Agriculture Corner

United States Land Grant Model: Lessons for Developing Countries


With the implementation of Morrill Land-Grants Act in 1862 during the presidential tenure of Abraham Lincoln, United States Land Grant Colleges and Universities of Agriculture were start establishing in the states, territories and bound of Unites States of America. It won’t be wrong to claim that, Unites States Land Grant Model opened a new horizon of research and development in agriculture sector of USA. On top of it, this model is intertwined with the opening of gates to a mediocre American to have an access to technical and higher education. 

Before moving ahead, let’s have a brief on what is Land Grant System? We know that government grant is anything having a value and is given by the Federal or central government to a non-federal unit with the objective to carry out activities of public interest as authorized by the government law.

In case of United States Land Grant system, it is the award of government owned land to a receiver with the condition that the land will be used for public purpose under the legislation of US. Public colleges and universities are the most prominent outcomes of land grant system.

The law bounded the awardees of government land to either built a college or university (for agriculture and mechanic arts) or sold the land, and use the money to build at least one college for agriculture or mechanic arts. As the time passed, the dynamics of higher education and agriculture sector changed in USA and this also impacted on the land grant colleges that responded to this change by upgrading to universities.

Today, this 150 years old model is supporting USA economy by providing state of the art and world class research output, educational facilities, innovative public outreach programs and extension schemes that have strengthen the rural communities. As a result, community members have become the drivers of change by producing superior quality food, fiber along with renewable fuel systems to face the new challenges at national and global stages.

These colleges and universities under land grand model are now primary source of policy input to US government in research, education and extension services, thus creating an enabling environment to face 21st century challenges.

Can Third World Countries Agricultural System Withstand Challenges of 21st Century?

The most common missing link in any sector of economy in a third world nation is the element of ‘Planning’. Planning is at the core of achieving any goal. However, this habit has to be changed if governments in third world want their citizens to have access to safe and nutritious food along with sustainable livelihoods.

Another limiting factor that hinders the process of planning in third world nations is the access to capital and technology. For planning, research is needed to answer the unanswered queries. And for research funds are required. With weaker economies, it is difficult for third world nations to make a cut on other expenses and divert the funds towards research and ultimately planning. The viable option left is to learn from the successful stories and models round the globe.

Almost all the third world countries on the globe have agricultural based economies. Without innovation and technological advancement, it is hard to withstand 21st century challenges. Some notable challenges to agriculture sector in the 21st century include;  

  1. Climate change
  2. Population explosion
  3. Food insecurity
  4. Water scarcity for irrigation purpose
  5. Introduction of new diseases and pest on agricultural fields
  6. Orthodox extension methodologies
  7. Lack of research for new crop varieties.

Unites States Land Grants Model is Best Suited to Third World Countries

As mentioned earlier, that poor agriculture based nations have viable option of learning from global successful models. Land grant model is suited to the economic conditions of these countries in many ways;

  1. Government has to spend nothing on its part. They can award the government owned lands to follow a grass root level approach for agricultural development.
  2. USA land grant universities are also supporting third world countries that are ready to adopt land grant model by proving technical assistance, scientific trainings and hands on instruction.
  3. Land grand model can aid in uplifting the higher education and literacy rate in the country.
  4. Government can provide seed money to the trained graduates from land grant education system so that they can become entrepreneurs to generate further employment opportunities.
  5. Eventually, not only livelihoods of the people will increase but economy will also witness boom.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 19). United States Land Grant College of Agriculture: Lessons for Developing Countries [Blog Post]. Retrieved from [/box]


Agriculture Corner

Innovative Water Resource Management in Agriculture


Water is the basic need of life and one of the core elements of sustainability of living beings on planet earth. We have learnt since our childhood that 70 percent of earth surface is covered by water. However, the dilemma is, this large mass of water is not fit for human consumption and agricultural purposes. We are only available with 1 percent of fresh water resources to fulfill our drinking and other farming needs. This situation demands wise and innovative water resource management in agriculture and other sectors of daily life.

