Cultivable Land

Forest land, groves, land prepared for sugar-cane furrows, waste-lands like pastures  and grazing land often classified as unculturable due to excess of sand or reh or on account of ravine-scouring or overgrowth of dhak constitutes cultivable land in the district. The area of cultivable land in the district in 1996-97 was 151 thousand  hectares (Auraiya district included).
  

Soil Conservation

Initially soil conservation work was started in 1949 in village Dalipnagar situated in the Yamuna Kachhar in a 10-acre block. Since then the work has been expanding and new soil and water conservation measures had been adopted in 5,327 acres of land approximately. Agronomic practices were also adopted. The methods followed were plantation of grass on bunds and construction of dams etc. The grasses found successful are blue panic,  Madras grass and among the plants caster and babul. The programme had since demonstrated its utility to the cultivators and there was growing response from the neighbouring areas. The Planning Research and Action Institute, U.P. Lucknow had taken up this programme on an elaborate scale through the agency of  Pilot Project Etawah.

Means of Irrigation

In earlier times the district was almost wholly dependent on wells and, to a small extent, on tanks. The well-irrigation appears to have been largely replaced by canals. The chief sources of irrigation are wells, tanks.

Wells

Wells and tube-wells constitute an important source of irrigation in the district. Masonry wells which were few in the past have increased in number in the last few years. The character of wells depends largely on the depth at which water is found below the surface. This varies in different parts of the district. In the pachar tract the subsoil is firm and the level of water is near about six meters from the surface. In the ghar, on the other hand, the water level varies from 18 to 24 meters, while in the kurka and in the par it was so great a depth as to preclude practically all possibility of irrigation. The wells employed for irrigation are of three classes, those with masonry cylinders, those that are merely earthen and those that partake of the nature of both, being dug like as earthen well but lined with big curved bricks, generally only fitted together though sometimes set in mortar. 

Canals

Canal irrigation was first introduced in the district in 1885 when the Ganges canal was opened for irrigation. The Ganges canal, starting from the head work at Hardwar in the Saharanpur district, traverses Meerut and Bulandshahar and continues as far as Nanu in the Aligarh district. At this point it bifurcates into two branches, the Kanpur and Etawah whose directions are sufficiently indicated by their names. In 1877 the whole canal system of the lower Doabs underwent radical alteration. A new weir was completed in that year at Narora in Blandshahr and a channel was constructed from the weir which intersected the Kanpur and Etawah branches of the old Ganges canal at a point approximately 48 kilometres from Nanu. The small lengths of the old Kanpur and Etawah branches, lying between Nanu and the point of intersection by the channel from Narora, were known as "stumps". They were practically, utilised only to supplement the supply of water in the lower Ganges system when necessary. A few years later the channel from narora was continued beyond the point of intersection across the Sengar and Sersa rivers past Shikohabad in Mainpuri into the ghar tract of Etawah and became the Bhognipur branch the whole system comprising the Kanpur, Etawah and Bhognipur branches had from the river at Narora being called the Lower Ganga canal system.

The whole district is served by 818 km. long irrigation channels and 777 km. long nalas(drains) of the existing Bhognipur branch, Etawah branch and West Allahabad branch of lower Ganga canal system. The total area commanded by the canal is 1.09 lakh ha. of which about 38 thousand ha. proposed for irrigation in rabi and 45 thousand ha. in kharif. 

Ramganga Project

To meet the requirements of intensive agriculture the work on Ramganga project is in progress. In this project a dam has been built on river Ramganga at Kalagarh in district Bijnor. The Ramganga Feeder has been completed. The additional supply available at Narora in district bulandshahar will be picked up and distributed by the Lower Ganga canal to its various branches. About 138.218 km. long new channels have already been completed and construction work on 348.880 km. new channels is in progress. These channels command an area of 8.219 ha. and will irrigate an area of 5.736 ha. 

  

Agriculture


Harvests

The methods of cultivation in this district are generally the same as those found elsewhere in the Doab. The application of manure and the use of water for irrigation are extensively resorted to. There are the usual harvests known as the Kharif or autumn, the Rabi or spring and Zaid or extra harvest. The Kharif crops are shown in Ashadha- Sravana and reaped in Kuar-Kartika after the cessation of rains usually well before the preparation of fields for the Rabi sowings which begin in October-November i.e. Kartika and Agrahanya and are harvested in March-April and even May. The Zaid consists of vegetables and low grade cereals sown in March or April and reaped before June. The system of double cropping is followed to a considerable extent in the district owning to the facilities for irrigation. The figures of dofasli area for the different tahsils do not exhibit any great variations, but the proportions are highest in Bidhuna and Bharthana and the proportion is lowest in Auraiya.

