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Youth sets example in composite farming
 NALBARI, Oct 4 - While a good number youths in the State are still running after the Government jobs, a youngster from Balitara village under Barsiral agricultural circle in Nalbari district has set an example with a scientific bent of mind.

Biju Kalita, a young and energetic farmer, with a formal education up to higher secondary level, he thought of eking out a livelihood through agriculture from their family land.

He approached the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Nalbari for their help in March, 2006. His initial notion about the KVK was that of an office supplying inputs for needy farmers. He was surprised to see the forthcoming attitude of the KVK scientists who not only evinced keen interest about his agro-ecosystem, but also took pain to explain to him regarding the concepts of cropping sequences, crop diversification, cropping systems, integrated farming etc., for maximising profit margin from his 4.5 hectare of land.

On his request, a group of scientists from the Nalbari KVK visited his farm in April, 2006. The officials also took the responsibility to oversee the successful adoption of scientific practices on his farm.

Starting from the middle of 2006, the KVK accommodated and facilitated Kalita in attending various training programmes of the KVK and other departments too.

According to Dr Mridul Deka, programme coordinator of the Nalbari KVK, during 2007 they provided him seeds of high yielding varieties of paddy as well as other technologies through different channels. Dramatically, within a year, his traditionally cultivated varieties of rice, toria and vegetables were completely replaced by high yielding varieties. In the same year, he also started a poultry farm with a capacity of 500 birds, which was subsequently expanded to 2,000 birds per batch in 2010.

While talking to this correspondent, Biju said that towards 2007-end, he started a composite fish culture unit in a water area of 0.53 hectare along with two small nursery tanks for rearing spawn to fingerling for late season.

The Nalbari KVK assisted him in preparing a detailed project report for the same in order to get financial aid from banks. Accordingly, his fishery project was financed by the SBI. Further, he could also get 30 per cent subsidy from the National Fisheries Development Board.

In January 2010, he sold over 1,500 kgs of fish and earned Rs 1.5 lakh from his fishery unit alone. During 2008, his rice production increased from 350-400 kgs to 650-700 kgs per bigha. Similarly, the production of rapeseed increased from 700 kg to 1,000-1,100 kgs per bigha. In 2010, his annual returns from farming activities increased to Rs 3.5 lakh from Rs 1.5 lakh in 2006.

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