Farmers Participatory Action Research Programme

This project sponsored by Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India is being implemented in 3 agro-climatic zones (Western- Irrigated zone, North western Semi-arid Zone and Cauvery delta- Coastal Zone) of Tamilnadu comprising 4 districts, viz., Cuddalore, Dharmapuri, Erode and Coimbatore. Under this programme improved technologies viz., Pit-method / paired-row planting of sugarcane with drip fertigation, Integrated nutrient management, Bio-fertilizer application, Drought management, Trash mulching, In situ trash composting and Vermi-compost are demonstrated to the farmers through participatory approach and the impact of various demonstrations are assessed through the active involvement of the FPARP participants. A brief account of activities under FPARP is provided below. More details are provided in this document

Campaign on "Water Conservation": Under this campaign several programmes were carried out on the use of laser leveller, soil moisture indicator, etc. to demonstrate modern technologies for water conservation in sugarcane cultivation.

  • A campaign on 'Test your Irrigation' was held during March 28-29, 2011 at Erode District
  • A western zone sensitization campaign on water conservation was organized on June 26, 2010. The prototype of 'Soil moisture indicator' developed by this Institute was demonstrated and tested in farmers' fields.
  • A sensitization campaign on Water Conservation was organized in Sethiathope (Coastal-Cauvery delta zone) during June 14-16,2010. A prototype of 'Soil moisture indicator' developed by this Institute was demonstrated and tested in farmers' fields to drive home the advantage of assessing soil moisture potential for efficient utilization of irrigation water.
  • A mutimedia campaign on "More sugarcane crop and income per drop" was carried out at Palacode, Dharmapuri during May 25-26, 2010. A technical bulletin on "Using laser land leveller to save water" was released. Video films were screened and Water conservation pledge was administered. An interactive farmer-scientist-cane development personnel session followed
  • An exhibition was organized to depict to effectively utilize farm wastes and monitoring and managing inter node borers in sugarcane using pheromone traps
  • A campaign was carried out at Athipalayam village, Coimbatore district during March 6, 2010 to commemorate the World Water Day. A demonstration of 'laser leveller' was conducted in an FPARP farmer's field, followed by an interactive session. Over 60 persons including cane growers, cane development personnel and scientists took part in the event.
  • A Study tour was organized as part of FPARP and the participants were exposed to various water management practices being adopted by progressive farmers of Tamil Nadu. A visit to Sugarcane Research Station (TNAU), Sirugamani was also organized through FPARP on January 7, 2010.
  • As sensitizing the cane growers was one of the objectives of the Project, FPARP participants from all the three zones (four districts) underwent a Training programme on “Water management for sustainable sugarcane production” at Irrigation Management Training Institute, Tiruchirappalli on January 6, 2010.
  • A video film of "FPARP @SBI" documenting the experience of FPARP implemented by this Institute was prepared.

Phase II (2011-12)

FPARP-II at SBI was planned, implemented and evaluated in a participatory manner, with the involvement of the farmers in all the stages right from the selection of participants and technologies for demonstrations. The constraints faced by the cane growers were assessed by the benchmark surveys through a structured interview schedule and through participatory discussions.

A total of 50 demonstrations were laid as per the following particulars in 50 villages belonging to two agro-climatic zones viz., North Western Zone (Dharmapuri & Krishnagiri districts) and Western Zone (Erode district) with four technologies viz., Trash Mulching,Micro- irrigation with surface/sub-surface Drip, Tensiometer -driven irrigation scheduling and Soil Moisture indicator- driven irrigation scheduling. This was besides the conduct of campaigns in which a large number of non- FPARP participants were benefited. In the planning process of FPARP itself, participatory discussions were held for finalizing the modalities of implementation.

All the farmers who participated in the programme had a positive attitude towards FPAR and it was successfully proven that water could be conserved without compromising the productivity. The results showed that:

  • In the western zone there was a mean increase of 9.78 tonnes per hectare in FPARP demonstration plots
  • In the North-west Zone there was an increase of 8.92 tonnes/ha.
  • Technology-wise, plots where Micro-irrigation technology was demonstrated witnessed a 9.4 % improvement in yield compared to the control plots, followed by Trash mulching (8.9%), SMI-driven irrigation scheduling (8.2) and tensiometer-driven irrigation scheduling (7.75 %).
  • The mean increase in yield in both the zones was 9.35 %.
  • In the North-western zone, 21.05 % of irrigation water could be saved by adoption of FPARP technologies
  • In the Western Zone 15.9 % of water could be saved in the FPARP plots.


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