OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT AGRICULTURE OFFICER, SOUTH WEST GARO HILLS, AMPATI

Office of the Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer was established on June, 1985. It first started to function from Betasing Development Block. Then it shifted to Ampati Agriculture complex on March, 1990, which is near the office of the Deputy Commissioner, South West Garo Hills, Ampati.Office of the Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer has been formally upgraded to District Agriculture Office after the South West Garo Hills District has been inaugurated.

Physical & Financial Achievements 2009-2010

FERTILIZER DISTRIBUTION SCHEME

Soil analysis result in Garo Hillls suggests that the region is low in available phosphorus. The Nitrogen and potash content are moderates though the deficiency symptoms occurs in two packets. Raising of crops in the field remove both the macro and micro nutrients from the soil. The production of higher yields through H.Y.V. and improved varieties of crops and intensive cultivation increase the depletion of nutrients still further. Erosion and leading cause additional loses. It is thus obvious that the huge drain on nutrient supplies will continue to impoverish the sails unless these supplies are replenished by natural means or by artificial means. The great emphasis laid down on adoption of high yielding varieties demand the optimum dozes of chemical fertilizer.

The IRRI Paddy which is coming up in the district during the Boro Season has a high response to chemical fertilizers for its production from 7.00 M.T. to 10.00 M.T per hectares.
An amount of Rs.1.23 lakhs is earmarked for 2008-09 to meet the expenditure under the Fertilizer Distribution Scheme.

MAIZE THROUGH CLUSTER APPROACH

Maize Development Through Cluster Approach has been initiated to bring the area into compact areas as it is one of the most Protein and Carbohydrate contain crop.
To enhance good crop productivity, profitability at a reasonable level, Maize seed plays a vital role.

The scheme has got two components: 
Sale : Distribution of certified seeds of high yielding varieties of Maize at 50% subsidised rates to the farmers, Presently local varieties of  maize is bring grown in Jhum. To replaced Local varieties of Maize an efforts are yet to be put in. by H.Y.V. during Kharif and Rabi season where approx 70 % area is still under traditional varieties. Introduction of hybrid HYV and has been widely accepted by the farmers in spite of very high cost of Maize seeds.

Demonstration : which is formulated as an approach to professional agricultural extension through motivation, where the extension workers focus on select farmer who are the direct beneficiaries of demonstrations, The objectives of the demonstration is not confined only to the dissemination of improved package of practices, it also includes showing farmers how to manage their existing resources more efficiently to get higher returns. Demonstration to farmers on better farming practices like soil treatment, Seed treatment, time of showing transplanting depth of footage of fertilizers, top dressing, intercultural operations, plant protection measure, time of harvesting etc. can produce higher yields. Beneficiaries are chosen with great core and only innovative farmers who are willing to try out practices recommended at selected. As these beneficiaries are responsible for spread of improved package of practices, it is also made sure that they have good standing in their community and are accepted by other farmers as reliable sources of advice on farming. The main aim and objective of Maize Development through Cluster Approach is to promote Maize production for Feed Production to Livestock and Poultry. 
An amount of Rs.8.25 lakhs is earmarked during 2008-09 under Maize Development Through Cluster Approach.

MULTIPLE CROPPING SCHEMES

Due to the limitations in increasing the cropped area more emphasis is being given on improving the productivity of crops as well as increasing cropping intensity per unit area of land. The main objective of the Scheme is to increase production and productivity of different crops through full utilization of command areas of irrigation projects as well as those areas where irrigation facilities are available by motivating the farmers to adopt multiple cropping per unit area of land aimed at improving their economic condition. Under this Scheme, an intensive cultivation by using high yielding varieties of seeds, optimum dozes of fertilizers, need based pesticides, improved package of practices of deferent crops and efficient water management are disseminated to farmers through field demonstrations and training. The scheme provides distribution of input like, high yielding varieties seeds, fertilizers and plant protection chemicals free of cost to the beneficiaries. It also provides training to the beneficiaries on improved package of practices during Kharif and Rabi seasons and making it more effective by distributing leaflets, handbills etc. in local language during the training.

