KALGACHIA, May 4 – The greater Kokila village is located along the border of Bongaigaon district, a few kilometres from the south of Sorbhog.At a time when the other arable land remains bare, ‘Sajal Dhara’, a paddy cultivated by the SRI method, has filled this vast area. About 113 bighas of land in Majpara, Moulavipara, Nayapara, Kokila Part-I, Part-II, Dakshinpara, Chalakura villages under the greater Kokila area are now wearing a soothing green colour.
However, four years ago, these cultivable land had been cropless. For the first time in 2007, an industrious youth of Kokila village Montaz Ali, who got a national award, started the SRI method of cultivation on only 2 bighas of land and was able to produce as much as 1,640 kg of rice per bigha. Having seen the productiveness of rice, the other cultivators of Kokila and its surrounding areas adopted the SRI (system of rice intensification) method in paddy cultivation.
Under the initiative of Montaz Ali, paddy cultivation applying the SRI method was done in more than 250 bighas of land in 2010.
Last year one bigha of land produced 40 mons of rice. At present, the endeavour to popularise the SRI and other latest scientific methods in cultivating paddy has been taken among the people in this area by Kokila Azad Club & Library and NGO Asha.
However, like the SRI method, the farmers have also cultivated irridhan in this part of Bongaigaon district. Though they have tried this cultivation in the past, but due to the need of abundant water in the fields they had been seeking alternative methods.
The SRI method of cultivation needs less quantity of water, that is, once a week. Usually for this method, farmers have to depend on the ground water. Water is supplied in the field through pumps. To minimise the cultivation costs, farmers have now preferred to adopt the SRI method. This method is more profitable in productiveness too. It is remarkable that as many as 40 mons of rice can be produced per bigha of land through the SRI method while only 21 mons can be harvested through irridhan cultivation.
As reported by national awardee farmer Muntaz Ali, about 100 educated youths of this area have been involved in cultivation. The SRI method rice is also commercially profitable. One mon of rice is sold for Rs 450-500. Saplings of this kind of paddy is planted in only 15 days after its seeds are sowed. Saplings are planted in January and February and can be harvested after 100/115 days. Ali informed that in the SRI method cultivation compost and cowdung manure is applied in place of chemical manure. Through the SRI method of cultivation, the farmers have been able to bring green revolution in the Kokila area under the Bongaigaon district.
However, they have to face various problems which the district authorities have been trying to meet by providing paddy seeds, pesticides, power pumps, etc. But the farmers have to spend a lot of money for watering their fields, due to the absence of any irrigation system.
Though a deep tubewell was installed in the 1990s at Kokila Moulavipara, but it has not been functional till date. It needs mention here, though this method was applied for cultivating paddy in Kerala and other States, the Kokila area of Assam has proved very successful.