Asian Agri-History
Asian Agri-History

Asian Agri-History Foundation

No. 1, January-March 2007
Level of Agricural Technology in India (1757-1857) - Satpal Sangwan
The Indian Bullock-cart: Its Pre-historic and Vedic Ancestors - P K Gode

Abstract

Kalam is a traditional method of establishment of rice in which transplanting is done twice. In the past this method was widely followed in Uttar Pradesh , India for the cultivation of tall, long-duration scented rice cultivar Kalanamak. This method of establishment was compared with normal (biju) method using 39 germplasm lines of Kalanamak in farmers' fields. Kalam practice of cultivation was significantly superior over normal transplanting practice. There was decrease in plant height (10.6 cm) and increase in panicle length (4.1 cm) and yield (1.2 t ha -1 ) when kalam was used as compared to normal method. In an economic analysis of Kalanamak cultivation using kalam and normal practice involving 134 farmers, kalam method of cultivation was more profitable with average net return of Rs 22447 ha -1 whereas in normal method of transplanting average net return was Rs 18501 ha -1 . This method may be useful for the cultivation of tall, long-duration, weak stem traditional basmati cultivars.

Kalam Cultivation of Scented Rice Cultivar Kalanamak – U S Singh, Neelam Singh, and H N Singh

Abstract

The Junagadh Campus of Gujarat Agricultural University (GAU) is located in the heart of Saurashtra region in Gujarat , India . Since 1960, the university has been contributing to the development of agriculture in the region. Our experience of participatory meteorological assessment and prediction with farmers of Saurashtra, based on traditional beliefs and principles of the region, is presented in this paper. The process, initiated in 1990, has taken the form of an informal network of local experts and formal scientists which provides voluntary service to the people of Saurashtra by making predictions on the basis of collective assessment.

Testing of Tranditional Methods for weather Forecast in Gujarat – P R Kanani

Abstract

Indigenous knowledge refers to the unique, traditional, local knowledge existing within and developed around the specific conditions of women and men indigenous to a particular geographic area. This paper attempts to present a rich variety of indigenous maternal care practices followed by rural women at pre-natal stage. The areas surveyed included four villages of district Kangra, Himachal Pradesh in India . The information was collected using questionnaire technique. The findings revealed the use of various plant materials for maintaining the health of women during the vulnerable period. Since many rural women still have poor access to modern medical facilities, this indigenous knowledge, if popularized, would go a long way in protecting the health of these disadvantaged women.

Indigenous Pre-and Post-delivery Care Practices of Rural women – Neetu Sharma and Asha Batra
No. 2, April-June 2007

Abstract

This article is drawn from the recent book, ‘Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism’. Among other subjects, the book explains sustainability in realistic terms as a useful but unattainable goal from all current approaches, and corrects misconceptions of environmental teachings being an essence of religion. It may be read as an opinion piece as it is presented without the extensive references that appear in the book itself. Or it may be read as a critique of conducting science without maintaining broad wonderment of the intricate interactions of nature.

Our Unsustainable Science and Technology – L Falvey

Abstract

The importance and usefulness of biopesticides in today’s world becomes apparent when seen in the current context of increasing demand for organic and safer foods and foodstuffs. This paper reports a brief survey of the literature to document the Ayurvedic properties of plants with insecticidal and anti-microbial activity. Any Ayurvedic plant drug is described in terms of its five inherent properties or decisive features – rasa (taste), vipaka (transformed taste), guna (quality), veerya (potency), and prabhava (specific potency/efficacy). Plants with pungent (katu), bitter (teekta), and astringent (kasaya) taste, penetrating (teekshna) quality, and hot (ushna) potency are antagonistic to the kapha dosha (one of the three humors/universal forces of a living organism). Such plants are therefore recommended for pest control. During the study, it was found that plants having insecticidal activity possess sara (mobile), snigdha (soothing), and shukshma (minuteness) qualities, in addition to the qualities of ushna (hot), rooksha (dry), and teekshna (penetrating) perceived earlier. It was found that plants in the anti-microbial category possessed teekshna as the specific guna, as this occurred singly only in this group, and not in insecticidal plants. Plants with insecticidal activity showed rooksha and snigdha guna singly. A combination of rooksha with guru (heavy), ushna, teekshna, and sara was specific to insecticidal plants. On the other hand, plants with anti-microbial activity showed a specific combination of snigdha guna, with laghu (light), guru, and teekshna, or with teekshna and shukshma.

