The Telegraph
Wednesday , November 27 , 2013

Hi-tech route for Dhemaji farmers

- Assam Agricultural University unit lends assistance for scientific methods of cultivation

Nagaon, Nov. 26: Flood, poverty and backwardness have come to be associated with Dhemaji, but a visit to Jalakiasuti, 35km from the district headquarters, may evoke the sensation of looking through the wrong end of a telescope.

As a result of development in the past two years, Jalakiasuti will soon become one of the few areas in Assam where farmers are proficient in the use of scientific methods of cultivation.

Nearly 95 per cent of Jalakiasuti already uses modern methods of farming.

Dhemaji Krishi Vigyan Kendra, under Assam Agricultural University, is monitoring the farmers in the area and assisting them under a programme spearheaded by ICR, Hyderabad.

“I used a high-yielding rice variety for the first time in 47 years. I also used recommended fertiliser, pesticide and minerals and learnt to use a leaf colour chart to observe the percentage of nitrogen. Now I am getting ready for harvesting,” said Somnath Sonowal, 60, a Jalakhiasuti farmer.

Sonowal told The Telegraph that soon the villagers would get power reapers and threshers as well.

Dhemaji deputy commissioner M.S. Manivannan recently visited Jalakiasuti to lay the foundation stone of an agriculture training hall, established by the district administration under a centrally-sponsored programme.

“We dream of instilling modern methods of cultivation throughout Dhemaji. We will begin work on three other agro-service centres at Butikur, Rangpuria and Sisiborgaon. Equipment like tiller, pump sets and power sprayers will be kept in the centres for farmers and they will be trained in hi-tech concepts of cultivation,” Manivannan said.

Dhemaji was in the news recently after it began export of red rice and lemon to European countries.

“Nowadays people here have Beetal goats, Hampshire pigs and Madhumukhi bees and cultivate Megha turmeric and tissue-cultured G-9 banana. The two-hectare pond in the village is used for water harvesting,” said Dhemaji KVK programme co-ordinator Rijusmita Sarma Deka.

Several more components of modern techniques of agriculture will be introduced in the area soon under the ICR project, she added.

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