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How organic ginger cultivation gives livelihood security

ICAR- Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), East Sikkim brought technological support to the farmers in Sikkim which resulted into big transformation in increasing the income of farmers...

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Nim Tshering Lepcha, President of Lower Nandok of Nandok-Naitam Gram Panchayat Unit (GPU), East Sikkim district, is an innovative farmer engaging himself in different farm activities like off-season vegetable cultivation in low-cost houses, large cardamom cultivation, fishery, backyard poultry, dairy among few other farming activities to earn additional income. These ventures however, were not very much profitable with the amount of labour involvement. There was a lot of interest among the farmers of the village to start the organic ginger cultivation in the region but the technological inputs and knowledge of cultivation was lacking. Lepcha was in a dilemma in growing this crop for economic viability and in fact, he was having the problem in procurement of quality planting materials for further multiplication, proper processing and organised marketing.

KVK Intervention

In 2013-14, the scientists of ICAR- Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), East Sikkim visited the village and the organic production of ginger technology was imparted through skill based trainings and demonstrations at farmers’ field. At first, he was provided with 200 kilograms of good quality ginger rhizomes (cv. Bhaisey) as seed material during the year 2013-14. Lepcha successfully adopted the improved ginger cultivation technology under organic condition.

Impact

The achievements of technological interventions of ginger cultivation with regard to the results from 2013-14 to 2017-18 is presented below:

Year

Area under cultivation (ha)

Yield/ha (q/ha)

Gross expenditure (q/ha)

Gross Return (q/ha)

Net Return (q/ha)

B:C Ratio

2013-14

0.10

129. 5

1,28,250.00

3,88,500.00

2,60,250.00

3.0

2014-15

0.25

132.2

1,25,100.00

3,96,600.00

2,71,500.00

3.2

2015-16

0.45

135.0

1,24,650.00

4,05,000.00

2,80,350.00

3.2

2016-17

0.50

140. 8

1,22,420.00

4,22,400.00

2,99,980.00

3.4

2017-18

1.00

144.2

1,20,155.00

4,32,600.00

3,12,445.00

3.6

Average

 

137.13

1,24,115.00

4,09,020.00

2,84,905.00

3.28

After nine months of sowing, the crop got ready for harvest with an average yield of 137.13 quintal /hectare and average net return of Rs. 2,84,905/hectare per year resulting benefit-cost (B-C) ratio of the crop to the tune of 3.28.

Within limited years, most of the farmers of Nandok village now are engaged in growing ginger which has become an important economic activity in the area. The other fellow farmers in the village are motivated by the quality planting material based production technology of ginger under organic condition for its high return.

Among the growers, Phurba Lepcha of Upper Nandok is best known in the field of ginger production. He has wide practical knowledge and better experience in the field of ginger cultivation. It has also been reported that he has been able to produce 6,500 kg of ginger crop out of 200 kg rhizome seed for two consecutive years. The ginger seeds produced by Phurba Lepcha have a high demand in the local area for seed production. Thus, it became a necessary story in ginger cultivation, which encouraged other farmers of the region to opt for cultivation as high value cash crop ginger.

The technology demonstrated in an area of 0.10 hectare in the field of Nim Tshering Lepcha at Lower Nandok during 2013-14. Presently, more than 8 hectare land is under ginger cultivation in Nandok village of East District. The productive potential of the technology was tapped by majority of the maize growers and they have started ginger cultivation purely as sole crop, a suitable alternative to mandarin inter-cropping system. This case study of ginger production technology has led to the adoption of this technology amongst many farmers, farm women and rural youth of Nandok and has also spread to nearby villages Thanzing, Upper Khamdong, Yangthang, Thanka and Lingtam villages of East Sikkim covering an area of 50 hectare for sole crop of ginger.

The fresh ginger rhizomes are being sold to the traders and retailers and to the local merchants. Marketing agencies are managed by the private and government traders with the few co-operative societies that handle this product.

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