SUCCESS STORY ON PROMOTION OF ANIMAL POWER FOR HILL AGRICULTURE.

ATMA-Kohima introduces first of kind training programme for training of local animals in the Village to promote animal power for enhancing production in hill agriculture , hill terraces in slopes and small terraces system of paddy cultivation in the District is very prominent. The method of tillage is 90 % by man power and 10% is by agril. Machineries which also accounts to only few villages in the District where machineries are used.

The land preparation by man power is the way of life and use or introduction of modern agricultural machineries like Tractors, power tillers, harvesters, seed-driller, transplanters, etc not easily possible to farmers is due to the fact that ; the terrain and terraces of hill agriculture is not friendly to machineries, the machineries are so costly for every farmers, the farming system is such that machineries can not move from one field to another field.

Whereas, every village and every farmers are having terraces and cultivation land from where 80 % of food-grain production is taking place. Keeping in view such scenario and non-availability of any such programme with any of the agri & allied departments to convert local animals like cattles/ buffaloes generating animal power for enhancing hill agriculture for the benefit of farmers directly, the ATMA Kohima has taken this initiative as an innovative training programme to train local animals by farmers themselves to generate animal power for agriculture during 2009.

Survey was therefore conducted in Chedema Village for assessment of local animals like cattle’s/buffaloes.

The status of animal power and agril. Machinery power in use in the village are as below:

Sl. No. Population of cattle / Buffalo (2009) No. of animal used as Draught No. of animal fit for new training for agril. use. Remarks
1 850 8 pairs
(16 Nos)
220 As per assessment by VCC/Staff

Status of animal power, machinery power and man power used in the village in percentage.

Sl. No. Type of Power Nos. %
1. Animal Power 8 pairs (16 Nos) 5%
2. Power tillers 4 10%
3. Man power 407 House hold
355 farming h/h
85%
4. Tractors Nil  
5. Others Nil  

The main objective of the ATMA intervention: Existing 8 pairs and additional 110 pairs(220 nos) in total to have 118 pairs and having 355 farming house holds in the village. Each house hold can have 2 pairs or more. The total area that can be plough/till/prepare by each pair of animal is 1 acre per day (5hrs) and the total area to cover per day could be 118 acres or 47.2 ha per day. This will reduce the hard labour of manpower-saving man days for other operations and also will certainly enhance agricultural production in the village.

Keeping the scope in view the Guidelines for selection of Village and criteria for selection of Animal trainer in the village was prepared.

Guide lines for selection of Village.

1. The Village should have existing productive land both Jhum & TRC where animal power is in use.

2. The Village should have both trained and untrained animals like cattles/buffaloes

3. Year wise selection of village will be based on demand driven extension priority.

4. Minimum of 5 pairs of animal(10 cattles/buffaloes) in a year/season.

                    5. The Village authority will act as monitoring agency in the Village level

Criteria for selection of Animal trainer in the Village.

1. selection of animal trainer will be done by village council

2. no qualification is required to be a trainer, however, past experience is to be counted.

3. age of the trainer should be above 20 yrs only.

4. preference should be given to rural youth/school dropouts/educated unemployed involved in farming in the village.

5. Maxixum of 5 Trainers and a minimum of 2 Trainers in a Village.

Launching of the animal training programme was organized at Dzu valley, Chedema Village on 5th May 2009 with the PD(ATMA) Kohima and AMC member Dr.TK Rengma, Shri,Keviseno ziphru Supdt.sericulture, and BTT members. Altogether 6 pairs (12nos ) of animal were undergoing training with 5 trainers.

It was a very successful programme and the news of such innovative programme was disseminated to other villages. The demand for such training started coming from neighbouring villages like Dihoma, Kejumetoma, Mima, etc. this being a seasonal training programme the demand of farmers through their Village authority is to be taken care in due course.

This innovative training programme has motivated the villagers and farmers to make use of their own animals for agriculture. It is a success story to tell.