Augurs well for farmers

Augurs well for farmers
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Highlights

Tribal farmers of Y Ramavaram mandal in East Godavari district produced 25 tons of foundation seed under the guidance of ICRISAT and ANGRAU for this kharif.

Seed enterprise

Rajamahendravaram: Tribal farmers of Y Ramavaram mandal in East Godavari district produced 25 tons of foundation seed under the guidance of ICRISAT and ANGRAU for this kharif. The seed production programme was taken up in Yarlagadda village of Y Ramavaram mandal in East Godavari under the guidance of Rajesh Nune, visiting scientist from ICRISAT development centre as part of activities in Rythu Kosam Programme of AP.

The certified seed is now under procurement by AP Seed Corporation limited with the rate of more than Minimum Support Price (approx 20% extra than MSP) and for distributing in coming kharif 2016 and to produce good quality certified seed for the next crop season. The total foundation seed produced from the breeder seed by these farmers is around 25 tons.

The agency farmers follow tradition farm cultivation and do not apply any fertilizers in their fields. The crop cutting experiments conducted by ICRISAT observed that the crop productivity in these fields varied from 750 to 950 kg per acre for K9 and from 850-1300 kg/acre for K6 variety respectively, which is nearly two times to the average productivity of Anantapur district.

As Part of Seed Production Program, AP Seed Certification Agency has been checked and monitored in the farmers’ fields and certified final produce as Foundation Seed. Kadabala Bobbili, a tribal farmer who had taken up cultivation in two acres of cultivation with K6 variety is on cloud nine as he obtained very high yield in this season. He said “I was able to get yield of more than two tons with K6 variety”.

He maintained that he would preserve some of the foundation seed for the next season. He expressed happiness that he could get high yield with this variety without much irrigation facility. The most essential input of crop production is seed and is the cheapest of all inputs in rain fed agriculture. A good quality, improved variety seed along with good practices can enhance production by 20 per cent.

In Andhra Pradesh, among the oil seeds crop area (17 per cent total crop area of AP), 87 per cent is nearly occupied by the groundnut crop. Historical crop area data show that, the groundnut crop area has been increased drastically during 1987-2003 in Rayalaseema districts, especially in Anantapur district from 3.0 lakh ha to 8.0 lakh ha. Whereas recent crop area data show that, the groundnut crop area in both kharif and rabi seasons are declining since last decade. In addition to the decline in crop area, crop productivity has also declined drastically.

Dr P Janila, Breeder and Principal Scientist from ICRISAT and Dr AS Naik, Principal Scientist from ARS-Kadiri said that presently, farmer’s community systems of seed supply are under pressure due to major constraints such as unavailability of quality seeds and seeds of new varieties, development of appropriate seed systems for continuous supply of good quality seed at reasonable price and seed insecurity due to frequent droughts, and natural disaster along with drought, crop failure, storage problems and poverty.

In order to strengthen the seed delivery system, in 2015, Andhra Pradesh state government has taken an initiative for sustainable seed systems named as ‘Seed Production Programme’ Under Rythu Kosam Project. This program establishes a village-based seed enterprises – a business model as alternative seed delivery mechanism for present and future food and seed security.

By Samson Raj

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