Tiruchirapalli district in Tamilnadu in India comes under three agro climatic zones viz.,Sub zone II North western zone, and Sub zone IV Cauvery Delta zone and, Sub zone V Southern zone. The Irrigated dry crops are -Sunflower, millets clayey soils with rice, banana and sugarcane are major crops such as, Rainfed crop millets. Promoting agricultural development through systematic extension work has been the role that SEVAI has been playing all along since its inception.
It was agriculture that initiated civilisations, universalised permanent settlements, fed the mushrooming cities of the ancient empires and fuelled the literary heritage of human civilisation. Even today, agriculture remains the primary occupation of the majority of the human race. The rural India still lives on agricultural and allied activities.
In Tamil Nadu, even after intensive industrialisation and urban migration, two thirds of the total workforce is still engaged in agricultural and related activities. Human welfare, especially welfare of the common folk, has to be based upon the welfare of the agriculturist and the agricultural labourer.
“Agriculture and forestry together make a very vital and priority sector in SEVAI. Wastelands are found in dry belt villages. The SEVAI trains the youth and villagers to develop these lands and make them viable for cultivation. We also raise nurseries in our villages and grow different varieties of plants, shade, timber and fencing plants. SEVAI trains the villagers and youth in raising plants during the rainy season, and distribute the saplings in villages as per their requirement. After distribution and plantation, we also impart training to them for taking care of the plants in activities like fencing, mulching, watering trimming etc. 3 watersheds, two command areas, Desalination of tsunami water in 1000 acres and 500 acres organic farming are some of the significant.
In early eighties SEVAI took up the program for improvement of Agriculture and imparting skills to the farmers for better production and qualitative yield. During the same time program of digging the wells was taken up. The farmers who had water facility for agriculture were given seeds, pesticides and fertilizers.
The said program accompanied with trainings, on job supervision and on field learning facilities to the farmers. 426 farmers took the benefit of the said program. Altogether 5 villages participated in the program. The area coverage was 1235 ha of land under cultivation.
Program for digging wells and ground water investigation was one of the programs, which was executed in this period. With regard to agriculture development program SEVAI took up number of activities in regenerating the agricultural activities such as providing seeds, Fertilizers, Pesticides, Implements, Trainings regarding soil treatments, ways of water harvesting and recharging, de silting of wells & ponds, etc.
During the same time the program for dry land farming was designed considering the need of time.
The watershed concept emerged and SEVAI stopped its conventional well deepening program and undertook watershed projects in three major locations.
Consequently, SEVAI in consultations of AFPRO undertook Watershed Program as comprehensive project of Agriculture Development program. The agriculture extension program through watershed approach was focused upon promotion of Organic Farming, Micro Irrigation Systems, Crop Demonstrations, Vermi-Composting, Integrated Pest Management, Integrated Crop Management, Crop Planning & Management, Dry land techniques, improved Agricultural technologies, Livestock Management etc.
Bio- farming system in SEVAI is not new and is being followed from ancient time. It is a method of farming system which primarily aimed at cultivating the land and raising crops in such a way, as to keep the soil alive and in good health by use of organic wastes (crop, animal and farm wastes, aquatic wastes) and other biological materials along with beneficial microbes (biofertilizers) to release nutrients to crops for increased sustainable production in an eco friendly pollution free environment.
“Bio- farming is a system which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetic inputs (such as fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, feed additives etc) and to the maximum extent feasible rely upon crop rotations, crop residues, animal manures, off-farm organic waste, mineral grade rock additives and biological system of nutrient mobilization and plant protection”.
SEVAI Promotes “Bio- agriculture is a unique production management system which promotes and enhances agro-ecosystem health, including biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity, and this is accomplished by using on-farm agronomic, biological and mechanical methods in exclusion of all synthetic off-farm inputs”.
SEVAI also promotes the application of green leaves and twigs of trees, shrubs and herbs collected from elsewhere are known as green leaf manuring.
Forest tree leaves are the main sources for green leaf manure. Plants growing in wastelands, field bunds etc., are another source of green leaf manure.
SEVAI has undertaken 500 hundred acres for Bio-dynamics agriculture which refers to the agriculture science that recognizes basic principles at work in nature and applies this knowledge of life forces to bring about balance and healing in the soil. In other words, it recognizes the biological value in the soil, as well as, the chemical values - hence, bio-dynamic agriculture.
