous income per unit area without effecting the eco-system and Organic Farming & Sustainable agriculture is a way of protecting the ecosystem.
Farmer should give more scope towards organic farming for getting higher income with by minimizing the input cost. It also have many advantages over conventional farming like; Maintain soil fertility, Soil health, Increase organic matter content of soil, reduce compaction, Increase soil flora & fauna, Increase soil microbial activity, Increase nutrient use efficiency, Increase water holding capacity, Increase ground water table, Prevent soil pollution, Produce Pesticides residue free food, Environmental safe, maintain eco-System and diversity, Ultimately all these reduces the cost of production and increase the Net income of the farmers without disturbing the ecosystem.
Farmers should practice LEISA (Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture) to minimize the input cost by reducing the chemical inputs such as Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, plant growth hormones etc which are harming the ecosystem rapidly.
Sustainable forming is not just a matter of reducing certain inputs like chemical pesticides and fertilizers, but rather instituting farming methods that emphasize soil building practices (e.g.: crop residues, animal and green manures), natural pest control ,crop and livestock diversity and crop rotation. Regularly adding to crop organic residues and manures is another central feature of sustainable farming.
Biodiversity is an important contribution to food security and improved nutrition, many extra ordinary examples of soil microorganism which play a vital role in soil functions that sustain crop growth. Grassland eco system have abundance amount of micro flora of beneficial organism like bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and algae, which are involved in decomposition and of higher C: N ratio and recycling of nutrients, which are essential for plant growth and food production.
The ecosystem has many stages of food and nutrient recycling as in which Primary Producer - Secondary Producer – Primary Consumer - Secondary Consumer - Decomposers. In this process, mycophytic reducers also play important role in the ecosystem.
Biodiversification of food and nutritional security: India is the agriculture based country in which 60 % of population is involved in Agricultural activates in which various agro-climatic conditions and zones are involved, comprising for Tropical, Semi-Tropical and Temperate eco-system is present. India is one of the leading producers of various agriculture crops like; Cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, spices, medicinal and aromatic crops.
Family Farming Approach will be the prominent concept in maintaining the biodiversity and eco-system. Family Farming: It is very old concept but very effective approach in agriculture. Adopting this approach a farmer is capable of self sustainable & self sufficient to feed his family for year round, by which ultimately the poverty is prevented to major extent. Examples:- Growing of (Cereals + Pulses + Oilseeds + Fruits + Vegetables + Fibre + Fodder)
Shelterbelts are effective approach in Mainstreaming biodiversity in agriculture forestry for improved food security and better nutrition: Shelterbelts are linear plantings combining trees, shrubs and plants designed to alter the flow of wind or snow, thereby altering the microclimate in an immediate area to make it more habitable for crops, wildlife, livestock and dwellings. Shelterbelts are also called windbreaks, hedgerows, timber belts, living fences or conservation buffers. Few important Advantages of Shelter Belts are moderating effect on temperature & it can increase or decrease the temperature. It retards the evaporation & increases the soil moisture. It reduces the wind velocity and wind erosion of soil. It increases the fruit production by minimizing wind damage.
Benefits of Shelter Belt
Reduced soil erosion by wind: A field shelterbelt modifies the microclimate, mostly in its downwind vicinity. This modified microclimate includes reduced wind speed and, therefore, reduced soil erosion.
Reduced wind damage to crops: Crops benefit from the reduced wind speeds in the protected zone. The plants are less likely to be twisted by the wind or sandblasted by eroding particles.
Increased moisture for crop growth: Shelterbelts reduce evaporation and provide more moisture for crop growth. Field shelterbelts use moisture and nutrients from a greater depth than most annual crops.
Potential for increased crop yields: Most of the research conducted around the world reports yield increases due to field shelterbelts. In drought-prone prairie regions that receive snow in winter, about half the yield increase is attributed to extra moisture from snow trapping by shelterbelts.
Factors affecting ecological balance:
Deforestation and overgrazing of range lands.
Accelerated soil erosion, Irrigation related problems.
Over exploitation of ground water.
Indiscriminate use of agrochemicals like chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Deforestation and overgrazing of range lands: Perennial vegetation such as trees and grasses successfully prevent soil erosion and runoff from fallows. Forests influence climate of a region due to their effect on wind direction and hence the rainfall. Deforestation and overgrazing modifies the climate and the biodiversity besides loss of valuable genetic resources used in breeding programme for developing high yielding cultivars.
