GAURIPUR, June 11 - Massive cultivation of millet in the Kherbari, Jinkata, Gharial-danga area under Agomani circle adjacent to North Bengal has brought a ray of hope among the progressive cultivators as a bumper crop is being harvested which will very likely improve their economic conditions.
Formerly, the cultivators of the area were in the habit of eri paddy cultivation but they abandoned the practice as it was turning out to be very costly and the yield was also not upto their expectations.
On a visit to this area, this correspondent saw hundreds of acres of land under millet cultivation. The farmers were seen harvesting the millet and busy in drying the crop on the village PWD roads.
Gobinda Bhakat, a progressive farmer of Kherbari village planted millet in ten bighas of land and after harvesting, he expects the yield to be 20-30 maunds per bigha. Chakradhar Ray, another marginal cultivator of the area planted millet in seven bighas of land and the yield is more than his expectations.They are not worried about the sale of their crops as the villages are well-connected with motor-able pucca roads and are very close to North Bengal. Traders from North Bengal usually come to the villages to purchase millet and the villagers can easily sell their stock but at low prices ranging from Rs 850 to Rs 1050 per quintal. Previously, the price per quintal was very much higher than this year.
The cultivators told this correspondent that they have had to sell their products to the middlemen as they fail to sell it to the FCI or to other government agencies. The people of the area have suggested that government procurement centres be set up Halakura and Kaldaba markets so that the cultivators can avail the oppportunity to sell their produce at a justifiable price for their overall economic development.