Soil mapping and variety-based entry-point interventions for strengthening agriculture-based livelihoods – exemplar case of ‘Bhoochetana’ in India

Chander, G and Wani, S P and Krishnappa, K and Sahrawat, K L and Pardhasaradhi, G and Jangawad, L S (2016) Soil mapping and variety-based entry-point interventions for strengthening agriculture-based livelihoods – exemplar case of ‘Bhoochetana’ in India. Current Science, 110 (09). pp. 1683-1691. ISSN 0011-3891

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Soil health diagnosis in nearly 100,000 farmers’ fields under ‘Bhoochetana’ initiative in Karnataka showed widespread soil degradation. Soil mapping-based fertilizer management was an effective entry-point intervention to take most farmers on-board to initiate the process of upgrading agriculture. Soils of the farmers’ fields showed low levels of micro- and secondary nutrients such as zinc (Zn) (55%), boron (B) (62%) and sulphur (S) (52%) in addition to that of phosphorus (P) (41%), potassium (K) (23%) and soil organic carbon (C) (52%). Soil mapping-based fertilizer management recorded significant productivity benefits that varied from 25% to 47% in cereals, 28% to 37% in pulses and 22% to 48% in oilseed crops. In terms of economics, a rupee spent on soil test-based fertility management brought returns of Rs 3 to Rs 15. Similarly, the participatory trials showed that the use of high yielding varieties of sorghum, pearl millet, finger millet, groundnut, soybean, castor, pigeonpea and chickpea enhanced productivity by 30% to 123%. The tangible benefits through soil mapping and variety based interventions have enhanced the risk-taking ability of farmers to invest in technologies based on use of soil testing and use of improved cultivars of crops. The adoption of simple knowledge-based technologies as entry point interventions along with policy reorientation to ensure knowledge sharing and availability of needed inputs at village level, enabled in a period of four years (2009–2013) to outreach more than 5 million families in Karnataka to transfer improved technologies in more than 7 million ha area. The study indicates that knowledge-based entry point interventions like soil mapping and improved varieties targeted at providing simple solutions are the best options for quick benefits and rapportbuilding with the majority farmers to initiate a collective action for technological upgradation of dry land agriculture.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Asia
CRP: CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bhoochetana, impact, knowledge-based entry point, participatory research, productivity, soil mapping
Subjects: Others > Agriculture
Others > Bhoochetana
Others > Karnataka
Others > Soil Science
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 09 May 2016 08:57
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 09:22
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The support from the Government of Karnataka for undertaking the present study is duly acknowledged. We acknowledge help received from the Department of Agriculture, Karnataka and ICRISAT staff, NGOs and participating farmers in collecting data.This article is part of a special edition on Soil and Water Management (Volume 110, Issue - 09, May 10, 2016)
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