Now, I want to divert the focus of my readers towards the population explosion aspect that we are facing for the past 2-3 decades. Population on the globe has increased at an exponential rate. There has been a dramatic escalation of population graph line if you plot years and population number on a graph as shown below.

Population on Earth

Source: United Nations World Population Prospects

The above graph is quite self-explanatory that how we are expanding. Within a century, we have added almost 5 billion people and in coming 2-3 decade, we will be around 9 billion. This fast phase population explosion is on the other hand exerting pressure on the limited resources of the earth. Similarly, food demand is on a high and it will get increase in future as we are adding more mouths to our food basket.  

Now when we link the water availability situation with population, a dark picture comes out as a result. As stated earlier, we are bestowed with only one 1 percent fresh water resources by nature and this resource is limited. On top of it, we are wasting water criminally in domestic and agricultural purposes, thus creating a difficult situation for our coming generations. Water resources are also facing another pressure from the changing climate. Changing rainfall and temperature patterns due to climate change are affecting negatively on water resources. So importance of innovative water resource management in agriculture increases many folds.

Widening Gap of Water Demand and Population

Over the years, because of the factors discussed in previous lines, per capital water availability of water has reduced. In some parts of the world, it has crossed the red line. There is a widening gap between the water demand and population as presented in graph below.

Water Demand and Population


The reason for which I build the case so far is that the changing dynamics of water, climate and population needs new and innovative measures to tackle in order to have sustainability in all forms of life, especially in agriculture. Out of the box approach is needed to address all the issues.

What is Innovative Water Resource Management?

Innovative Water Resource Management is the set of management techniques that include cutting-edge knowledge and innovative approaches including an in-depth understanding of the inherent economic, scientific, social and environmental aspects to manage water resources for its sustainable consumption and to ensure the healthy recharge of water resources.

The advanced countries of the world are investing a great deal on planning and development of Innovative Water Resource Management techniques to ensure minimal water loses and enhanced water use efficiency.

The current trend of water use that is widely practiced in various parts of the world including Asia and Africa is the usage of water only once and then disposal. This trend is harmful and has created water scarce situation in many areas. Innovative Water Resource Management emphasizes more on reuse of available water through processing treatments.

Innovative Water Resource Management from Agriculture Perspective

Water lose in agriculture is lot more as compare to other sectors of the economy. Especially in third world countries, due to lack of technology, water is still used in traditional ways of irrigation in farming that results in excess loss. There are several innovative techniques now available globally to ensure water resource management in agriculture sector.

Though these technologies are expensive, however, their indigenized area specific versions have been developed, keeping in mind the local needs and budget. These are proven beneficial both for farmers and from water management perspective. Some of these Innovative Water Resource Management techniques included;

  1. Hydroponic system to grow vegetables on a media that is water use efficient.

Hydroponic system
  1. Smart Rain Water Harvesting System by building community level small dams to collect rain water for its usage in irrigation.
Smart Rain Water Harvesting System
  1. Usage of Precision / Laser Land Leveling to Conserve Water.
Laser Land Leveling to Conserve Water
  1. Bed and Furrow Planting
Bed and Furrow Planting
  1. Flexible gated pipe irrigation system
Flexible gated pipe irrigation system
  1. Optimizing Watercourse Conveyance Efficiency through Enhancing Lining Length

  1. Spat Irrigation
Spat Irrigation

This innovative water management technique is an art as well as science which is especially designed and unique to semi-arid environments.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 18). Innovative Water Resource Management in Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]



Vegetable Gardening

How to Grow Lettuce Leaves in a Container?


