VEGETABLES

 

            To augment the production of vegetables in the district, an Agricultural Inspector (Vegetables) has been posted at Amritsar to guide the farmers in vegetables-growing and to make necessary arrangements for vegetables seeds, etc. An Agricultural Sub-Inspector is also posted there to look after the potato development work. He is mainly responsible for supplying disease-free potato seed from departmental farma.

 

            Demonstration plots for different kinds of vegetables have been set up in selected villages, to prove the performance of good-quality seeds. Training camps are organized in different blocks to train the farmers in vegetable-farming. Besides, the Agricultural Inspector (Vegetables) during his tours to different villages, holds meetings with the farmers ad give lectures on vegetables-farming. Introductory demonstrations are also given to the farmers for controlling vegetable pests and diseases.

 

            There is a Vegetable Seed Farm at Beas for producing vegetable seeds. The farm is under the charge of a an Agricultural Inspector who functions under the control of the Vegetable Development Officer, Ludhiana.

 

            Besides commercial vegetable-growing, kitchen-gardening is encouraged under the Applied Nutritional Programme which has been introduced into the Ajnala, Verka and Tarn Taran blocks. Good quality vegetables seeds and seedlings are supplied to the farmers in rural areas under this programme.

 

            The area under vegetables has increased considerably. Ceiling on land holdings has led to intensive cultivation which has increased the intensity of cropping. The vegetable crops also had, therefore, their due share in increasing the intensity of cropping. The increase in the area under vegetables is also due to the increase in irrigation facilities. A rise in the sale price of celery has also increased the area under it. Vegetables are, in fact, the most paying crops for the small landholders.

 

            Almost all the plains vegetables, as detailed below, are sown in the district:

 

Summer Vegetables:-          Chillies (mirch), okra (bhindi), bottle-gourd (ghia kaddu), vegetable marrow (chappan kaddu), squash melon (tinda), bitter-gourd (karela), pumpkin, (halwa kaddu), sponge- gourd (ghia and kali tori), ash- gourd (petha), musk melon (sarda kharbuza), water melon (tarbuz), long melon (tar), cucumber (khira), arum (arvi), sweet potato (shakarkandi), and cowpea (lobia).

 

Winter Vegetables:-             potato (alu), cauliflower (phulgobhi), cabbage (bandgobhi), knoll-khol (fandgobhi, peas (matar), tomato (tomatar), radish (muli), turnip (shalgam), carrots (gajar), brinjal (bengan), spinach (palak), fenugreek (methi), onion (piaz), garlic (lassan), lettuce (salad), and French bean (valaiti sem).

 

            Out of the above, the major vegetable crops grown in the district are chilli, potato, cauliflower, okra, brinjals and tomato. The total area under both vegetables and fruit crops in the district in 1967-68 was 7799 hectares.

 

FRUIT CROPS AND GARDENS

 

            For a balanced diet, fruit provide the vitally needed vitamins in addition to the various salts essential for the maintenance of health. Greater emphasis was, therefore, laid in the second and Third Five Year Plan projects for augmenting the production of fruit in the district. With the exception of kallar and bet areas, the climate and the soil of the Amritsar District are eminently suited for the cultivation of tropical and subtropical fruits like citrus, guava, amngo, peach, pear, plum, papaya, ber and lichi.

 

            Owing to the adequate distribution of loans under the minor irrigation programme, the growers have installed their own tube-wells and pumping sets, which, in turn, have increased the irrigation facilities, so vital for fruit growing. Long term loans at the rate of Rs.300 per acre, advanced to fruit growers for planting new orchards, have gone a long way in increasing the area under fruit orchards. To encourage grape cultivation, loans upto Rs.3000 per acre are advanced. The loans advanced for the establishment of new orchards in the district, from 1961-62 to 1967-68, are as under:

 

Year

Amount of loan advanced

General horticulture (Rs.)

Grape cultivation (Rs.)

1961-62

100000

---

1962-63

17700

---

1963-64

50000

12000

1964-65

27000

21000

1965-66

39000

27000

1966-67

---

18000

1967-68

---

21000

(Source: District Agricultural Officer, Amritsar)

 

 

            The area under fruit orchards in the district, during the last two decades, has been as under:

 

1950-51

1955-56

1960-61

1965-66

1967-68

Area under fruit

orchards (hectares)

    Irrigated

 

1251

743

1192

1956

865

   Un-irrigated

 

11

---

37

22

42

Total

1262

743

1229

1978

907

 

 

            Under the Punjab Frit Nurseries Act, 1961, two nurseries have been established in the private sector in the district to supply the pedigree fruit plants of the recommended varieties, free from any kind of insect pest or disease. These are:

 

1.                 The Khalsa College Nursery, Amritsar

 

2.                 The Malak Nursery, Court Road, Amritsar

 

(iii)      Improved Agricultural Practices:- The rise in agricultural prouction in the district has been due to the introduction of high-yielding varieties of crops and the adoption of improved cultural practices, such as greater and better use of fertilizers and deep ploughing, crop rotation, green-manuring, the use of compost and farmyard manure, the use of bacterial cultures, the use of legume crops in rotations, the sowing of crops by using the pora method, the line- sowing of cotton, the Japabese method of paddy cultivation, the trench-sowing of sugarcane, the use of improved furnaces for gur-making, and the installation of tube-wells and pumping sets.

 

The high yielding varieties of different crops sown in the district are as under:

Name of Crop

Variety

Wheat

Kalyan, Sona, P.V. 18

Gram

Pb.7, S-26, C-235, C-104

Paddy

I.R.8, Jaya, Jhona-320, Jhona-349, Jhona-351, Palman Saffaida-246, Basmati-370, Basmati-217

Name of Crop

Variety

Maize

Ganga-101, Ganga-5, Composite Vijay

Cotton

Desi

231-R, G-27

American

F-320, T-34

Sugarcane

Early

Co.J-58, Co. L-29, Co.6711

Mid-Season

Co.975, Co. 1158, Co.L-9

Late

Co.J-39, Co. J-46, Co.1148

Barley

C-148, C-164

Potato

Upto Date, Kufri Chandarmukhi(2708), Kufri Sadhuri, Kufri Shakti (C-1)

 

(iv) Crop-Competition Scheme:- The scheme was introduced in the district in 1951-52 promote a spirit of healthy rivairy among the cultivators for maximizing the yield of important crops per hectare through the use of improved agricultural practices. Crop-competitions are organized every year at the village, tahsil, district and State levels.

 

            Besides, agricultural shows are held on the occasions of block melas and in the arrival of distinguished visitors.

            Farmers Training Camps are organized for kharif and rabi seasons each year at district, block and village levels, where farmers are trained in modern scientific methods of agriculture.

 

            (v) Agricultural Co-operatives:- In India, the idea of co-operation took a concrete shape for the first time with the passage of the Co-operative Credit Societies’ Act, 1904, which provided for the formation of credit societies only. Since then, during its about seventy years growth, the co-operative movement in the country has passed through phases of rectification and cautious expansion, thereby expanding its scope to marketing, processing and many other aspects of economic and social life in India.

 

            With the adoption of modern techniques of agriculture, the farmer today needs ready financial assistance in the form of short-term loans to meet expenses in chemical fertilizers, improved seeds and implements, minor irrigation facilities, insecticides, etc. In view if the limited resources of the State, it becomes imperative to mobilize all the resources of the farming community, and this is possible only by an active participation of the persons concerned. Co-operative societies, both service and store, are thus playing an increasingly important role in helping the farmers to augment the yield from their fields in many ways.

 

            Co-operative societies in India can be broadly classified into two heads: primary and secondary. Whereas the primary societies deal directly with the members, the secondary societies, including Co-operative Unions, Central Cooperative Banks extend help to the primaries.

 

            Of the agricultural co-operatives, the primary agricultural co-operative societies are further classified into primary agricultural credit/ services societies and agricultural non-credit societies as under:

            (1) Primary Agricultural Credit/ Services Societies:- The co-operative movement in India started with these societies which today constitute the base of the co-operative credit structure in the country. In the Amritsar District, the co-operative movement was initiated in 1908. The work was started with a single Honorary Sub-inspector. The Agricultural Credit Society was the first to come in the field. The district was given a separate Inspector for the first time in 1920, after which only real expansion began. With the establishment of the Central Co-operative Bank, Amritsar, on July 14, 1922, the agricultural credit societies expanded their activities. Until the partition of the Punjab in 1947, these societies confined their activities to the tapping of local deposits and to the advancing of loans. By and large, the co-operative were functioning merely as thrift and credit societies.

 

            On the partition of the Punjab in 1947, most of the societies left in the district were in a crippled condition owing to the exodus of the Muslim members and because of the blockade of funds in Pakistan. Nevertheless, in course of time, the movement got rehabilitated and made steady progress.