It is a method of farming adopted in SEVAI that aims to treat the farm as a living system which interacts with the environment, to build healthy living soil, and to produce food that nourishes and vitalises and helps to develop humanity.
SEVAI team works the health of soil, plants and animals depends on reconnecting nature with the creative forces of the cosmos. Bio-dynamic methods produce a living soil with increased biological activity, in alignment with planetary cosmic rhythms, particularly those of the sun, moon and planets in the fixed constellations.
Cosmic energies can work strongly through a living soil down into the plant. The coordinated working together of earthly and cosmic energies is what brings about healthy and nutritious plants.
Thus Bio-dynamics is a complete holistic outlook on agriculture being implemented in SEVAI.
Composting is the process of converting all biodegradable into organic manure. In SEVAI, we gained experience in promoting this bio-compost farming, in composting process certain input should be made into waste to convert the process in a short time.
SEVAI realizes the major input in the
compost process is microbial inoculant for composting... The promising
microbes are Pleurotus, Trichoderma, Bacillus, Pseudomonas and
Streptomyces. In SEVAI,
microbial consortia contains several promising microns are blended in a lignite based material and being sold as biomineralizer.
SEVAI’s Application of biomineralizer to the waste material quickly accelerates the composting process. SEVAI understands the importance of Cow dung as the other important input for composting as Cow-dung is the source of nitrogen as well as microorganism.
Vermicompost Technology promoted by SEVAI.
SEVAI has promoted 2 vermi compost yards and produce the vermi composts and use it for agriculture land for food production.
Vermicompost technology is converting all biodegradable waste into nutrient rich organic manure with the help of composting earthworm.
Earthworms are efficient in digesting the
waste and get as vermicompost which contains high amount of nutrients,
beneficial microorganism viz., Azotobacter, Azospirillum and
Phosphobacteria, growth promoting
substances viz., indole acetic acid and gibberelic acid. Vermicompost contains 1.5 % nitrogen, 0.5 % phosphorus and 0.8 % potassium in addition it contains other micronutrients. Vermicompost is the single source of all the nutrients required for the crop.
Vermicompost also contains 10 % organic carbon and when continuous application of vermicompost increased the organic matter content of soil significantly.SEVAI uses this vermi compost in two main centres and produce, rice, banana, greens, vegitbles and sugarcane.SEVAI with enhanced the agricultural productivity with a natural touch, made available by the Best Agro Organics.
With producing practices, SEVAI has opened the gateway to quality Natural Fertilizers. A perfect blend of value and reliability, the Natural Fertilizers are ideal to increase the yield. We are well reckoned as one of the producers of Natural Vermicompost fertilizers producers and suppliers to the farmers of Sirugamani and Amoor areas.
Main Nutrients of our Organic Fertilizer:
SEVAI produces the Organic Fertilizer contains natural phosphorus biocalcium Nitrogen, Potash, Phosphorus and Calcium.
It is an effective fertilizer, which has almost 16 types of the trace elements for the crop growth and yield. Since, it has the beneficial bacteria like Rhyzobium; it fixes the atmospheric nitrogen in soil. It is made by mixing of organic Component like decomposed Organic matter, bone meal and effective micro organisms.
Food produced organically has always commanded a higher price than conventionally produced food. The organic fertilizer produced in SEVAI is suitable for almost all the crops and increases the yield in high quality.
Our forefathers under traditional agricultural system were using only plant and animal wastes as manure.
Over the years, due to adoption of soil fertility management practices involving exclusively inorganic fertilizer, it become hazardous in the long run depleting the soil fertilities, distorting the soil health and declining the quality of the agricultural produces.
This is the right time to choose the organic manure for sustainable agriculture.
Training provided in SEVAI for SHGs /farmers.
SEVAI periodically trainings the SHGs and also the farmers in Organic farming Principles, Concept , Components, Bio input production of organic farming,
Soil fertility management, Use of natural resources. Organic crop production technologies, Low cost input management, Organic methods of pest and disease management with Panchakavya.
With the increase in population SEVAI understands the compulsion would be not only to stabilize agricultural production but to increase it further in sustainable manner, thus, a natural balance needs are maintained for existence of life and property.
