Kerala Agricultural Technology Project To Raise Productivity, Quality & Farmer Income on Cash and Field Crops by Improved Land Preparation, Soil Nutrition & Water Management
Objectives • To commercially demonstrate higher crop yields, quality and farm incomes on field, cash and orchard crops by application of advanced methods of land preparation, soil nutrition, mechanisation and water management. • To train lead farmers in Palakad District on these advanced methods. • To strengthen the extension advisory system by establishing village based farm schools supported by a field force of ag consultants to demonstrate & widely disseminate these methods throughout the district.
Low Productivity of Indian Agriculture • India ranks in the bottom quartile countries on productivity of most major crops, despite having the largest area under irrigation and a huge reservior of scientific manpower. • Huge waste of water resources damaging crop productivity, increasing soil salinity and aggravating water shortages. 95% of India’s water use is for irrigation. • Kerala ranks low among Indian states on productivity of most major crops.
Factors Determining Crop Productivity • Soil preparation • Planting methods & tools • Plant nutrition • Water management • Pest management • Time & schedule management
AT is the Answer • Advanced agricultural technology (AT) adapted appropriately to local conditions can raise Kerala’s productivity on most major crops by 100 to 200% or more and double or triple water use efficiency. • California Agricultural Consulting Services (CACS) has already commercially demonstrated this potential on a wide range of crops in India.
Brinjal in TN CACS has achieved 17 tons/acre of brinjal in TN compared with TN average of 8 tons. Potential is for 30 tons generating more than Rs 1 lakh/acre profi
Red Cabbage in TN CACS has achieved 20 tons/acre of cabbage in TN compared with TN average of 12 tons. Potential is for 30 tons generating more than Rs 1 lakh/acre profi
Badji Pepper in TN CACS has achieved 14 tons/acre in Tamil Nadu compared with local average of 6 tons. Potential is 20 tons generating more than 1.5 lakhs profit/acre.
Okra in TN CACS technology has produced 6 tons/acre of Okra in TN compared with state average of 2 tons. Potential is for 10 tons yielding income of Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh/acre.
Sugarbeet gives 50% more sugar than cane in ½ the time with only 2/3rd the water CACS farmers in CA achieve the highest yields of sugarbeet. Sugarbeet can produce 35-40 tons/acre in TN in 6 months with 15% sugar recover compared to TN average of about 40 tons cane in 12 months with only 10% recovery. Also sugar beet consumes 30 to 40% less water than sugarcane.
Normal Land Preparation in India • Ploughing soil only 6 to 8” deep and flat beds results in • Dense packing of earth • Prevent rainwater storage in the soil • Flooding of roots during irrigation & heavy rains which stops plant growth • Loss of fertile top soil through surface run-off of rainwater • Prevent crop roots from penetrating into soil profile for water and nutrient uptake • Leads to stunted plant growth • Lower yields
Normal Indian Soil Rainwater cannot penetrate deeper or drain, so it floods roots & evaporates rapidly. The flooding prevents plant roots from breathing, which is essential for absorption of nutrients. 6” Crop Roots cannot penetrate so plant growth is stunted. Plants are small, weak, needs frequent irrigation & gives low yield. Hard Pan
CACS Method of Land Preparation • Deep Soil Chiseling & Furrow Beds • Enable soil to capture & store more rainwater • Retain rainwater to recharge groundwater • Prevent loss of fertile topsoil through excess run-off • Enable root systems to grow deep for nutrient & water uptake • Reduce need for irrigation to as low as 20%. • Increase crop productivity
Deep Soil Chiseling Roots penetrate deep to reach perennial water supply & nutrients. Plant grows large, strong & highly productive. 36” Crop Soft Pan Rainwater stored deep down where it will not easily evaporate & is available to plants for weeks
Tomato with furrows in TN Tomato raised in Tamil Nadu with CACS methods consumes only one-third the water & has achieved 217% higher yield (38 tons vs. 12 tons/acre). Potential with CACS technology is 55 tons.
Flood Irrigation in India Flood irrigation methods practiced in India waste large amounts of water and drown crops resulting in low water use efficiency & low yields.
Furrow Irrigation in California • Furrow irrigation on chiseled fields reduces water consumption by upto 70% while increasing crop yields.
Balanced Soil Fertility & Plant Nutrition • Plants require more than 12 essential nutrients to generate healthy and productive growth. • Without these 12 nutrients, genetic potential of hybrid seeds cannot be tapped. (The same hybrid rice seed generates 2.8 tons per hectare in India, 5.4 tons in China & 8 tons in USA.) • In India, soil is being tested for only three nutrients. • Even when tests are done for other nutrients, customised recommendations are not available for each crop. • Methods employed in India for application of fertilizers lead to low absorption, low fertilizer use efficiency, high wastage and high cost. • Advanced methods can triple productivity of the same hybrid seed.
