Annapurna Model is an optimal model for small and marginal farmers which can ensure food, nutrition and economic security. It has the capability to remove hunger and increase annual income from Rs.50000 -1,00,000. Adoption of this method of cultivation can be done even in the land with minimum agricultural facilities.
In this model, the roots of the crops are mulched and hand operated drip irrigation is used. In a model of 50 dismile land, different vegetables, pulses, fruits, etc. are planted simultaneously on scientific lines, which ensures round the year production from the land. The land and farmers with his family stay engaged throughout the year. Scientific cropping also ensures enhanced soil’s productivity as well as crop’s productivity. The model is thus, a tool for betterment of farmer’s life.
Seedbed and trench preparation and their benefits
• A trench with dimensions 1.5 feet width and 6 inches depth is dug along the boundary.
• Seedbeds for plants shall be 7 feet wide and the trenches shall be 1.5 feet wide and 6 inches in depth so that most of the rainwater is absorbed by the soil.
• The soil excavated from the trench is spread over the seedbed itself.
• The seedbed shall be elevated up to 1 foot. To make this soil more productive, organic manure and tank silt shall be added to it.
• Seedbed shall be prepared in east-west direction.
• The plot is now ready with rich microbial cultures and nutrients. This is due to the fact that excess water flows into the drains from there into the pond.
Preparation of this Model
• Preparation of the bed and the trench shall be done before the rainy season.
• In first week of June whenit starts to rain, it allows for growing fruits and vegetables.
• Annually growing plants like mango, jackfruit, guava, or lemon can be planted. Small farmers can plant pomegranate, Sahjan, banana etc. Green and leafy vegetables, cereals, pulses, flowering plants, mehendi, corn, gram etc. can be planted on the margins.
• Fruit plants like mango, jackfruit shall be planted with 6 feet margin from the encirclement so that they grow within the area and tree management is possible.
• SRI method shall be applied not only for rice but also but wheat, madua, maize and other crops. Proper distancing shall be maintained between plants so that weeding can be done through machines. This would ensure lower labour costs.
• Large fruit trees like jackfruit, jamun, amla, etc. shall maintain minimum distance of 36 feet.
• Other fruit plants like guava, cheeku, lemon, pomegranate etc. shall be planted with minimum distance of 18 feet.
• Fruit tress which occupies lesser space like papaya, sehjan and banana shall be planted with minimum distance of 9 feet.
• The trees shall be pointed in one row, and vegetables, pulses shall be planted in open spaces. Crop cycle shall be followed which also helps in controlling pests.
• Trees shall be planted in in east-west direction so that all the plants get sunlight.
Farm Pond and Livelihood Options
• Farm pond is made in the lower levels of the field. The excess water is collected in this area. Otherwise issues like soil erosion, loss of nutrients and wastage of crops comes to the forefront.
• The accumulated water is used for irrigation of the field.
• When the water dries off, then with the accumulated soil and compost, fertilizer is made.
• One portion of the farm pond can be bordered with wires and covered for poultry rearing. The excreta of hen acts as nutrition for the fishes in the pond.
• Making bunds, digging trenches, levelling, and tilling and ploughing are done during summer season. In this model work is done in association with MGNREGA. The structures are made with a labour cost of Rs. 8-10,000.
• 160 families have established Annapurna Model for growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, cereals and pulses.