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Dr. S. Dalal Agri-Eco Research Lab

Nidana Agriculture History and Green Revolution

Nidana Agri in 18th and 19th century:

The traditional agricultural profession in Nidana is as old as Nidana itself. After toiling through and bearing up of various infamous droughts like “Chalisia in 1783”, “Nabbibiya in 1833” and other similar short and long droughts of 1803, 1812, 1824, 1860-61, 1869-70, 1878, 1883-84, the village was facilitated with its first rajbaha (called as number three) in 1888. It was obtained under an accord signed between the then settlement officer of Jind riyasat- Sh. Sammand Singh and British rulers in 1875; when eight rajbahas to be head from western Yamuna canal were sanctioned to Jind State. Out of these eight rajbahas, number three
Ancient ages farmer ploughing the field with bulls and plough; and his wife reaching with lunch for him and their bulls.
headed from western Yamuna canal at “Anta” village was tailed up to fields of Nidana. The irrigation conditions of village still remained inconsistent and dependent on seasonal rains. Things kept on going and village faced other droughts of 1899 and 1938-39. But even after the drought of 1939, the hard work of village farmers and peasants contributed remarkably in production of Gram and got recognition as a leading Gram producing village in Jind and Julana Mandies (Grain Markets).

Major Flora and Crops of that period: Till this era, Sorghum (jwaar), Millet (baajra), Guar (gwaar), Cotton (kapaas), Jute (joot), Rope-yarn (shanni), neel, Kidney bean (moong-urad) and Chickling (moth) were the major crops sown in saamni season. Leaving the land empty (called as saadhi in local) was the parallel practice. Saamkh, Takhda, Kundra, Chaloi, Bhakhandi and Jhojhru were the major locally known weeds-insects of this season.

In Saadhi season, Gram (chana), Barley (jon), Mustard (sarson), Fenugreek (methi), masri etc. were the major crops along with small scale sowing of wheat. Pyaaji, Bathua, Peeli Kandaai, Pasrmaan kandai, Bel, Chatri, Matri etc. were the major locally known weeds-insects of this season.

In semi-forests (banies) and on the banks of ponds (johads) of village, Peepal, Banyan (Bad), Sycamore (gullar), Neem, Kendu, Kair, Keshu, Acacia (Keekar), Jaand-Jaandi, Rosewood (Sheesham), Berry (Beri), Dhaak, Hins, Bush (Jhaad), Aak etc were the major trees and bushes commonly found.

Nidana Agri Post Independence:

After the independence, first policy for irrigation in India was implemented under which village got Chabri minor. There are two minors namely Chabri minor and Bhartana minor which irrigate the fields of Nidana villabge. Along with the belt of this rajbaha, farmers started sowing sugarcane. With their skillful techniques and increased irrigation yield of sugarcane was so high that village became famous for high sugarcane production. Yield of sugarcane was so high that it was sufficient to make 100 mans (40 quintal) of Jerry per acre. Farmers used to toil under hot sun to dig the weeds with “Kasoulas” and “Khudaali” and when crop becomes higher in length farmers used to do smashing of soil around crop stems with washing sticks which served the dual purpose of removing the weeds and preserving the wetness of soil. Till date this is counted as one of the most intelligent way of doing agriculture for obtaining best crop yields.

As a gesture of welcoming the reformation of Haryana state and Green-Revolution, village saw the first regularization of Land (chakbandi/murbabandi) in 1960-62. A red-tape zone (lal-dora) was encircled to mark the habitant boundary in every village thus same for Nidana and the land of village outside the red tape (which was agricultural land mainly) was re-organized into 25-25 arcs pieces (called as murabba locally), under which the land of farmers spread in small pieces at different corners and sights of village were organized at one or two places. And this was the time when village faced a drastic fall of trees and jungles and village fields fell short of trees ultimately the people for shed and fruits.

Green Revolution (Nidana Agri post Haryana re-formation):

In 1966 village people saw the beginning of a new green revolution along with their state now reformed as Haryana. Green revolution induced a huge pool of developed seeds, chemical urea and pesticides with a parallel better irrigation infrastructure. Under changing standards of agriculture and the zeal of having the best of business, farmers adorned new technologies consequently the village saw its first tractor in 1968. Yes this was the era in history of Nidana when traditional Bull-Plough agriculture started riding on Tractor and “Rahat” irrigation on Tubewells.

