SANJOY Kr HAZARIKA
DERGAON, June 8 - A bountiful harvest of Boro paddy at Namtemera area under Rangamati Mouza of Bokakhat Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC) in Golaghat district of Upper Assam, 26 km off Bokakhat town, has brought smiles to the farmers of the area.
This is the peak season for harvesting Boro paddy. The farmers of this perennially flood-affected area had started Boro paddy cultivation to compensate Sali production, which, as a matter of routine is badly affected by the annual deluge.
The ruralites, who are otherwise marginal farmers, after having switched over to Boro paddy cultivation, have ultimately reaped a good harvest.
However, incessant rain did affect some paddy crop, which germinated as rain water drenched the ripe paddy. As a result, several farmers could not harvest their cultivation as it was standing in low-lying areas of the field.
This season, several farmers, namely, Charu Chandra Pathari, Dumbi Bori, Paradip Loying, Kamala Morang, Rajib Bori, Santiram Loying, Haren Loying and Paban Kaman, to name only a few, managed to reap bountiful harvests.
Most of the farmers have been cultivating paddy in 4 to 8 bighas of land. As many as 40 maunds (16 quintals approximately) of paddy is normally harvested per bigha of land.
The farmers, it may be mentioned, are cultivating the land by expending their own meagre capital and physical labour. The government departments have done nothing to assist them.
The farmers are obviously lagging behind on the irrigation front, besides lack of high land to thrash the harvested and suitably dried paddy.
Retired Headmaster of Mahuramukh High School Suren Bori told The Assam Tribune that the farmers had to switch over to Boro paddy cultivation in order to compensate for the loss sustained annually due to seasonal floods.
“As the agricultural lands are low-lying and fertile, hence the need to use chemical fertilisers does not arise, however, rain and flood waters are a problem,” Bori said.
Paban Kaman, a farmer and a local journalist said, the farmers felt the need of an appropriate irrigation system as acute dearth of funds to foot the bill for the cost of fuel to run the pumpsets during February-March for Boro paddy cultivation, was another glaring problem.
“However, the local farmers do not rely on the Agriculture Department for their supply of seeds, and use their own resources,” Kaman said.
“At present, the most essential need of the farmers for Boro paddy cultivation is a yard of high land for thrashing and separating the grains from the chaff as the Boro crop grains are water sensitive and germinate easily,” he said.
“Boro cultivation is reasonably profitable as it yields around 40 maunds of grain from one bigha of well-cultivated land,” a farmer said.