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Pramila blames agri officials for lapses

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, May 6 � Admitting that lapses in the department often hampered timely supply of seeds to the farmers, State Agriculture Minister Pramila Rani Brahma today came down heavily on the departmental officials, saying that even her repeated appeals and instructions failed to move them out of their complacency.

Brahma, who was addressing a function where three national award-winning farmers of the State were felicitated, said that it was the failure to ensure timely supply of seeds which compelled the farmers to use substandard seeds, resulting in poor yield.

�Seeds being a critical component of farming, the farmers need to get it in time. But I am constrained to say that due to the lackadaisical attitude of the officials concerned, farmers sometimes do not get seeds in time. This causes them to procure low-quality seeds, resulting consequently in poor harvesting,� she said. ��unless we act now, we will be confronting a food crisis,� she added.

Stressing the need for using high-yielding hybrid seed varieties, the minister cautioned the farmers against opting for seeds not certified by the Assam Agricultural University (AAU). �Hybrid varieties can multiply production but the farmers should use only those approved by AAU, because use of substandard seeds will have adverse impact on the yield,� she said.

The farmers who were felicitated included Mantaj Ali of Kokila village (Bongaigaon), Indumoti Basumatary representing the all-woman Mainao Multipurpose Agriculture Self-Help Group (SHG) of Kokrajhar, Md Abdul Khaleq of Raidongiya-Phuloguri (Nagaon) and Abdul Halim of Abrabhita village (Goalpara).

Underlining the need for bringing in the best agricultural practices compatible with the geo-climatic conditions of the State, Brahma said that she was surprised to see crops flourishing on the Bangladesh side of the border at Mankachar while the Indian part presented a dismal picture. �We need to find out the lacunae and apply the best interventions,� she said.

The minister said that the State had set a target of 43 lakh MT rice production this year but the early monsoons had put a question mark over meeting the target. �There have been prolonged water-logging on cropland hitting agriculture hard,� she said.

AAU Vice-Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah, in his speech, said that while use of hybrid seeds was imperative to feed a growing population and also to meet export needs, strict quality control held the key to a sustained growth of the sector. �The coming days will witness greater application of hybrid seeds but seed purity must be the number one thrust area. And this should be accompanied by enhanced awareness among the farming community,� he said.

Dr Bujarbaruah said that the higher cost of hybrid seeds would be negated by the high yield and less production period of the crops. He also urged the farmers to go for only those hybrid varieties certified by the AAU. �Hybrid seeds being region-specific, their applicability varies from place to place. Even within Assam, a particular type may not be feasible for different places,� he said, adding that greater research on hybrid seeds was a must under the circumstances.

Dr Nityananda Sarma, Director (Research), AAU, dwelt at length on the contemporary hybrid seeds scenario, and said that the success of China could be replicated in the country. �Apart from ensuring greater yield, use of hybrid seeds will also lead to multiple cropping,� he said.

Sounding upbeat over the recent experiments with hybrid seeds in the State, Dr Sarma said that testing of four hybrid varieties had shown encouraging results. He added that �Boro� paddy was more suited for application of hybrid seeds.

Officials of Advanta India Ltd., a global agro-based company which is also engaged in supplying hybrid seeds to the State, addressed the gathering.

The national award-winning farmers were felicitated with a japi, sarai, pator sadar, gamosa, citation, and a sprayer machine each. In addition, 27 other farmers who recorded the highest yield in their respective districts were felicitated by Advanta India Ltd with a pator sador, gamosa, wrist watch, and a citation each.

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Pramila blames agri officials for lapses

GUWAHATI, May 6 � Admitting that lapses in the department often hampered timely supply of seeds to the farmers, State Agriculture Minister Pramila Rani Brahma today came down heavily on the departmental officials, saying that even her repeated appeals and instructions failed to move them out of their complacency.

Brahma, who was addressing a function where three national award-winning farmers of the State were felicitated, said that it was the failure to ensure timely supply of seeds which compelled the farmers to use substandard seeds, resulting in poor yield.

�Seeds being a critical component of farming, the farmers need to get it in time. But I am constrained to say that due to the lackadaisical attitude of the officials concerned, farmers sometimes do not get seeds in time. This causes them to procure low-quality seeds, resulting consequently in poor harvesting,� she said. ��unless we act now, we will be confronting a food crisis,� she added.

Stressing the need for using high-yielding hybrid seed varieties, the minister cautioned the farmers against opting for seeds not certified by the Assam Agricultural University (AAU). �Hybrid varieties can multiply production but the farmers should use only those approved by AAU, because use of substandard seeds will have adverse impact on the yield,� she said.

The farmers who were felicitated included Mantaj Ali of Kokila village (Bongaigaon), Indumoti Basumatary representing the all-woman Mainao Multipurpose Agriculture Self-Help Group (SHG) of Kokrajhar, Md Abdul Khaleq of Raidongiya-Phuloguri (Nagaon) and Abdul Halim of Abrabhita village (Goalpara).

Underlining the need for bringing in the best agricultural practices compatible with the geo-climatic conditions of the State, Brahma said that she was surprised to see crops flourishing on the Bangladesh side of the border at Mankachar while the Indian part presented a dismal picture. �We need to find out the lacunae and apply the best interventions,� she said.

The minister said that the State had set a target of 43 lakh MT rice production this year but the early monsoons had put a question mark over meeting the target. �There have been prolonged water-logging on cropland hitting agriculture hard,� she said.

AAU Vice-Chancellor Dr KM Bujarbaruah, in his speech, said that while use of hybrid seeds was imperative to feed a growing population and also to meet export needs, strict quality control held the key to a sustained growth of the sector. �The coming days will witness greater application of hybrid seeds but seed purity must be the number one thrust area. And this should be accompanied by enhanced awareness among the farming community,� he said.

Dr Bujarbaruah said that the higher cost of hybrid seeds would be negated by the high yield and less production period of the crops. He also urged the farmers to go for only those hybrid varieties certified by the AAU. �Hybrid seeds being region-specific, their applicability varies from place to place. Even within Assam, a particular type may not be feasible for different places,� he said, adding that greater research on hybrid seeds was a must under the circumstances.

Dr Nityananda Sarma, Director (Research), AAU, dwelt at length on the contemporary hybrid seeds scenario, and said that the success of China could be replicated in the country. �Apart from ensuring greater yield, use of hybrid seeds will also lead to multiple cropping,� he said.

Sounding upbeat over the recent experiments with hybrid seeds in the State, Dr Sarma said that testing of four hybrid varieties had shown encouraging results. He added that �Boro� paddy was more suited for application of hybrid seeds.

Officials of Advanta India Ltd., a global agro-based company which is also engaged in supplying hybrid seeds to the State, addressed the gathering.

The national award-winning farmers were felicitated with a japi, sarai, pator sadar, gamosa, citation, and a sprayer machine each. In addition, 27 other farmers who recorded the highest yield in their respective districts were felicitated by Advanta India Ltd with a pator sador, gamosa, wrist watch, and a citation each.