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Cluster Frontline Demonstrations (CFLD) of Pulses for Nutrition Security in Manipur

Dr Lydia Zimik *



India is the world's leading producer, consumer, and importer of pulses. Pulses occupy a major portion of the land planted to food grains and contribute significantly to the country's total food grain production.

Numerous initiatives have been pioneered in the shape of several flagship programmes to bridge the gap between production and consumption and make the country self-sufficient, in light of the urgent need to boost pulse production to satisfy the ever-increasing demand of a burgeoning population.

Currently, pulse development programmes are carried out under the NFSM-Pulses Centrally Sponsored Schemes. The primary restrictions that have created a considerable difficulty in achieving the targeted goal are being recognised, and necessary steps are being taken to boost productivity and avoid crop loss. Indian agriculture, on the other hand, is completely reliant on the monsoon for adequate crop yields.

Pulses are a valuable commodity group of food crops that can help to address National food and nutritional security while also addressing environmental concerns. Pulses are an important and economical source of plant-based proteins, vitamins, and minerals, accounting for 9-10% of the total food grain basket.

Pulses are usually grown in rain-fed environments and do not require a lot of irrigation, which is why they are planted in regions that are left over after cereal/cash crop demand has been met. Pulses are also helps to increase soil fertility and structure.

India has the ability to produce a lot more pulses. Despite the fact that our population and demand for pulses has continually expanded, output has remained relatively constant. There are numerous restrictions in the production process that lead to a decrease in output.

According to the vision 2030 of ICAR- Indian Institute of Pulse Research, Kanpur growth rate of 4.2% has to be ensured to meet the projected demand of 32 MT of pulse by 2030. In order to stabilise prices in the long run, it is necessary to enhance domestic production by removing the risks that farmers face when cultivating pulses.

The newer technology have permeated numerous regions of the North Eastern region and are largely welcomed by the farming community, resulting in a multi fold rise in pulse production.

Integrated Nutrient Management (INM), Integrated Pest Management (IPM), use of high yielding varieties, and pest control are some of the new age techniques that have been integrated into various farming practises to help increase the production and improve the quality of various pulses such as black gram, green gram, lentil, and field pea.

The need for more science-based technologies that increase production while lowering costs has been recognised, and efforts are already underway to lay the groundwork for cutting-edge research bolstered by appropriate and timely dissemination of scientific knowledge and technical know-how to the farming community. Agriculture has always been the backbone of India's economy. The cluster frontline demonstration programme is a critical step in popularising pulse farming.

Central and State Agricultural Universities, ICAR Institutes, and KVKs are taking the lead in demonstrating the most up-to-date technical knowledge to farmers. Cluster front line demonstrations (CFLDs) are an innovative way to provide a direct link between researchers and farmers for technology transfer and direct feedback from the farming community.

To meet the rising demand for food grains, the National Development Council (NDC) adopted a resolution at its 53rd meeting to increase rice, wheat, and pulses production by 10, 8, and 2 million tonnes, respectively, by 2011 with an outlay of Rs. 4,882 crore under the Eleventh Five Year Plan's National Policy for Farmers.

The proposed Centrally Sponsored Scheme 'National Food Security Mission (NFSM)' aims to put the NDC decision into action and boost rice, wheat, and pulses production.

KVKs organised farming and extension activities for farmers and extension workers to demonstrate the production potential of newly released technologies on the farmer's fields at a different location in a given farming system, and they conducted Cluster frontline demonstrations (CFLDs) to demonstrate the production potential of newly released technologies on the farmer's fields at a different location in a given farming system.

This programme has been successfully implemented in KVKs, where progressive farmers are being trained, fields are being checked on a regular basis, and feedback on the latest crop management methods is being collected. CFLDs offer researchers and extension professionals a unique chance to better understand farmer resources and the need to fine-tune and/or alter technologies for simple adoption in farmer's fields.

The CFLD is a critical approach for delivering the most up-to-date bundle of practices to farmers in its entirety. Furthermore, these demonstrations are meticulously planned, with provisions for rapid distribution of shown technology to the farming community through the staging of various extension events such as field days and farmer conventions.

During the demonstration, the scientists look at the factors that contribute to increased crop yields, field limits, production statistics, and feedback information. The Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in Manipur have been working hard to develop scientific methods to overcome some of the common problems associated with pulse cultivation and to assuage the concerns of the farmers involved by providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills to deal with a variety of challenges.

Since 2015-16, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra Imphal West, Manipur has been successfully implementing this programme under support from the ATARI Zone VII, Umiam Meghalaya by conducting cluster frontline demonstrations on farmers' fields in a systematic manner under the close supervision the scientist to demonstrate the value of new/proven varieties with technological packages for enhancing pulse crop production and productivity.

The specific goals of evaluating the performance of CFLD on pulses in terms of grain yield, extension gap, technological gap, and economic gains by farmers, so that the findings of the study will be useful to concerned policymakers and other stakeholders in focusing on the way forward for pulses improvement.


* Dr Lydia Zimik wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is an SMS (Agronomy), ICAR-KVK Imphal West, ICAR Research Complex for NEH Region, Manipur Centre
This article was webcasted on June 10 2022.



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