TEZPUR, March 15 � Nearly 50 farmers belonging to the Adivasi, Bengali and Muslim communities of Dhekiajuli and Sirajuli area in Sonitpur district have started generating a good income cultivating various seasoned crops including cauliflower, cabbage, brinjal, pea, bean, French beans, radish, onion, potato (VAR-Kafri/Jyoti), rear ball-BC-76, broccoli, mushroom etc., in almost 24 bighas of land in Keherukhunda area under Dhekiajuli revenue circle in Sonitpur district. What is more interesting is that the farmers have transformed the unused barren lands into a lush verdant field through the organic farming policies motivating the educated unemployed youth section of the society. Taking advantage of the financial aid from the MP funds provided by Joseph Toppo and a section of devoted and energetic agricultural officer they have begun almost a green revolution in the district using organic products in the place of pesticide and manure, which is a major cause of health hazard.
More importantly at a time when the vegetables produced with strong pesticides or physically harmful chemicals have pervaded the market posing a serious health hazard, this section of upcoming educated farmers under the supervision of Samed Ali have been able to attract the people through their organic system of cultivation project started with an estimated Rs 19,80,000 (nineteen lakh and eighty thousand).
As the big area often remains unused after the Sali crop season, the framers have chosen it to transform their dreams of organic farming into a reality as the location is on the roadside of NH-52 having all sorts of facilities including transportation and marketing options. The 50-member group of farmers have cultivated many variety of vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, brinjal, pea, bean, French bean, radish, onion, potato (VAR-Kafri/Jyoti), rear ball-BC-76, broccoli mushroom etc. in this season.
�Along with a good production we have been able to provide a way of livelihood also to more than 100 people who are engaged in our farm as unemployment problem is still a burning issue in our society even after the government has introduced many policies including NREGA for checking the unemployment problem,� Samed Ali, the overall in charge of the project said while talking to this reporter. The young and energetic farmer who is also the recipient of several awards in the field of agriculture, further said that the organic farming system has immensely benefited not only the consumers but also the farmers and the common people of the greater area.
�We have taken an area of 24 bighas of land on lease agreement for six months and after the rabi crop season we will extend the agreement for the sali crop and we are expecting a good harvest this year,� Ali added.
Meanwhile, the Tezpur MP, Joseph Toppo who is also closely associated with the project and much instrumental in mobilising the farmers in the locality revealed that the system has paved a way of bond among the people. �We have already released Rs 9 lakh out of the total allocation with which from the maintenance of the demarcation of the plot by fencing till the harvesting of a variety of vegetables is done. As our next step, we are targeting the cultivation of SRI (Arise-6444/ Early Ahu) for which already readied the seedbed and the field. If everything goes right, we will be getting plentiful crop�, the MP said with much enthusiasm.
It is to be mentioned that the farmers have already opened a market on the roadside of the farm selling vegetables worth Rs five to seven thousand regularly as the products have a high demand. Moreover, senior ADO and Deputy Extension Coordinator of Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA) Pankaj Saikia who is supervising the overall technical side of the farm said that the organic products of the farm have been able to achieve good response among the people and following it under the initiative of District Agricultural department, a showcase-cum-sale counter has already been opened near the DC court office here.