 

            Hitherto, the co-operative credit societies were uni-purpose, i.e. these provided only credit to the cultivators an did nothing else. But, on the recommendations of the Co-operative Planning Committee, the primary co-operative credit societies were recognized into multipurpose societies. The latter not only finance the agriculturist but also help them in selling their produce, storing the crops, purchasing manures and implements and supplying different consumer goods. Thus, during the Second Five Year Plan (1956-61), the credit societies enlarged their functions so as to include the supplying and marketing of produce. About 9 rural godowns were set up and all regulated markets were covered with the marketing co-operatives. During the Third Five Year Plan (1961-66), the co-operatives made good progress both in terms of the expansion programme and the enlargement of activities.

            A network of primary agricultural credit/ service societies is spread all over the district. These cover all the villages and exist within 3 km of the home of the farmer. Their number increased from 1130 in 1961-62 to 1175 in 1965-66 and to 1163 in 1967-68. The total amount of loans advanced increased from Rs.42.50 lakhs in 1961-62 to Rs.56.02 lakhs in 1965-66 and Rs.168.51 lakhs in 1967-68. In 1967-68, the membership of these societies was 111992 and their paid up share capital was Rs.45.18 lakhs.

 

            All the service co-operatives are affiliated to the Amritsar Central Co-operative Bank, Ltd., Amritsar, which, in turn, is affiliated to the apex credit institution known as the Punjab State Co-operative Bank Ltd., with its headquarters at Chandigarh. The Amritsar Central Co-operative Bank has its branches at Rayya, Patti and Tarn Taran.

 

            Besides the primary agricultural credit/ service societies advancing short-term and medium-term loans, the Land Mortgage Banks1 advance long term loans for various major purposes, e.g. debt redemption, the purchase of land, the purchase of tractors and the installation of tube-wells.

 

1. The land-mortgage banking structure consists of one apx institution known as the Punjab State Co-operative Land Mortgage Bank Ltd. Chandigarh (established in 1958) and two primary Co-operative Land Mortgage Banks at Amritsar and Tarn Taran in the district. Since the Punjab State Co-operative Land Mortgage Bank was established very late, it could not divert the major flow of loans into productive channels till 1965-66. However, from July 1967, it switched over to productive finance, and these institutions have established a name in the entire country for the best recovery performance maintaining a pool of trained staff and keeping the lowest lending rates.

 

(2) Agricultural Non-Credit Societies:-  Though the co-operative movement in India has been essentially a credit movement from its very inception, yet its non-credit aspect has received some impetus since the World War II (1939-45). The number of agricultural non-credit societies in the district was 170 in 1967-68. Their principal forms are as under:

 

CO-OPERATIVE MARKETING SOCIETIES

 

            These Societies grant loans only when the cultivators store their produce with them. The area of operation is wider and the members liability is limited. The cultivators deal directly with the consumers through the societies and the middle men are altogether eliminated from the transaction. In 1967-68, there were 11 co-operative marketing societies in the district.

 

CO-OPERATIVE FARMING SOCIETIES

 

            Co-operative farming refers to a system of agricultural organization, wherein the cultivators of an area voluntarily associate together, pool their individual holdings for purposes of cultivation and manage the whole farm as one unit under an elected management. Its main object is to combine the incentive of ownership with the ‘size economies’ possible in agriculture. The small land holdings are not economic units and the scarcity of labour and its high charges require that the cultivation of land be carried out in a co-operative basis. Either co-operative farming societies should be recognized on some regular scale or some system of joint-farming be evolved, so that modern improved agricultural implements may be used and the problem of scarcity of agricultural labourere be solved. The Government, therefore, encourages farmers to group themselves voluntary into co-operative farming societies.

 

            In 1967-68, there were 124 co-operative farming societies in the district.

 

OTHER SOCIETIES

 

            The number of other societies in the agricultural and allied fields in the district, during 1967-68, was as under:

 

S. No.

Type of Society

Number  1967-68

1.

Co-operative Fisheries-Farming Societies

1

2.

Co-operative veterinary First Aid Societies.

5

3.

Consolidation of Holdings Societies

1

4.

Co-operative Cattle Breeding Societies.

21

5.

Co-operative Better Farming Societies.

7

 

            (vi) Progress of Scientific Agriculture:-  New discoveries in the field of agricultural science and technology have led to a better understanding of crop behaviour and response to nutrients under different situations, and now the need is of the application of these principles judiciously to a given agro-climate region. The problem of food production today, therefore, centers upon two points, viz. the provision of adequate supply of inputs of water and fertilizers, and their economic and efficient use.

