Monday, 30th October 2017

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Sikkim model for organic farm

State agriculture minister joined in harvesting paddy with students at the event organised by city-based organisation Tarumitra

By Our Correspondent in Patna
  • Published 27.11.18, 1:47 PM
  • Updated 27.11.18, 1:47 PM
  • a min read
Agriculture minister Prem Kumar inaugurates the Dhan Katni Mahotsav at Tarumitra Ashram on Monday. Picture by Ashok Sinha

The Bihar government is preparing a roadmap for the promotion of organic farming in the state.

State agriculture minister Prem Kumar on Monday said the state government was eyeing the Sikkim model of organic farming. Prem said this during Javik Dhan Katni Mahotsav, an event organised by city-based organisation Tarumitra, which saw schools and colleges harvesting paddy on a two-acre land of Tarumitra on its Digha campus. Prem, too, joined in harvesting paddy with the students.

Students from Don Bosco Academy, Gulzarbagh Government Women’s College, Baldwin Academy, Adarsh Bal Vidyalaya, May Flower School, SR Vidyapeeth, St Gabriel’s International School, Shanti Kutir, Disha Rehabilitation Centre, along with several educationists, dignitaries and social activists of the city participated in the event.

Sharing tidbits about him being involved in organic farming, Prem said: “For the past 10 years, fruits and vegetables are being grown organically at my official residence. Today, we don’t get fruits or vegetables free of pesticides and chemicals. So, I decided to grow everything organically.”

The minister also performed aarti at the farm and led the procession of students for the dhan katni ceremony (paddy harvesting festival). The students had their share of fun because for many it was the first time entering a farm and harvesting with a sickle.

Tarumitra’s-founder-cum-director Father Robert Athickal said the rice paddy that was harvested by students and the minister was a rare one called Kunjunj from Kerala.

“This variety does not require much water unlike traditional varieties and the plant gets flower by the end of 49 days. While earlier the monsoon used to set in the state by June-July, now the monsoon enters only around August and people can cultivate paddy only in December. That means, the whole procedure gets delayed because of late arrival of monsoon. At least two varieties of paddy can be grown in case we opt to grow these rare varieties of paddy. This suits our rain-deficient state,” said Father Athickal.