Improving livelihood status of the farmers through Frontline Demonstration of Rajma Cultivation in Valley area of Dehradun

The Rajma growing farmers, who adopted it as a cash crop led the whole village to become the Rajma village now. Rajma is the most important crop of the hilly region of Uttarakhand during the Kharif season. In Yamuna valley near Vikasnagar and Sahaspur CDB area, the climatic conditions are favorable with the fertile sandy loam soil, mils temperature, irrigation facility and cropping system provide the ample scope for raising Rajma the in spring season as sole and in intercropping with sugarcane. Rajma crop fits well in the existing Rainfed agro-ecological situation of the area. The farmers in the valley area rarely grow Rajma as sole and also to some extent in sugarcane as intercrop with local practices as is the trend in the selected village. It matures nearly 90-115 days after sowing, having yield potential of 12-20 q/ha.

Improving livelihood status of the farmers through Frontline Demonstration of Rajma Cultivation in Valley area of DehradunImproving livelihood status of the farmers through Frontline Demonstration of Rajma Cultivation in Valley area of Dehradun

Nutritional value of Rajma: 

The Rajma also known as “King of Nutrition” is one of the favorite dishes among the connoisseurs. Around 100 grams of boiled Rajma contains Calories: 127, Water: 67%, Protein: 8.7 g, Carbohydrates: 22.8 g, Sugar: 0.3 g, Fiber: 6.4 g and FAT: 0.5 g. Although the nutritional quality of bean protein is generally lower than that of animal protein, beans are an affordable alternative for many people. In fact, the beans are one the richest plant-based sources of protein, sometimes referred to as “poor man’s meat”. Rajma is a good source of several vitamins and minerals, such as, molybdenum, foliate, iron, copper, manganese, potassium and vitamin K1.

The Path to Success:

The farmers of Bheemawala, Vikasnagar, CD Block in District Dehradun were engaged in their own traditional cropping system, viz., Rice-wheat, sugarcane-ratoon-wheat and Maize-Toria-wheat. By taking a step ahead, some progressive farmers started raising Rajma in a small area for earning more return in a short period of time. Inspired by its quick cash return, few other farmers adopted the practice that led the area of sowing Rajma to grow year-by-year.

The Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dhakrani helped the farmers in adopting the recommended cultivation package of practices in Rajma crop. As the combined efforts of KVK and farmers, almost the whole area is converted into Rajma cultivation, the trend of enhancement of Rajma in this belt has been experientially viewed from 3 ha to 100 ha cross the boundaries to neighboring state of Himachal Pradesh. The families of these belts are getting lucrative returns from production of this new crop as compared to their traditional cropping pattern.

Technology Intervention 

Improving livelihood status of the farmers through Frontline Demonstration of Rajma Cultivation in Valley area of DehradunDue to its higher acceptability in the local market, the Chakrata Rajma (local) with radish brown color, plant height of 60 to 80 cm and maturity in 110 to 120 days, excellent cooking quality, more pods and higher grains / pod was used in the demonstration. The variety is also tolerant to pod shattering with easy threshability. As per the farmers’ demand of village Bheemawala, the KVK planned to organize the frontline demonstration on Rajma in the spring seasons of 2015 and 2016. Around 5 farmers were identified and trained on production technology of Rajma for conducting the FLDs. The quantity of 80 kg/ha seed was used for sowing to maintain the spacing of 45 cm x 10 cm. Before the sowing, the seeds were treated with Phosphorus Solubilizing Bacteria (PSB) 5 ml/kg of seed following Trichoderma harzianum and Pseudomonas fluorescens 5 g each per kg of seedA basal dose of 100 kg of N, 60 kg of P and 30 kg of S were applied as basal on the basis of soil test. The urea and single super phosphate were used as sources of N, P & S respectively.

Farmer’s feedback:

1.     The crop was excellent in production potential in comparison to local practice of the area.

2.     The crop was raised with a nominal incidence of wilting which was under control than farmers’ practice.

3.     The profitability of Rajma cultivation under FLDs was higher than other crops in the system.

4.     Rajma found remunerative than wheat, Toria and Sugarcane too.

5.     The produce is sold immediately the day it is harvested due to quality grains with attractive shine.

Impact of Technology:

The Rajma is typically a Kharif season crop in the hilly area. In recent years, due to global warming effects; the new or non-traditional areas are becoming a target area for seed production of Rajma. In the targeted areas, Rajma is sown in the month of February and matures on / or before the onset of monsoon. In foothills of Himalayan region, slightly warm / favorable season made new habitat for commercial production of Rajma. The farmers of the village and other nearby areas have been enthusiastic to grow the Rajma by improved technology, that is, use of HYV seed, bio-fertilizer PSB, bio-fungicides like Trichoderma enriched FYM and other cultural practices. It is estimated that more than 100 ha area is replaced by the improved agro technologies.

(Source: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Dhakrani, Dehradun, Uttarakhand)