State farmers can increase income fourfold by 2022: CAU VC
STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 9th Mar: For the farmers of Manipur, their income can be increased four-fold by 2022 which is much higher than the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doubling their income, stated Central Agricultural University (CAU) vice chancellor (VC) Prof M Premjit.
The VC was speaking as chief guest of the farmers' field day function held at Kachikhul under the aegis of directorate of extension education, CAU on Friday.
Prof Premjit pointed out that many of the paddy field in the state remain barren after harvesting of crops once a year. Therefore, CAU has been trying to come up with means to increase the income of farmers and started to plough the unused paddy field and planted mustards since 2011. As a pilot project, CAU started planting mustards in 100 paris of land. As the project turned out to be a success, CAU expanded its venture and started production of mustard in altogether 1000 paris of agricultural land spread across Kakching, Yairipok Yambem and Top Chingtha area from 2012 and it also proved fruitful.
He further pointed out that the problems being faced by the farmers of the state are shortage of seeds, lack of irrigation facilities despite being a rain sufficient area, flood situations and lack of their own farmland. Moreover, the soil are of acidic type. Therefore, under such circumstances, the easiest means to increase income through very low investment is mustard production through zero tillage, through which a profit of about Rs 25,000–30,000 can be earned by investing as low as Rs 12,000-13,000 in a pari of land.
In Manipur, most of the farmers, after harvesting paddy crop, remain idle for the rest of the year. No matter how much or how less they produce, an amount of Rs 12,000 to Rs 14000 is received as profit for the year which when calculated in a month will come to around Rs 1000. This can hardly make both ends meet, thus making farmers to become poorer. Such prevailing conditions compel one to drop farming as a profession and look for other options, Premjit noted, while adding that farmers of the state now need to come together and turn towards agricultural farming and increase their products so as to augment their income manifold.
CAU will provide all necessary help in this regard, he assured.
The VC also pointed out the benefit of rearing honey bee in the farms where mustards are planted, and said that since the mustards are planted without using any chemical fertilizers, the honey produced are also of better quality and can be sold at higher rate.
The function was also attended by CAU director of research Dr CA Srinavashamurthy, CAU director of instruction Dr S Basanta, CAU registrar Dr K Mamocha and other officials of CAU.