BUSINESS

BTC Agriculture Department sets eyes on black rice and oil palm tree cultivation

Our Correspondent
Kokrajhar, May 25: The Department of Agriculture, BTC, has set a new target to boost black rice and oil palm tree cultivation within the council area. The BTC EM of Agriculture, Ansumwi Khunggur Boro on Wednesday visited the home of Upen Rabha along the Meghalaya border in Goalpara district. He is the person who first introduced black rice in Assam. Boro discussed for long with Rabha on the cultivation of black rice and its demand in markets. He discussed with Rabha regarding the plan of his department to introduce black rice in Koklabari agriculture farm in Baksa and Lalphool agriculture farm in Udalguri district and to encourage the farmers of the region. He asked Rabha, who has received many State and national-level awards for being the best progressive farmer in the State, to supply adequate seeds of black rice from next year. They arrived at a decision for supplying the black rice.
The black rice is also called as Upen Rabha variety. While talking to this reporter, Rabha said he saw the black rice while participating in an agriculture exhibition in Gujarat and started cultivation in 2011. He said he faced a lot of hardships to introduce the new variety due to his lack of knowledge and experience but finally tasted success. He said he cultivated black rice in over 2,000 bighas of land involving his group of societies. Rabha was also one of the members of the CM’s Vietnam tour recently. The BTC EM of Agriculture also called on the EM of Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council Jiban Rabha and held discussion in the Secretariat conference hall on the cultivation of oil palm tree. The meeting was also attended by agriculture officials and progressive planters of oil palm.
In the course of discussion, the EM of RHAC, Jiban Rabha said the council had already started the oil palm tree in certain places involving unemployed youths. Since there is little scope to supply the oil palm fruits due to lack of industry, he said the council had inked an agreement with a company of oil palm industry for setting up of new unit in the council and marketing. He also said the new unit would be constructed very soon and once it was completed, many planters would come forward for this cultivation.
Meanwhile, BTC EM Ansumwi Khunggur Boro, who had visited Mizoram to study the cultivation of oil palm tree and its industry run by Godrej company in 2016, shared his vision for plantation of oil palm tree within BTC region. He said his department was looking forward for industry and marketing before starting cultivation of oil palm tree. He said the department would look into the start of oil palm tree in BTC as it would now be easy to supply the product in the factory to be set up in Rabha Hasong. Boro also visited the plantation and seedling sites. Later, talking to this reporter, he said the BTC had lot of potential for plantation of oil palm tree for sustainable economic development of farmers. He said his department would further study the new venture for cultivation of oil palm tree and black rice by involving technical experts and researchers.