Today, I am going to share my experience of how to grow lettuce in a container placed anywhere in your kitchen or vegetable garden. Lettuce is a kind of vegetable that can be grown all-round the year in any climatic conditions. On top of it, its nutritious value is high and is best suited food ingredient for people who are on a diet. Low in saturated fats and sodium, lettuce is rich in;

  • Thiamin
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium

In addition to this, it is a good supplier of;

  • Dietary Fiber
  • Folate
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K

Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: a Complete Guide

Lettuce in Urban Gardening Containers

Urban gardening is gaining popularity these days as it can add a joyous activity in your daily busy and hectic life. On the other hand, it also adds fresh and juicy vegetables for your meals and a healthy life style.


Salads are a vital part of our food, offering lots of valuable vitamins with least calories, thus ideal food for diet conscious people. For this purpose, lettuce are easy to grow in container of your vegetable garden that will return you with multiple harvests. Growing lettuce in kitchen garden can be an amazing experience for the beginners.

Below lines will guide you with the steps of how to grow lettuce in a container of your kitchen garden.

What do you Need?

Lettuce plant allows you multiple harvests, i.e. as you collect the leaves, new ones grow in place of older. For this reason, it is very important to have;

  • Proper quality potting soil
  • Good quality seeds.
  • Right size container

Recommended Container & Potting Soil for Growing Lettuce

Soil: First step in how to grow lettuce is the selection of proper soil. Good quality potting soil is available in the near nursery store while many online stores also offer potting soils for lettuce. Just be sure that potting soil for lettuce should have a mix of soil, peat or compost and vermiculite or perlite. This soil mix allows good water retention that is best suited for lettuce in containers.

Seeds: There are various varieties available for growing lettuce in a container. In fact when you search for a variety of lettuce, you will be amazed that there are endless varieties of lettuce available. My recommendation is to select the variety you like the most. This is because, different varieties taste differently. Among many, you can chose;

  • Crisphead
  • Butterhead
  • Lose leaf
  • Summer Crisp
  • Little Gem
Lettuce Varieties for Container Farming

What I have grown in container of my vegetable garden is Little Gem variety. This variety was originated in France. You will find this variety crunchy, sweet in taste with miniature heads of lettuce that are full of nooks and crannies.  Little Gem variety of lettuce is best for salad dressing and can be cooked for food.

Container: The container should have an appropriate size with drainage holes. My container size is 12 inch and it has already given me 3 harvests and still lettuce plants are performing well. The container should have appropriate size because as the lettuce plant grows the root system also expands.

Growing Lettuce in a Container

Sowing the Lettuce

Now you have reached the most important phase of growing lettuce in container. Choose the place that has good access to sunlight. Lettuce loves sunlight. Its large green leaves love to do photosynthesis a lot. So it is highly recommended to move the container into a brighter space with at least 8 hours sunlight access.

Now moving to the sowing phase, fill your container with potting soil up to an inch or even two centimeters below the rim. For direct sowing, place the seed 1/4 to 1/2 half inch deep and then cover with soil. The soil should be moistened.

It is recommended to sow your seeds 4 to 6 inches apart. on the contrary, I have sown my Little Gem lettuce seeds 3 inch apart and I am getting good produce of lettuce in container. However, if you are planning to cultivate Lose Leaf variety of lettuce, 4-6 inch distance is a must. Remember that the seedbed of your lettuce in container never dry out.

Sowing Lettuce Seeds

Caring the Growing Lettuce in Container

Now you have passed the important steps of growing lettuce in a container. Wait for germination. Usually it takes 5 to 10 days for germinating. Your newly born tiny lettuce plants need your care. Following are few points that should be taken care of while growing lettuce in a container.

  • Never add synthetic fertilizer to your lettuce in container of urban garden. The objective of having fresh and organic vegetable garden grown lettuce will die at the moment you add a pinch of fertilizer. So avoid it. The potting soil is already rich in nutrients.
  • Add compost ‘if’ needed.

Prepare Your Compost at Home. How? Here is my DIY Article on Making Compost at Home

  • If temperature is around your kitchen garden is more than 30oC, move your container to a shady place. This is the biggest advantage of growing lettuce in a container to customize it in any manner you need.
  • Avoid drying of soil in your lettuce container.

