Zero Tillage Pea Enhanced Income of Farmers in Meghalaya

Harvesting of Pea under Zero Tillage CultivationThe Nongthymmai village in Ribhoi district of Meghalaya under the subtropical hill agro-climatic zone is a climatically vulnerable area mostly affected by acute scarcity of water during rabi season. The main occupation of the population rests on agriculture and allied activities. Majority of the farmers grow rice, maize, soybean, tomato, brinjal, ginger and turmeric etc. but with a low cropping intensity of about 110-120%. Generally, mono-cropping system of rice cultivation is practised. Instead of taking up second crop after kharif rice, farmers leave rice field fallow during rabi season mainly owing to lack of irrigation facilities. Therefore, in order to enhance the cropping intensity, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Meghalaya introduced the zero tillage technology in Nongthymmai village under NICRA (Technology Demonstration Component) Project.

Initially some capacity building programmes were organised on zero tillage technologyin which skill based knowledge on the technology was imparted to the farmers. The technology was first adopted by the progressive farmer Mr. Stephan Shadap during 2011-12. Along with him four other farmers also took up the zero tillage method of cultivation on garden pea covering around 1.5 ha. ICAR provided the critical inputs like seeds, fertilizer, FYM etc. for successful demonstration on the technology. Thereafter, regular monitoring of the demonstration programme was made by scientists and project staff through frequent village visits and timely advisory services.

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