FROM A CORRESPONDENT
Tura, May 9: The ba cultivators of North Garo Hills today came together to form the Kharkutta Area Ba Grower’s Association (KABGA) to link the farmers for better market opportunities.
The Basin Development Unit (BDU), an agency implementing the flagship programme of the government – Integrated Basin Development and Livelihood Promotion Programme (IBDLP) and Meghalaya Livelihood Accesses to Market Place (Megha_Lamp) conceptualised the idea and mobilised the partners (ba cultivators) to forge the association.
A total of 164 ba cultivators from Kharkutta and its adjoining 41 villages were engaged for the past two months and sensitized that such a group would foster better coordition amongst stakeholders and facilitate better market linkage.
Prior to the formation of the association, the BDU conducted a market survey at Daranggre in neighbouring Goalpara district of Assam, which is listed as Asia’s largest Ba market. The survey found that maximum ba farmers from Garo hills did not get fair price in that market, following which awareness campaign was launched in the villages under Kharkutta block of North Garo Hills.
Daranggre ba market is located along the NH-37 between Guwahati and Dudhnoi route in Assam, close to Meghalaya’s North Garo Hills. At least 15000 people are involved in the trade. The monthly turnover in this market is over 4 crore. The peak time is between September to October when around 50 truckloads are sold in a day.
Kharkutta MLA Cherak Momin attended the formation of the association at Kharkutta block and motivated the farmers to actively participate in the development of the ba market linkage in collaboration with the stakeholders.