Nalbari, Oct. 8: The Assam Agricultural University (AAU) has launched an initiative to attract farmers in Nalbari district to cultivate mustard for meeting the increasing demand of mustard oil.
Under its technology showcasing programme, the Jorhat-based university through its Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) at Nalbari has succeeded in attracting 200 farmers to go for mustard cultivation.
The co-ordinator of the Nalbari unit of Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Mridul Deka, said the centre selected 80 hectares in eight villages in the district — Nathkuchi, Namati, Doloigaon, Amoni, Nadala, Bilbeswar, Jagara and Adabari — for mustard cultivation and provided materials like seeds and fertilisers.
Considering the present status of the crops for this season, the experts from the centre hope that around 900 quintals of mustard seeds would be produced from these areas.
Deka, who is monitoring the crops, told this correspondent that the main reason of the farmer’s disinterest towards mustard cultivation was unavailability of high yielding variety of seeds.
“So the centre decided to utilise the 900 quintals mustard production as foundation seeds in the next season so that the area cover of mustard increases,” Deka.
In Nalbari district alone, the requirement of mustard seeds is from 700 to 800 quintals, he added.
The small and marginal farmers of the district are unable to collect these seeds as they are not available in local markets.
Two farmers of Namati village in Nalbari district, Tapan Kalita and Bhagawan Kalita, while talking to this correspondent, said they would succeed in getting a production of 10 to 15 quintals per hectare.
Interestingly, their mustard cultivation has also attracted more farmers towards these profitable crops.
Two Nathkuchi farmers, Biraj Sharma and Naba Medhi, said the AAU and the Nalbari Krishi Vijnyan Kendra have got them interested towards this profit-making crop. They will continue it in the next season too.