| BAU scientists at Shankarpur diara in Bhagalpur. Picture by Amit Kumar |
Farmers of Shankarpur diara have welcomed Bihar Agriculture University’s initiative to extend technical support to tillers for better produce.
The farmers of the most inaccessible area of Bhagalpur had requested Mewa Lal Choudhary, the vice-chancellor of Bihar Agriculture University (BAU), Sabour, to adopt the diara (riverine belt).
On January 10, a team of scientists from the university under the leadership of Ravi Gopal Singh, the director of research, BAU, had visited the diara and held discussions with the farmers.
The diara often gets inundated during floods because of recurring erosion and change in the river course. Because of this, the fertile land, which yielded good produce not many years back, has turned arid. People of the diara have been badly hit since then.
“People in the city used to get vegetables, foodgrain, fish and milk from the diara. On the other hand, the people of the diara do not even get the basic facilities that should be provided to sustain good agriculture land,” said Ghyanshyam Prasad Mandal, a farmer at Shankarpur.
A group of farmers from the riverine belt, under the leadership of Ramkishore, had called on the VC in the first week of January and had narrated their plight.
“We requested him to adopt the village so that the farmers could learn scientific methods to counter flood and other related problems. We can implement scientific measures to deal with insects and storage problems,” Ramkishore said.
The VC confirmed that the farmers had come to him to enquire about modern agriculture. “The villagers told me about their problems. We can guide them with scientific agriculture. I have instructed the university officials concerned to pay a visit to the diara and get an idea of their problems,” said Choudhary.
The vice-chancellor added that he, too, was supposed to visit the village so that a strategy could be made to assist the farmers and improve their production skills.
When asked about the procedure of adopting a village, Choudhury said: “It would be possible only after a thorough study is conducted in the diara.”
According to BAU team leader Ravi Gopal Singh, the main crop of Shankarpur is maize, which is produced on 85 per cent of the total cultivated area followed by wheat (about 8-10 per cent). Intercropping of maize with pea and wheat with mustard is also done. The main problem identified was the attack of cutworm and stem borer.
Now, a survey would be conducted and a method would be implemented to deal with the problem.