Macro-Benefits from Micronutrients for Grey to Green Revolution in Agriculture

Dar, W D (2004) Macro-Benefits from Micronutrients for Grey to Green Revolution in Agriculture. In: IFA International Symposium on Micronutrients, , 23-25 February 2004, New Delhi, India.

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The Semi-Arid Tropics (SAT), spread over 11.6 million sq km worldwide, is home to millions of poor people. Its soils are low in fertility and degraded to varying extents, with a climate characterized by undependable rainfall, high average temperatures and water stress situations for crop growth. The SAT is densely populated and a large number of its poor live off subsistence agriculture. The Green Revolution in Asia bypassed these large tracts of rainfed systems. ICRISAT is committed to improve livelihoods of millions of poor living in the SAT by undertaking agricultural research for impact in a partnership mode. Our new watershed model emphasizes the management of water as an entry point for improving livelihoods through convergence of natural resource-based activities. Our on-farm community watershed research in Asia revealed that the SAT’s subsistence agricultural systems have depleted soils not only for macronutrients, but also for micronutrients such as Zn, B, and secondary nutrients like S beyond the critical limits. Wide spread (80-100%) deficiencies of micro and secondary nutrients were observed in farmers’ fields in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan states of India. Substantial increase in yields by 20 to 80 percent due to micronutrient amendments, and a further increase at 70 to 120 percent micronutrient and adequate N and P amendments in a number of crops (maize, sorghum, greengram, pigeonpea, castor, chickpea, soybean and wheat) in the farmers fields were observed. Increased use efficiency of the inputs such as N and P fertilizers, as well as rainwater, resulted in increased profits and increasing productivity besides minimizing land degradation in the tropics. We are integrating these natural resource management (NRM) interventions with improved genotypes to harness the full benefits in the watershed. The integrated genetic and natural resource management (IGNRM) approach adopted in watersheds will thus make the Grey to Green revolution a reality.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: Others > Agriculture-Farming, Production, Technology, Economics
Depositing User: Mr Sanat Kumar Behera
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2013 07:48
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2013 07:48
Acknowledgement: We sincerely acknowledge the help of our consortium partners such as the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University (ANGRAU), National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA), District Water Management Agency (DWMA) in Andhra Pradesh; Bhartiya Agro Industries Foundation (BAIF) in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, for this partnership. Our special thanks are to the large number of farmers who evaluated these trials and recorded the benefits. We also thank Mr G Pardhasaradhi for his help in analysis and in conducting the trials. The financial support provided by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), APRLP-DFID, and Sir Dorabji Tata Trust is gratefully acknowledged.
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