Syllabus for Village Agriculture Assistants Exam
Syllabus for Village Agricultural Assistants Andhra Pradesh
1.Principles and Practices of crop production:
• Development of Agriculture in India: History- ICAR, National and international agricultural research Institutes. Indian agriculture –land and water resources.
• Agro climatic zones of Andhra Pradesh: Major crops- soils-weather – growing period – ANGRAU research stations.
• Monsoons – Seasons- Seasonal crops- influence of weather on crop growth and development.
• Tillage– Tilth- Objectives of tillage , characteristics of good seed bed, and effect of tillage on soil properties, Types of tillage – Primary, secondary and seed bed preparation , Puddling.
• Seeds: Seed material, Characteristics of seed.
• Sowing: Methods of sowing, Time of sowing, Depth of sowing, Seed rate and Spacing of important crops.
• Crop stand establishment : factors affecting crop stand establishment.
• Plant population: optimum plant population and environment.
• Soil fertility : Soil productivity, Soil fertility losses , Maintenance of soil fertility, Soil organic matter.
• Manures: Bulky organic manures, concentrated organic manures, soil amendments and biofertilizers.
• Mineral nutrition: Essential elements, Deficiency symptoms, Toxicity symptoms and Correction measures.
• Fertilizers: Classification- Nitrogenous, Phosphatic and Potassic fertilizers, Fertilizer dose, Methods of fertilizer application, Time of fertilizer application-compatibility of fertilizers.
• Irrigation water management: Basics on soil-plant-water relationship, Critical periods of irrigation, Water requirements of crops, Methods of irrigation, water Productivity, on farm Irrigation and drainage practices.
• Weed: Definition , weed problems, weed classification, Crop-weed competition, Critical periods of crop-weed competition, Weed management- chemical & non chemical (cultural, physical, mechanical and biological) control methods.
• Dryland Agriculture: Dryland farming and Rainfed farming, Problems of crop production in dry farming.
• Cropping systems: Terminology, Crop rotation, Navadhanya.
• Harvesting & storage of major crops in Andhra Pradesh.
• Sustainable Agriculture and Organic farming: Definition, Concept, Meaning and components.
• Package of practices of major crops grown in Andhra Pradesh.
2.Principles and practices of Soil science and management:
• Introduction– Mineral matter, organic matter, water and soils-Branches of soil science.
• Definition of soil: Soil profile , Description of a theoretical soil profile, Difference between surface soil and sub-surface soil.
• Minerals: Definition, Classification based on origin and chemical composition.
• Weathering – Type of weathering, Physical, Chemical and Biological weathering.
• Soil formation -Soil forming factors- Active and passive factors-their role in soil formation.
• Soil Texture: Classification of soil texture, Importance of soil texture.
• Soil structure: Definition-Classification based on type-Class and grades, Factors influencing formation of aggregates-Importance and management of soil structure
• Bulk density: Particle density-Factors influencing and importance-Porosity, Soil moisture tension, Soil moisture potential, Soil moisture constants and determination of soil moisture content
• Infiltration: Factors affecting infiltration-Importance-Percolation and Permeability-Distribution of water in soil profile
• Soil mulch: Definition and importance
• Soil air: Composition of soil air, Soil aeration indices and their importance
• Soil temperature: Influence of soil temperature on plant growth, Factors influencing soil temperature, Management of soil temperature.
• Soil colour: Importance of soil color.
• Ion exchange in soils: Cation exchange and anion exchange-Cation exchange capacity, Anion exchange capacity, Base saturation-Calculations of CEC, AEC and Base saturation.
• Soil biology : Types of organisms in soil and their important characters, Benefits and Harmful effects of soil micro- organisms.
• Soil organic matter: Decomposition of organic matter, Mineralization and immobilization.
• Humus: Importance of soil organic matter, C:N ratio, Significance of C:N ratio
• Problem soils: Salt effected soils-Saline, alkali and Saline-alkali soils-Causes for formation and reclamation of salt effected soils.
