Conference Proceeding

Biodiversity Conservation and Agriculture Intensification through Participation Breeding for Increasing Livelihood Security

Dr. Jatinder Kumar Sharma

Chamba district of Himachal Pradesh represents Hill and Mountain Agro-ecosystem with temperate climate. Sustainable type of farming system is in vogue in the district, where the farmers are engaged in both crop and livestock farming. Agriculture in the district is mainly dependant on rains and only 15.6% of the total cropped area is irrigated. Maize, wheat, rice, pulses, millets and potato are the staple food crops. Size of average land holding is 0.88 ha. The district has highest percentage of families below poverty line (61.7%). Selected panchayat (Bhandal panchayat in Salooni development block) for proposed intervention are remotely placed and agriculture is done on terraced fields and is totally rain fed. The selected panchayats are very thinly populated with poor infrastructure facilities, absence of agriculture credit & marketing facilities, poor extension services and poor awareness level of farmers due to geographical isolation. Traditional varieties/ landraces of maize in Bhandal panchayat were identified for technological interventions. Salooni blocks which remain snowbound during the winters represent high altitude farming systems. Study was conducted from 2010 to 2014. Rainfed agriculture, no fertilizer use and application of un-decomposed FYM, non availability of suitable farm machinery and agricultural inputs and quality seed, poor access to advances in scientific agriculture, lack of knowledge about post harvest handling of produce and value addition are major production constraints leading to low yields of crops in the target panchayats. Over the time, the quality of seeds of traditional varieties deteriorated and farmers have no access to improved seeds. The seed three identified landraces of maize was multiplied and provided to the farmer’s along with scientific and material inputs. Sensitization of the farmers leads to increase in area under these landraces and resulted in enhanced productivity as well in income generation. Seed of landraces was purified and multiplied in participatory mode. In Salooni block, 28 bigha (1bigha= 800m2 & 12.5 bigha=1ha) of land was brought under seed production of maize landraces involving 15 primary farmers and produced about 50q of seed. Likewise 127 bigha areas was put under maize and Bhamour rajmash intercrop with 34 primary and 68 secondary farmers and produced 212q of maize and 116q rajmash. Through these interventions, there was an average increase in per household per bigha income to a tune of Rs 2380/ in maize seed production, respectively.

Published: 08 November 2017


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