Believe me, the result of all the previous steps and caring you will add to the growing lettuce in container will result in lush green and healthy lettuce leaves. They will be ready to cut right after six weeks after sowing. You can harvest them with a sharp knife but try to harvest little, just the amount you needed.

Germinating Lettuce

 Hey Guys, don’t forget to like and share this post below. It will be a boost-up for me.

Happy Growing and Eating 🙂

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 16). How to Grow Lettuce Leaves In a Container? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]











Vegetable Gardening

Vegetable Seed Sowing Planners for Northern and Southern Hemisphere


Vegetable growing in your kitchen garden is fun. Best time is when you harvest your crop. You feel satisfaction while providing healthy and nutritious meals to your family at the dining table. However, to get optimum output from the limited space in urban gardens, time of sowing vegetable seed is of utmost importance. One of the biggest issues faced by the vegetable gardeners is the lack of access to the knowledge bank regarding perfect time of vegetable seed sowing. Sowing time is critical and window is narrow. So it is important to have a vegetable seed sowing planner with every kitchen gardener in his gardening kit so that the dates never miss.

Select you Region

The globe is divided into two parts; the Northern and hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere. Further, these hemispheres are divided into three parts.

  • Cold Region
  • Tropical/Sub-tropical Region
  • Temperate Region

Now the time of sowing seeds in these regions of two hemispheres is entirely different and in some cases opposite to one another. Most of the gardening websites on the internet just provide guides on how to grow vegetables. Even some mention the months of sowing and harvesting. But the thing is, September may be perfect to grow Asparagus in Tropical/Sub-tropical regions of Southern Hemisphere but it is not good time to sow seeds of Asparagus in Tropical/Sub-tropical regions of Northern Hemisphere. The climate is different in two hemispheres and so is the growing season.

This article is going to provide an access to my readers with the 25 top and easy to grow vegetables in vegetable garden of their urban gardening system in one article. The time period to harvest each vegetable is also mentioned against each vegetable in the planner so that you can adjust your vegetable growing calendar accordingly.

Defining Cold, Tropical/Sub-tropical and Temperate Regions

Cold Region:The word Cold varies a lot among various countries. However, a Cold Region is characterized by freezing temperatures during winter. These regions have very short vegetative period.

Tropical/Sub-tropical Region:In tropical, temperature is high throughout the year and there is a marked ‘rainy’ and ‘dry’ season. In sub-tropical areas, weather has varied pattern. Winter is cooler somehow but frost and snow is rare and only occurs in mountainous areas.

Temperate Region:Temperate season also vary a lot among areas. However, the summer temperature is higher than other seasons but there is no snow during winter. Frost may occur during winter.

Few Advises before Growing Veggies in Urban Garden

Advantages of Growing Vegetables from Seeds

Before heading towards the planner, I know some are thinking why don’t we simply go to the nursery and buy vegetable transplants to grow vegetables in kitchen garden? To answer this, I have four reasons.

  1. Growing vegetables from seed allows you to grow number of varieties in limited space of your urban garden
  2. Seeds are cheaper than transplants.
  3. Growing vegetable from seed allows you to have confidence on the quality of vegetable you are growing.
  4. Level of happiness and satisfaction is more in growing vegetables from seeds.

Avoid Application of Fertilizer

If you are growing vegetable from seeds, I will strongly recommend not adding any kid of synthetic fertilizer to boost vegetable plant growth. If you are working hard to grow your own veggies in kitchen garden, then don’t waste your efforts by adding fertilizer. Only use compost. You can buy compost from online stores or make your own compost pile at home using organic wastes.