• Acid soils: Causes of soil acidity-Reclamation of acid soils
• Physical problems of soils: Their management
3.Principles of Agricultural Economics:
• Agricultural Economics: Meaning, Nature and Scope, Importance of Economics and Agricultural Economics, Micro economics and Macroeconomics, Basic economic problems.
• Agricultural production economics: Definitions, Nature and scope and Subject matter of Agricultural production economics, Objectives of production economics.
• Farm management: Meaning, definition, nature and scope, Farm management decisions- Economic principles applied to organization of farm business.
• Farm Budgeting: Meaning, types of budget, partial budgeting, enterprise budgeting and whole farm budgeting.
• Agricultural Credit: Meaning and definition of credit-classification of credit based on various criteria, role of credit, capital in farm business.
• Agricultural Marketing: Definition – Meaning – Components of market – Importance of Agricultural Marketing in economic development – classification of markets.
• Marketing functions: Meaning, Assembling, Packing, Grading and standardization, Transportation, Storage, Processing, Distribution, Buying and Selling, Market financing, Marketing intelligence, market information, Risk management.
• Agribusiness Management: Meaning, Definition, Concept, Distinctive features of Agribusiness Management, application of management principles in agri-business.
• Agro-based industries: Importance, Need, classification of agro based industries Procedure to be followed to set up agro-based industries, Constraints in establishing agro-based industries Importance.
• Discounted Techniques: Benefit Cost Ratio (BCR).
4.Fundamentals of Seed Technology:
• Introduction to seed and seed technology : Definitions and importance – Roles and goals of seed technology – Differences between scientifically produced seed and grain used as seed.
• Seed quality: Definition, characters of good quality seed, Problems and perspectives for production of quality seeds, Different classes of seed –Seed generation systems – Seed multiplication ratios – Seed replacement rate.
• Deterioration of crop varieties: Factors responsible for loss of genetic purity – Safeguards for maintenance of genetic purity.
• Maintenance of genetic purity during seed production in self pollinated and cross pollinated crops.
• History and development of seed industry: seed production organizations – National Seed Corporation (NSC) – Andhra Pradesh State Seed Development Corporation (APSSDC) – Andhra Pradesh State Seed Certification Authority (APSSCA) and their functions.
• Seed Certification: History of seed certification, Procedure for seed certification and field inspection.
• Seed Production: Foundation and certified seed production of varieties and hybrids in major crops of Andhra Pradesh, Varietal Identification through Grow Out Test – Electrophoresis, molecular and biochemical tests.
• Detection of genetically modified crops: Transgenic contamination in non- GM crops, GM crops and organic seed production.
• Seed Processing: Planning, layout and establishment of seed processing plant – Factors to be considered in planning and designing a seed processing plant – Types of layouts.
• Seed drying: Methods of seed drying , Sun drying, Forced air drying, Principle of forced air drying, Moisture equilibrium between seed and air.
• Drying zones in seed bin drying: Forced air drying method, Heated air drying system, Building requirements, Types of air distribution system and seed drying.
• Selection of crop dryers and systems of heated air drying:
Recommended temperature and depth for heated air drying of various crop seeds in bin – Management of seed drying operations.
• Seed cleaning: Pre cleaning and preconditioning equipments, principle and method of seed cleaning, Air screen machine, Principle of cleaning, Parts of air screen cleaner.
• Seed treatment: Its importance, Types of seed treatment and their benefits and method of application, Pre sowing treatments, Equipments used for seed treatment.
• Seed packaging: Operations in packaging, Equipments used for packaging of seeds, Types of packing material and packing size.
• Seed storage: Factors affecting seed longevity in storage and conditions required for good storage – General principles of seed storage, general principles, stages and factors affecting seed longevity during storage, measures for pest and disease control during storage , Multiple bin storages..
• Seed marketing: structure and organization, sales generation activities, promotional media, factors effecting seed marketing.
