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Isro to help improve farming in 4 districts

Calcutta, June 5: The state has joined hands with the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) to study fallow stretches of four districts to diversify cultivation of pulses and oilseeds.

The Institute of Wetland Management and Ecological Design, a wing of the state environment department, will conduct the cropping-system analysis in Burdwan, Bankura, Birbhum and Purulia with Isro’s funds and technology.

“The aim of the project is to explore the possibilities of crop diversification and identify the areas suitable for introduction of pulses and oilseeds,” an official of Space Application Centre, Ahmedabad, an Isro unit, said.

Bengal will be the second state, after Punjab, to tie up with Isro for the analysis.

According to plans, satellites will be used to capture images of the fallow stretches. Next, data on soil profiles, water-holding capability and other parameters will be collected and digitised.

This information will be analysed to identify areas —which remain fallow after the kharif crop season — suitable for crop intensification and diversification.

“…we expect to submit a report on the first round of findings within the next three to four months,” Nitai Kundu, a scientist at the institute, said.

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