Sample Download

Vegetable Planner for Temperate Regions of Northern Hemisphere Download

[emaillocker id=”678″]

Vegetable Planner for Temperate Regions of Southern Hemisphere Download

Vegetable Planner for Temperate Regions of Northern Hemisphere Download

Vegetable Planner for Tropical/Sub-tropical Regions of Southern Hemisphere Download

Vegetable Planner for Tropical/Sub-tropical Regions of Northern Hemisphere Download


Cite this article in APA style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, September 14). Vegetable Seed Sowing Planners for Northern and Southern Hemisphere [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]



Agriculture Corner

What is Sustainable Agriculture?


Sustainable agriculture is a hot cake that has been debated globally. This is because of its dynamic nature that sometimes it is very hard to declare a particular farming pattern a sustainable one. The diversity in agriculture makes it complex. However, most of the experts have a consensus that a sustainable agriculture model should fulfill 3 important components. These include social, environmental and economic. In the light of this, sustainable agriculture may be defined as a system that produces food, fiber and animals by using such kind of techniques that are protective and does not harm the environment, human health and communities and safeguard animal welfare. Or more precisely, an integrated farming system that fulfills three P’s criteria that are people, planet and profit is regarded as sustainable agriculture.

Here, it is important to mention that organic agriculture and sustainable agriculture are sometimes confused. It should be cleared “Organic” and “sustainable” are not quite synonym to each other. There are still many practices in organic agriculture that do not comply with the sustainable way of farming. Plus there are reservations on organic agriculture that whether this form of farming can sustain large and explosive population of the world? This is mainly due to less production attainable through organic agriculture.

Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture

There are several benefits of sustainable agriculture. First of all this model of farming ensures supply of healthy food. Food determines the health of people. If we are eating healthy food, then our health will be good. A healthy nation is necessary for prosperous and economically stable country. Less monetary resources are needed on health facilities. Time resource is also saved in this manner.

On the other hand, preservation of planet resources is vital in a sustainable agriculture model so that environment is conserved. The resources like organic fertilizers, seed, soil, minerals and water for irrigation etc. should be used economically and optimally. This allows usage of resources in other production processes. Moreover, the resources become less vulnerable to degradation.

Lastly, sustainability in agriculture brings gain in terms of economic profitability. When resources are managed wisely and sustainably, it generates high profits in return. Less expenditure is incurred on inputs thus increasing the margin between cost and revenue and farmer gets fair share in terms of profitability. Financial security is also ensured.

Other benefits of having sustainability in agriculture are the efficient usage of non-renewable resources and increased quality of farm output. Social and economic equity is also earned as income from sustainable agriculture model has positive impact on it. Pest management, crop diversity and water management are few other benefits of sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable Agriculture Examples

There are numerous sustainable agriculture examples. However, I am discussing the two most important of them. One is the permaculture. It is a designed technique of producing food following the principle of “working smarter not harder” to expel waste and to create efficient system of farming. It is implemented by various means like herb spirals, keyhole and mandala gardens, zero tillage growing grain, sheet mulching, thus each plant serving multiple purposes, and creating swales on contour to hold water high on the landscape.
Another renowned sustainable agriculture example is the hydroponics. Better known today as the 21st century agriculture, in hydroponic model, crop is cultivated in such a manner that the roots of the plants are directly submerge in a mineral solution or precisely the roots are in an inert medium like gravel or perlite. This form of sustainable agriculture is practicable at both small and large scale. The most important aspect of hydroponic is that the crops are grown in a controlled environment. So the risk of contamination and usage of inorganic pesticide and fertilizer is none or minimized.

Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

No one can deny importance of sustainable agriculture in the 21st century. It is the most trusted way of protecting the soil and increasing its fertility. It aids in achieving integration of natural biological cycles and controls them accordingly. Importance of sustainable agriculture can also be observed from the fact that it also improves the organizational use of on-farm resources and helps in reducing dependence on non-renewable resources and other purchased inputs. Livelihoods of the farmers are enhanced along with elevated harmony among the faring community.

Cite this Article in APA Style as:

[box type=”note” align=”aligncenter” ]Rahman, M. A. (2017, July 26). What is Sustainable Agriculture [Blog Post]. Retrieved from[/box]