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LINSEED PRODUCTION UNDER FRONT LINE DEMONSTRATIONS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
Singh A, Singh L and Prasad R
Linseed (Linum usitatissimum L.) is grown in our country in rainfed as well as irrigated situations. It is grown since ancient as important winter (rabi) season oilseed crop next only to rapeseed and mustard in India in terms of area and production. Farmers are not aware for its value addition and utility in terms of dual-purpose cultivars (oil and fiber). Its oil has industrial value for soap making, pad ink, paints, and fiber for special quality of threads, clothes, currency notes, etc. (Singh, 2000). The crop is grown in area of about 1 lakh ha in Uttar Pradesh, which occupied 12.2 per cent of the total area of the country. Annual production of this crop is 40 lakh metric tons. The productivity of linseed in UP is 462 kg/ha against national productivity of 294 kg/ha.
Out of 10 agro-climatic zones of UP, the highest area under this crop was found in Bundelkhand, (KVK, Chitrakoot). The Front Line Demonstrations (FLDs) in coarse loamy, red and black soils followed by Vindhyan zone (KVK, Mirzapur) in silty loam, red yellow clay soil, Eastern plain zone (KVK, Ballia) in light alluvial calcareous, clay soils and Central plain zone (KVK Raebareli and Allahabad) in alluvial calcareous, silty loam and salt affected soils. The linseed varieties have been demonstrated viz., Neelam, Garima and Laxmi-27 at six KVKs (Raebareli, Allahabhad, Mirzapur, Chitrakoot, Ballia and Jhansi) on farmers’ fields during the year 1997-2000. The average rainfall received in different linseed grown zones ranges from 902 to 1214 mm. The objective of the study is to assess the yield gap in improved technologies vs farmers’ practices. The farmers were also provided latest technologies of linseed cultivation. The demonstrations on linseed crop were conducted in a total area of 78.4 ha on 176 farmers’ fields.
The highest average yield (19 q/ha) of linseed was recorded with variety Neelam followed by Laxmi-27 (8.6 q/ha) at KVK Raebareli over local check (11.0 and 3.7 q/ha) respectively. The cultivar Neelam at KVK Allahabad provided mean yield 10.3 q/ha over local check (7.0 q/ha). North-eastern plain zone (KVK Bahraich) variety Garima resulted 13.2 q/ha linseed grain yields over local check (8.5 q/ha), which was 55.3 per cent higher than local check. Whereas at Eastern plain zone, variety Neelam gave yield of 13.6 q/ha over local check (7.5 q/ha), which was 81.3 per cent higher. In
Bundelkhand, three varieties were grown Laxmi-27, Neelam and Garima at KVK Chitrakoot. Yield ranges from 10.3 to 10.8 q/ha, which was considerably higher over local check (5.4 to 8.5 q/ha). Vindhyan zone KVK Mirzapur variety Neelam and Garima provided yield of 8.8 and 6.5 q/ha over local check (5.2 and 4.3 q/ha) respectively. The yield variations were found due to different soil types and rainfall received in different agro-climatic zones.
Among three linseed varieties demonstrated (Neelam, Garima and Laxmi-27), the variety Neelam was found superior in all the agro-climatic zone of UP. Hence, it should be encouraged. Farmers are not aware for its value addition and utility in terms of dual-purpose cultivars (oil and fiber). There is need to popularize linseed in inter cropping system to increase the area and productivity. KVK can make differences towards human resource development by well-designed training courses. Marketing opportunities should be provided to the farmers for the disposal of seed and fiber produces. Linkages should also be developed with research and extension departments for popularizing high yielding varieties.