Monday, 30th October 2017

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Experts visit green wonder

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT
  • Published 24.12.10
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Jalpaiguri, Dec. 23: Sumanta Mishra has been working wonders in his small garden and rooftop where he has been growing chilli plants that soar up to 25 feet and a cotton shrub that has attained a height of 30 feet, all by using organic fertilisers.

Today, scientists from the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) and the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources visited his home in the Pantapara-Kalibari area of town to check out the wonders that 46-year-old Mishra, an assistant agri-technologist, has been sprouting since 2001.

Mishra said two months ago he had sent a detailed report with photographs of his plants to the Prime Minister’s Office with the emphasis that the fruits and the vegetables grow on marginal land. The team of scientists had been sent at the behest of the PMO.

“I have laid emphasis on the dwindling farmlands because of rapid urbanisation that has led to farmers turn to chemicals and pesticides for more yield, but I have used just manure and vermi-compost in my plants to get these results,” Mishra, said pointing to a single plant that had over a thousand milk gourds sprouting.

The principal scientist of the bureau of plant genetics’ Shillong office, S. K. Verma, said he and the others had been studying the plants what Mishra was growing on his 400sqft garden and 1,700sqft terrace, for the past two days.

“We have measured the plants and collected tissue and seed samples for further laboratory analysis. What the man has achieved is very important for the future of agricultural science. We will investigate if there has been any changes in the genetics and the chromosomes of these plants,” Verma said.

Kundan Kishor, a scientist from the ICAR’s Sikkim office, said the seeds from Mishra’s plants would be grown at the research centre to see if they gave the same yield as they were doing here. “We need another three months to test the potential as well as analyse the plant genetics and the soil they are growing in,” Kishor said.

Later in the day, the two scientists met Jalpaiguri district magistrate Vandana Yadav.