NALBARI, Dec 31 - Though maize is an essential crop in the country and its importance is after the rice and wheat, the farmers across the State are still lacking proper knowledge about the maize cultivation.
Despite the land of the State is fertile for maize cultivation, the lack of initiatives by Agriculture Department and awareness, the farmers are not interested for this crop.
However, the farmers of Na-Para and its adjoining areas in Nalbari district succeed to reap the benefits through maize cultivation. The farmers near the river Brahmaputra has been cultivating the maize for last six years.
�We have been cultivating maize for last six years and getting encouraging production,� said Batsa Ali, a farmer of the village.
However, the NABARD this year explored the maize cultivation of Na-Para areas and came forward to help the farmers providing necessary supports.
The NABARD with the help of Janashakti Bikash Mancha, an NGO of the district, identified the farmers of the areas who have been engaged in the maize cultivation.
While talking to this Correspondent, Ajay Das of the NGO said that they identified 114 farmers of the areas. They are given the technical support by the scientists of Nalbari Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK). The farmers were also given free seeds, fertilisers etc., to raise maize at an areas of 114 bighas.
One Taizuddin Shikdar of the village said that they are producing maize 12 to14 quintal per bigha and selling it at a price of Rs 1,200 per quintal. Shikdar added that the maize has a good market in Guwahati and Rangiya. As the growth of the maize become profitable, the farmers expected surplus production in the coming days.
The District Development Manager of the NABARD, Debojyoti Biswas, said that they developed the cluster under the scheme of farm sector promotion fund (FSPF). He added that the farmers are more interested in this new crop which they are raising twice in a season.
The chief scientist of Nalbari KVK, Dr Mridul Deka, said that though the maize is the third major food item in India, its cultivation is very rare in the State. Dr Deka is hopeful that in Barkshetri areas, maize could be a major cultivation. However, the maize cultivation brings a lot of hope to the farmers of Nalbari district.