 

            Agricultural Implements:- Improved agricultural implements and machines play a vital role in increasing agricultural production. The farmers are gradually mechanizing agriculture and adopting improved implements in accordance with their utility and scope for use. The wooden plough has been completely replaced by the iron plough. The Persian wheels are being replaced by tube-wells and pumping-sets. The wooden-wheel cart has been almost completely replaced by the pneumatic-tyre cart. The traditional system of threshing wheat under the feet of bullocks has been almost discarded in favour of the mechanical method through power threshers operated with tractors or small motors. The tractor-owing farmers are also adopting precision machines like seed-drils, seed-cum-fertilizer-drills, and corn-planters. The tractors are steadily replacing the bullocks. Almost all types of tractors manufactured in the country are operating in the district. The number of tractors registered in the Amritsar District, as on June 30, 1968, was 881.

 

            The improved implements are being gradually adopted by the farmers in accordance with their utility and scope for use. The holdings in the district are, of course, very small, and this situation limits the scope for mechanized farming. However, owing to the scarcity of labour, high wages, the spread of education among the farmers, the enforcement of the Tenancy Act, and the improved condition of the farmers due to high prices of agricultural commodities, some well-to-do farmers have shifted to mechanized farming. Soil-inverting ploughs, disc-horrows, single-row cotton-drills, seed-cum-fertilizer-drills, corn-planters, shellers, sprauers, dusters, etc. are getting very popular.

            The old type of agricultural implements still in common use in the district are hal (plough), spade, khurpa, sohaga (wooden plank), trangli, sangha, chhajli, sicle, panjali, por, the juice-boiling pan, gand, ghowan, thapi, poni, bullock-cart, hand-toka, axe, phallah, jandra (for making bunds), karaha (leveler), etc.

 

            The table below gives the production of agricultural implements in the district during 1967-68:

Name of Implement

Number

Cost

Soil stirring plough

12818

28 each

Meston plough

155

27 each

Buckets with chain (various size)

5803

5 each

Triphali

168

34 each

Seed-cum-fertilizer-drill (bullock drawn)

67

244 each

Bar-harrow

265

45 each

Maize-sheller

125

234 each

 

(Source: Agricultural Engineer (Implements), Punjab, Ludhiana)

 

Seeds:-  Improved seeds constitute a basic requirement of increasing agricultural production. The multiplying and supplying of seeds of improved varieties have been one of the most important functions of the Department of Agriculture. However, previously the production and supply of different seeds were not systematic and were carried on only on a limited scale. To improve upon this aspect, a scheme was undertaken during the Second Five-Year  Plan to set up a chain of seed farms throughout the State to saturate the countryside with improved varieties of seeds of different crops. In 1967-68, there were ten seed farms in the district for producing improved seeds and their distribution to registered ‘A’ class growers for further multiplication and redistribution among the farmers. The particulars regarding these seed farms are given in the following statement:


Seed Farms in the Amritsar District, 1967-68

 

Location

Year of establishment

Area of the seed farm (hectares)

Name of seed

Variety of seed

Quantity produced in 1967-68 (Quintals)

Tahsil

Block

Place

1.        Amritsar

Jandiala Guru

Mananwala

1957-58

3.5

Wheat

 

Paddy

C.306

C.273

Paddy

10.10

5.05

No sowing

2.        Do

Do

Mehrbanpura

1957-58

10

Wheat

P.V.18

Larma Rojo

114.70

85.98

3.        Do

Rayya

Bhalipura

1960-61

20

Wheat

Paddy

Kalyan 227

P.V.18

225.44

79.05

4.        Ajnala

Ajnala

Dial Bahrang

1957-58

20

Wheat

Kalyan 227

P.V.18

Larma Rojo

C.306

57.04

96.65

69.64

13.37

5.        Do

Do

Ajnal

1957-58

10

Wheat

 

 

Paddy

Maize

P.V. 18

Larma Rojo

C.306

Paddy

----

90.00

22.00

17.00

20.99

9.00

6.        Tarn Taran

Tarn Taran

Khabe Dogran

1957-58

8.5

Wheat

 

 

Paddy

Maize

Kalyan 227

P.V. 18

C.306

Paddy

----

41.76

94.29

11.67

50.90

3.91

7.        Tarn Taran

Chohla

Fetehabad

1957-58

10

Wheat

 

 

Maize

Kalyan 227

P.V. 18

C.306

----

41.76

94.29

11.67

171.70

8.        Do

Naushehra Pannuan

Usman

1960-61

20

Wheat

 

 

Paddy

Kalyan 227

P.V. 18

Larma Rojo

----

167.00

78.00

53.63

136.65

9.        Patti

Patti

Bahmniwala

1957-58

10

(Under dispute)

 

 

10.     Do

Do

Kulah

1957-58

20

Wheat

 

 

Paddy

Maize

Kalyan 227

P.V. 18

Larma Rojo

----

----

106.00

163.00

53.63

18.06

90.20

 

(Source: District Agricultural Officer, Amritsar)


            The requirements of improved seeds are met by raising the foundation seeds at the Government and Block Model Farms, and by their systematic multiplication through registered growers. In 1967-68, there were 7 registered growers in the district. The distribution of seeds is made through the District Wholesale Co-operative Marketing and Supply Society which has its sub-depots at all important places in the district.

