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ARS, Fatehpur

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Introduction/Historical Perspective

Rajasthan state has been divided into five major agro-climatic zones. Each zone is further sub divided into two sub-zones. Thus, there are ten agro-climatic zones in all under National Agricultural Research Project (NARP) launched in the state in 1981. The zones have been formed on the basis of differences in physiography, rainfall, soil types, availability of irrigation water and existing cropping pattern. The Agricultural Research Station (ARS), Fatehpur-Shekhawati is the research station of the agro-climatic zone II-A which is called as Transitional Plain of Inland Drainage. The ARS is situated between 270 57’ 04.01" N to 270 55’ 43.59" N latitude and 740 58’ 47.47" E to 740 59’ 45.97" E longitude with an altitude of 321 to 330 meters above mean sea level. The zone covers four districts namely Sikar, Jhunjhunu, Nagaur and Eastern part of Churu district.

The station was established in April, 1984. The station is located at 7 km from Fatehpur on Jaipur-Bikaner national highway (NH-52) at a road distance of 45 km from Sikar district and 160 km from Jaipur. The sub-station of this zone was established at Nagaur during NARP-II phase, which has come to function from December, 1993. The zone is bordered by Haryana state, Ajmer, Alwar, Bikaner, Hanumangarh, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Pali districts. The geographical area of the zone is about 36.9 lakh hectares, which represents 10.6 per cent of the total area of the state. The zone is spread over 9 tehsils (Sikar, Fatehpur, Laxmangarh, Dantaramgarh, Sri Madhopur, Dhod, Khandela, Neem Ka Thana and Ramgarh Shekhawati) of Sikar district, 13 tehsils (Nagaur, Mundwa, Khinvsar, Jayal, Merta City, Degana, Deedwana, Parbatsar, Ladnun, Kuchaman City, Makrana City, Nawa and Riyan Badi) of Nagaur district, 8 tehsils (Jhunjhunu, Malsisar, Chirawa, Buhana, Nawalgarh, Udaipurwati, Khetri and Surajgarh) of Jhunjhunu district and 3 tehsils (Churu, Rajgarh and Taranagar) of Churu district.

Climate and Soil

The climate of the region ranges from arid to semi-arid with an average rainfall of about 300-350 mm, which is mainly received in the month of July and August. The temperature goes as high as 48 oC in summers and as low as –5.2 °C in winters. Because of the insufficient and uneven distribution of rain, frequent failure of crops is common and consequently resulting in to famine. In general, the soils of zone II A are desert soils. However, according to USDA soil classification (1975), the soils of this region fall in the category of entisols and aridisols where the soils are not dominated by montmorillonite clay and are usually dry. The soils are varying from sandy to loam. The nitrogen status of soil is low (200 kg/ha) in the entire zone while that of phosphorous is medium (20-25 kg/ha). The status of potash is also medium (100-250 kg/ha) in the zone.

Water, the most crucial and limited resource of this zone is mainly available as ground water, of which major part (85%) is brackish. The prevailing climatic conditions are very harsh, that limits the agricultural productivity of the zone. Due to the limited water availability, dry land agriculture is pre-dominantly practiced in kharif season by taking the main crops like pearl millet, moong bean, moth bean, cluster bean and sesame. As the rainfall pattern in the region is highly erratic and scanty, the sustainability of arid/semi-arid agricultural production system is weak, hence becoming challenging. 

On the other hand, soil degradation is also a serious problem and mainly associated with soil erosion and shifting sand dunes when cover green is absent or destroyed completely. Rectification of this situation calls for steps to improve the green cover. In cultivated lands of zone under dry land cropping system, soil moisture and humidity are the limiting factor to produce agricultural crops. The high-speed winds result in to exhortation of soil moisture which in turn creates moisture stress particularly at dough stage of crop. The trees besides providing food, fodder, timber etc. in such areas, can also act as a protector against winds and maintain optimum soil moisture conditions at the optimum crop growth.

Animals are the important source of income of rural population and extensively support the rural economy. However, the zone frequently encountered with acute shortage of fodder, leading to the problem of migration of cattle herds and sheep to other parts of the country. Under uncultivable/wastelands, the silvi-pasture with top fed/fuel trees of multiple uses in combination with herbaceous pasture plants largely of perennial nature and legumes are most desirable. The plantation of trees on wastelands may be taken up in the form of two-tier system i.e. along with grasses and legumes. This system which utilizes the uncultivable lands may be widely accepted and also assumes economic importance and also serve the population by providing pasturage, fuel wood, and conserved hay for the period of scarcity.

Unit head contact details

Prof. S.R. Dhaka

ZDR, Agricultural Research Station, Fatehpur Shekhawati- Sikar Rajasthan

Email: zdr.fatehpur@sknau.ac.in

Contact No: 9414042027

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Prof. S.R. Dhaka was born on 25-07-1965 at a small and highly literate village Bas Dhakan, District-Churu, Rajasthan. He did his B.Sc. (Ag.) Hons. from MLSU, Udaipur in the year 1987, M.Sc. (Ag.) Entomology and Ph.D. (Ag.) Entomology from Rajasthan Agriculture University, Bikaner in the year 1989 and 2006, respectively. Professor Dhaka has been First class Scout and NCC “C” certificate achiever. He has represented university as General Captain of Sports & Games; University Captain of Wrestling; four time participated in Inter University Wrestling and Kabaddi; Student’s Representative in 1987 Student Council of SKNCOA, Jobner.

