GAURIPUR, Dec 2 - Sujata Ray, wife of Kanak Prasad Ray of Laukhowapar area near Gauripur town and a mother of two sons, has become an inspiration for aspiring cultivators in a predominantly agricultural Assam. A progressive farmer, Sujata by cultivating tulasi joha paddy in three bighas of her land has set an example that women are not behind men in pursuing their profession and can stand on her own feet. She has been herself cultivating her land since 1984 and has become an ideal cultivator in the area. Her husband helps her whenever she needs.
Sujata said that this year she collected seeds of this fragrant rice variety from the local market at Rs 200 per kg and sowed them in a high plot of land. After seedlings grew from the seeds, she transplanted them in the already tilled land. In order to achieve high yields, she applied chemical fertilisers as well as cowdung and water hyacinth in the field. When the seedlings grew up, she applied pesticides to prevent attack by worms.
After harvesting the paddy later, she expects to realise 10/11 mounds of fragrant fine paddy from one bigha of land and sell it in the local market adjacent to her residence at Rs 1100 per mound.
During the period of cultivation, she laboured hard and worked for 8 to 10 hours daily. But inspite of her labour, she never neglected her household works also and always looked after the studies of her two sons Hari Prasad Ray and Kalyan Ray. Presently Hari Prasad Ray is pursuing M Tech at the Tezpur Central University and Kalyan Ray an MA in Gauhati University.
Sujata Ray is a very active cultivator and she plans to cultivate tulasi joha paddy in more and more land in the future. Besides paddy, she has also cultivated mustard seeds and cabbage in five bigha of land. She is very proud of her success in the field of paddy cultivation and is presently self-sufficient without taking any help from the government though she lamented that no agricultural officers of the district have visited her paddy field so far. A few cultivators of the area like Deben Ray and Biren Ray have also taken up cultivation of tulasi joha paddy in their lands. The local people here feel that such a lady should be rewarded for her achievements in the field of agriculture so that others feel inspired and take up agriculture with renewed vigour.