PRINCIPAL CROPS

Kharif Crops

The chief  Kharif  crops are the millets, known as Bajra and Jowar, paddy and maize. These are sown either alone or in combination with Arhar. Bajra is chiefly grown in light and sandy soil. Between 1903 and 1907 Bajra alone or in combination covered 42.511 ha. or 28.47 per cent of the kharif. In the subsequent year its cultivation in the district increased by nearly 12,900ha. In 1380 Fasli year that is 1973-74 the bajra covered an area of 77.673 ha. Jowar is generally grown in the stiffer and better soils but like bajra it is usually mixed with arhar, the proportion grown alone being only 5per cent. Both Bajra and Jowar are usually sown in June on unirrigated land,the fields being previously prepared by ploughing. They are reaped in November. A considerable amount of Jowar is grown only for fodder especially in Etawah and Bharthana tahsils. Another important Kharif crop is rice. There has been an enormous increase in the extent of rice cultivation during the last hundred years. Several local varieties of rice are grown. In 1973-74 (1380 Fasli year) the area covered by paddy was 2,59,506 ha. The only other Kharif crop that is of any importance is maize which during the period between 1903 and 1907 covered on the average 52.321 acres or 14.18 per cent of the area cultivated in the kharif. The only tahsil however, where it is extensively planted is Bidhuna. Maize is usually sown in the best gauhani dumat soil, close to the village site, where the fields yield two crops a year. The land is generally well manured and the crops are sown asearly as possible in Asharh. During the ensuing month the field is carefully weeded and by the middle of Bhadon the plants usually attain a height of four feet and the ears begin to show. Among the Kharif cereals small pulses known as Moth, Urd and Moong, the small millet Mandua, and Hemp or Sanai were largely grown in the past, but new incentives in the field of agriculture have lowered their popularity and more valuable crops like paddy, maize and sugar-cane are gradually replacing them. In 1997-98 the combined area occupied by pulses was 9,868 ha. and by sugar-cane was 4,663.

Rabi Crop

Wheat heads the list of Rabi cereals in the district in point of area, which in 1973-74 constituted more than half of the total Rabi sowing. Wheat is grown pure as well as mixed with crops like barley and gram. Wheat when mixed with gram is known as gochani and with barley as gujai. The area under pure wheat has no doubt increased during recent years, but the old practice or sowing mixed crops, a characteristic feature of the district has not disappeared altogether. The wheat crop requires a good soil, and an assured supply of water besides manure. In 1380 Fasli year wheat covered an area of 95,860 ha.

Barley alone or in combination with gram forming the mixed called bejhar to which peas are generally added was the favourite rabi staple in the past, in the area sown with it is due to their replacement with wheat and its combination. Barley flourishes even in soils and in tracts which are not suited to wheat cultivation for lack of irrigation facilities.

Gram is, on the whole, little irrigated and it resists drought well, and for this reason it is acceptable to the inhabitants of the par. It can be grown on inferior soils. It needs only  two ploughings and does not usually require manure. The only other Rabi staple which needs mention is peas.

Cash Crops
Sugar-cane, oil seeds like ground-nut, linseed and rape-seed, vegetables and fruits, hemps, tobacco, sweet potato, condiments and spices are the main non-food crops of the district. Vegetables though they occupy a small area in the district specially
around the towns and large villages, constitute valuable crops. The kharif vegetables comprise Lady-fingers, Gourds, Spinach, Brinjal etc., and those of Rabi comprise Cauliflowers, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Rradishes, Brinjal and T turnip etc.

