Soil mapping and variety-based entry-point interventions for strengthening agriculture-based livelihoods – exemplar case of ‘Bhoochetana’ in India uri icon

abstract

  • Soil health diagnosis in nearly 100,000 farmers? fieldsunder ?Bhoochetana? initiative in Karnataka showedwidespread soil degradation. Soil mapping-based fertilizermanagement was an effective entry-point interventionto take most farmers on-board to initiate theprocess of upgrading agriculture. Soils of the farmers?fields showed low levels of micro- and secondarynutrients such as zinc (Zn) (55%), boron (B) (62%)and sulphur (S) (52%) in addition to that of phosphorus(P) (41%), potassium (K) (23%) and soil organiccarbon (C) (52%). Soil mapping-based fertilizer managementrecorded significant productivity benefitsthat varied from 25% to 47% in cereals, 28% to 37%in pulses and 22% to 48% in oilseed crops. In terms ofeconomics, a rupee spent on soil test-based fertilitymanagement brought returns of Rs 3 to Rs 15. Similarly,the participatory trials showed that the use ofhigh yielding varieties of sorghum, pearl millet, fingermillet, groundnut, soybean, castor, pigeonpea andchickpea enhanced productivity by 30% to 123%. Thetangible benefits through soil mapping and varietybased interventions have enhanced the risk-takingability of farmers to invest in technologies based onuse of soil testing and use of improved cultivars ofcrops. The adoption of simple knowledge-based technologiesas entry point interventions along with policyreorientation to ensure knowledge sharing and availabilityof needed inputs at village level, enabled in aperiod of four years (2009?2013) to outreach morethan 5 million families in Karnataka to transferimproved technologies in more than 7 million ha area.The study indicates that knowledge-based entrypoint interventions like soil mapping and improvedvarieties targeted at providing simple solutions arethe best options for quick benefits and rapportbuildingwith the majority farmers to initiate a collectiveaction for technological upgradation of dry landagriculture

publication date

  • 2016
  • 2016