NALBARI, Dec 23 � Under the sponsorship of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the Lotus Progressive Centre of Morowa started a three-year pilot project in Nalbari district to augment paddy production in the district. A cluster has been formed in this regard consisting of five villages namely, Tarmatha, Nakheti, Amayapur, Mugkuchi and Sutarkuchi in Nalbari district.
Under this pilot project, a total 1,670 farmers of these villages cultivated sali crops on an area measuring 12,500 bighas. The farmers expect a good yield from their fields. In the first year, during the summer paddy season, 1,400 bighas of land were covered by 375 farmers. Out of 1,400 bighas, 150 bighas were covered under the SRI. In this programme, the variety of Luit was demonstrated and the farmers were able to get about 18 to 20 maunds per bigha. Similarly, during the kharif session, 10,250 bighas have been covered by 1,500 farmers.
The Lotus Progressive Centre also coverered 3,000 bighas of land under rabi cultivation and mustard. It has also formed farmers� clubs in the project villages through which the farmers were provided training on improved cultivation of paddy. The farmers were also assisted in availing of KCC loans from the bank branch besides crop insurance schemes. Lotus has also raised a 50-bigha demonstration field of high-yeilding sali paddy. It also selected 260 bighas for a seed village to produce foundation seeds of Ranjit. It provided the farmers free seeds and fertilisers besides pest management facilities.
The NGO under the NABARD-sponsored project has also taken up a scheme to cultivate pulses and mustard after harvesting the paddy.