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Abstract

It is important to develop valid field tools that can identify homogeneous farming situations that facilitates offering of appropriate agricultural technology to farmers. The present study was conducted to test the validity of such a novel participatory field tool that can identify micro farming situation with special reference to rainfed rice cultivation in selected village of North 24 Parganas District of West Bengal, India. A Micro farming situation was conceptualised as a sub-system of a relatively large farming situation, which is relatively homogeneous in nature. Farmers of the village themselves classified their agricultural fields into distinct micro-farming situations through participatory mapping exercise. All the 70 farmers growing rainfed rice in that uninterrupted field were then interviewed for recording their rainfed rice cultivation practices. Most of the rainfed rice cultivation practices like variety selection, time of sowing, transplanting and harvesting, seed rate, seedling age, spacing, plant protection practices, fertilizer management and yield differed significantly among these identified micro-farming situations. This indicated the effectiveness of farmers’ classification. However, more empirical evidence is needed – especially for different field crops – to establish the validity of this tool. The tool can help to offer appropriate technologies to the farmers for a technically precise and environmentally sound agriculture.

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