Rice-wheat is the major cropping system in the Bighapur Project area but average crop productivity of rice of this community development block is still quite low being 23 q/ha, the reasons being poor knowledge of the farmers towards high yield agriculture including poor seed replacement, inadequate and unbalanced use of fertilizers, less appreciation for using organic manures/green manures, recycling of crop residues, biofertilizers etc. and poor land, water and crop management thus neglect of best management practices (BMPs).
We created awareness among farmers for enhancing crop productivity of this important cropping system through farmers group meetings, farmers’ training programs, T&V programs, field demonstrations, crop seminars, crop harvest day etc. and supported them with needed inputs. We introduced dhaincha (Sesbania aculeata) as a green manure crop in the system increases soil organic matter content, decreases N leaching, curbs weed population, improves nutrient use efficiency, improves soil physical properties, microbial activity and nutrient availability.and finally enhanced system productivity.
Improved knowledge towards high yield agriculture ie. replacement of existing high yielding cultivars with hybrid rice, promotion of balanced use of fertilizers and adoption of BMPs as per resources of the farmers could help increasing paddy productivity from 61.2 q/ha to 90 q/ha. The productivity of wheat also increased from 45 to 55 q/ha.
An additional income of Rs. 37,757/ha was generated with improved system productivity through these interventions. ”Crop Harvest Days” were organised in villages- Bisen Mau, Kalhepu, Ghatampur Khurd and Bighapur on the fields of Sri Vinda Prasad, Sri Ram Bahadur Singh, Sri Alopi Prasad and Sri Rajendra Singh which had productivity level of 115, 125, 120 and 110 q/ha at these sites, respectively.
Record yield of over 100 q/ha of paddy was achieved in 15 demonstrations, 80 to 100 q/ha in 34, 60 to 80 q/ha in 25 and 50-60 q/ha in 11 demonstrations. Farmers were greatly benefitted with the introduction of hybrid rice, the average paddy yield being 63.56 q/ha against the average productivity of 28q/ha of Bighapur block of district Unnao. The average productivity of 106 wheat demonstrations was 57.59 q/ha against average productivity of 32.03 q/ha of Bighapur block of district Unnao.
Apparently, the productivity of rice can be doubled through introduction of hybrid rice coupled with responsible nutrient management and adoption of best management practices. The land thus saved by doubling the productivity or say getting the same production from half area would open avenues for diversification of agriculture with pulses, oilseeds, fodders, seasonal spices, fruits, vegetables, floriculture etc. to enhance farmers income and ensure better livelihood.