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Jorhat woman sets example in organic farming

By Pankaj Borthakur

JORHAT, Jan 5 - A deeply motivated and confident young woman, Nabanita Das, who hails from the city, has set an example in self-employment on the one hand and providing livelihood avenues to many unskilled workers on the other through organic farming at Potiagaon, located at a distance of 9 km from the heart of urban Jorhat.

Leaving the secure job of a nurse at a private hospital here, Nabanita started a farm at Potiagaon to produce rice, horticultural crops, vegetables and flowers a few months back. The produce from her fields has already generated high demands from consumers here as organic vegetables carry better food value and nutrients.

�I left my job as I had long cherished a dream of doing something different for myself as well as the unskilled workers in our localities. In December last year, I earned around Rs 80,000 from the sale of vegetables and flowers, which were planted on three bighas of land,� said Nabanita.

However, no government officer or people�s representative has visited her farm to provide information on the profitable marketing of her organic crops so far. She has been selling all her produce at lower prices due to lack of any support.

Tomatoes, peas, cabbages, king chillis, broccolis, cauliflowers and several other vegetables are registering brisk sales on account of their nutritive value and low price.

Expressing concern over the absence of proper marketing facilities for organic produce, the woman entrepreneur said that if organic farmers are provided a dedicated space for retailing in any daily market under the Jorhat Municipal Board (JMB), organic farming will get a boost in the district.

Though a daily vegetable market was built at Tarajan by the JMB for the retailing of organic agricultural commodities a few years back, there is ironically no space left for any vendor to sell organic food.

Another conscious farmer of the district, Mohan Bora also rued the absence of a market for organic commodities, that has been causing serious problems for them as the producers do not get proper prices for their yield.

�Despite government programmes aimed at promoting organic farming across the country, we have not got the requisite facilities in order to get good returns. There is not a single corner for organic produce in any daily market under the JMB. I appeal to the authorities concerned to implement the relevant government programmes effectively to promote organic farming,� said Bora.

Though several government programmes have been formulated to promote organic farming under the flagship Paramparagat Krishi Vikash Yojana, young, educated and dedicated farmers like Nabanita, Bora and others in the district are yet to reap the benefits. While Nabanita has been able to turn her organic farm into a profitable venture, Mohan has been sensitising farmers at Hatipothar, Dhemesi, Sapekhati and other parts of Golaghat and Sivasagar districts in the past several months to go for organic cultivation of crops.

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