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Minimum Data Set and Principle Component Analysis to Assess Inhana Rational Farming (IRF) in Terms of Soil Quality Development Leading to Crop Response - A Case Study from FAO-CFC-TBI Project on Organic Tea Cultivation in Maud T.E., Assam, India

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Minimum Data Set, Principle Component Analysis, Soil Quality Index, Organic Tea
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 Creative Commons License:
Generation of Minimum Data Set (MDS) and screening of MDS through Principle Component Analysis (PCA) is the new weapon in statistical armoury. The method was used to test the effectivity of Inhana Rational Farming (IRF), vis–a-vis, other organic packages of practice viz., biodynamic farming, microbial formulations as well as vermi compost and indigenous compost (FYM) based packages; as per crop productivity and soil development. The study was taken up during 2009 – 2013 at Maud tea estate (Assam, India) under FAO-CFC-TBI Project entitled ‘Development, Production and Trade of Organic Tea’ initiated with an objective to bring forth an effective pathway for sustainable organic tea production. Under the statistical process, the huge data set was first reduced to form minimum data set (MDS) through a series of univariate and multivariate statistical methods. This was followed by Principle Component Analysis (PCA) for each statistically significant variable to choose representative variables. To reduce redundancy, Pearson’s correlation coefficients were calculated to determine the strength of the relationships among variables. Then MDS was validated and indicator transformation (scoring) was done in linear scoring methods. The indicators were then integrated into Soil Quality Indices (SQI). In the study, both additive SQI of MDS variables and weighted additive SQI of MDS variables indicated IRF as the best treatment or organic package of practice. This was followed by study of the relationship between observed and estimated yield under different package of practices using multiple regression analysis, and their close interrelation (as revealed from analysis) clearly indicated the relationship among soil quality development and crop response. The results also indicate the potentials of IRF as an effective organic package of practice for sustainable organic tea production.

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