He started his professional carrier from ARSS Diggi under SKRAU-Bikaner in 1990 and he did remarkable work in farm modernization and developed irrigation water facilities which helped to enhance the quality seed production. Professor Dhaka is well known personality in the field of applied entomology and having more than 3 decades of experience in different capacities and has been appreciated by various recognitions. 

Dr. Dhaka is also honoured by prestigious awards namely Sri Ram Purskar by The Fertilizer Association of India (FAI), New Delhi; Appreciation Certificate by Harit Kranti, National Agriculture News Paper, Jaipur; Appreciation Certificate by RAU, Bikaner and Krishi Vigyan Gaurav by Bhartia Krishi Anusandhan Samiti, Karnal. Professor Dhaka is also active member of several scientific societies like Entomological Society of India, Entomological Research Association and Society for Development Initiatives. Besides his contribution to the scientific fraternity, Professor Dhaka has published many publications viz. book, book chapters, extension folders, research papers, and popular articles in national and international repute journals.  He has also attended national and international conferences, seminars, workshops, trainings and has been resource person at many occasions. Professor Dhaka has handled various positions i.e. Incharge at ARSS Diggi, Incharge Central library at RARI, Incharge sports, Convener and member of many committees,  Subject Expert  in Public Service Commission. Professor Dhaka is a research leader and having true zeal as sports person and following the principle “Healthy Body Has Healthy Mind”.

Vision

The ARS is to envisage a vision, to develop technologies that can fit well under limited moisture, high temperature, low nutrient availability mainly due to low soil organic carbon, biotic and abiotic stresses. In general, ARS, Fatehpur is to work for delivering technologies for agricultural sustainability and livelihood security of farmers belonging to zone IIa (transitional plain of inland drainage).

Objectives

§  To conduct the basic, strategic, need based and area specific applied research in agriculture (both rainfed & irrigated) and other allied fields to develop technologies relevant to farming community of the zone for livelihood security and high farm income.

§  To reach at an advancement level in learning and conducting research.

§  To increase the quality, quantity and productivity of prominent crops cultivated in the zone and value addition for doubling the farmers income in the zone.

§  To help and provide the technical guidance to the department of agriculture for development of agriculture and allied sector in the zone.

§  To develop the collaborative linkages with State Agriculture Universities, Government Departments, Government Undertakings, and National & International Organizations for better research output.

§  Technologies and capacity building of scientific staff.

Mandate

The revised lead and verification functions assigned to this zone under SDP of ADP, as are follows:-

Lead function:

1.      Pearlmillet, clusterbean and pulses in Kharif season

2.      Wheat, mustard and barley in Rabi season

3.      Agroforestry and other farming systems

4.      In-situ moisture conservation

5.      Water and soil management

6.      Crop physiology including salt tolerance and heat tolerance research prospectus

7.      Nursery raising of horticulture and agroforestry

8.      Biological control of insect-pests and diseases

9.      Integrated nutrient management

Verification function:

1.      Chickpea, fenugreek, fennel, moongbean, cowpea, sesame, watermelon and forage crops

2.      Management of salt affected soils & water

3.      Sprinkler irrigation

Achievements

The scientists of ARS, Fatehpur have developed more than 100 technologies (protection as well as production) on various aspects of Agroforestry, soil and water conservation, stress management and rain water management. Besides package of practices for profitable cultivation of major crops like pearl millet, cluster bean, moth bean, kharif pulses, chickpea, mustard and drought management technology by use of sulphydryl bio-regulator thiourea has also been conducted at this station. Recently, research work has been initiated on organic farming and stress agriculture at this station. The adoptions of these production and protection technologies with the help of dimension of agriculture have shown visible outputs on increase in crop production and economic benefit to the farmer up to 25-30 percent in last ten years.

Future Thrust Areas

Short term:

§  Agro-technology for organic farming in mandate crops.

§  Development of farming system modules for raising economic status of farmers.

§  Development of in–situ moisture conservation technologies.

§  Enhancement of medicinal plant cultivation.

§  Enhancement of seed production of mandate crops with particular emphasis on clusterbean, Kharif pulses and barley.

§  Development of bio-agents for various pest control.

§  Isolation of pheromones for eco-friendly  pest management.

§  Management of Insect-pests and diseases through eco-friendly techniques and the use of bio-pesticides/herbal products.

§  Suitable storage technologies for reducing losses.

§  Development of package of practice for organic farming in different crops.

§  Post harvest technology for value additions.

Long term:

§  Development of frost tolerant varieties of mustard and barley.

§  Development of heat and moisture tolerance in barley, fenugreek, clusterbean and kharif pulses.

§  Development of varieties in mandate crops resistant to various insect pests and diseases.

§  Development of high quality malt as well as dual purpose (grain and fodder) varieties in barley.

§ Development of high quality gum containing varieties in clusterbean.

Staff Information: Teaching

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Staff Information: Non-Teaching

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