Mahisar chaur, situated in north-eastern part of Samastipur district of Bihar, is spread over 607.29 ha area with an average water depth of 2.5-3 m. The chaur was flood prone and remained inundated with water for most part of the year and hence was not suitable for agriculture. With collective efforts of land owners, a drainage canal along with sluice gate was constructed to manage the flow of water in the chaur to take up both the agriculture and fishery enterprises in the chaur. Now the chaur is being successfully utilized for fishery by a cooperative society of land owners during the period of water logging (June/July to October) and for agriculture, by individual farmers during November to April. The present study investigated into income and employment generation and management practices of chaur (floodplain) in Samastipur (Bihar), India for suggesting suitable measures to improve production and productivity from the resource. For the purpose, primary data was collected from 60 sample respondent by personal interview method with the help of pre-tested questionnaire specially designed for the study. Fishery and agriculture was the two enterprises undertaken by land owners in the chaur. During rainy season when entire chaur is
inundated with water fisheries is practised with community participation while agriculture is practiced during rabi season by individual farmers on their land holdings. Cropping intensity in chaur was 199.05 percent which indicate about two time use of same area for different economic activity. The overall net income from both the agriculture and fishery in chaur was INR 43,041.94 (US$ 791.08) per hectare per annum and employment generation was 78.11 man days per hectare per annum. The contribution of agriculture in total income was 69.52 percent while that of fisheries was 30.48 percent. Retention of water in central part of the chaur for rearing of juveniles caught during draining out of chaur may improve fish productivity which in turn may increase income and employment opportunity and share of fisheries in total income.
Community, Floodplain, Management of Chaur, Pre- harvest contractor
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