Ayurvedic Characterization of Biopesticides – S C Ahuja, Uma Ahuja and R D Sharma

Abstract

The natural way of farming goes by several names today – biological agriculture, biodynamic agriculture, organic agriculture, organic-biological agriculture, and ecological agriculture. The natural way of farming comprises two major components or inputs: (1) organic matter, which is transformed by the macro- or micro-organisms in the soil, resulting in the release of plant nutrients; and (2) cosmic energy, which makes the zodiacal constellations influence both the living and the non-living. An agricultural production that harnesses cosmic energy with the organic inputs should obviously be called the natural way of farming. Clearly, no other system as close to nature could be more sustainable. While there is no doubt about the influence of organic matter and cosmic energy on the quality and quantity of production, one needs to assess the extent of the influences as well as the feasibility of the system. It has been estimated that organic farming results in 20­–30% lower yield compared with modern agriculture. The question, therefore, is whether organic farming can meet the food demands of an increasing population. This article reviews some major scientific facts of organic/biodynamic agriculture and attempts to clear the misconceptions and to assess its feasibility.

Concept, Background and Feasibility of Organic Agriculture and Biodynamic Agriculture – O P aishwath
Citrus : An Indigenous Crop of Darjeeling Hills – K K Thapa
Mora: A Traditionally Fabricated Grain Storage Bin by Tribal Farm Families of Jharkhand – R K Singh and C V Singh
Dairy Heritage of India – M K Sanyal
Kunapajala: The Savior of Plant Life – Valmiki Sreenivasa Ayangarya
Kshira-Vishti Kunapa – Valmiki Sreenivasa Ayangarya

Abstract

This article is drawn from the recent book, ‘Religion and Agriculture: Sustainability in Christianity and Buddhism’. Among other subjects, the book explains sustainability in realistic terms as a useful but unattainable goal from all current approaches, and corrects misconceptions of environmental teachings being an essence of religion. It may be read as an opinion piece as it is presented without the extensive references that appear in the book itself. Or it may be read as a critique of conducting science without maintaining broad wonderment of the intricate interactions of nature.

Charmagara Kunapa – S L Choudhary, Valmiki Sreenivasa Ayangarya and Sunil Zacharia
No. 3, July-September 2007
Birbal Sahni (1891-1949): Foundation Fellow - T S Sadasivan

Abstract

Despite the benign neglect of the agriculture sector by the British bureaucracy in the early days of the Raj, efforts being restricted to merely establishing botanical gardens, the Englishmen who headed the seminal institutions in India at the turn of the last century such as, the Imperial Research Institute (IRI) at Pusa in Bihar and the Institute of Plant Industry (IPI) at Indore, among others, set their own agenda that greatly improved crop production to the benefit of the Indian farmer. This paper gives a few vignettes into the early efforts by British and Indian agriculture scientists that put our country on a firm path towards the “green revolution”, food security, and exports of economic crops. Some of the work of Sir Albert Howard at the Pusa Institute and Sam Higginbottom of the Allahabad Agricultural Institute is mentioned. There were brilliant Indian crop scientists and farmers too, but their work is only sporadically mentioned in the literature. The author does not claim to have covered all aspects of agriculture during the British rule, but aims to provide the reader with a partial insight into the kind of research and concerns that occupied the Agricultural Advisor to the Government of India in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Agricultural Botany and Crop Improvement in the British Raj-The First Quarter of the 20th Centruy – A B Damania

Abstract

Indigenous knowledge refers to the unique, traditional, local knowledge of the people, which is fabricated on their belief, norms, and culture of the society to which they belong. Rural women constitute a storehouse of indigenous knowledge. They use various indigenous materials in maternal and child care practices. This paper attempts to document various indigenous postpartum maternal and child care practices. Personal interviews along with informal discussion with the rural women were adopted as tools to record the information. The study indicates that the rural women of Himachal Pradesh in India follow various practices which are based on their sound belief. The generations-old practices known to the elder ladies have a strong hold in the area and are still practiced largely by the rural community. Thus the documentation of the indigenous practices would help to preserve the age-old practices.

Indigenious Postpartum Maternal and Child Care Practices Among Rural Folk of Himachal Pradesh – Neetu Sharma and Shashi Kanta Varma

Abstract

Manasollasa or Abhilashitarthachintamani is a 12th century Sanskrit encyclopedia compiled by the King Someshwaradeva. This contains five chapters called Vimshati, each containing twenty subchapters. There are eight thousand sutras called slokas (verses) containing information about the political aspects, astrology, medicine, architecture, iconography, royal pleasures, music and dance, anecdotes, sports, etc. This present translation pertains to the first subchapter of the fifth chapter called Bhudharakrida, i.e., Vrikshayurveda mentioned in other works.

Vrikshayurveda in Manasollasa – Valmiki Sreenivasa Ayangarya
Chenar - The Royal Shade Tree of Kashmir - B L Puttoo

Abstract

Double transplanting of rice seedlings is practiced in several areas of India. In Uttar Pradesh state of India, the practice is called “Kalam”. The practice enhances quality and quantity of rice, and reduces lodging.

