Sarpang: In the process of Spring Hybrid Maize Production happen to come across School Agriculture plot left fallow at Sarpang Higher Secondary School (SHSS) due to lack of plough and shortage of water for crop production. The particular land was found most appropriate for crop production under rain fed condition by using farm mechanization available on hire for the farming communities with the support from Regional Agriculture Machinery Centre (RAMC), Samteling (Bhur) under the Department of Agriculture (DoA).
Owing to most potential to cultivate spring hybrid maize within the available land by the students enrolled under School Agriculture Programme (SAP). The Dzongkhag Agriculture Sector (DAS) and SHSS came into consensus to cultivate spring hybrid maize and proposed machinery support to the management of RAMC. The RAMC kindly granted the machinery support with free of cost mainly to expose the advantages of using the farm machinery especially for large scale crop production to the teachers and students under SAP.
The hybrid maize seed P3377 and P3441 was supported by DAS, Sarpang in collaboration with Maize Commodity Programme led by the Research and Development Centre, Wengkhar with the financial support from DoA.
The hybrid maize cultivation included technical backstopping with all available modern practices by using farm tractor, fertilizer (Urea), weedicide (Metabuzin), improved agronomic practices and other process starting from land clearing until harvest. The teachers and students under SAP were involved in whole production cycle and were made to maintain the farm records.
With seed supply of 4kgs P3377 and 4kgs P3441 hybrid seed which covered 0.7 acres of land recorded production of 3000 cobs consumed freshly boiled by students and sold 585 kgs of dry grain which generated Nu.7520. Within three months of time, maize attained the eatable boiled green corn and got matured and dry within four month. The size and the quality of product were excellent and was found tasty when taken boiled or roasted. The left over land was used for tapioca plantation and it is yet to be harvested.
Difficulties faced by students were limited time for practical sessions as other curricular activities were also equally important and to be fulfilled. Lack of proper equipments for farming made the work challenging. Some of the plants were cut by cut worms and some corns were infested with worms. Some corns were lost to the thefts due to no one to guard as some of the corns were found missing. Luckily the field is centrally located and well fenced so that monkey and wild boar couldn’t penetrate.
The plantation of maize has broaden the knowledge and skills of the students and teachers and seen as great success of SAP. Students got to see and practice all the stages starting from land preparations, management to harvest and marketing. It also helped supplement the nutrition served boiled corn. At the same time school has generated some fund to sustain SAP.
The members of SAP and DAS acknowledge all the supporters especially the management of RAMC, SHSS and Dzongkhag Administration, Sarpang for enabling successful implementation of maize production under SAP.
Reported by Domang, Dzongkhag Agriculture Officer and SAP, SHSS
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