Name : Augnoj Village & Lapkaman Village
District & State : Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Category : Agricultural (General)
Award Function : 3rd National Grassroots Innovation Awards
Award Year : 2005
The villages of Lapkaman and Augnoj have been using Salvadora persica leaves and bark along with Farm Yard Manure (FYM) for the cultivation of paddy. They vouch that this practice facilitates faster and almost 100 per cent germination of the paddy seeds and also helps in reducing the seed rate and the time for the nursery to get ready.
Setting – Village Augnoj and Lapkaman
Augnoj is a big village with an area of 3600 acres, a population of 7000 people and 800 households. The village consists of four castes viz. Patel, Rabari, Thakur and Prajapati. Patel is the major caste with around 480 households, followed by the Thakurs and Rabaris with 180 and 130 households respectively. There are 10 households of Prajapatis in the village.
All the communities have an average of 10 bighas (approximately1.6ha) of landholding in each family. Ponds and bore wells are the major sources of water. The crops sown in the village are Paddy, Cumin, wheat and Castor. The major crop cultivated is paddy and Gujarat 17 and Gujarat 4 are the most popular varieties cultivated in the village. Share cropping is prevalent in the village and the cost and produce are divided in the percentage of 50-50, 75-25 or 70-30 between the land owner and the cultivator depending on their capacity and terms of agreement. Most of the villagers keep cattle for their own use.
Situated about three kms from the Augnoj village, Lapkaman is a village with a population of 3000 people. The population consists of Patels (40%), Thakurs (40%), Rabaris and others (20%). The crops grown in the village are Paddy, Jowar, wheat and Castor. The major crop cultivated is paddy and the popular varieties cultivated in the village are Gujarat 17, Gujarat 4, Gurjari and Jaya. The village Panchayat maintains 200 acres of grazing land and a big pond for cattle.
The seedlings are ready for transplantation in 22 days. This process otherwise requires about a month’s time. As this practice involves lesser time, it helps farmers in dealing better with the monsoons, especially if they are irregular. The practice also helps attain 100 per cent germination of the seeds thereby reducing the seed requirement per hectare from 12 kg to 8 kg.
The experiments on the use of Salvadora Persica and FYM to shorten time required for paddy seedlings were conducted in the Sadbhav, SRISTI Sansodhan Laboratory and the results were found effective. Percentage of germination, seedling survival and nature of plant growth were observed and seed vigour was calculated. An untreated control (seeds presoaked in un-ionized water for 24 hours and kept in BOD i.e. Biological Oxygen Demand incubator for 48hours at 320C.) was taken. In another experiment, paddy seeds of the same variety were presoaked in FYM water extract and kept in between the leaves of mango (Mangifera indica), neem (Azadirachta indica) and bael (Aegle marmelos).
Community wide practice
About 25 percent of the farmers in Augnoj village practice this method. It is well known to all the farmers who cultivate paddy, but farmers now use Urea + DAP + FYM + Salvadora persica for the purpose. Ratibhai Patel (a 59 year old farmer of Augnoj village of Dascroi taluka, Ahmedabad) has been practicing this method successfully for the past five years.
Ratibhai is known in the village as “the king of preparation of paddy seedlings”. He sells seedlings to other farmers in the village. Ratibhai also takes contracts to plant them in other farmers’ fields. Many farmers in his village take his suggestions for solution to new problems they face during cultivation. Ratibhai owns five bighas of land on which he grows paddy, wheat, cumin, castor, fenugreek and vegetables. Another farmer of the village, Shri Rohitbhai Dholabhai Patel has used this method in planting paddy in his 80 bighas of land. Eighty percent of the farmers in Lapkaman practise this method for quick germination of seeds and also for reducing weed infestation as well. Shri Govardhanbhai Ishwarbhai Patel, a 70 year old farmer, of Lapkaman states that almost everyone in the village who cultivates paddy uses Salvadora persica as mentioned above. Mukesh Kumar Patel, son of Govardhanbhai claims that it reduces weed infestation to a large extent. The farmers in the village have been using this practice for a long time. They learnt it from their fore-fathers. They claim that the use of Salvadora persica makes the soil soft due to the rise in temperature. Use of this method is also claimed to yield quality crop.
Farmers of another village named Vadsar used this practice long back but at present they do not practice this method due to the non-availability of the Salvadora plant coupled with the easy availability of chemical fertilizers.
This practice is used to shorten the time required for paddy seeds to sprout. The paddy seeds are first soaked in water harvested from the Farm Yard Manure (FYM) pits, which helps in removing the sourness from the paddy seeds. Removing sourness facilitates the speedy sprouting of the seeds.
Subsequently, the seeds are mixed with fresh green piludi (commonly known as teekhi vakhadi) leaves (Salvadora persica) in the ratio of 1: 1 by weight and kept for three days. The more leaves are added, the greater is the benefit. The mixture is then placed at such a place in the house where there is no possibility of pest/pathogen infestation and this is Salvadora persica leaves help in raising the temperature in the mixture and this enhances the growth of the seeds. When the sprout is about half an inch in size, it is taken and broadcast in a nursery, which has been prepared earlier. The nursery is prepared by mulching the nursery bed with the leaves and the bark of Salvadora persica. The leaves get decomposed within three days. At this time, the stalk and the branches are removed and only the leaves are left in the nursery bed.
At the nursery stage, it is important that proper care is taken relating to the watering of the beds. With the rise in the height of the seedlings in the nursery, the related level of water in the bed needs to be maintained. The nursery bed is watered daily to maintain the water level.