THE KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF ORGANIC FARMING PROMOTED BY SEVAI INCLUDE
Protecting the long term fertility of soils by maintaining organic matter levels, encouraging soil biological activity, and careful mechanical intervention;
Providing crop nutrients indirectly using relatively insoluble nutrient sources which are made available to the plant by the action of soil micro-organisms;
Nitrogen self-sufficiency through the use of legumes and biological nitrogen fixation, as well as effective recycling of organic materials including crop residues and livestock manures;
The extensive management of livestock, paying full regard to their evolutionary adaptations, behavioural needs and animal welfare issues with respect to nutrition, housing, health, breeding and rearing;
Careful attention to the impact of the farming system on the wider environment and the conservation of wildlife and natural habitats.
Integrated Farming as planned by SEVAI:
The farmers concentrate mainly on crop production which is subjected to a high degree of uncertainty in income and employment to the farmers. In this contest, it is imperative to evolve suitable strategy for augmenting the income of a farm.
Integration of various agricultural enterprises viz., cropping, animal husbandry, fishery, forestry etc. have great potentialities in the agricultural economy.
These enterprises not only supplement the income of the farmers but also help in increasing the family labour employment.
The integrated farming system approach introduces a change in the farming
Techniques for maximum production in the cropping pattern and take care of optimal utilization of resources.
The farm wastes are better recycled for productive purposes in this system.
A judicious mix of agricultural enterprises like dairy, poultry, piggery, fishery, agriculture etc. suited to the given agro-climatic conditions and socioeconomic status of the farmers would bring prosperity in the farming.
SEVAI provides agriculture training and extension services to target area farmers including demonstrations and trails, farmers and women’s field days, exchange visits, farmer’s trainings, participatory evaluation and planning etc. for enhancing agriculture productivity & income from irrigated agriculture.
Presently, More than 500 farmers are being benefited from these services.
Agriculture project promoted by SEVAI reduces the poverty and improve the economic growth through improved food production and security at household level on sustainable food availability, food access and food utilization in targeted areas. The main approaches are being used in SEVAI is:
To provide motivated farmers with the knowledge and the means to improve the net value of their agricultural activity,
To concentrate on deprived families (acute malnutrition being used as a proxy for poverty) to improve the nutritional status of their children and help them with a close follow up to strengthen and diversify their agricultural production.
To empower local organisations, women groups and committees whose activity helps sustain the progress momentum reached with the main target groups. SEVAI undertakes agriculture projects for the Increased smallholder agricultural productivity and diversified crop production
Restored soil fertility with a sustainable use of natural resources and the promotion of better land husbandry practices,
Additional income generation at household level through small animal husbandry,
Horticultural and gardening activities,
Reduced vulnerability of poorest households,
Capacity of the local SHG/farmer organization/groups (involved in reinforcing food Security)
SEVAI realizes that Agriculture is the backbone of our economy; therefore, SEVAI provides vocational education in agriculture and allied fields at the pre and post-matriculate level to cater to the training needs of a large number of boys and girls coming from rural areas.
Activities of SEVAI are:
Organizing need based vocational training programmes in agriculture and allied fields for farmers, farmer women, rural youth and school dropouts and to conduct on farm testing in crop production, horticulture, live stock, etc.
Land Reclamation works undertaken by SEVAI
in Tsunami affected Karaikal
In the aftermath of tsunami, SEVAI, decided to assist people to reclaim the lands through the use of organic methods. The activities of the organization were successful in the reclamation of more than 1000 acres of land through the application organic based approaches in 12 villages, desalination of 24 ponds, desilting of 9 km of drainage canals influencing the reclamation process of agricultural lands in Karaikal Region.
In Nagapattinam/Karaikal most families own less than 2.0 hectares of land. A handful of farmers in each village own more than 4.0 hectares of land.
SEVAI was quick to rise to the occasion and worked with the district coordination centre in assessing the damaged lands, it took up Kottucherry commune in Karaikal to demonstrate the effects of organic reclamation work which proved to be successful and in influencing the others in the district to adopt the same approach.
The activities included removal of the clay/sand deposit by ploughing, constructing trenches along the bunds to facilitate lateral leaching of salts, the planting of green manure and the application of compost.
The organization was instrumental in teaching and training of farmers’ vermicomposting techniques and helped to establish vermicomposting units. Trainings to farmers in organic methods of reclamation, vermicomposting and farming helped in capacity building of farmers.
