Kamal Kr Brahma
DIPHU, Feb 21 – Mission Double Cropping will be the buzzword of the Agriculture Department under the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council for the current fiscal year.
Karbi Anglong with its 10,434 sq km geographical area is the largest district in Assam and the second largest district in India. The net cultivable area of the district is 1,82,500 hectares and its gross cropped area is 2,33,650 hectares.
Rice is the main food crop and other crops grown are sugarcane, mustard, sesame, maize, orange, pineapple, ginger, arecanut, banana, etc. A major portion of the cultivable area is under mono cropping and as a result of that the cropping intensity in the district is 130 per cent which is far below the State and the national average.
In order to increase total food production in the district, the Agriculture Department has planned crop rotation in certain areas to increase cropping density. Hence the department has planned to go for double cropping.
A target of 132 per cent cropping intensity has been set for the year, 2011-12 and in order to achieve this target, a number of schemes have been undertaken. In fact, the department has launched implementation and the infrastructure development work has already started.
The initative is the brainchild of the Directorate of Agriculture. Although thrust has been given in other districts also, the idea has caught the fancy of the autonomous council which has given special importance to the new project.
On the initiative, District Agriculture Officer of Karbi Anglong Timothy Das Hansey said that by adopting the double cropping system in the ensuing Rabi crop season, an additional area of 8,283 hectares under different crops would be cultivated. This will increase the gross cropped area to 2,41,933 hectares from the existing area of 2,33,650 hectares, thereby increasing the cropping intensity from 130 per cent to 132 per cent, an increase of 2 per cent, as targeted in the Mission Double Cropping in Rabi crops, 2011-12. The department is optimistic about this mission, he added.
The DAO informed that the farmers would be given supplied with quality seeds and other planting materials in time. This will put aside the cultivator’s worries for procuring seeds.
He mentioned that motivation of the cultivators to adopt modern methods can be achieved through appropriate awareness generation, and his department is doing this with a missionary zeal. Last year around 1,200 farmers were given guidance in workshops held at Diphu. All expenses were borne by the department. Constant promotional activity is done through kisan melas.
Timothy Das Hansey mentioned that equipping the cultivators with state-of-the-art field machinery is the other targeted mission of the department. “Already we have arranged for thousands of diesel-operated 2 HP dewatering machines to cope with the dry season, tractors and power tillers have replaced primitive plough to a large extent in the district. If the electric power supply improves, we will go for electrically-powered water pump sets to boost the field mechanism”.
Das Hansey mentioned that by being sensitive to the cultivators who really perform well, the target can be achieved to a great extent. “The department has made adequate arrangements to pay incentives to farmers who participate in bringing about a radical change in increasing food production,” he added.
The earlier strategy of the department of keeping an eye on the proper realisation of the department’s effort is most important, the experienced agriculturist feels. He said that the department is always ready to take suitable follow-up action for successful implementation of the scheme.