Economic security for riverbed farmers through integrated interventions in vegetables
The settlers who live in the river bank of the river Gomti near Trivediganj block of Barabanki district and river Sarayu near Tera village of Raebareli district earn their bread by cultivating vegetables during summer in the river beds and doing part time labour work. These landless families do not have any other source of livelihood and average annual income through riverbed vegetable cultivation in 2 seasons (summer and winter ) is in the range of Rs. 15000-20000/-. Nearly 2.1 ha of land on Gomti banks and 2.3 ha of land on Sarayu banks were used for cultivation of vegetables like bottle gourd and watermelon. A production of about 408 Q and 379 Q with an income of Rs.192100/- and Rs.202525/- were obtained from riverbeds of Gomti and Sarayu, respectively covering both seasons. Nearly 25 families were dependent on the income from this source. Under the livelihood project of NAIP on “Holistic Approach for improving Livelihood Security through Livestock based Farming System in Barabanki and Raebareli districts of U.P.” interventions were envisaged for these families by creating awareness and insight of technologies available to sustain the livelihood with integration of appropriate technologies like varietal replacement, supplementation of nutrients with in-situ composting of Trichoderma and Psuedomonads spray of these native strain from 20th day of planting up to harvest on an interval of 20 days. These are traditional farmers and were more inclined to continue their traditional livelihood measures.
The project interventions led to the increase in the area under cultivation by over 260% (5.45 ha) in Gomati and 190% (4.34 ha) in Sarayu beds. Apart from this, elite varieties of other vegetables like muskmelon, cucumber and pumpkin were also introduced. Here the foundation of seeds of only elite varieties was given instead of hybrids keeping the sustainability of the farmer to cultivate the same in the next season with seed extracted from the current season. Necessary knowledge on seed storage was also incorporated to the beneficiaries. Another 15 families also joined this group of farmers. The production of vegetables increased to 1293 Q in Gomti with an increased net income of Rs.746475/= and 1069.39 Q in Sarayu with and increased income of Rs.618195/=. An average income of Rs.35,000 /= per beneficiary was obtained from the period starting from March 2010 to July 2010 i.e. one season itself. Some families were supplemented with a pair of goats and backyard breed chicks to develop small goat and poultry units for their livelihood base diversification from the project side. The technology had genereated employment in their own crop for 100 days and also immediate economic and nutritional security to earn their bread and take land on lease for cultivation during the monsoon season also. Thus, these families are now ready to cultivate vegetables on river beds in 2 seasons and also round the year vegetable cultivation on leased lands. These boosted farmers with elated faces have all the praise for ICAR/ NAIP and estimated their annual net income over Rs. 1.0 lakhs.