The Dhanbad district is situated at the extreme corner of south east of Jharkhand and is surrounded by Purulia and Burdwan district of West Bengal in east. Jamtara district of Jharkhand in the North and Bokaro district in the west. The district has 8 blocks with total population of 26,82,662. Out of total population, 382969 in SC and 202729 is S.T. The position of the district in the state is shown in Map.
Total geographical area of the district is 204162 ha. About 24.1% of the total area of the district is under non- agricultural use while 18.5 % is under plough. The district is a rich source of coal. The district has only one sub- division i.e. Dhanbad and 8 blocks with head quarters at Dhanbad. Annual rainfall varies from 1200 mm to 1400 mm. The maximum temperature goes up to 470 C in summer and falls to as low as 80 C in winter. The district has at present 18928 ha of forest area. Approximately 1306457 (48.7%) people are engaged in agriculture and 1376205 (51.2%) are engaged in industrial field.
Agro Ecological Situation Of The District
Soils of The District
The district has mostly poor and infertile laterite soils. Alluvial deposits occur at the confluence of the Damodar and Barakar rivers. The soils of the district are broadly classified into four groups according to the texture:-
- Stony and gravelly found near the foot hills.
- Sandy soil- locally known as balu found in the river soils.
- Loamy soil – found near the hills, and
- Clay soil- found near the tanks and rivers which is very productive.
Crops of The District
The major crops grown in the district are paddy maize, Finger millet, Mustard, Chickpea, Potato and Onion, Mango, Guava, jack fruit and Sapota and other fruit crops and vegetables are also grown in the district. The cropping intensity of the district is 112%. The area and the productivity of the major field crops are indicated below :-
Table – Area and productivity of Major crops
|Crop||Area (ha)||Productivity (Q / ha)|
|Animal (Cow)||2.5 ltr/cow|
The rivers and streams of the district are flowing through the hilly areas and cannot be used for irrigation unless water is compounded. The slope of the land is such that rain water quickly after a spell of rain and most of the streams dry almost completely after the rainy season. Wells are difficult and expensive to dig because of presence of hard rock close to the surface. Rain water is stored in Ahars or reservoirs and then led to the field by channels and sub- channels. Uplands are generally not irrigated recently, number of medium and minor irrigation schemes have been taken up and executed in order to ensure a regular source of water supply.
Major Agricultural Problems of the District
Enterprises wise specific / technological problems and constraints of the district
For the rapid development of an area through agriculture, provision of irrigation facility is essential. The district possessing hills and rolling topography cannot be brought under rural command irrigation system. High level bunds, water reservoir projects, large diameter wells and intake wells are the only solution for the area. However, all these reservoirs together, cover an area of about 5% of the total cultivable land. Therefore, farmers of the district are almost entirely development on rains for agriculture, hence mono cropping is predominant. The crop production practices are primitive and traditional.
- The district gets fairly high amount (1200- 1400 mm) of rainfall but the distribution is highly erratic and 90 % of it is mainly received during the four monsoon months June to September. Even within this period, drought spells of 4 to 6 week duration are not uncommon causing water stress.
- Soil erosion is a menace and every year fairly substantial area of land is converted into gullies. The problem of soil erosion is getting aggravated due to faulty method of cultivation leading to land degradation.
- Availability of quality seeds and planning materials continue to be major constraints in farming. Indigenous breeds of livestock on common. The use of improved agricultural implements in the district is almost negligible.
- The cattle population is generally very poor, short in stature having low milk yielding capacity and low draft power. The genetic stock of other animals like goats, sheep, pigs and poultry is also very poor. There is scarcity of animal’s feeds and fodder. The crop residues are mainly used as animal feed.
- Unawareness about different agricultural implements used for crop production.
- There has been very weak linkage between research, extension, education, credit system etc. to agricultural development.
- Excessive dependence on the rice in all forming situations makes agricultural production highly vulnerable to vagaries of weather. Excessive weed pressure, particularly in direct seeded crops, seriously hampers crops production.
- Lack of risk taking capacity of the farmer’s due to poverty and on farm resource availability leads to the exclusion of the needed agricultural inputs, in desire quality.
- Stray Cattle grazing in the Rabi Season severely limits the introduction of Rabi crops, during winter, hence mono cropping.
- Absently land lordism the land lords themselves are not involved in farming. They employ labour and get the work done. The labour in turn, gets paid a fix amount of wages on the basis of cultivated area which is not linked with productivity and production per unit area.
- Unawareness about post harvest practices, hence lost of produce and handling storage.
- Unhealthy attitude towards development projects mainly due to :-
- The farmers depend on subsidy.
- Their extra vacancy in social customs.
- Improper use of available loan.
- Lack of trust in extension agencies.
- Lack of Plasticity in the agricultural systems and approach pre clued adoption ofmidterm corrective measures.
Thrust areas identified through PRA, Survey or any other method
- Improvement of soil and water conservation practices.
- Management of irrigation water.
- Management of problematic soils.
- Improvement in crop productivity.
- Improvement in yield of mono crop rice/paddy.
- Diversification of traditional rice-based cropping system with appropriate commercialization.
- Breed Improvement of cattle, pig and goat.
- Popularization of IPM measures for field and Horticultural crops.
- Introduction of post harvest & value addition technology.
- Entrepreneurship development of SHG groups.