GORESWAR, Sept 22 - At a time when unemployment has become a burning problem in the State, residents of Daboukhila under Goreswar revenue circle have brought about a revolutionary change by planting bananas in a massive way.
A large number of unemployed educated youths of Suklai Serfang BTC constituency in Baksa district have opted for banana plantation.
The educated youths of Daboukhila, Bhulajhar, Suagpur, Bangalipara, Oubari villages have engaged themselves in agricultural activities and without any help from the administration, the youths are cultivating banana and are reaping good profits from the produce.
Producing the malbhog variety of bananas, a group of educated youths like Bikash, Tankeswar, Pranjal, Deep, Jayanta, Dipankar, Ajit, Dipak etc., have become the ideals for youth of Daboukhila village. Healthy numbers of the fruit are being produced by the youths and sold in the markets of Guwahati, Hajo, Sesa, North Guwahati, Mangaldai and Rangiya. A small banana market has also sprung up in the nearby Naokata area. Nearly 60% of the banana market of Guwahati city is being covered by the youths of Suagpur area, they claimed.
It may be mentioned that only two or three farmers planted banana trees for the first time in Daboukhila village years back. But when educated youths joined the enterprise, every family started banana plantation on the 10 to 15 bighas of land they possessed foregoing even the traditional rice cultivation. Looking at the profits from banana crop, neighbouring villages like Bhulajhar, Oubari, Bangalipara, Bhulabatabari and Suagpur also started producing banana. The unemployed educated youth took the leadership in this work. Even high school students started putting in labour along with the graduates. At least 150 farmers of the area are cultivating the malbhog variety in the village of Daboukhila. Though banana is produced by the farmers round the year, the months from March to July yield the maximum profits when the crop is usually disease-free.
In other months, some unknown diseases do affect the fruits. Altogether 250 plants of banana are planted in each bigha of land and they earn Rs 30,000 if the crop remains disease-free.
Surprisingly, even though banana production has become so profitable and successful in these villages, no agriculture officer, not even a field worker of the Agriculture Department, has deemed it fit to visit the areas and offer advice or help, the farmers rue.