• Seed Act: Main features of the Seed Act, 1966 and Seed Act enforcement, Duties and powers of seed inspector, Offences and penalties, Seeds Control Order 1983.
• Seed testing Objectives of seed testing, International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) and – Establishment of Seed Testing Laboratory (STL), Seed Testing Procedures for quality assessment.
5.Agricultural Extension Methods:
• Extension teaching methods: Meaning and Classification of Extension Methods.
• Group discussion: Purpose, procedure, role of chairman, role of members, advantages and disadvantages.
• Audio – Visual Aids: Audio Aids, Visual Aids (Projected, Non Projected), Audio Visual Aids, Posters.
• Small group discussion techniques: Lecture/extension talk, debate, symposium, panel, forum, buzz, workshop, brainstorming, seminar, conference. Simulated exercise on debate, buzz session.
• Method demonstration: Basis for demonstration, Purpose, procedure, advantages and limitations. Planning for conduct of method demonstrations.
• Exhibition: Purpose, Procedure, advantages and limitations. Planning for preparation of Models.
• Information materials: Planning and preparation of Leaflet, folder and pamphlet.
• Audio aids: Public Address System and Telephone Calls – Kisan Call Centre -handling of Public Address System.
• Power Point Slides: Planning and preparation of power point slides for effective presentation and handling LCD projector.
6.Fundamentals of Plant Protection:
• Pests: Common Insects and Diseases on major crops grown in Andhra Pradesh.
• IPM: Integrated Pest & Disease Management on major crops grown in Andhra Pradesh.
• Safety issues in pesticide usage-awareness about IPM, Farmers participation –Government Support.
• Watershed: Definition, identification and delineation, Physiographic characteristics of watershed – area, coefficient of compactness, slope, shape factor, drainage density, relief, ruggedness and hypsometric curve. Importance of these characteristics in watershed management. Principles and objectives of watershed management.
• Components of watershed management: Land management (structural measures, vegetative measures, production measures and protection measures), water management (rain water harvesting, ground water recharge, maintenance of water balance, prevention of water pollution) and Biomass management. Formulation of participatory watershed development and management project, strategies for strengthening field implementation, for transfer of technology, for financial control. Strategies for farmers participation, strategies for proper maintenance of water sheds, format for planning of watersheds
• Monitoring and evaluation of watershed projects: Monitoring and evaluation systems, monitoring and evaluation methodology and Follow-up. Identification of constraints.
8.Soil and Water Conservation Practices:
• Soil erosion: Geological erosion, accelerated erosion – Agents of erosion – climate, topography, soils, vegetation, erosion by water, erosion by wind and erosion by gravity.
• Rainfall : Runoff relation – Volume and peak rate of runoff .
• Erosion control measures – Agronomic measures, contour cultivation, strip cropping, importance of contour farming, mulching.
• Contour bunds – Construction and maintenance explanation of features like spacing, height and cross section of contour bunds.Graded bunds construction and maintenance, list of outlets for bunds
• Bench terraces: Types, construction and maintenance, Explanation of features like Spacing , height, width and cross section of Bench terraces
• Contour trenches: Types, contour stone walls, applicability of trenches and contour stone walls.
• Water harvesting: Dugout and embankment type ponds –steps involved only for the design of embankment ponds and farm ponds.
• Land use capability classification.
9.Farm Machinery, power and Agricultural Implements:
• Primary tillage Implements: lCassification of primary tillage implements; indigenous ploughs – Parts of indigenous plough.
• Animal drawn Implements : Mould board plough, Ridger ploughs and chisel ploughs.
• Tractor drawn Implements: Types – Mould board plough, Disc plough, Chiesel plough, Subsoiler, Rotary plough.
• Ploughing of land: Important terms related to ploughing of land–Methods of ploughing – Gathering, Casting, Continuous ploughing method, Round and round ploughing, One-way ploughing.
• Secondary tillage implements: Classification of harrows.
• Animal drawn implements: Guntaka (Blade harrow), cultivator, spike tooth harrow and spring tyne harrow.
