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Assam chosen to grow pulses, oilseeds

By Sivasish Thakur

GUWAHATI, Oct 12 - In a welcome boost to the State�s agriculture sector, Assam has been chosen by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers� Welfare under a special project for growing pulses and oilseeds in rice fallow areas.

The Rs 1,500-crore project to be funded with 90 per cent Central share will cover 300 villages in three districts of Assam. Each village will get Rs 5 crore under the project.

Assam is among six States to be covered by the �Targeting Rice Fallow Area in Eastern India for Pulses and Oilseeds during 2016-17�, a sub-scheme under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana.

Sources in the Agriculture Department told The Assam Tribune that the State�s selection under the project was an acknowledgement of its potential for pulse and oilseed production.

�Assam�s pulse production and productivity has been rising, with the yield in 2014-15 standing at 1.48 lakh MT. The productivity per hectare has also risen to 749 kg in 2014-15 from 556 kg in 2000-01. While we are still short of meeting the yearly requirement of 2.85 lakh MT, the new project will give a big boost to pulse and oilseed cultivation,� sources said.

As of now, pulse cultivation in the State covers a total area of 148,223 hectares.

A major constraint in pulse cultivation in the State has been the acidic nature of soil, with over 60 per cent of Assam�s soil being acidic. Inadequate irrigation, difficulty in storage of pulse seeds due to high humidity, and lack of modern processing units are the other hindrances.

�Implementation of the project that begins after the sali season will result in double cropping. It will be implemented during rabi/summer season 2016-17 as per approved

funding pattern of the National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palms (NMOOP)/National Food Security (NFSM) in the identified villages. Our strategy targets low flood-affected land, riverine/char areas, and rice fallow land for rabi pulse,� sources said.

Sources added that the thrust was on cultivation of rabi pulses as intermediate crop under irrigated condition. Amelioration of acidic soil, more emphasis on use of bio-fertilizers and micro nutrients, promotion of new technology and practices, and creating processing facilities are components of the strategy.

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Assam chosen to grow pulses, oilseeds

GUWAHATI, Oct 12 - In a welcome boost to the State�s agriculture sector, Assam has been chosen by the Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers� Welfare under a special project for growing pulses and oilseeds in rice fallow areas.

The Rs 1,500-crore project to be funded with 90 per cent Central share will cover 300 villages in three districts of Assam. Each village will get Rs 5 crore under the project.

Assam is among six States to be covered by the �Targeting Rice Fallow Area in Eastern India for Pulses and Oilseeds during 2016-17�, a sub-scheme under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikash Yojana.

Sources in the Agriculture Department told The Assam Tribune that the State�s selection under the project was an acknowledgement of its potential for pulse and oilseed production.

�Assam�s pulse production and productivity has been rising, with the yield in 2014-15 standing at 1.48 lakh MT. The productivity per hectare has also risen to 749 kg in 2014-15 from 556 kg in 2000-01. While we are still short of meeting the yearly requirement of 2.85 lakh MT, the new project will give a big boost to pulse and oilseed cultivation,� sources said.

As of now, pulse cultivation in the State covers a total area of 148,223 hectares.

A major constraint in pulse cultivation in the State has been the acidic nature of soil, with over 60 per cent of Assam�s soil being acidic. Inadequate irrigation, difficulty in storage of pulse seeds due to high humidity, and lack of modern processing units are the other hindrances.

�Implementation of the project that begins after the sali season will result in double cropping. It will be implemented during rabi/summer season 2016-17 as per approved

funding pattern of the National Mission on Oil Seeds and Oil Palms (NMOOP)/National Food Security (NFSM) in the identified villages. Our strategy targets low flood-affected land, riverine/char areas, and rice fallow land for rabi pulse,� sources said.

Sources added that the thrust was on cultivation of rabi pulses as intermediate crop under irrigated condition. Amelioration of acidic soil, more emphasis on use of bio-fertilizers and micro nutrients, promotion of new technology and practices, and creating processing facilities are components of the strategy.