Road to Prosperity through Innovative Spacing Technique in Sugarcane

Sugarcane crop in Modified Package (with 4.5 feet spacing)Sri Narayan Singh Patel ‘Bharat’ is an enthusiastic and creative young farmer from village Karakbel, District Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh. He owns 10 ha of land with sugarcane as a prime crop. Low productivity made sugarcane less remunerative to him. In search of scientific solution of his problems, Sri Patel discussed about the sowing method of close spacing problem with Jawarharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidyalaya(JNKVV), Jabalpur and Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Narsinghpur. Scientists of JNKVV and KVK suggested some innovative methods for higher productivity in sugarcane. He adopted modified spacing in sugarcane which proved very encouraging to him.

Self developed Tractor operated Sugarcane Sowing MachineHis journey to higher productivity did not last by adopting new method. He even modified the Vishwa Vidyalaya recommendation of 60-90 cm spacing. He tried 135cm (4.5 feet) spacing in sugarcane crop for easy weeding and inter-cultural operations. He used self developed tractor operator weeder. It significantly reduced the production cost, time and other costs.

This new experiment of wider spacing (4.5 feet) sowing technique of sugarcane was developed , tested and accepted by the farmers and  also adopted in the district up to 40 % area (12000 ha). This approach of sugarcane sowing not only reduces the production cost up to 25-30 % (Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 / ha) as it require 50 % less seed i.e. 62 qt/ha in place of 125 qt/ha but also increases the productivity up to 72% (950qt/ha) as compared to traditional  way of sugarcane production( 400-550 qt/ha)  with  2-2.5 feet spacing .

Urea and fertilizer placement in root zone through two tines fertilizer drillTwo tine fertilizer drill developed by Sri Patel used for proper placement of fertilizer in root zone in place of manual use of fertilizer on upper part of plants or soil surface.  Thus, the cost of cultivation reduces 25-30% due to use of less seed rate, tractor operated weeder, self developed two tine fertilizer drill and tractor operated sowing machine.

He also formed a Krishak Club to disseminate this innovative technology of spacing in Narsinghpur district. He also provided 100 CDs to farmers for innovative technology of sugarcane. Now, Sri Patel is a progressive farmer of his area and very much satisfied with the productivity of Sugarcane by adoption of refined technology.

(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DKMA with inputs from Zonal Project Directorate-7, Jabalpur)