Accelerated soil erosion, Irrigation related problems: Accelerated soil erosion is currently a major environmental problem in tropical and sub tropical areas of the world as a consequence of population growth and demand for food. When once the vegetative cover is lost, the bare soil is exposed to the vagaries of wind and intensive rains leading to accelerated soil erosion. The productive soil is lost, making the soil unsuitable for crop production. Runoff from arable land contributes to nutrient enrichment (Eutrophication) of the water into which it drains.
Over exploitation of ground water: Poor quality water is one of the main factors turning good soils into saline or sodic soils. Provision of irrigation, without adequate drainage leads to the same problems as that with poor quality water. Many canal irrigated lands have become unproductive due to salt problems and ground water table. Total area is suffering from water logging ranges between 6 and 8.5 mha while that affected by salinity is around 9 mha
Indiscriminate use of agrochemicals like chemical fertilizers and pesticides: Surplus soluble inorganic fertilizers, particularly nitrogen which have not taken up by the plants are leached out of the system. Others such as phosphorus and potassium are not so susceptible to loss by leaching as is nitrogen, except under abnormal condition. Overuse and abuse of chemical fertilizers harm the biological power of the soil. Use of pesticides to control animal pests (insecticides), Plant diseases (fungicides) and weeds (herbicides) to cope up with crop protection opened the doors for several problems. Exclusive reliance on chemical pesticides has resulted in problems such as pesticide resistance, resurgence, residues and environmental pollution.
Eradicating extreme poverty: what is the role of agriculture?
Poverty is one of the major problem & drawback in under-developing countries. To overcome it, we have to adopt Agriculture as a major occupation of the rural society. Agriculture is a very wide sector which is inter-linked with various sectors like: Rural development, Food Industries, Chemical Industries, Processing Industries, Leather Industries, and Textile Industries etc. All of these together play an important role in Eradicating extreme poverty in various aspects.
1) Farmers have to adopt GOOD AGRICULTURE PRACTICES:- Which efficiently produce sufficient (Food security), Safe (Food safety) and nutritious food (Quality food) which also reduces the input cost and increases the crop production per unit area, which ultimately leads to higher net income of farmer. Examples:- Composting, Mulching, Organic Fertilizers, Application of fertilizer at optimum time, optimum dose, optimum depth, Prevent soil salinity by limiting water inputs to excess needs. Green manuring with Sunhemp & cowpea, avoid water logging, Avoid feeding animals with waste matter, Avoid use of excess chemicals and hormones to plants & animal food chain etc.
2) Family Farming: It is very old concept but very effective approach in agriculture. Adopting this approach a farmer is capable of self sustainable & self sufficient to feed his family for year round, by which ultimately the poverty is prevented to major extent. Examples:- Growing of (Cereals + Pulses + Oilseeds + Fruits + Vegetables + Fibre + Fodder)
3) Government sector & NGO'S should promote and encourage the Rural Employment Guarantee programs in agriculture sector:- Which should give a minimum of 100 days daily wages in a year to farming community so that they earn money for their daily needs along with farming, which will be promising in Eradicating extreme poverty.
4) Farmers should Practice Integrated Farming System approach: It play an vital role in minimizing the risk of crop failure due to aberrant weather conditions. Cultivation of crops along with different components like Agro-Forestry, Dairy Farming, Goat/Sheep Farming, Poultry Farming, Aquaculture, Duck Farming, Sericulture and Honey Bee Farming will be a great source of generating continuous income per unit area, which will be a prominent in Eradicating extreme poverty.
5) Promote, Encourage the cottage & small scale industries in rural areas:- Which is a huge income generating source in rural areas for eradicating extreme poverty. Examples of Small Scale industries in village level: Bamboo hand crafts, Sericulture (Silk Production), Small Scale Textile industries, Small Scale Fruit pulp manufacturing, dehydrated & frozen vegetables manufacturing, Pickle industry, Dry fruit processing industry, cheese making, Paneer making, ghee & butter making, Ice-cream making, Spices & condiments processing industry, manufacturing Soaps & detergents, manufacturing herbal hair oil, manufacturing handmade chocolates, cookies & biscuits, manufacturing, candles & waxes manufacturing, Pulses processing industries, Disposable plates manufacturing, wooden furniture, Arboriculture etc.
