Banswara district is situated in the southern most part of the Rajasthan state and lies between 23 o 11′ to 23 o 56′ N latitudes and 73 o 58′to 74 o 49′ E longitudes. It is surrounded by Pratapgarh district in the north, Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh in the east, Sagwara and Aspur tehsils of Dungarpur district in the west and Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh in the south. The district also toches boundary of Panchamahal district of Gujarat in the south-west. The vagad region represents a rugged terrain undulated by short ridges in west of Banswara. The eastern part of it is occupied by flat-topped hills of the Deccan trap. It also has the southern end of the Aravalli Mountains.
The district occupies prominent place in the agro-climatic zone-IV B, i.e., “Humid Southern Plain Zone” of Rajasthan comprising 8 Sub- Divisions, 11 Tehsils and 8 Panchayat Samities. The total geographical area of the district is 453612 ha, accounting 1.31 per cent of the total area of the Rajasthan state. The total Gram Panchayats and Revenue Villages in the district are 346 and 1532, respectively.
The total population of the district is 17.98 lac. Out of this more than 75 percent population belongs to scheduled tribe category. The literacy rate is 57.20 per cent. The population density of the district is 399 as against 201 in the state. Out of total population, 92.88 per cent are living in villages.
The 61.77 per cent farm families of the district belongs to marginal category followed by 20.56 per cent small, 12.65 per cent semi medium, 4.68 per cent medium and only 0.34 per cent in the large farmer’s category.
The agro-climatic conditions of the district is sub-humid and sub-tropical climate with mean daily minimum temperature varies from 11.8 0 C in January to 26 0 C in June.Likewise, the mean daily maximum temperature ranges from 21.8 0 C in January to 43.8 0 C in May. The average annual rainfall is about 825.90 mm.
The district has mainly red and clay loam soil.In the district three agro- ecological situations exists viz., (i) sandy loam soil, medium rainfall and medium elevation (ii) medium black soil, high rainfall and medium elevation, and (iii) medium black soil, high rainfall and high elevation.
Out of 4.53 lac ha geo-graphical area, 0.91 lac ha is under forest, 2.24 lac ha net cultivated area, 3.42 lac ha gross cultivated area and 0.12 lac ha pasture land. The area under irrigation is 1.07 lac ha which is 47.77 per cent of the net sown area. The main irrigation sources are canals, wells and tube wells. The river Mahi is important source of canal irrigation (64503 ha) and its share is 60.28 per cent. Maize, rice, blackgram, soybean and cotton are the predominent kharif crops, while, wheat, gram and rabi maize are major rabi crops. Zaid greengram cultivation is also a common practice. Cereal crops (maize, wheat and rice) constitutes 71.89 % of gross cultivated area followed by pulses (blackgram, pigeon pea, gram and greengram) 15.78 % and oilseeds 4.09 % (soybean). The fertilizer consumption in the district is 106.7 kg/ha.
The common crop sequences are maize/rice/soybean/cotton-fallow, kharif pulses-fallow, kharif pulses- gram under rainfed condition, whereas, maize/ rice/ cotton/ soybean-wheat/gram, soybean-gram/wheat-summer greengram and soybean-rabi maize under irrigated conditions. The productivity of maize, cotton and rice are higher as compared to state average. Due to continuous efforts of KVK for transfer of technologies, the agriculture scenario of district is diversifying. At present, the district has diversified agriculture scenario with number of field crops, vegetables, spices, medicinal crops, orchards and flowers. The total area under orchards (mango,guava and lime) and vegetables is more than 4000 ha. KVK has made concentrated efforts for upliftment of the socio-economic status of the tribals through various agri- based enterprises and for that generated resources from various agencies. The significant change in the productivity of various crops and diversification is visible in the tribal dominated villages of KVK operational area.
KVK Scientists Conducting PRA in Village
Presently seed replacement rate (per cent) in maize is 65, cotton 100, kharif pulses 29, soybean 65, wheat 26, rabi maize 95 and in gram it is 10. Due to diversification in agriculture chemical pesticides are gaining undue importance in the district, especially in cash crops like vegetables, soybean and cotton by large farmers. The district is having 2078 tractors, 1250 threshers and 1048 seed- cum- ferti drills. Use of mechanical power is becoming indispensible due to labour problem in agriculture.
The district is having 19.03 lac live stock population including 6.58 lac cattle, 2.59 lac buffaloes, 4.51 lac goats , 5.02 lac poultry and 0.31 lac other animals. The productivity of non-descriptive cattle and buffaloes is only 2.37 and 3.17 liter/day, respectively.
Banswara being a “Land of hundred islands” there is ample scope of fish farming but due to non-availability of quality fish seed and unscientific fish rearing, the real potentional has not been fully exploited.
Major problems existing in the district are
The district is inhabited predominantly by scheduled tribes and having very poor and miserable socio-economic status owing to age old cultivation practices. Banswara has been identified as most backward district by the National Institution for Transforming India, Govt. of India looking to the dominance of tribal population and their poor socio-economic conditions.
A wide variation in the rainfall, soil characteristics and cropping pattern are found in the district. The major constraints in agriculture are-