GAURIPUR, Aug 27 - Sahebganj village, a tiny village under Sahebganj GP in the district of Dhubri, inhabited mostly by the members of the Muslim and the Bhojpuri community, is an important place known for its massive chilli farming.
The Gadadhar river flows by the northern side of the village. The agricultural field of the villagers are situated along the banks of the river. The farmers select the high and fertile plots of land for chilli cultivation, Some have their own land and others work on a contractual system. �After preparing the land, they use chemical fertilisers and plant the chilli saplings in rows on small embankments so that rain water does not accumulate on the beds. After three months, the saplings grow high and begin to blossom and after about another month, the chillies are ready to be plucked.�
This year, Khabiruddin SK, a progressive farmer of the village, planted chilli in five bighas of land, Aminur Haque Shikari in three bighas of land, Ramakrishna Chauhan of the adjoining village of Naisarkuti planted chilli in eight bighas, Lakshmichand Chauhan in six bighas, Ganesh Chauhan in five bighas and Rampiari Chauhan in four bighas. They all told this correspondent that they were able to harvest a good crop this year. Following their example, many marginal farmers have also taken up chilli farming. The farmers also told this correspondent that they had to spend Rs 8,000 per bigha and the yield per bigha is five to six quintals. Their income per bigha is Rs 25,000, they said adding that the extreme hot weather this year did hit the production somewhat.
However, the farmers of the area lamented that very little help has been forthcoming from the employees of the Agriculture Department and all of their success was due solely to their own efforts. They also failed to sell their produce at better prices, because the traders from North Bengal did not offer them remunerative prices. Due to the lack of any cottage industry like that of pickles in the area, the traders from North Bengal sell the chilli to owners of such industries at high prices, making massive profits. Due to lack of infrastructural development in the area, the farmers do fall victims to these traders.