SEVAI continued with its work and in the short term is planning to train 400 labourers to take up economic - on farm activities nursery raising; grafting and layering; compost and vermicompost preparation and selling of bioinputs; value-adding of farm products.
SEVAI working in the agriculture sector in tsunami affected Karaikal areas found that land reclamation and revitalisation of agricultural operations were the priorities.
Sea water encroaching on agricultural fields and water channels had destroyed the standing crop.
Water bodies like ponds were salinated. It was also found that while the pH of the soil had not changed considerably, the electric conductivity had increased considerably in certain places.
This had an adverse effect on the desalination process. Further, because the carbon content had dropped, there were no living micro-organisms present in the soil. In places, there is high accumulation of sand and silt with sand deposits up to 3 feet. The high level of salt content rendered fertilisers ineffective.
The immediate tasks undertaken by SEVAI: deepening of drainage channels; removing the sand deposits on the top soil; removal of the upper layer of top soil;
Adding bio-solutions to the soil assisted the growth of essential micro organisms. It was a huge task.
SEVAI Promotes Cow dung- farm yard manure for organic farming:
SEVAI’S experience that Cow Dung Manure, the resultant fecal matter which is very rich in minerals, is high-quality organic matter as manure.
In SEVAI, we promote this organic matter and used as fertilizer in agriculture.
SEVAI’s experiments prove that highly rich cow dung manure contributes to the fertility of the soil by adding organic matter and nutrients with it.
SEVAI educates the farmers that this Manure, an organic matter can be used as organic fertilizer in agriculture. Cow dung is the undigested residue of herbivorous matter which has passed through the animal's gut.
The resultant faecal matter is rich in minerals. Colour ranges from greenish to blackish, often darkening in colour soon after exposure to air.
SEVAI also promotes organic manure which covers manures made from cattle dung, excreta of other animals, rural & urban composts, other animal wastes, crop residues & last but not the least green manures.
Organic manure is time tested materials for improving the fertility & productivity of soils.
Different Types of Organic Manures are promoted in SEVAI for organic agriculture (i) Farm Yard Manure,(ii)Compost, Farm Yard Manure, Commonly used as Organic manure, readily available as important agricultural Byproducts and it has Advantages such as;
Ability to improve the soil, tilth & aeration, Increases the water holding capacity of the soil, Stimulate activity of micro-organisms that made plant food elements in the soil readily to crops. Two Groups of Compost, Rural Compost, Town or Urban Compost:
SEVAI promotes the Composting as a process of reducing vegetable & animal waste to a quickly utilizable condition for improving and maintaining soil fertility.
These are produced through the action of micro organisms on wastes. Wastes are leaves, roots & stubbles, crop residues, straw, hedge clippings, weeds, water hyacinth, saw dust, Kitchen wastes & human habitation wastes.
The waste materials undergo intensive decomposition under medium-high temperatures in heaps/ pits with adequate moisture, for a duration of 3-6 months.
Finished Product (Compost) is -an amorphous, brown to dark brownhumified materials.
SEVAI Higher Secondary School children are exposed with Gardening & Agriculture projects such as:
Indoor Gardening Learn about seeds, soil, watering, terrariums, dish gardens and house plants.
Vegetable Gardening Learn about plants, watering, fertilizing, and managing weeds, insects and diseases.
Crop Sciences Learn about Minnesota crops, soil fertility, weed and insect pests, food storage and business.
Plant & Soil Science Learn about parts of a plant, photosynthesis, crosspollination, soil, erosion and more.
Lawn & Landscape Design Learn to design, plant and manage your outdoor landscape of grass, shrubs, and trees.
Tractors Learn about maintenance, restoration and operation, fuels, hydraulic and electrical systems, and safety.
SEVAI SHGs are trained in compost making in (i) Aerobic in the following process:
The used bedding, the sweeping from cattle shed and some urine soaked earth from the stable floor are removed every day, mixed with cattle dung and two or three handfuls of wood ash are deposited on a well drained site to gradually build up a low pile, about 30 to 45 cm in height, about 5 cm in width & of any convenient length.
This process prevents a loss of moisture & ensures a quick start of decomposition. When the heap sinks appreciably
After about a month or more, depending on the incidence of rains the heap is given a final turning on a cloudy or modernity rainy day & rebuilt with in vacant parts of original position. The compost becomes ready for use in about four months.
