JAMUGURI, Jan 30 - Bringing a ray of hope to many educated unemployed youths of the greater Jamuguri area, the Bharaliparia Kanyaka Bohumukhi Paam has turned nearly 2000 bighas of barren land into lush fields by taking up a multi-cropping project on the bank of Bharali river under Shilabandha gaon panchayat (Madhya).
It may be stated that the Shilabandha area near Jamuguri Haat under Sootea LAC in Sonitpur district has nowadays become famous for large-scale farming of variety of crops by turning a large area of barren land along the bank of river Bharali into a lush field. The point to be noted here is that a large area on the bank of Bharali river belonging to the local indigenous people had remain unutilised for many years, which began to be gradually encroached by some suspected Bangladeshi nationals. In the meantime, under the leadership of local MLA, Padma Hazarika some educated and industrious unemployed youths of the area thought of utilising the Bharali-river silted barren area, starting employment generation for hundreds of educated unemployed youths of the area as an outcome of which the farm named as Bharali Paria Kanyaka Bahumukhi Paam came into being last year.
Nowadays the rural entrepreneurs along the bank of Bharali river have transformed a vast stretch of the unutilised silted area of Bharali river into rich verdant fields. Presently about 2000 bighas of land along the Bharali river is teeming with a rich growth of vegetables like banana, lemon, water melon and vegetables since last year. Different kinds of crops including cabbage, potato, black gram, mustard seed, sesame (til), brinjal, peas, wheat, cauliflower, pumpkin, bottle guard and other leafy vegetables are growing in the area thereby giving a fresh look to the field. More than 300 people engaged in the farm are now seen toiling throughout the day in the field. The farm has been able to put up a good show in the agricultural field by cultivating different crops.
Padum Nath, the overall in-charge of the farm interacting with this reporter said that alongwith the aforementioned farming, the farm has been giving priority to other areas also. �Considering the economic viability and the common need, we have planted banana, lemon and other beneficial plant in about 40 bighas of land which have started to yield fruit,� Nath said adding besides these a big budget fishery project is also being executed covering an area of about 300 bighas of land of which already one fishpond is complete.
Not only that, stressing the organic side of agricultural sector of the region, the farm also lays importance on vermin-compost project where with the selling of organic inputs, farmers are also imparted training on how to get involved in healthy farming.
Expressing satisfaction over the satisfactory production from the farm, Padum Nath also mentioned that potatoes produced from 200 bighas of land, mustard seed produced from about 400 bighas of land, peas produced from about 15 bighas of land have been able to capture both local and outside market as each and every produce is organic here.
Mentioning the various obstacles faced by the farm since its inception including financial problems, internal irrigation, electrification, road communication etc., Nath further stated that amidst many tough challenges, the farm has also got support from various sources too. �For the deep tube well (for internal irrigation facility) we have been given a sanction of Rs 2 crore. Recently, the Department concerned has installed electricity facility also,� he said.
On the other hand, a socially aware person of the area Basav Bhuyan giving a feedback on the prolific farm said that the farm is not only producing vegetables or other products, it has also been giving priority to employment generation among the local educated unemployed youths. �In the farm, more than 300 people have been engaged till now who earlier had no income. Moreover, many jobless people from Middle, North and South Silabandha, and South and North Borbhogia panchayats are finding a way of livelihood since the last one year,� Bhuyan said and added that he is hopeful enough that in the days to come the farm will be able to play a pivotal role in the economic field of the region.
The farm is also slowly becoming a major attraction for tourists, cultural activists and a nerve centre for the agro-based field trip for many schools and colleges of the district. During a recent visit to the farm and interacting with this reporter, a group of college students and teachers informed that many opportunities are available in the farm which are helpful for their lively and agro-based field studies. Moreover, attracted with the spectacular natural beauty of the farm, the heart throb of Assamese song lovers, Zubeen Garg has selected the farm as a prime location for one of his proposed films.
It needs mention that the farm is facing erosion threat from the Bharali river. The local MLA, who is the driving force behind the farm, has appealed to the Assam Government to extend their helping hand to check the probable erosion problem. Another dedicated member of the farm, Pankaj Hazarika informed that till date Ministers from the State Government, including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister for Health, Finance and Education Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma and the PWD Minister, Parimal Suklabaidya have visited the farm and have committed to extend cooperation for sustaining the farm.