Governor Syed Ahmed at the Agrotech Kisan Mela in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Feb. 22: Governor Syed Ahmed, erudite in Hindi, English and Urdu, waxed eloquent on Friday about another subject close to his heart — farming.
Proving the old adage that every Indian at heart is a farmer, Ahmed proved his enthusiasm for agriculture before over 1,000 farmers at the three-day Agrotech Kisan Mela that kicked off on Friday at Birsa Agriculture University (BAU).
Even before stepping on the dais, he set the tone for the event by praising the fresh pumpkins at the Krishi Vikas Kendra stall. “I love piping hot vegetable dishes,” he told The Telegraph.
While addressing farmers from Jharkhand as well as neighbouring Bihar, Odisha and Bengal, Ahmed went beyond his two-page written speech for a personal touch.
“Main gaon ka hoon, maine bhi hal chalaya hai, maine bhi buwai ki hai. Mere ghar ke samne char bail bandhey hote thhey. Taknikikaran ka zamana aaya, do bail bech diye gaye, tractor laya gaya…humne taknik ko apnaya (I am from a village, I have ploughed land and sown seeds. We had four oxen. When the era of technology arrived, two were sold and a tractor was bought. We adopted the technology),” he said.
Quoting from yesteryear Bollywood blockbuster Upkaar’s song mere desh ki dharti sona ugle, he appealed to farmers to use new techniques, tools and hybrids for better yield.
Ahmed, known to be a flower lover, stressed on floriculture. “Raj Bhavan has beautiful roses because Ranchi’s soil is perfect for roses. I appeal to young farmers to take up floriculture as it is a good business. From births to deaths, flowers are required for every occasion. At present, the state imports flowers. Make Jharkhand self-reliant,” he said.
On the benefits of flowers, he added a little-known nugget: “Walking through a rose garden is healthy for people suffering from asthma.”
He also asked farmers to take a good look at farming equipment on display at the fair. “Tools reduce manual effort and time,” he said.
Amid applause, he wrapped up his address with “hausla hai to zindagi hai (where there’s courage, there’s life).”
Earlier, Arun Kumar Singh, principal secretary, department of agriculture and sugarcane development, said 1,836 rural youngsters had been trained as jan sevaks to guide farmers related to seed purchase, selection, farming and pest management. This was a free service, he added.
In addition, the Centre-sponsored custom hiring of agriculture machinery scheme had been started in 24 districts for farmers to borrow machinery at a subsidised rate.
In his welcome address, BAU vice chancellor M.P. Pandey added the varsity was trying to commercialise farming products. He also asked farmers to get comfortable with tools to increase their yield and income.