CHAPANALA (NAGAON), May 19 – In a rare gesture, nearly 100 farmers belonging to Adivashi, Bengali and tribal communities of Chapanala in Nagaon district have started boro cultivation together. What is more interesting is that the farmers have erected an artificial dam in the Champabati river letting the water flow over their paddy areas. Taking advantage of the irrigation system, they have begun a new system of agriculture.Ravaged by perennial floods and elephant attacks, the farmers have chosen the boro crop so that they can maintain their family members without any hindrance.
“Floods have virtually crippled our lives and therefore we have come forward to cultivate boro rice,” Bharat Munda , an Adivashi farmer, told this reporter. The 60-year-old farmer who is also the recipient of several awards in the field of agriculture, said that the new method has immensely benefited the farmers in the locality.
“Our total cultivation area is about 250 bighas and we are expecting a good harvesting this year,” the farmer added.
Mechuram Khaklari who is also instrumental in mobilizing the farmers in the locality revealed that the new system has further cemented the bond among the people. “We have used three variety of rice including MTU 1010, Jaya and Aiya. These are said to be the best variety of rice and yield is also very high. If every thing goes smoothly, we will be getting bumper crop,” he confidently said.
Chapanala is located 20 km away from Nagaon district. But the area is still underdeveloped. The people of the area are completely isolated due to poor road connectivity.
“Floods have severely affected the people. To overcome the problem, we have selected boro cultivation which has yielded a desired result,” Kajal Das , a young farmer added. According to him, the State Government should play a pro-active role in this regard to attract more farmers in the years to come.
Latumoni Sarma of the district agriculture department said that the farmers had been provided seeds and other accessories at subsidised rates. “We have also given scientific inputs to the farmers in order to boost their yields,” he added.
Nagaon occupies a special place in the rainfed rice production system in the State by covering about 9 per cent of the total rice area and contributes 8 per cent to the production. The district is said to be the rice bowl of the State. But perennial floods have affected the rice production of the district.
Rice experts who are closely monitoring the situation are of the view that considering the gravity of the situation in the district, the State Government can encourage the farmers towards winter crops.