Mirzapur district is situated in South Eastern part of the state, it lies between 25.15 North to 82.58 East longitude. The district is surrounded by district Chanduali & Varanasi in the East, Sant Ravidasnagar in North and Allahabad in the West bifurcated Sonebhadra district in South East, South cardon bordered by Reewa district of Madhya Pradesh. It has an area of 4521 km2 and has a population of more than 20 lacs. The district is divided into 4 sub-divisions, 12 blocks and 973 gram sabhas containing 1698 villages. Agro-climatically it comes under ACZ-9 (Vindhyan Zone) and Agro-ecologically under two major situations: Indo-Gangetic plain (30-40% area), Vindhyan region (rest area).
The gangetic plain has rich alluvial soil with good fertility and well irrigated. Most of this area follows rice-wheat cropping sequence, but other major crops are also grown. The Vindhyan region has meagre water resources and the land is mostly degraded. It has only 40% cultivable land with no assured irrigation facility. Hence, the farmers have to remain contended with specific dry land / rain fed crops, fruits & vegetables.
Mirzapur is one of the seven most drought prone and among the 17 back ward districts of U.P. Out of the total area of 1312 thousand hectares, about 40% of the area is under forest and 30% is under cultivable land. More than 80% area of the district lies with Vindhyan ranges (WHC of Soil 110-130mm) and only about 20% area of district lies under alluvial tract (WHC of soil 150-200mm). The soil and topographical conditions are diversified and physical aspect of the district presents a variety of landscapes and agricultural problems un-common is alluvial soils of Varanasi.
The climate is semi-arid with an annual rainfall of 1100 mm. Out of this 85-90% is received during monsoon (4th week of June to end of September) and the rest has unreliable post rain and winter showers. The major portion of the area being rocky and undulating, the underground water resources are uncertain, unpredictable and untapped to exploit potential agricultural production. About 55% land in gangetic plains of the district, 35-50% the central plateau and about 6-8 % of the cultivable land in southern region is irrigated averaging 32% for the whole district.
Preservations, maintenance and utilization of natural resources and entire ecology of the region (Vindhyan) possess greater challenge owing to rolling topography, range lands in the region and climatic variations. Industrialization and agriculture (non-scientific) have occurred at a very fast rate in view to meet the biomass requirements of food-fibre-fuel etc. This has caused rapid deforestation and degradation of natural ecosystem, low soil productivity and erratic rainfall, excavated land degradation. Specific problems are as under :
Sizeable area depends on natural precipitation for biomass production. The average rainfall is 1100 mm, which is erratic, unpredictable and mostly concentrated to three months of rainy season, the probability of receiving winter rains is quite uncertain while, between March to Mid-June is completely dry with occasional conventional rains. This leads to moisture stress for maximum duration of the year.
The physical features of the district are diversified, it represents three major soil textural categories with varying soil status leading to variable constraints for their management. Major problems are confined to plateau and hilly tracts. The soils in the district are eroded with poor nutrients status, scares vegetation and extended rivelets, naullas and water impounding reservoirs. The major constraints are extensive erosion, soil degradation, nutrient depletion, formation of gullies and sub mergence of cultivable area.
Industrialization and expansion of agriculture has occurred at very fast rate. This has caused rapid deforestation and degradation of natural ecosystem. Depletion of forest cover and expansion of marginal/sub-marginal lands are also due to unscientific expansion of agricultural activities and dependence of socio-economically backward inhabitants on biomass for their livelihood security.
The existing biodiversities in the region is depleting very fast due to harvesting of biomass for food, fuel, fodder etc. and uncontrolled grazing. The cumulative effect of all these i.e. grazing, lopping, felling, unscientific agriculture is responsible for the turnover of patches leading to specific problems as below :
Crop production has always been battle against the vagaries of rainfall. As a result ,sizeable area of the district depends on natural precipitation for crop production and inadequate resource management coupled with primitive agriculture, production has been low and unstable over years. This has widen the gap between farmers belonging to rain fed and irrigated areas. Due to their poor socio-economic conditions, financial, managerial, socio-economic and technological aspects are major constraints leading to poor crop productivity.
As Plantation of fruit plants is a long term project and the returns could be realized only after 4-5 years, the farmers are reluctant to go for plantation of fruit plants. The poor socio-economic condition is also a major limiting factor. This leads to poor management of orchards, low investment and also lack of risk bearing capacity of the farmer. The farmers are not in a position to afford sufficient amount for purchasing high yielding variety seeds, planting material and related inputs of fruit plants, vegetable etc. More over unavailability of quality seeds and planting materials of suitable varieties for the rain fed / dry land condition is also a major constraint.
The district appears to be quite rich in animal numbers, cows and buffaloes number is quite good but the quality is extremely poor. The majority of animals are kept mainly on grazing in forest areas open lands, which results into destruction of forest and augmentation of soil erosion. Maximum animals of the district are non-descriptive, indigenous and less productive. This is mainly due to drought condition, lack of awareness regarding proper management and unavailability of better breeds. The average milk yield of a cow in this district is about 110 liters per lactation, where as in case of buffalo it is 430 liters.
Goats and sheeps are more or less average in size and weight. Further due to lack of knowledge about vaccination, proper feeding, health management, deworming is resulting in a number of diseases every year. There is a very good scope of goat rearing, sheep rearing, piggery, backyard poultry in the district.
Keeping in view the above constraints and mandate of KVK i.e. “Technology aspects refinement and demonstration of technology products”, the following activities of KVK are organized:
The main idea behind the KVK is to influence productivity to achieve social justice for the most needy and deserving weaker sections of the society like the tribal, small and marginal farmers, landless agricultural labourers, farm women, rural youths and drought affected farmers etc. Keeping these in view, the following thrust areas were identified.