MANGALDAI, Oct 7 - Every year during the monsoons most of the villages of Darrang district experience flood. Flood water submerge grasslands for quite a long period of time which often leads to scarcity of fresh food for the domestic livestock especially cattle. The government also has to supply fodder to these flood-affected livestock (over a lakh in number) and in the name of emergent procurement of these relief food materials, a sizeable amount of public money is spent every year. In order to get rid of this possible emergency situation, the Darrang district administration under the personal initiative of Deputy Commissioner, Ashok Kr Barman on an experimental basis carried out farming of a high-yield grass variety namely �Napier� in barren land within the farm area owned by State Sericulture Department located near Bongolagarh, Mangaldai.
In the mean time, the grasses in between the gaps of �Som� plantation grew up and all the area of around seven bighas of land has turned green. But just when the innovate effort of the district administration supported by the District Agriculture Department and the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Department was about to turn out meaningless, with not much flooding in the district, flash floods submerged grasslands in some villages including Mojachuba, Adhikari, Kanaichuba etc., following breach in the embankment along the river �Noa� some days back, forced the authorities to look back on grass produced. The affected cattle in the villages immediately got relief with the free distribution of bundles of fresh grass produced in the vacant land of the Sericulture farm . �The Napier variety of grass we produced on the personal initiative of our Deputy Commissioner turned out to be very handy as we could urgently supply it to the cattle and address the necessity as a temporary measure,� said Bidyut Bikash Bhagawati, Additional Deputy Commissioner in charge of Disaster Management.
Meanwhile, with the anticipation proving to be correct and the efforts of experimentally producing Napier yielding the desired results, has brought delight to Deputy Commissioner Barman. Now he is planning to take up farming of such grass on abandoned land owned by the government agencies. �This is the beginning. We can plan for more plantations of Napier grass in all suitable Government complexes next year,� he said.