Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim

Shri Nim Tshering Lepcha, the President of Lower Nandok of Nandok-Naitam GPU, East Sikkim district, is an innovative farmer engaging himself in different farm activities like off-season vegetable cultivation in low-cost houses, large cardamom cultivation, fishery, backyard poultry, dairy etc. to earn additional income. These ventures however, were not very much profitable with the amount of labour involvement. There was a lot of interest among the farmers, of the village to start the production of organic ginger in the region but the technological inputs and knowledge of cultivation was lacking. Shri Lepcha was in a dilemma in growing this crop for economic viability and in fact, he was having the problem in procurement of quality planting materials for further multiplication, proper processing and organized marketing.

Technology/process intervened
The scientists of ICAR-KVK, East Sikkim visited the village and the organic production of ginger technology was imparted through skill based trainings and demonstrations at farmers’ field. At first, he was provided with 200 kilograms of good quality ginger rhizomes (cv. Bhaisey) as seed material during the year 2013-14. Shri Lepcha successfully adopted the improved ginger cultivation technology under organic condition.

Name of the grower              :    Shri Nim Tshering Lepcha    
Age of the grower                 :    56 years
Educational qualification     :     Class V
Total land holding                 :    06 acres
Total family members           :    05
Village                                    :    Lower Nandok
Block                                      :    Gangtok  
District                                    :   East Sikkim
Crop/Enterprise                    :     Ginger
Name of the Centre               :   ICAR-KVK, East Sikkim, Ranipool, Sikkim.

Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim  

Effect of the technology /process
The achievements of technological interventions of ginger cultivation with regard to the results from 2013-14 to 2017-18 is presented below:

Year

Area under cultivation
(ha)

Yield/ha (q/ha)

Gross expenditure (q/ha)

Gross Return
(q/ha)

Net Return
(q/ha)

B:C ratio

2013-14

0.10

129. 5

1,28,250.00

3,88,500.00

2,60,250.00

3.0

2014-15

0.25

132.2

1,25,100.00

3,96,600.00

2,71,500.00

3.2

2015-16

0.45

135.0

1,24,650.00

4,05,000.00

2,80,350.00

3.2

2016-17

0.50

140. 8

1,22,420.00

4,22,400.00

2,99,980.00

3.4

2017-18

1.00

144.2

1,20,155.00

4,32,600.00

3,12,445.00

3.6

Average

137.13

1,24,115.00

4,09,020.00

2,84,905.00

3.28

Impacts

The crop is ready for harvest after 8.5-9 months of sowing with an average yield of 137.13 q/ha and average net return of Rs. 2,84,905/ha per year resulting B:C ratio  of the crop to the tune of 3.28.

Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim
Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim Livelihood security of tribal farmer through organic ginger cultivation in Sikkim

Most of the farmers of Nandok village now are engaged in growing ginger which has become an important economic activity of the farmers of this area. The other fellow farmers in the village are motivated by the quality planting material based production technology of ginger under organic condition for its high return.  Among the growers, Mr. Phurba Lepcha of Upper Nandok is best known in the field of ginger production. He has wide practical knowledge and better experience in the field of ginger cultivation. It has also been reported that he has been able to produce 6500 kg of ginger crop out of 200 kg rhizome seed for two consecutive years. The ginger seeds so produced by Mr. Phurba Lepcha have a high demand in the local area for seed production. Thus, it became a necessary story in ginger cultivation, which encouraged other farmers of the region to opt for cultivation as high value cash crop ginger.

The technology demonstrated in an area of 0.10 ha in the field of Shri Nim Tshering Lepcha at Lower Nandok during 2013-14 has now extended to an area of 1.0 ha. Presently, more than 8 ha land is under ginger cultivation in Nandok village of East District.  The productive potential of the technology was tapped by majority of the maize growers and they have started ginger cultivation purely as sole crop, a suitable alternative to mandarin intercrop. This case study of ginger production technology has led to the adoption of this technology amongst many farmers, farm women and rural youth of Nandok and has also spread to nearby villages Thanzing, Upper Khamdong, Yangthang, Thanka and Lingtam villages of East Sikkim covering an area of 50 ha for sole crop of ginger.

The fresh ginger rhizomes are being sold to the traders/retailers and/or to the local merchants. Marketing agencies are managed by the private and government traders with the few co-operative societies that handle this product.

(Source: ICAR-KVK, East Sikkim, Ranipool, Sikkim)