OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT
DIBRUGARH: The scientists from Krishi Vikash Kendra (KVK) made a visit to few small tea growers of Kalyanpur village under Tingkhong block in the district and undertook an on-farm trial on Integrated Nutrient Management (INM) in the small tea gardens of few farmers.
The trial will be guided by the subject matter specialist of Tea Husbandry and Technology, Supriya Sonowal of the Kendra. While explaining the technology, Sonowal disclosed that her trial would consist of given proportion of Phosphorous solubilizing bacteria (PSB), Azotobacter and vermin-compost along with due amount of recommended chemical fertilizer. The main aim of this INM technology application in small tea cultivation is to keep the soil health or fertility in sound and sustainable condition and also to enhance the efficiency of nutrient uptake by tea crop which ultimately help in boosting tea production.
Interacting with the participant small tea growers of the area, Subject Matter Specialist in Agricultural Economics and Farm, Hemchandra Saikia explained the importance and urgency of adopting Integrated Nutrient Management and other eco-friendly suitable and profitable organic type of fertility management technology in important commercial crops like tea. He said that tea was a very important export-earning commercial crop of Assam giving livelihood to a very larger section of people in the State, either directly or indirectly. Around 49 per cent of tea produced in Assam is from the green tea leaves of small tea growers. Assam is the largest producer of tea in India and accounts for 52 per cent of India's tea.
According to the All Assam Small Tea Growers' Association, there are 1,44,222 small tea growers in the State cultivating in about 80,948 ha of land. The small tea growers of Assam are now becoming a big force as they contribute 42.17 per cent of the Assam's total tea production (as in 2017-18). He said that some research findings reveal that due to the heavy use of chemical fertilizers (and pesticides) in plantation crops, the environment as well as soil fertility deteriorates, nutrient uptake efficiency by tea crop decreases and ecology or ecosystem gets threatened. So maintaining and sustaining soil fertility is very essential to sustain international export market of tea in the world.
INM crop cultivation involves judicious blend of organic, inorganic and bio-fertilizers aiming at maximization of crop productivity and soil fertility.