Under the ambitious Mission Double Cropping that seeks to extend multiple cropping to over two lakh hectares of mono-cropping land within the current rabi session, the State Government today formally launched the distribution process of seeds and fertilizers across the 26 districts.A total of 66,548 quintals of potato seed and 4,000 quintals of mustard seed are being distributed under the project besides bringing under vegetable cultivation an area of 60,000 hectares. This is expected to result in an additional yield of over 118 lakh quintals by the end of the current rabi season.As of now, only 42 per cent (11.88 lakh hectares) of the State’s cropland (28.10 lakh hectares) witness double-cropping, with the rest of the area (16.22 lakh hectares) restricted to single-cropping.
Formally launching the distribution process, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi stressed the need for boosting both productivity and yield for attaining self-sufficiency in agriculture. Gogoi instructed the Agriculture Department to ensure timely distribution of the seeds so that the project served its purpose.
The Chief Minister, while acknowledging that the farmers were not getting adequate remuneration for their produce, said that the Government was contemplating a mechanism to give the farmers their due.“We are seriously assessing the problem…steps like facilitating purchase through FCI, construction of sufficient godowns and cold storages will help ease the situation,” he said, adding that the Government was also mooting a council for addressing the problems of small and marginal agriculturalists.
Dr KM Buzarbaruah, Vice Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University (AAU) said that it was time the State moved to multiple-cropping in a big way. “Lots of excuses are there to persist with mono-cropping but scientific solutions are there and the farmers should also come forward to avail those,” he said.
Agriculture Minister Nilamani Sen Deka, while asserting that the double-cropping mission would generate yield worth Rs 900 crore and benefit three lakh beneficiaries, said that the next target was to extend multiple-cropping to another 7-10 lakh hectares.“Opportunities abound in the agriculture sector, and I urge the youth to take up farming. Small land-holders should also opt for collective farming as it has many advantages,” he said, adding that the Government was implementing a number of schemes which the farmers should avail.
Chief Minister’s Agriculture Adviser Dr Bhumidhar Barman expressed concern over diminishing agricultural land due to flood and erosion besides conversion to other residential and industrial uses. He said that the Government should make the necessary interventions to ensure proper remuneration to the toiling farmers.
Social Welfare Minister and local MLA Akon Bora said that the Government should address the mounting concerns like lack of storage and market linkage for the farmers.
A number of officials and scientists of the Agriculture Department and AAU attended the function.