Three-day Agrotech Kisan Mela begins at BAU – Governor stresses on promoting organic farming –

Ranchi: Governor Mrs Droupadi Murmu has stressed on promoting organic farming in the State for improving fertility status of the soils. Chemical fertilizers and pesticides were damaging not only soil health but the useful microbes also, she said.

Inaugurating the three-day Agrotech 2017 Kisan Mela at Birsa Agricultural University (BAU) on Monday she said livestock is like Goddess Laxmi for villagers who get benefitted from them in multifarious ways. Barren land should be developed as pasture for cattle grazing and fodder production farms, she added. Jharkhand has abundant mines and minerals but balanced development of the state cannot be ensured without the development of villages and farmers because soul of the country and the state resides in villages. Hailing the state government’s decision to set up Krishi Vigyan Kendras in all the sub divisions, she said seminars, trainings and technology fairs should be organised at sub divisional level also. She also stressed on organising exposure visits of farmers to agriculturally advanced states. Mechanised farming was the solution to the labour problems in the state; she said adding subsidy should be provided to the needy farmers on farm implements and machinery.

She said copies of all the letters addressed to the Government of India, ICAR and State Government for development demands and solution of problems should be sent to her also so that she could pursue the matter at appropriate level.

Governor said problem is an unending process for any society and institution and we should devise strategies how to perform better even when plagued with problems. Even if Ram Rajya comes, it will not be completely free from problems because when we solve existing problems new problems continue to emerge. Lord Rama too had to face many problems in his life.

Besides the Mela stalls, the Governor also visited the Department of Home Science and Animal Farms of Veterinary Faculty to have a first hand knowledge of the ongoing activities there.

Dr Nitin Madan Kulkarni, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Cooperation said Jharkhand had registered a growth rate of 10-11 percent in agriculture which was higher than any other state. Credit for this achievement goes to hard labour of farmers. BAU has to play an important role in doubling farmers’ income by 2022 through improved technologies because land and irrigation are limited. Concerted efforts should be made to retain existing ones and attract new youths in farming profession. The state government has resolved to set up KVKs at sub divisional level and 9 such KVKs will come up in the current fiscal itself, Dr Kulkarni added. The State Government has set up 4 cold storages in the current financial year and 10 are planned to be set up during next fiscal.

Dr Kulkarni said outcome of BAU shall be assessed by the increase in production, productivity, income and living standards of farmers and development of state’s rural economy therefore scientists should focus their attention on this aspect.

While welcoming the guests BAU Vice Chancellor Dr Parvinder Kaushal said that seven new colleges and about a dozen certificate and diploma courses will start during the current session 2017-18. Besides, seats of undergraduate courses of existing three colleges have been increased. This requires immediate filling up of existing vacant posts and to be sanctioned posts. The VC also outlined institution’s problems including ACP/ MACP for non-teaching employees and additional fund for casual labourers’ wages. He said Skill Development Centre and Centre for Tribal Agriculture will be established in the University.

Five farmers viz Sumitra Nandan Mahto (Kasmar, Bokaro), Damodar Singh (Patan, Palamu), Gondra Oraon (Mandar, Ranchi), Sonia Tudu (Gamharia, Saraikela-Kharsawan) and Sukhdeo Oraon (Lohardaga) were honoured by the Governor for their innovative farming. BAU Kisan Diary was also released on the occasion. Dr RP Singh ‘Ratan’, Director Extension Education proposed a vote of thanks.

Besides faculties, departments and zonal research stations of BAU, ICAR institutes like Indian Institute of Natural Resins & Gums, Central Upland Rainfed Rice Research Station, Hazaribag, ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region (Research Centre, Ranchi), Krishi Vigyan Kendras of all districts, NGOs, dealers of seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, processed foods have put up their technologies, products and services at the 140 stalls at the Mela.    Technologies related to agriculture, animal husbandry & veterinary, fisheries, forestry, horticulture including fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices, medicinal & aromatic plants, soil and water management, biotechnology and tissue culture have been demonstrated at the Mela. Farm implements designed and developed to save farmers’ time, energy and money and increase their efficiency are also on display.