Compost making in (ii) Anaerobic process:
The mixed farm residues are collected in pits of a convenient size, say, 4.5 m X 1.5 m X1 m. each days collection is spread in a thin layer, sprinkled with a mixture of fresh cow dung(4.5 Kg), ash (140 to 170 g) & water (18 to 22 litres) and compacted.
The pit is filled till the raw material stands 30 to 46 cm above its edge and is then plastered with a 2.5 cm layer of a mixture of mud and cow dung. Under such conditions decomposition is anaerobic and high temperature does not develop.
Insoluble nitrogen compound gradually become soluble & carbonaceous matter is broken down into carbon dioxide and water. The loss of ammonia is negligible, because of high concentration of carbon dioxide. The plastered pit also prevents the fly nuisance.
The compacted, moist materials become compost in about four to five months without any further attention.The well made compost contains 0.8 % to 1% nitrogen & halt all goof property.
Green manuring programme:
India has changed from a region of food scarcity to food sufficiency by increased fertilizer use with subsidized prices, but use of organic manures including green manure, declined substantially. Inorganic fertilizers are becoming more expensive, therefore sustainability of soil productivity has become a question. Hence, alternate sources to supplement inorganic fertilizers are thought. Green manuring are low cost and effective technology in minimising cost of fertilizers and safeguarding productivity. Under this programme, SEVAI emphasizes on use of green manure crops to reduce the use of chemical fertilizer. The major programme components covered under the promotion of green manure crops:
Green Organic farming has the advantages of:
Multipurpose use, Short duration, fast
growing, high nutrient accumulation ability, Tolerance to shade; flood,
drought and adverse temperatures, Wide ecological adaptability,
Efficiency in use of water, Early onset of
biological nitrogen fixation,
High N accumulation rates, Timely release
of nutrients, Photoperiod insensitivity, High seed production, High seed
viability, Ease in incorporation .,Ability to cross-inoculate or
responsive to inoculation, Pest
and disease resistant
Agriculture Training given and also proposed for the farmers and SHG members in collaboration with Tamilnadu Agriculture University Extension centres.
Production, Protection, Improvement, Sustainable, Organic, Indigenous farming.
Major farming systems/enterprises
Cropping pattern :
Rice – Rice – Pulses / cotton / Gingelly / vegetables
Rice( Aug – Jan) – Pulses / sesame (Feb – May)
Well irrigated areas
On Farm Trails
DSSIFER based Nutrient Management for Rice
Control of leaf folder & stem borer
Trianthema (Saranai) weed management in Sesame
Root Rot management in Sesame
DSSIFER based fertilizer recommendation for Sunflower
Dormancy breaking method in hybrid seeds of Sunflower
Management of poor quality water
Woolly aphid management in Sugarcane
Reclamation of alkali water
Major Thrust Area of concern undertaken;
Low productivity in Rice due to non availability of quality seeds
Low yield of sesame due to local varieties & non adoption of recommended package of practices.
Flower dropping and fruit shedding in Blackgram
Non availability of quality seeds at a right time.
Lack of marketing information about sale price
Lack of knowledge on latest techniques of vegetable cultivation
Low yield due to pest and disease incidence
Employment opportunity for rural
Future Thrust area
Developing two model villages, one for wet land ecosystem (Amoor) and the other for garden land ecosystem (Sirugamani) in Trichy District.
Increasing the availability of quality seeds in rice, pulses & oilseeds through popularizing the seed village concept and empowering the SHG’s and Farmers clubs to become the source for quality seeds in the villages.
Creating awareness on soil fertility management through INM & Organic farming, Introduction of Precision Farming techniques in banana, Sugarcane and Vegetables for increasing the quantity and quality of the produces.
Providing the market prices of various products to the farmers clubs through Market Intelligence cells in order to realize better returns.
Increasing the area under the less water
consuming crops such as Maize and Sunflower hybrids in the district,
improving the rice productivity in sodic soils through popularizing,
DSSIFER based Nutrient Management practices. Increasing the income of
the farmers through introduction of IFS including
inland fish culture,Introduction of improved goats over country breeds as a
commercial enterprise. Livestock improvement in Villages thro’ developing
fodder banks and organizing health camps.