Youth sets example in composite farming

Biju Kalita doubled his income within a few years

Nalbari: A youth in Assam has set an example when people of his age run after government jobs.

Biju Kalita from Balitara village in Nalbari district now ekes out a living through agriculture from his family land, reports

With a formal education up to higher secondary level, Kalita approached the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (center for agriculture science) at Nalbari for their help in March, 2006.

His initial notion about the center was that it was an office supplying inputs for needy farmers. He said he was surprised to see the forthcoming attitude of the scientists at the center who not only evinced keen interest about his agro-ecosystem, but also took pain to explain to him regarding the concepts of cropping sequences, crop diversification, cropping systems, integrated farming for maximizing profit margin from his 4.5 hectare of land.

On his request, a group of scientists from the center visited his farm in April, 2006. The officials also took the responsibility to oversee the successful adoption of scientific practices on his farm.

Starting from the middle of 2006, the center accommodated Kalita in attending its various training programs.

According to the center’s program coordinator Mridul Deka, during 2007 they provided Kalita seeds of high yielding varieties of paddy as well as other technologies through different channels. Dramatically, within a year, his traditionally cultivated varieties of rice and vegetables were completely replaced by high yielding varieties. In the same year, he also started a poultry farm with a capacity of 500 birds, which was subsequently expanded to 2,000 birds per batch in 2010.

While talking to this correspondent, Biju said that toward 2007-end, he started a composite fish culture unit in a water area of 0.53 hectare along with two small nursery tanks for rearing spawn to fingerling for late season.

The agriculture center helped him prepare a detailed project report for the same in order to get financial aid from banks. Accordingly, his fishery project was financed by the SBI. Further, he could also get 30 per cent subsidy from the National Fisheries Development Board.

In January 2010, he sold over 1,500 kg of fish and earned 150,000 rupees from his fishery unit alone. During 2008, his rice production increased from 350-400 kg to 650-700 kg per bigha. Similarly, the production of rapeseed increased from 700 kg to 1,000-1,100 kgs per bigha. In 2010, his annual returns from farming activities increased to Rs 350,000 rupees.

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