A master farmer emerges through partnership of Krishi Vigyan Kendra

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           Mr. P. A. Thomas, Srampickal, Muttar, Alappuzha is a partner farmer of the KVK since 2011. Hailing from Muttar, he took active role in implementation of the ‘National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture’ (NICRA) project in his village from 2011-12. He could be moulded as a master farmer over a period of 5 years by his continuous partnership with the KVK by attending Farmer Field School in paddy, different training programmes and exposure visits.
He has been involved in various technology interventions in the below sea level farming region of Kuttanad and achieved excellence in farming, some of which are given below.
Sl. No. Crop Practices traditionally followed Technologies introduced Details of technology Results of interventions
1. Cassava Cultivation of long duration local varieties of cassava Intercropping ofshort duration cassava in coconut gardens to avoid losses due to water logging High yielding short duration variety Vellayani Hraswa The crop could be harvested by a period of 5.5 months. Higher yield 219 q/ha with a net income of Rs. 127236/ha
2. Paddy Using high quantity of seeds (150 kg/ha), improper soil and nutrient management, indiscriminate use of plant protection chemicals Resource conserving and eco friendly management practices for climate resilience in paddy Drum seeder for wet seeding;
Dolomite as the liming material;
Bio control of Pests & Diseases –Pseudomonas & Trichocards The quantity of seeds used could be reduced to 30 kg/ha by using the drum seeder; Quantity of fertilizer could be reduced by 20% by following soil test based domolite and fertilizer application; Pest and disease incidence could be completely prevented by the application of pseudomonas and trichocards, thus avoiding the use of PP chemicals.
3. Poultry Traditional wooden cages causing loss of birds during flood Housing of poultry in modified cages Modified Poultry cage with slatted floor and good aeration Egg production – 2684 eggs/ unit of 15 birds/year
4. Duck and fish Nil Integrated duck and fish farming
Low cost duck sheds over the ponds using PVC pipes and locally available materials accommodating 20 ducks and fingerlings @ 75 Nos./cent. Egg production – 4300
eggs/year
62 kg from 5 cents

By following the new technologies the annual farm income of Mr. P A Thomas increased from Rs. 2,19,000/- to 3,14,600/- over a period of five years. The duck and poultry units provided the daily income and cassava and paddy crops provided yearly income as per the following details.
Sl. No. Activity Area/unit Before adoption After adoption
Cost of production (Rs.) Annual gross income (Rs.) Cost of production (Rs.) Annual gross income (Rs.)
1. Intercropping short duration cassava in coconut gardens 20 cents 6166 10000 7440 17500
2. Resource conserving and eco friendly practices in paddy 5 acre 118966 209000 113856 255696
3. Housing of poultry in modified cages 15 birds – – 13446 17408
4. Integrated duck and fish farming
20 ducks over a pond of 5 cents – – 13600 23990
Total 125132 219000 148342
314594
Additional net returns (Rs) per year 95594

           Through his continuous interactions and partnership with the KVK, Mr. P A Thomas became a master farmer for various agricultural technologies promoted by ICAR-KVK-Alappuzha in the Kuttanad region. He was presented the Smart Farmer award by ICAR through the KVK, was facilitated on the foundation day programme of ICAR–CRIDA, Hyderabad and he has participated and shared his experience in climate resilient farming in the National Agricultural Science Congress held at Bengaluru in February, 2016.