Soil Fertility (USA) – before treatment Optimum Level Required by Plants
Soil Fertility (USA) – balanced after treatment Optimum Level Required by Plants
Soil Fertility (India) – before treatment Optimum Level Required by Plants
Soil Fertility (India) – unbalanced after treatment Optimum Level Required by Plants
Critical Needs • Improve crop productivity • Improve fertilizer use efficiency • Improve water use efficiency • Reduce soil salinity • Reduce unit cost of agricultural produce
What CACS Technology can do • Improve land use efficiency • Increasing productivity per unit area can reduce the cost per unit of agricultural produce to enhance farm incomes and promote international competitiveness. • Improve fertilizer use efficiency • Balancing plant nutrients in the soil optimizes plant intake of applied fertilisers, safeguarding the environment and reducing soil degradation. • Improve water use efficiency • Enhancing the country’s drinking water security through land preparation techniques that harvest rainwater on millions of acre while reducing waste of irrigated water, improving water use efficiency by over 300%, and reducing the pace of salinization of irrigated lands.
Project Goals • Transfer and disseminate advanced AT (Agriculture Technology) to double the yield and profitability of paddy and other major commercial crops, while reducing the unit cost of agriculture produce. • Teach farmers how to double or triple net income per acre by higher productivity and quality of crops.
Project Strategy • Operate project as an autonomous contractor to the Government. • Commercial demonstration of productivity & profitability of all technologies on wide range of crops. • Classroom & field training for farm school instructors by CACS. • Farm school instructors to apply technology commercially on their own fields & earn fees for training other farmers. • Training subsidy of Rs 1000 per farmer trained. • Private consulting team backed by expert system & multimedia software to provide support services. • Lab & equipment services to be charged to users.
Project Targets • Train more than 25,000 farmers on CACS methods for high profit commercial crop production. • Establish 500 village-based Farm Schools. • Establish permanent infrastructure for on-going technical support to lead farmers. • Produce training materials and expert system to support widespread adoption of CACS technology.
Project Components • Model Farm cum Training Centre to demonstrate high yield, high profit production methods with farm equipment hire centres • Agricultural Precision Diagnostic Centre (APDC) – world class soil lab • Agri-equipment centre with latest equipment for improved land preparation. • Training of Farmer-Instructors to set up village-based Farm Schools • Training and management of a field force of agricultural consultants to support the Farm Schools • Cyber extension system -- computer software for crop selection & production • Computerized farmer training programme • Links with agro-industries • AT information website
Paddy Banana Pineapple & other fruits Vegetables & vegetable seeds -- tomato Tapioca Black pepper, other herbs & spices Sugarcane & sugar beet Maize Coconut Bamboo and other tree crops Orchard -- mango, papaya, custard apple, pomegranate, sapotta Floriculture – jasmine, anthurium, marigold, chrysanthemum High Potential Crops
Farm Schools (FS) • 5 acre model farms in the village on owned or leased lands to demonstrate CACS methods run by self-employed farmer-cum-Ag-consultants trained by KAT • Each FS to train 30 lead farmers per year in CACS methods • On-going technical support from KAT to FSs • Each FS has access to computer centre for farmer education & technical advice • Income from training of lead farmers (Rs. 30,000 to 60,000 per year) for each FS instructor • FS instructor is certified by KAT • FS instructor is technical representative of KAT in the village
Agricultural Consultants • Agricultural graduates trained in CACS production technologies will provide field support to the Farm Schools – one consultant per 10 FSs. • Consultants will work on contract basis and be fully accountable for delivery quality information to the FS and referring problems back to the Project Team.
Crop economics Crop selection methods Land preparation Planting methods & tools Deep chiseling & rainwater harvesting techniques to optimize water utilisation Soil & tissue analyses & plant nutrition techniques Fertilizer placement, timing & methods to improve efficiency Pest management practices Irrigation scheduling & methods Crop maintenance practices Harvesting methods Post-harvest handling Agro-industry & agri-business opportunities Marketing Teaching and communication skills Training Curriculum for FS Instructors
Training Methodology • Classroom lectures • Practical demonstration on model farms • Practical field work and hands on experience applying all concepts on model farm test plots
Computerized Farm Advisory Software (FAS) • Recommend best cropping pattern options based on soil analysis, cost of inputs & prevailing market prices, including cost-benefit for each crop • Recommend package of practices for specific crops based on field conditions & soil test results • Generate detailed crop production instructions for the specific crop and field conditions
Computerized Educational Software • Malayalam language • 25 to 50 hours of CD-Rom based courseware covering all aspects of CACS technology • For use at training centres, farm schools, secondary schools and vocational training centres • Multimedia: With photographs, video images, text & voice presentations • Interactive: User selects topics and proceeds at own pace • Feedback: Self-tests provide instant feedback to users
Capital Investment • World-class soil & tissue analysis laboratory • Heavy duty imported tractor and shanks for deep soil chiseling. • Smaller tractor and other farm implements. • 2 SUVs and 2 motorcycles • Computers, printers, scanner, digital cameras, LCD projector, furniture & equipment • Expert system software for Farm Advisory Service • Multimedia training CD Roms • CACS Consulting fees
Financial Req uirements • 1st Year – Rs 366 lakhs (includes Rs 233 lakhs assets) • 2nd Year – Rs 100 lakhs • 3rd Year – Rs 172 lakhs • 4th Year – Rs 255 lakhs