• Tractor drawn implements: Cultivators – Mounted and trailed type cultivators– Rigid, spring type cultivators and Duck foot cultivators.Puddler, power tiller and Tractor cage wheels puddling.
• Land development implements: Levellers, bund former, Ridger,
constructional details of implements.
• Green manure tramplers.
• Seeding and Fertilizing equipment: Methods of sowing, Seed drills.Zero till seed drill, Strip-till drill and paddy seeder.
• Inter cultivation implements: Manual, bullock and tractor drawn implements.
• Wet land and dry land weeders : Paddy weeder, Hand hoe, Spade and wheel hoe.
• Harvesting implements: Principle of cutting of a crop, types of impact cutters; Manual harvesting- Sickle.
• Methods of rice planting: Dry planting-wet planting-preparation of field for transplanting.
• Paddy transplanters: Types –Riding, walking – 4 row, 6 row & 8 row – constructional details and working.
• Nursery preparation machinery: Types of nursery raising- tray type, mat type and traditional methods
• Combine harvester: Development history- Types – self-propelled combine- pull type combine – Functions of Combine harvester – advantages and disadvantage
• Plant protection machinery: Sprayers-dusters – Applications – Functions – Desirable quality of sprayer-Methods of applying liquid chemicals.
• Sprayers: Classification of sprayers – Non-pressure type – Low pressure type – High pressure type – basic components of a sprayer.
• Manually operated sprayers: Types- Hand operated sprayer – Knapsack sprayer, Foot sprayer, Rocker sprayer – compression sprayer-Hand compression sprayer- and atomizer
• Power operated sprayers: Mist Blower – High pressure motorized knapsack sprayer .
• Types of Nozzles: Working principle.
• Dusters: Principle of dusting –Classification of dusters –Hand operated dusters – Power operated dusters – Working principle.
10. Environmental Science and Disaster Management:
• Environmental studies: Definition, scope and importance, Natural resources – renewable and non-renewable resources
• Forest resources: Functions of forests, causes and consequences of deforestation, food security.
• Water resources: Sources, use and over utilization of surface and ground waters; dams – benefits and problems. Sustainable management of water- Water conservation, rain water harvesting.
• Energy resources: Renewable and non-renewable energy resources, their impact on environment, Role of an individual in conservation of natural resources.
• Biodiversity: Conservation of biodiversity- in situ and ex situ. Methods of measuring biodiversity, Biodiversity Act.
• Environmental pollution: Causes, effects and control measures of soil, water and air pollution, tolerable limits of toxic gases in air and toxic metals in soils – drinking and irrigation water standards.
• Solid waste management: Causes, effects and control measures agricultural wastes, Urban and industrial wastes. Role of individuals in prevention of pollution.
• Climate change: Global warming, Ozone layer depletion, sea level rise, acid rain.
• Acts: The Environment protection Act: The air (Prevention and control of pollution) Act, The Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Act, The Wildlife Protection Act and Forest Conservation Act.
• Disaster management: Natural Disasters and nature of the natural disasters, their types and effects- Floods, drought, cyclones and earthquake.
• Manmade disasters: Nuclear disasters, Chemical disasters, biological disasters, coal/ forest/ oil fire.
• Disaster Mitigation: Concept- Role of NGO’s, Community based
organizations, media, Centre, state, district and local administration, Armed forces, Police and other organizations in disaster response.
11. Post Harvest Technology:
• Post-harvest technology and its importance: Threshing – definition, methods and principles of threshing, types of threshers, components and operation of pedal operated thresher.
• Winnowing: Definition; principles of winnowing; types of winnowers– winnowing fans and winnowers.
• Drying: Definition; advantages, methods of drying; classification.
• Sun drying: Types of sun drying & Mechanical Drying.
• Types of dryers: Deep bed dryer; Continuous flow dryers; non-mixing (column dryer and recirulatory dryers); mixing (baffle and L.S.U drier); fluidized bed dryer;
• Grain storage structures: Traditional structures, Improved storage structures.
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