Farmers started the use of BHC and DDT dusts for
Farmers sowing their field with tractor and cultivator
controlling insects in the crops of paddy and sugarcane in seventies itself. Along with the high yielding varieties of seeds of 1980’s green-revolution, new weeds like Mandoosi in wheat crop; insects like American Sundi, White-Housefly and “Taila” in cotton crop became a challenge for farmers to control. Same way “Pairila” and another type of hole-making insects in sugarcane crop horrified the farmers. Under these circumstances farmers started using “Isoproturon” to control weeds and insecticides to further control the insects of cotton crop.

First time in 1982, Sh. Guljari ( an employee of Haryana Govt designated as gramsewak) provided two spray pumps free of cost to Sh. Daleep Singh and Sh. Raghubir Singh from agricultural department of Haryana. Following this use of chemicals, urea, anti-weeds, and pesticides touched its peak. As an end result, the Green Revolution brought a huge increase in yields in all crops and Haryana along with Punjab, Delhi and western U.P. became the “Bowl of Grain of India”. Only exception was the yield of pulses which somehow remained inertia.

Impact of changing Agri Tools and Techniques on Social System:

Local social psychology and relation also got a measurable change due to development of modern and more functional agri tools, machines and equipments, which was further under the push of Chakbandi system, better irrigation infra and Green revolution. With the Green Revolution, the traditional “Phalsi” for wheat threshing was replaced with Threshing machines (locally known as “Ghughu” and “Toka”), Combine and Reapers. Modern Harrow, Cultivator and Rotavators, which entered the field as rivals of traditional Bull-Plough. Traditional “PORA” method of sowing crop is surpassed by seed drill machines. In the head cutting competition the washing stick and khudaali are thrown into limekiln and ragman shops. Chariot, Bailhadi, Rehdu, Bullcarts are now almost disappeared from Nidana. Sugarcane grinding machine (Kohlu) is over taken by Sugar Mills.

This increasing dependency on machinery and less requirement of labor force has impacted the joint family system very harshly. Joint families got dispersed into single, consequently a huge increase in the number of guest rooms (baithaks) but very less people to sit in together. Changing agri profession traits have brought the moral education and value system almost to an end leaving no interest in people for community or social works at the day. Social ventures like organizing “Lhass”, “Dangosre”, Digging the ponds, repairing and cleansing the mud from water lanes seem disappeared from village.

Land sowing process has taken 360° turn. In old-days, big farmers used to give their land for sowing on contract to small farmers and peasants but now a day it has become other way around. System of giving share of field produce as labor cost is replaced with money and interest system. Due to widespread single family system, availability of working force required has gone down, consequently a huge cost increase for labor and machinery. Irrigation water, chemical urea, pesticides, anti-fungus, herbicides, seeds, mobile and motorcycles have become the necessity of today’s farmer.

Where are the efforts and increased agri profits going?:

Since the formation of Haryana, village agri production of grain crops (excluding pulses) has raised from 5 to 15 times where as the population just 2.5 times. And during this period no such big drought like “Nabbibiya” was seen. Then where this extra production is gone or going?

Why after being so productive and contributive on volume, village’s economic condition is much far away from where it should have to be at present day? Something is going wrong but where?

Is there a gap in understanding of our economists and policy makers? Is it something wrong in village economic system? After all from where are these loop-holes coming?

Why a farmer of even five acre land is not capable of getting their children the best education equivalent to any urban child without borrowing money or loans? 

Starting from grain to a buiscuit or pizza, milk to tea or milk byproducts, sugarcane to tea-sugar, cotton yarn for cloths to herbs for health, is there a single secondary product which could be formed or built without the primary products originating from a farmer's field? After being the focal point of all businesses starting from FMCG to Day-to-Day kitchen courses, Textiles to Services, why the land is becoming/proving a white elephant for them?

Who will fill-up these gaps? For sure these questions should have to be answered.

Jai Dada Nagar Kheda Bada Bir

Author: Late. Dr. Surender Dalal

English Translation: P. K. Malik

First Edition: 17/05/2012

Publisher: NHReL

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