IDENTIFICATION OF FARMING SYSTEMS AND CONSTRAINTS FACED BY THE FARMERS: A STUDY OF JORHAT DISTRICT OF ASSAM

Dr. Lokesh Boro
Assistant professor, Department of Economics
Devi Charan Baruah Girls’ College, Jorhat, Assam, India


Abstract

The research study was conducted in Jorhat district of Assam using a multistage random sampling technique. A sample of 120 farm households of four size groups viz. marginal, small, medium and large were selected to identify the existing farming systems and constraints faced by the farmers. The primary data were collected from the selected respondents by personal interview with the help of a set of pre-tested schedule and questionnaire pertaining to the year of 2015-16. The study revealed that FS 02 farming system was highly preferred by marginal and small farmers, whereas medium and large farmers mainly preferred FS 03 farming system. It was also found that the four major constraints faced by the sample farmers were lack of proper marketing facilities, lack of institutional credit facilities, lack of cold storage facilities and lack of irrigation facilities in the study area.

Key words: Farm households, Diversification, Components, Enterprises

1.   Introduction
Farming system is more or less stable arrangements of farming activities managed by a farm household. Farming systems ecologically and socio-economically not only involve crop production but are also dependent upon their integration with other enterprises like animal husbandry, horticulture, vegetable production, piggeries, fisheries, apiculture, goatery, poultry, sericulture, and agro-forestry. The concept of farming system takes into accounts the components like soil, water, crops, live stock, labour and other resources available with farm families (Boro, 2015).

The best strategy for economic viability is flexibility within agriculture system for production of milk and its products, food, fodder, fuel, eggs and fish etc. The enterprise flexibility can be achieved through reduced input cost and increased diversification of activities providing more and more employments. A farming system approach is a farming pattern or combination of farming activities practiced on farm. It is a production system that provides an opportunity for farmer to exploit the full productive potential of their farm through the optimal use of ecological and economic resources over a long time frame. The concept of farming system is composed of complex of soil, water, plant, animal, implements, power, human labour, capital and other inputs controlled in parts by farming families and is influenced to varying degrees by capital, economic, institutional and social forces that operate at many levels (Singh, 1999). In other words, combination of one or more enterprises with cropping when carefully chosen, planned and executed (selection of proper mix and judicious allocation of resources) provides greater dividends than single enterprise especially in case of small and marginal farms with large surplus farm labour and human force (Jayanthi et al., 1994).

It needs to be mentioned here that the large numbers of marginal and small farmers in rural areas are generally poor, and the viability and sustainability of the weaker section of the society especially the small and marginal farmers largely depend on the success of agriculture. Unfortunately, because of small operational base with some other inherent constrains, it is not possible to increase the income of these households merely by raising the yield of the existing crops on their holdings. Hence tremendous efforts are necessary to enhance the bases of rural economic activities of these farmers besides crop production activity. Here the rural economic activities mean the activities like fisheries, aquaculture, horticulture, livestock and animal husbandry etc., whose production are very much remunerative. These types of avenues have begun to be regarded as a source of new employment, especially for marginal and small farmers and agricultural labourers by offering subsidiary occupation to supplement their family income. Therefore through this study, an attempt is made to identify the nature of existing farming systems and the constraints faced by the farmers of the Jorhat district.

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