Hyderabad: The ‘Polam Badi’ (field school) programme, aimed at training the farmers on practices of Integrated crop management, has shown positive result in reducing the cost of cultivation and pesticide consumption in the state agriculture sector.
The main objective of ‘Polam Badi’ was to increase the net returns to the farmers and to empower them to take up economical decisions.
According to the Agriculture department officials, the impact of Polam Badi is evident from reduced consumption of pesticides and reduced cost of cultivation with increased production. The impact of the programme is encouraging in which several benefits were accomplished, such as training 1.4 lakh farmers in Polam Badi during 2010-11. The cost of cultivation was reduced and the net benefit of Polam badi over farmer practices in field were increased during Kharif 2010. In this Kharif season, the decrease in cost of cultivation for paddy was Rs 1,610 per acre (11 percent) while the increase in net benefit was Rs 4,478 (46 percent hike). For Maize crop, the dip in cultivation cost was Rs 1,036 per acre (10 percent) while hike in net benefit was Rs 2,909 per acre (36 percent). There was decrease of Rs 1,490 per acre (10 percent) in cost of cultivation of cotton and Rs 5,293 per acre (49 percent) hike in net benefit.
Due to the implementation of Polam badi, consumption of pesticide has gradually come down from 4,000 Metric tons during 2000-01 to 1051 MTs during 2009-10 and 930 MTs during 2010-11. The Polam Badi programme with its deep roots would hopefully bring down the consumption of pesticides below 800 Mts within next five years.
It is also planned to organize 5,125 Polam badis during 2011-12 with an outlay of Rs 11.37 crores.(NSS)