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Tripura in race for farm award

Agartala, Nov. 27: Tripura has become one of the first states to be shortlisted for this year’s Krishi Karshan award.

The Centre has chosen Tripura for its success in increasing agricultural and horticultural production over the past decade.

Although the state has not achieved self-sufficiency in food grain production, there has been a “remarkable rise” in agricultural and horticultural production.

Principal secretary in charge of forests and agriculture V.K. Bahuguna announced this yesterday and said there had been a “remarkable rise” in the production of paddy, fruits, vegetables, spices and peanuts over the past decade.

“In 2001, we had fruit production of 3 lakh tonnes and last year we achieved fruit production of 6.44 lakh tonnes. In 2001, we had peanut production of only 9,000 tonnes but last year we achieved production of 38,000 tonnes,” Bahuguna said.

Citing statistical data compiled by the state government, Bahuguna said during the same period (2001-2012), production of spices grew from 8,000 tonnes to 28,000 tonnes while production of vegetables of 3.37 lakh tonnes in 2001 rose to 6.75 lakh tonnes.

“By applying the system of rice intensification (SRI) method we have been able to achieve major growth of paddy production. Production growth in this sector grew by 37 per cent till last year as compared with 2001. What is more remarkable is that per hectare productivity of paddy in Tripura is higher than the national average. Currently, it is 28,000kg per hectare but within the next two years it will be 35,000kg per hectare,” Bahuguna said.

“During the past few years, the Tripura government has allotted forest land among 1.2 lakh beneficiaries. But their rehabilitation to a settled way of life has been retarded by lack of funds. That is why we have prepared a project of Rs 400 crore to ensure smooth rehabilitation of beneficiaries of land allotment under the Right to Forest Act, 2006,” Bahuguna said.

He said the project would be discussed in the conference of agriculture ministers of the Northeast, beginning in Sikkim from tomorrow. The state government hopes to get the Centre’s sanction for the project here. The state government has assessed that beneficiaries of forest land allotment could earn Rs 1.5 lakh per hectare annually.

“What we propose to do through the project is providing the beneficiaries of land allotment with viable livelihood-generating avenues through agriculture and horticulture,” Bahuguna said.

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