In the past indigo was also grown in the district, but totally disappeared in time with the coming in of synthetic dyes. In the past, opium was an important non-food crop. 
Poppy can only be grown on the best irrigated and manured gauhan land, and
calls for a considerable amount of skill and capital. The district has a few
pan gardens such as that at Kudarkot. 
Seed Supply
The development of agriculture depends to a great extent on agriculture inputs of which seeds form the most important part. An improved seed is defined as one that gives a minimum higher yield of at least 10 per cent to 15per cent over the local seed. The supply of seed is made to the farmers though the seed stores maintained by the agriculture department and co-operative seed stores. National Seed Corporation and Tarai Development Corporation. The agriculture department supplies improved varieties of seeds for multiplication and the co-operative department gives seeds to its members on sawai basis. Every year the old seeds of farmer are exchanged with the one quarter of improved seeds stored in the seed store. There were 9 seed stores in the district in 1999-2000. The seed stores, however, meet a small fraction of the total requirements of seeds of the farmer, the bulk being supplied by the local dealers. The two government agricultural farms which bring about multiplication of seeds also produce improved varieties of seeds of various cereals to fullfil the requirements of farmers. One agriculture farm is situated on both sides of Agra Road near Etawah city. Besides doing multiplication of seeds, the research work at this farm is going on the various aspects of agricultural production. The other farm is located at village Jaunai about 28 km. from Etawah on Mainpuri-Etawah border. Formerly it was a horticulture farm which was soon converted into an agricultural farm. Both the farms have one tractor each. This farm of jaunai gram sabha suffers from scarcity of water.
therefore crops are sown on an experimental basis. Recently, the average yield of wheat is 31.71 quintal per ha. and that of paddy is 22.3 quintal per ha. The agriculture department has taken up a programme to saturate the entire area under all crops with the new high-yielding seeds.
  

Soil nutrients

Cattle dung, farm refuse and stable little are the common manures used by the farmers. After soil test in district Etawah it has been realised that the soils are generally deficient in Nitrogen, Phosphate and Pottasium in different degree, which is removed by the use of chemical fertilizers, green manure and compost. The green manure crops like sanai, dhaincha and moong provide natural nitrogenerus ingredients to the soil and increase its fertility. The chemical fertilizers, though costly, have also become popular among the cultivators. Among chemical fertilizers used by the farmers of the district are the urea, amonium sulphate, calcium, amonium nitrate, diamonium phosphate, amonium phosphate, super phosphate and N.P.K. The chemical fertilizers are obtained through agriculture and co-operative seed stores and agents of Agro Industrial Corporation besides individual dealers. 

 Co-operative and Joint Farming

The practice of joint farming has been in vogue for centuries. Besides the use of forests, pasture lands were shared in common. The village community constructed and maintained tanks, wells and the village chaupals by collective efforts. Even today the farmers join each other in certain operations, e.g. ploughing, sowing, irrigating, harvesting and threshing. Less resourceful farmers often pool their implements, bullocks and labour for a season or two for growing crops. Costly implements and machines are also sometimes owned or hired jointly and used in rotation. In the course of planning and development programmes co-operative societies have been organised in the villages for distribution of seeds, loans, and fertilizers and agricultural implements etc. The farming societies are at Bhala Saiya, Chimafa (west) nagra Parharia, Muchchra, Jauaibhalta, Nagla Ramsunder, Dagri, Adhiyapur, Chakpur, Chimara, Bihari Purkest, Nagaria, Kasuali, Tilakpur, Ashokpuri and Keshanagar.

Horticulture

   
In 1998 the total area under horticulture was 57358 ha. among all the fruits the mango is the most popular and is usually found in groves, Jamun, Bel and other indigenous species are also grown in the district. The gardens of well-to-do people contain Limes and Mangoes, Oranges, Pomegranates, Custard apples, Papaya, Banana, Guavas and the other known fruit trees. The statement below shows the area under vegetable and root vegetables fruit plants and potato in 1999.
  
Name of the crop Area in Hectares
Vegetable and root vegetable

10357

Fruit Plants 62376
Potato 6250

In 1999 there was one government nursery in the district. The area under this nursery is 17 acres, 3/4 acre and one acre respectively. These nurseries produce vegetable seedlings and plants and supply to the horticulturists. Besides, there are two private nurseries at Sumerpura and Ramnagar in Etawah tahsil. In the city of Etawah there are about 1000 progressive farmers who grow vegetable seedlings for the purpose of selling them to intending purchasers. 

Multiple Cropping and Rotation of Crops

The practice of growing more than one crop simultaneously in a single field in a single season gives additional harvest. Thus, this practice increases the over all yield and ensures maximum use of the soil and nutrients. If there is danger of loss to any crop due to adverse weather conditions or diseases, there are some better chances for the other crop in the field if the system of multiple cropping is adopted, arhar is almost always sown with bajra, urd or moong, jowar, ground nut, linseed wheat with gram, pea or mustard, barley with gram or peas or both. Potato is generally
mixed with methi or onion. The importance of rotation of crops has been fully realised by the farmers of the district. Scientific rotation of crops helps the farmers to maintain the fertility of the fields by growing exhaustive crops in rotation with restorative crops. As such this practice is generally prevalent through out the whole cultivated area of the district and it has its root in the minds of every cultivator. A particular crop sown in one season restricts the cultivator to sow the other crop in the next season, which is most beneficial for the field and by this practice the turnout also is enhanced to some extent. The practice of green-manuring during kharif is also popular before sowing wheat in Rabi.

