Borgoyan Baligaon (Nowboicha), Dec 15 - Sada Morang, a youth in his mid-thirties is busy shuttling from his home to a swathe of flood-ravaged land towards the left-hand side of the embankment of Ranganadi river in Borgoyan Baligaon village to water the bottle gourd vines and other seasonal vegetables which are now entering a third cycle since early October. So are Dulen Bori, Bipul Payeng and Santana Gnate and other youths busy attending the standing horticultural crops growing in abundance under the bright and warm sun. The bottle gourds are fetching handsome returns as Sada and Dulen can sell them at Rs 20 to Rs 30 to wholesellers from North Lakhimpur. This way Sada and some of his other companions have earned more than two lakh rupees from bottle gourd (Lagenaria siceraria) farming only ever since the entire area began to see receding of the flood waters that destroyed the entire kharif crops this year.
The summer of 2017 brought devastating flood to the area inhabited by ST communities like Misings and destroyed the paddy cultivation as the entire area remained submerged in the overflowing waters of river Ranganadi under Garchiga Gaon Panchayat of Nowboicha revenue circle of Lakhimpur district. The siltation of the river left most of the cultivable land filled with massive layers of sand. Amidst such a state of disaster and adverse situation, a group of young village youths started preparing the flood-affected land where the river had left some mud, to grow vegetables. Using bio-wastes from domestic cattle, the group planted bottle gourds vines in fifty bighas of land along with cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, brinjals, pumpkins, bitter gourd, carrot and other leafy vegetables like spinach and lai and radish. Before the seasonal vegetables could reach the local markets from outside the district, the vegetables, mostly gourds and cabbages-cauliflowers captured the local markets.
According to the National Horticulture Board, Assam ranks seventh in the national production of bottle gourds with 50.31 tons of bottle gourds in 2014-15. The production in Borgoyan Baligaon in Nowboicha, Lakhimpur is certainly going to add more to State�s production of the bottle gourd this year. So far youths have completed two cycles of vegetables on the same stretch of land and planting the third cycle. Their work has set an example of rural entrepreneurship where economic sustainability can be achieved without applying any chemical fertiliser and pesticides in most adverse conditions caused by natural calamities. The success of Sada Kaman has attracted the attention of Lakhimpur district Agriculture Department and his group is being invited for providing economic support through banks at subsidised loans. Sada and his other companions are now growing potatoes in the same stretch of river bank land and plans to grow black pulse, mustard and sesame seeds thereafter.