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Banana farmers demand compensation for crop damage due to floods

By ANN Service

MIRZA, Sept 30 - Hundreds of banana growers of the famous Bartari-Kondolpara banana belt in Palasbari LAC in Kamrup district have demanded that the State government immediately compensate them for the damage to over 2000 bighas of banana crop in the recent floods of the Brahmaputra river.

Bimal Mahanta (46), president of Bartari Anchalik Kolbagan Krishak Santha, said there are over 400-450 banana farmers in the Bartari banana belt, who have been raising banana crops in over 2000 bighas ( 266 hectares) of land, which is considered as the biggest banana belt in Kamrup district (and one of the biggest banana belts in the north-eastern states).

�Three formidable waves of flood of the Brahmaputra river have inundated the banana gardens of the farmers this year and thereby damaged over 70-80 per cent of the gardens,� said Mahanta who has banana gardens in over 50 bighas of land. He added that the government has not yet compensated the damage so far and demanded that it do the same soon.

Jayanta Mahanta, another farmer of Bezortari village who has banana gardens in his 20 bighas of land said that banana gardens of Bartari, Bezortari, Kondolpara, Futuri etc., villages under Palasbari Revenue Circle in Kamrup district are vulnerable to floods because these are located on the bank of the Brahmaputra whose floods damage these gardens almost every year.

Kushal Mali, a progressive banana farmer of the area, said that the Agriculture Department has provided them many incentives including tractors, power tillers, electric motors, spray machines etc., either under subsidised costs or for free. Some of the banana farmers have also benefited under Technology Mission of Agriculture Department. The Irrigation Department has also provided 21 big solar sets free of cost to the farmers of Bartari area for irrigation.

President of Bartari Anchalik Kolbagan Krishak Santha, Bimal Mahanta said that the banana crop has not so far been notified by Assam Government for providing insurance coverage for which financial support to the banana farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) or any other insurance scheme could not be given in the event of any damage to the crop due to natural calamities like flood, cyclonic hailstorms, pest and disease attack etc.

Talking to this scribe over telephone, the District Agriculture Officer (DAO), Kamrup Bharat Rajbonshi said that the Department has given priority for development of the banana crop in Bartari area and maximum agriculture-related equipment including pesticides have been given to these farmers in the past 12 years.

�It is the Agriculture Department which first initiated a project for banana plantation in around two hectares of land under Technology Mission (of Agriculture Department) in the once barren land at Bartari village near the Brahmaputra river in 2008-2009 and the project has become successful. More farmers have cultivated banana crop in their land. And, now the banana crop in Bartari area has been expanded to over 250 hectares of land. The project implemented in 2008 under Technology Mission has guided the farmers, who were unemployed and poor then, to become self-reliant and self-employed now,� Rajbonshi said adding that he would raise the issue of damage of banana crops of Bartari belt with the appropriate higher authority for compensation.

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Banana farmers demand compensation for crop damage due to floods

MIRZA, Sept 30 - Hundreds of banana growers of the famous Bartari-Kondolpara banana belt in Palasbari LAC in Kamrup district have demanded that the State government immediately compensate them for the damage to over 2000 bighas of banana crop in the recent floods of the Brahmaputra river.

Bimal Mahanta (46), president of Bartari Anchalik Kolbagan Krishak Santha, said there are over 400-450 banana farmers in the Bartari banana belt, who have been raising banana crops in over 2000 bighas ( 266 hectares) of land, which is considered as the biggest banana belt in Kamrup district (and one of the biggest banana belts in the north-eastern states).

�Three formidable waves of flood of the Brahmaputra river have inundated the banana gardens of the farmers this year and thereby damaged over 70-80 per cent of the gardens,� said Mahanta who has banana gardens in over 50 bighas of land. He added that the government has not yet compensated the damage so far and demanded that it do the same soon.

Jayanta Mahanta, another farmer of Bezortari village who has banana gardens in his 20 bighas of land said that banana gardens of Bartari, Bezortari, Kondolpara, Futuri etc., villages under Palasbari Revenue Circle in Kamrup district are vulnerable to floods because these are located on the bank of the Brahmaputra whose floods damage these gardens almost every year.

Kushal Mali, a progressive banana farmer of the area, said that the Agriculture Department has provided them many incentives including tractors, power tillers, electric motors, spray machines etc., either under subsidised costs or for free. Some of the banana farmers have also benefited under Technology Mission of Agriculture Department. The Irrigation Department has also provided 21 big solar sets free of cost to the farmers of Bartari area for irrigation.

President of Bartari Anchalik Kolbagan Krishak Santha, Bimal Mahanta said that the banana crop has not so far been notified by Assam Government for providing insurance coverage for which financial support to the banana farmers under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna (PMFBY) or any other insurance scheme could not be given in the event of any damage to the crop due to natural calamities like flood, cyclonic hailstorms, pest and disease attack etc.

Talking to this scribe over telephone, the District Agriculture Officer (DAO), Kamrup Bharat Rajbonshi said that the Department has given priority for development of the banana crop in Bartari area and maximum agriculture-related equipment including pesticides have been given to these farmers in the past 12 years.

�It is the Agriculture Department which first initiated a project for banana plantation in around two hectares of land under Technology Mission (of Agriculture Department) in the once barren land at Bartari village near the Brahmaputra river in 2008-2009 and the project has become successful. More farmers have cultivated banana crop in their land. And, now the banana crop in Bartari area has been expanded to over 250 hectares of land. The project implemented in 2008 under Technology Mission has guided the farmers, who were unemployed and poor then, to become self-reliant and self-employed now,� Rajbonshi said adding that he would raise the issue of damage of banana crops of Bartari belt with the appropriate higher authority for compensation.

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