The popular rotations followed in the district are Paddy Wheat, Paddy Gram, Paddy Peas, Paddy Berseem, Maize Wheat, Maize Potato-wheat, Bajra Wheat or Peas or Gram or Peas and Gram, on account of being leguminous crops, have restorative
qualities, Cultivation of these crops in rotation with exhaustive crops like paddy and bajra helps to maintain the fertility of the fields. The old practice of growing wheat after a fallow period is being replaced by growing wheat after green manuring in Rabi. This practice has been responsible for increasing the yield of wheat by more than one and a half quintals per ha. The two and three years rotation is also adopted in the district and is as follows :

First Year Second Year Third Year
                  Bajra &  Pea  Green manuring & Wheat -
                   Jowar & Arhar Cotton&  Peas -
Kharif  Sugar-cane  Green manuring   Cotton
Rabi    Sugar-cane   Wheat  Preparation for Sugar-cane

Sugar-cane is generally sown in three years rotation. The areas, near the help of organic manures and fertilizer. In such areas three to four crops in a year are taken such as maize, early potato, late potato and Sitaphal. In these areas the fertility of the fields is maintained by full manuring.

Animal Husbandry

Agriculture and animal husbandry are two inseparable units of agricultural development.  The animal Husbandry Development which looks after development of animal husbandry is divided into two sections-veterinary section and animal husbandry section. The veterinary section deals with treatment of sick animals and control of cattle disease. The animal husbandry section is concerned with the development of cattle, poultry breeding, sheep-breeding and allied schemes. The indigenous animals are of usual description. Where well irrigation is practiced the bullocks are generally stronger in build and larger than those required for ordinary agricultural purposes. Buffaloes are employed usually by the poor cultivators, but being capable of less exertion they cannot stand the heat so well.

The district is famous for its Bhadawari buffaloes and Jamunapari goats. The buffaloes can be distinguished by flat horns, brown colour of skin and three wheatish signs on the neck. They are also known for eating less and producing more milk. The use of mechanised means of transportation and communication and the high cost of maintaining domestic animals in the district, has tended to reduce the number of drought animals such as horses, elephants, ponies and donkeys which were used as drought animal for military and civil purposes, taking out processions and indifferent ways at festivals and fairs. The erstwhile zamindars of the district also kept the horses. However, the animals are still in use in the ravenous areas. Where
they have their own utility. The following statement shows the number of live-stock in 1993:

Live Stock Nos.
Cows (Desi)  Male

84133

Female 85496
Calves 117352
Cows (Cross Breed)  Male 929
Females 1706
Calves 1567
Male Buffaloes 108892
Female Buffaloes 141113
Buffaloe Calves 148405
Goats 383804
Sheep 21141

Sheep and goats are generally reared extensively in the country between the Yamuna and the Chambal. Sheep are bred for their wool and for the butcher. The goats known as Juamunapari or goats from beyond the Yamuna are in great demand on account of their milk giving properties. 
  


Jamunapari Goat

Donkeys are of the usual over-worked and underfed description, such as are possessed by Dhobis and Kumhars. The number of camels is larger here than in any other district of the State, except Agra, and Etawah is one of the chief sources of supply for surrounding tracts.

Poultry Development
Poultry keeping, as an important subsidiary occupation, is becoming very popular among farmers since the last few years. Under the Applied Nutrition Programme the two development blocks of Jaswantnagar and Bharthana in the district were selected for intensive poultry farming.

Fisheries

The rivers and tankas of Etawah are abound in fish. The most prized kinds are Rohu and Arwari or mullet which are found in the yamuna. the Rohu is caught in Asarah and Sawan by means of nets or with ordinary rod and line. The Arwari swins in  pools and are caught from phagun to jeth by means of cast-nets with small meshes and is also occasionally shot with fine shot, its flesh is esteemed at great delicacy. The singi , a small fish about three or four inches long , which derives its name from the spikes with which its head is furnished and which are said to cause painful wound , is caught in tanks, when the water becomes low by means of nets and wicker baskets. The Paharin is caught in rivers and occasionally in tanks by means of weir and nets, it grows to a large size.The common species are rohu (labeo rohita), Karonch (labeo calbaisu), Khursa (labeo gonius), nain(cirrhina mrigala), catla (catla catla), bam (mastacenbelus armatus), and silond (silonia silonia). Under the small water scheme started here, fingerlings to private pisiculturist, gaon panchayats and other institutions are provided at concessional rates.

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