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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Varsity tiller scheme a hit

The kisan choupal (farmers’ assembly) introduced by Bihar Agriculture University (BAU), Sabour, a year back has proved to be a boon for many tillers in 21 districts across the state.

BAU had started the scheme christened “Bihar Krishi Vishwa Vidyalay Kisano ke Dwar — Kisan Choupal” in Araria, Arwal, Aurangabad, Banka, Bhagalpur, Gaya, Jehanabad, Katihar, Khagaria, Kishanganj, Lakhisarai, Madhepura, Munger, Nalanda, Patna, Purnea, Rohtas, Saharsa, Sheikhpura, Supaul and Buxar districts.

The assembly, held every Saturday in some specific village, has helped tillers solve their problems, apart from disseminating information.

The choupal has also enlightened women on new findings in the field of home science. Scientists from krishi vigyan kendras and other experts take out time to listen to the tillers and their problems. Films on new techniques in agriculture and allied sectors are also screened.

M.L. Choudhry, the vice-chancellor (VC) of the varsity, said: “The objective of the kisan choupal was to interact with farmers and discuss their problems and impart training on orchard management, vegetable farming, apiculture, organic farming, and animal husbandry and fisheries. Over the past year, the programme focused on creating awareness among tillers regarding various central- and state-sponsored schemes in agriculture and its allied sectors.”

He added that the programme had been implemented by the krishi vigyan kendras and the agriculture departments of the districts concerned. Kisan salahkar, a wing of the kendras, used to advise the tillers on crop management. Krishak Samachar, a bulletin, used to be published by the kendras, every three months.

The VC said: “Bulletins and information handbooks used to be circulated among farmers. Arrangements were made to collect soil samples as well.”

R.K. Sohane, director, extension, BAU, said: “Specialists were assigned to organise programmes at villages with support of Kisan Salahkar and panchayati raj representatives. Programme co-ordinators of krishi vigyan kendras concerned ensured transportation and other logistic arrangement.”

Rajesh Kumar, the public relations officer, BAU, said the project had been a success with the participation of around 1,36,000 farmers from the 21 districts.”

He added that 1,071 villages had been covered under the programme in the past one year. He said over 1,80,000 technical bulletins, Krishak Samachar and information booklets on various schemes like Bihar Kisaan guide, used to be distributed during the events in the past year.