AGRICULTURE department

Organisation: The Agriculture department was split up into two sectors, viz., State and District, after the formation of the Zilla Parishad in 1962. The department in the State sector looks after schemes like town compost, sugarcane development, cotton extension, taluka seed farms, experimental and research farms, soil conservation and gram sevak training centres; while the local sector is entrusted with schemes such as kharij and rabi campaigns, paddy pilot schemes, horticultural development, rural compost, fertiliser distribution, plant protection, green manuring, and distribution of cement, iron and steel, etc.

The activities in the State sector at the district level are carried out and supervised by the Assistant Cotton Extension Officer who is subordinate to the Superintending Agricultural Officer, Pune. The Agricultural Development Officer is placed in charge of schemes falling within the sphere of the district sector. He is responsible to the Chief Executive Officer of the Parishad. The Agricultural Development Officer works as the secretary to the agricultural committee of the Parishad. He is assisted in the work by the Agricultural Supervisors, Agricultural Assistants and other necessary staff.

Schemes undertaken: Following is the brief description of the various schemes introduced by the Zilla Parishad:-

Establishment of seed farm centres: By the end of the Third Five-Year Plan ten out of eleven talukas were covered by the Taluka Seed Farms. In the Fourth Plan, the remaining taluka, viz., Barshi was covered by establishing seed farm at Upalai. An amount of Rs. 3.46 lakhs has been provided in the Fifth Plan for land development, digging of wells, purchase of cattle, etc.

Construction of godowns: The godowns have been established in the district for storage of seeds and fertilisers. It is necessary to have godowns at 150 Agricultural Assistant's circles. However, in view of limited funds it is proposed to construct sixty godowns for which an amount of Rs. 6 lakhs has been provided in the District Plan of Sholapur.

Mass training of farmers: The peripatetic courses of one day are being conducted to impart training to farmers to acquaint them with the technique of growing hybrid and high-yielding varieties of food-crops. This course has been started from the year 1971-72. In all 214 camps are expected to be organised and 6,779 farmers will be trained by the end of the Fourth Plan.