6) Government & NGO'S should encourage & carry out rural development activates to farmers like Capacity building activates :- Training Programs, Awareness Programs, Brain Storming Sessions, Farmers-Scientists Interactions, GroupMeetings. Examples:- a) Food and Nutritional Security, b) Basic health & hygiene, c) Educating to children’s especially girl child, d) Drinking pure & safe water, e) Basic medicine & remedies for common diseases, f) Sanitation & Proper disposal of waste materials etc.
7) Government sector & Agriculture Universities should encourage & promote to Integrated Technology Knowledge in agriculture sector:- Which is a new aspect and bright full future to innovative youth farmers for adapting new practices for more crop production & getting higher net profit.
8) Climate Resilient Agriculture Practices are adopted to reduce the impact of climate change on agriculture crop production by various measures like: a) Rain water harvesting. b) Development of Micro catchment Area (15-20 sqm) for water harvesting. c) Runoff collection. d) Contour bunding, Graded bunding, compartmental bunding for preventing runoff. e) Inter-cropping & mixed cropping. f) Mulching with crop residues to avoid Evapo-Transpiration losses. g) Spraying of Anti-Transpirants. h) Practicing Broad-Bed-Furrow irrigation & Furrow irrigated raised bed systems for water conservation. i) Planting Shelter-belts / wind break trees species around the field on bunds to prevent the high speed, hot & desiccating winds which destroy the crops to maximum extents. j) Prevent wind and water erosion & Plant the erosion restricting crops like Vitever grass. k) Practice Minimum tillage, Zero tillage & conservation tillage for moisture conservation in dry land areas.
9) New approaches should be encouraged by government sectors in rural areas for farmer benefits. Example: Seed Bank, Fodder Bank & Farm Machineries Bank or Custom hiring centre. a) Seed Bank: - It will supply a good quality, Disease free seeds to farmers on every season on need based with low cost, which will reduce the cost of (seed input) as well as transportation cost for purchasing seed form market. b) Fodder bank: - It will supply a good quality fodder at low cost to farmers whose are involved in dairy farming, goat farming etc. It will play a prominent role in milk production & very high income generation assets to farmers which will ultimately eradicating extreme poverty of a farmer.
10) Organic Farming & Sustainable agriculture:- Farmer should give more scope towards organic farming for getting higher income with by minimizing the input cost. It also have many advantages over conventional farming like ; Maintain soil fertility, Soil health, Increase organic matter content of soil, Reduce compaction, Increase soil flora & fauna, Increase soil microbial activity, Increase nutrient use efficiency, Increase water holding capacity, Increase ground water table, Prevent soil pollution, Produce Pesticides residue free food, Environmental safe, Maintain Eco-System and Diversity, Ultimately all these reduces the cost of production and increase the Net income of the farmers, which leads to Eradicating extreme poverty.
11) Farmers should practice LEISA:- (Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture) to minimize the input cost & maximize the income per unit area.
12) Practice Integrated Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest Management, Integrated Disease Management, and Integrated Weed Management etc. This will be reducing the input cost of plant protection measures and increase the income of farmer per unit area.
13) Watershed Development approach should be promoted in the rural areas, which will be more prominent beneficial impact on agriculture sector for eradicating extreme poverty of a farmer in rural areas by: a) Water security for Agriculture & other daily uses. b) Increase cropping intensity. c) Multiple cropping can be possible d) Life saving irrigation is easily possible for getting higher crop production. e) Employment generation to farm labor for constructions.
14) Eradicating extreme poverty women play an important role in the argiculture:- Women's are the backbone of the development of rural and national economies. They comprise 43% of the world’s agricultural labor force, and carry out various farm opperations in agriculture sector like: Sowing, Transplanting, hand weeding, harvesing, threshing, winowing and packaging etc. Along with this It is extremely important to recognize the role that rural women play and the contribution that they make in networks and cooperatives, giving them greater political and financial support and involving them in the training and conducting of development programs that enhance women's role in agricultural production.
Mr. Mithare Prasad
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT IN AGRICULTURE AS A SOLID SOLUTION TO ENDING HUNGER AND POVERTY IN AFRICA.
Assistant Professor (Agronomy), Department of ILFC, Karnataka Veterinary Animal and Fisheries Science University, Bidar, Karnataka (India).