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NE farmers urged to focus on production of pulses, oilseeds

From a Correspondent
JORHAT, Aug 10: Dr. KM Buzarbaruah, the Vice-Chancellor of Assam Agricultural University asked scientists from the north-eastern region, including Sikkim, to push up for oilseeds and pulses for self-sufficiency in production of both the crops as it gives a kind of high pricing to the tune of Rs 40 per kg even in PDS system. He was addressing the Annual Review Workshop on Cluster FLD under NFSM and NMOOP-2017-18, ICAR-ATARI, for zone VI and VII which was held at the Assam Agricultural University on Wednesday.
The AAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr KM Buzarbaruah, addressed over 200 principal scientists coming from 54 KVKs across the north-eastern region. “In 1985, the first technology mission was started for pulses and in 1987 oilseed mission was started. Both are still going on but what we have achieved in the past 30 and 32 years is a matter of great concern. Even with this long work and association, we could not make India self-sufficient in producing oilseed and pulses. In this part of the country we have not concentrated on pulses and oilseed,” he said.
Dr. Buzarbaruah said now was the time to concentrate on pulses as basically 70 per cent of pulses were grown in rain-fed areas. “What we could not do in 30 years, we can do in 5-6 years from now,” he said and added that 80 KVKs were working across the north-eastern region, yet the kind of success that was expected had not been achieved.
He said that Prime Minister Modi had held a review meeting of science and technology sector last month. One of the important observations was that many a time scientists do several things which do not get percolated down to the farming land. “Here what we do, we do not grow pulses or oilseed and the reason has to be found out. Why it has not gone to the farming sector, what are the problems of the farmers, why we do not want to keep these two crops despite the fact that the profit margin is in these two crops is much higher? If we look into the PDS, we get rice at Rs 1 or 2 per kg, wheat in Rs 2 or 3 per kg but pulses in Rs 40 per kg even in PDS. Even after seeing this kind of pricing we do not grow both the crops,” the VC said.
So,  he called upon the scientist of the region who play a pivotal role directly or indirectly through the 80 KVKs across the region to give their best to ensure double and triple cropping and to take the example of Punjab where farmers do not spare any piece of land during the gap of 60 to 65 days which they get after the harvest of paddy and wheat. They straightaway go for movement crop and do not allow their land to go waste, added Dr. KM Buzarbaruah.
Earlier,  Dr. AK Triparthy, ICAR-ATARI-zone Vi and VII Director, Bidyut Chandan Deka, Director, ICAR Barapani, and Dr. GN Hazarika, Director, Research AAU, gave the welcome address, keynote address and spoke about the possibility of pulses and oilseeds in the region.