Double Transplanting :An Indigenous Agro-technique A Boon for Basmati Rice – S C Ahuja and Uma Ahuja

Abstract

This short communication claims correct prediction of rains on the basis of a verse in Krishi-Parashara.

Krishi-Parashara Rainfall Prediction - A Live Experience at Gandharvanagari – Valmiki Sreenivasa Ayangarya

Abstract

The short communication describes preparations of rice and soybean as done by the Tangkhul tribe of Manipur state of India.

Processing of Agricultural Products Among the Tangkhul Tribe of Manipur – E Luikham, M Sumarjit Singh, and P S Mariam Anal
No. 4, October-December 2007

Abstract

India’s commitment for compliance to Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement has brought in various new legislations for protection of intellectual property. The legislation related to protection of geographical indications (GIs) of goods has been passed by the parliament in 1999, notified in 2002 and has come into force in 2003. This paper analyzes the status of the GI Act of India with reference to protection of agricultural products, the country being rich in agro-biodiversity and endowed with large number of agricultural goods specifically associated with geographic areas. Lack of awareness has resulted in extinction of several GI associated agricultural products and GI names becoming generic, thereby creating a need for sensitization for taking advantage of the GI Act with registration of such products for the benefit of small entrepreneurs and farmers. The paper proposes certain steps and parameters that can be used in development of relevant information. This would help in community empowerment and social upliftment.

The Geographical Indications of Goods(Registration and Protection) Act(1999) of India: Implication for Agricultural Goods – A K Singh, Pratibha Brahmi, and Sanjeev Saxena

Abstract

Changes in cropping pattern, crop pest incidence, and type of farming were studied in twelve Indian states over a five-year period. The survey revealed extensive cropping pattern changes over the last four decades in most of the regions. Larger areas have been devoted to cotton, paddy, vegetables, and maize under intensive cultivation, depending on the demand and returns in the local and international markets. While no change was observed in the productivity of individual crops in each region, crop diversification has been rapid. The limited availability of organic manure, and the slow action of biopesticides and difficulties in their use, were some of the important factors that discouraged farmers from adopting ecofriendly methods of cultivation. Only 3% of the 1,039 respondents across India followed organic farming practices. While 46% used both organic and chemical farming methods, 51% of the respondents practiced chemical farming. Therefore, in terms of ecological resilience and sustainability, the present production system is clearly at great risk. The majority of the respondents were aware of the advantages of organic farming, but only a minority practiced this due to the risks involved in the initial transition from organic to chemical farming. The percentage of crop loss due to individual pests varied significantly. The enormity of losses due to Spodoptera, Helicoverpa, whiteflies, and aphids prompted farmers to disturb the present ecosystems with continuous and excessive use of pesticides. Canopy openness and shade lopping in the forest-based cardamom agro-ecosystem resulted in both microclimate change and increased infestation by insect pests. Such delicate ecosystems need adequate soil, crop, weed, and insect pest management in order to attain thar.com/">online gambling reviews.

Changes in Cropping Pattern and Farming Methods in India,and their Relationship to the Incidence of Insect Pests and Diseases – P K Shetty, M B Hiremath, M Sabitha, and M Murugan
Red Rices - Past,Present,and Future – Uma Ahuja, S C Ahuja, Narender Chaudary, and Rashmi Thakrar

Abstract

Colocasia esculenta, generally known as taro in English, is an important vegetable crop that is used in Egypt, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Japan, Hawaii, and Indo-Malaysian and certain Pacific and Caribbean islands. In India it is found either wild or under cultivation in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, West Bengal (Darjeeling), Assam, and Meghalaya. In this article, the importance of taro in Kumaon (Uttarakhand) is discussed. The local Indian names in different languages, its botany, distribution, origin of the species and the cultivated crop, chemoprofile of the corm and leaves, and the nutritional value of taro are presented. The folk taxonomy and folk varieties or cultivars cultivated in the Kumaon region are discussed. Uses of taro in Kumaoni cuisine and other parts of the world are described. The use of taro in Kumaoni proverbs and sayings and finally some suggestions for future work on the species are given.

Taro(Colocasia esculenta):A Crop of Importance in the Culture of Kumaon – N C Shah
User-friendly Storage Practices Followed by Rural Women of Rajasthan – Manju Gupta, Simple Jain, and Deepika Mandowara
Organic and Biodynamic Agriculture – A R Dabholkar
ASIAN Agri-History
Foundation(AAHF)

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily of the Asian Agri-History Foundation (AAHF). The designations employed and the presentation of the material in this journal do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of AAHF concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city, or area...

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