 

            The distribution of the different varieties of improved seeds has gradually increased. Their distribution in the district by the Agriculture Department, during 1967-68, is given below:

 

Crop

1967-68 (Quintals)

Wheat

13973

Paddy

949

Hybrid Maize

199

Gram

51

Jantar

135

Cotton

1423

 

(Source: District Agricultural Officer, Amritsar)

 

Crop rotation:-  Each crop removes form the soil certain particular nutrients more than the other nutrients. If the same crop is repeated year after year on the same land, the soil will become deficient in those particular nutrients. The soil recuperates its fertility if some other crop sown withdraws different plant nutrients.

Rotation, which includes restorative leguminous crops, helps to improve the soil fertility. The farmers, therefore, generally try to follow suitable rotations according to the prevailing conditions. The rotations generally followed are given below:

 

1.                 Paddy – berseem

2.                 Cotton – senji – sugarcane

3.                 Maize – senji – sugarcane

4.                 Wheat – maize – wheat – dhaincha (green-manured)

5.                 Dhaincha (green-manured) – paddy – wheat

6.                 Dhaincha (green-manured) – potato – potato

7.                 Wheat – cotton –senji – sugarcane

8.                 Maize (fodder) – maize (fodder) – potato – potato

9.                 Wheat – fallow – wheat (barani)

 

Fallow Cultivation:-  The land, from which one crop has been harvested and is left to rest until the next crop is sown, is called the fallow land. Fallow lands are of two kinds. Lands which, after abandonment, remain uncultivated over a long period are called ‘old fallows’, whereas those kept uncultivated during the current year are called ‘current fallows’. Fallow cultivation, therefore, means the cultivation of land which has thus rested. In the absence of organic manures and fertilizers, fallow cultivation is very important for replenishing the soil fertility reduced by the previous crop.

 

With the extension of irrigation facilities and owing to the pressure on the land, not much area is left fallow. The extent of current fallows, however, depends on rains. If rains are timely, the maximum area is sown and only a little area is left fallow.

 

Fertilizers and Manures:-  The fertility of a soil is the basic pre-requisite of good harvests. It can be maintained and improved through the adoption of such agricultural practices as not only tend to minimize the loss of nutrients but also add them to the soil. Therefore, next to irrigation, fertilizers and manures are the most important inputs for increasing crop yields. These inputs improve the texture and fertility of the soil and thereby increase crop yields.

 

Chemical Fertilizers

 

The soils of the district are poor in nitrogen which is the greatest limitary factor in crop production. Certain soils are also deficient in phosphorus. Owing to the inadequate supply of organic manures, the addition of chemical fertilizers is indispensable to the increasing of crop yields. The fertilizers, however, should be used in combination with organic manures.

 

The adequate and timely use of fertilizers is, thus, by far the most important factor for bringing about a quick increase in agricultural production especially under irrigated conditions. As a result of various educational, promotional and organizational measures, such as the large-scale demonstrations, training camps, phased indenting, increase in the number of distribution centers, adequate credit and effective co-ordination among various departments, viz. Agriculture, Co-operative and Development, and, above all, individual personal contacts through various types of crop or farm plans, the consumption of fertilizers, both nitrogenous and phosphatic, has steadily increased. This is borne out by the following data regarding the distribution of fertilizers:

 

 

Year

Chemical fertilizers distributed (tonnes)

1955-56

1129

1960-61

1310

1965-66

20067

1967-68

50149

 

(Source: District Agricultural Officer, Amritsar)

 

            As fertilizers are getting popular among the cultivators, the demand for these in increasing rapidly. It has, however, not been possible to meet the demand in full owing to their limited production in the country and because of the limited imports on account of foreign-exchange difficulties. The availability of credit is a vital factor in pushing up the consumption of fertilizers, as the farmers have generally meager resources at the time of sowing their crops and are unable to purchase fertilizers in cash payment. Fertilizers are, therefore, issued as taccavi through authorized officials. Being a controlled commodity, the supplies of fertilizers are arranged through the Government. The District Wholesale Co-operative Marketing and Supply Society, Amritsar, distributes these to depot-holders in cash payment as well as on credit.

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