Profile of vegetable cultivation before ATMA’s intervention
Pfutseromi village is about 2.5 km away from Pfutsero town. Agriculture is the main occupation and 80.84 % of the total population is engaged in farming. The main crops grown are rice, maize, millets, cabbage, potato, yam, pulses, ginger, bananas, etc. However, passion fruit, peach, plum and large cardamom are also gaining momentum in the district. Winter is very cold owing to the high elevation and it receives a seasonal rainfall of about 200 cm.
Despite favourable climatic conditions for cultivation of cole crops, production and productivity remains low. To help fill this lacuna, a Vegetable Farm School was set by ATMA-Phek at Pfutseromi Village on the 20th of September 2011 with the aim of augmenting the farmers with the latest technological knowledge and reducing the time lag between technology generation and its transfer to the farmers’ fields for increasing production and achieving sustainability. This intervention has allowed the farmers to understand the importance of following proper cultivation practices such as field preparation, seed rate, spacing, optimum use of fertilizers and manures and so on, which would ultimately result in quantitative as well as qualitative crop production.
1) Technology dissemination at block level through on-field training and demonstration
2) Training on package of practices for vegetable crops
3) Demonstration on nursery seed-bed preparation.
4) Mini Kit distribution of vegetable seeds such as cabbage, radish, capsicum, coriander, broccoli and mustard seeds
Success of technology gap adoption
Nursery bed: Field was prepared by ploughing and hoeing and soil clods were removed and the soil was tilled to a fine texture. Decomposed manure was added at 25 to 30 MT per ha. The beds were raised to a height of about 10-15cm to avoid water stagnation/logging. This was followed by levelling and line sowing.
Adoption of spacing and contour planting on hill slopes
Broadcasting method of sowing was usually followed by the farmers. As a result, optimum plant population could not be achieved. The farm students were taught about maintaining proper spacing to ensure adequate aeration and nutrient uptake besides achieving an optimum plant population. Now proper spacing is maintained in the vegetable farm school. For e.g.: A plant to plant spacing of 45 cm and a row to row spacing of 60 cm is maintained for cabbage.
CIGs benefited through the farm school
Welo SHG, Grace SHG and We SHG from Pfutseromi village are active participants in the farm school and continue to implement the package of practices being taught to them in field conditions.
A total of around 30 farmers have benefited through the operation of the farm school. It should also be mentioned that Pfutseromi village has become the centre for dissemination of technical know-how to all villages within Pfutsero block.
Courtesy: ATMA, Department of Agriculture
Government of Nagaland