JORABAT, Nov 23 - There is a speciality about Aprikula village located just 20 kilometres from Guwahati city. Farming in this village which falls under 52 Dispur LAC, 55 Kamarkuchi Gaon Panchayat and Dimoria Development Block and is situated beside the Digaru River, is done only by women. Paddy fields cover an approximate area of 250 bighas in this village which has a 100 per cent tribal population.
Everything, from sowing the seeds to harvesting the paddy to carrying them home, is done by the women of the village. Also, this village does not use any kind of chemical fertilizer, pesticides. It depends on natural manure and the farmlands are fully organic. But sadly, neither the Union Agriculture Ministry nor the State agriculture department pays any attention to this remote village of Assam bordering Meghalaya.
According to the headman of Aprikula village Kamla Tumung, even though the village lies so close to Dispur, the government has no time to take stock of the condition of the farmers, who cannot look beyond their meagre subsistence. He rued that the schemes implemented by the agriculture department never reach the village. He asserted that till date the village has never used chemical fertilizers. As it is situated in an area surrounded by hills, the rainwater that flows down the hills brings along organic manure and deposits it in the paddy fields.
Molai Teron, who represents Aprikula in the 55 Kamarkuchi Gaon Panchayat, claimed that even though the village does not use chemical fertilizers, it has more productivity per bigha than other areas of Assam.
There are four women�s self-help groups (SHG) in the village, that carry out the entire farming activity in the village. Aatur SHG workers Kalpana Rahang and Sumita Rahang said that no MP, MLA or personnel from the agriculture department has come forward to mitigate their pitiable conditions. Some other workers of the SHG informed that they have never seen chemical fertilizers, leave alone use them.
In this context, chief scientist of the Goat Research Centre, Tamulikuchi, Byrnihat under the Assam Agricultural University Dr BK Deka told this correspondent that in the olden times people used to do farming by using fertilizers derived from trees. Even today there are places where no chemical fertilizers are used, as in the case of Aprikula village. The only drawback that this village faces is that it lacks proper information on scientific farming.
It will be interesting to note what steps the government takes to improve the lot of the Aprikula farmers engaged in organic farming.