Impact of the Scheme: With the introduction of multiple cropping scheme it has been noticed in crop cutting experiment in command areas that average productivity of the crops in the command areas where this system of cropping along with package of practices has been adopted has increased when compared to those areas where practices of traditional methods of cultivation are still prevalent. The cropping intensity has shown a positive trend. Realising the importance and benefits of multiple cropping system through training and demonstrations, the farmers in command areas as well as in other areas where irrigation facilities are available have shown a positive trend in adopting this system of cultivation. This achievement has greatly helped in generating more income to the farmers thereby uplifting their economic condition. However, in order to achieve the objective of the scheme continued effort have to be made to bring more and more areas under multiple cropping especially the natural spread of the system of cultivation. In the recent past, a detailed study was conducted o impact of multiple cropping in West Garo Hills by the monitoring and evaluation cell, Directorate of Agriculture, Shillong for which a report is available in the Directorate.

An amount of Rs. 7.00 lakhs is earmarked during 2008-09 under Multiple Cropping Scheme through Cluster Approach.

ORGANIC MANURE SCHEME

Most of the foods that we consume today are coated with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic farming is an agricultural production system, which avoids or largely excludes the use of synthetically compounded fertilizers; pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Under organic food production system crop nutrients are provided through various components such as composts, bio fertilizers, crop residues incorporation. In this context vermicompost have been gaining popularity amongst the organic food producers.

Degradation of organic waste by earthworms is one of the recent developments in biological sciences. They are responsible for the breakdown of complex organic residues into simpler water-soluble substances. The organic matter when subjected to decomposition with the help of earthworms, the resultant product is vermin compost and the process is known as vermicasting. The product is result of organic waste consumed by earthworm, digested and excreted in the form of granules. The vermicompost, chiefly the faual matter of earthworm is rich in plant nutrients, plant growth promoters and beneficial micro flora. They grow plants extremely well and they can also be used as structural additives for poorer soils to provide nutrients and minimize erosion. For, this versatile technique yields organic fertilizers, recovers energy rich resources, and makes for safe disposal of organic wastes and helps combat the spreading problem of environmental pollution.

Now there is an all-round recognition that adoption and exploitation of Vermiculture biotechnology would besides arresting ecological degradation could go a long way towards meeting the nutrient needs of the agricultural sector in a big way. On another front, widespread use of Vermiculture biotechnology could result an increased employment opportunity and rapid development of the rural areas. It is high time that a serious attention is given to standardising and popularising Vermiculture technology on a statewide basis.

The scheme intends to promote usage of organic manure to enhance fertility level of soil, tilt, aeration, increase water holding capacity of soil, and to stimulate activity of micro-organisms who make plant food elements in the soil readily available to the crops. The scheme provides financial assistance for establishment of Vermiculture composting unit and awareness campaign.

An amount of Rs.1.40 lakhs has been earmarked for 2008-09 to meet the expenditure and encourage the farmers under Organic Manure Scheme.

RICE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH CLUSTER APPROACH

Seeds are the basic input in the agriculture and most important catalyst for other inputs to be cost effective. In ensuring sustainability, good crop productivity, enhanced profitability at a reasonable level, seed plays a vital role.

Rice Development through Cluster Approach has been initiated to bring the area into compact areas. This comprises of two components.

Sale: Distribution of certified seeds of high yielding varieties of Rice at 50% subsidised rates to the farmers, Presently local varieties of the autumn paddy (excluding Jhum Paddy) and spring paddy has already been replaced by H.Y.V. seeds but a lot of efforts are yet to be put in to replace the local varieties by H.Y.V. during Sali season where approx 35 % area is still under traditional varieties. Introduction of hybrid paddy has been widely accepted by the farmers in spite of very high cost of seeds.

Demonstration : which is formulated as an approach to professional agricultural extension through motivation, where the extension workers focus on select farmer who are the direct beneficiaries of demonstrations, while the ‘flower farmers’ get encouraged to adopt improved practices of cultivation through information diffusion. The objectives of the demonstration in cultivators field is not confined only to the dissemination of improved package of practices, it also includes showing farmers how to manage their existing resources more efficiently to get higher returns. Demonstration to farmers on better farming practices like soil treatment, Seed treatment, time of showing transplanting depth of footage of fertilizers, top dressing, intercultural operations, plant protection measure, time of harvesting etc. can produce higher yields. Beneficiaries are chosen with great core and only innovative farmers who are willing to try out practices recommended ate selected. As these beneficiaries are responsible for spread of improved package of practices, it is also made sure that they have good standing in their community and are accepted by other farmers as reliable sources of advice on farming. The scheme provides distribution of inputs like certified seeds of high yielding varieties and chemical fertilizers free of cost to the beneficiaries, System of  Rice Intensification (SRI) has been widely adopted under Demonstration

An amount of Rs.18.00 lakhs is earmarked during 2008-09 under Rice Development through Cluster Approach.