Minister Nitish Kumar's dream of India's second green revolution
taking off from Bihar seems to be coming closer to reality. A
young farmer of Darveshpura village in his native Nalanda district
has set what is claimed to be a world record in potato production
through organic farming.
Three months ago, a group of farmers in the same village had
created a "world record" producing 224 quintals of paddy per
hectare using the SRI (System of Rice Intensification) method.
The potato farmer, Nitish Kumar, has harvested 72.9 tonnes of
tuber per hectare. The world record so far was 45 tonnes per
hectare held by farmers in the Netherlands, officials said.
Nalanda District Magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agrawal said that several
officials and agricultural experts were present in the field at
the harvest time to verify the claim and record it.
"The world record is the result of hard labour and experiment with
organic farming," Agrawal told IANS.
Kumar Kishore Nanda, a soil scientist, who helped Nitish in his
farming, said success was a result of the organic method of
farming. "Once again the organic method of farming proved superior
to other methods of farming."
Nanda said that the loam soil of the village is suitable for
several crops, including the potato.
Rajesh Umath, a district horticulture officer, said the new record
will certainly go a long way in removing doubts about low
production associated with organic farming and encourage other
farmers to adopt it.
Nalanda, the home district of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, is
already the leading potato producing district in Bihar with
farmers growing the crop on over 27,000 hectares.
Bihar is the third largest potato producing state after Uttar
Pradesh and West Bengal. Last year, five farmers of the village
are said to have created a world record when they produced 224
quintals of paddy per hectare.
A young farmer, Sumant Kumar, produced 224 quintals of paddy per
hectare beating the world record of Yuan Longping of China with
190 quintals of paddy produce per hectare.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has certified
Sumant Kumar's record.
The SRI method of paddy cultivation was introduced in the state
three years ago. Initially the farmers were reluctant to adopt
this new technique despite the state government providing free
seeds, fertilisers and experts to guide them. But now more farmers
are interested in adopting this method in paddy cultivation.
An upbeat chief minister had then termed it "a big achievement" in
the agriculture sector in the state. The next green revolution in
the country would be ushered in from Bihar, he had said.
(Imran Khan can be contacted at email@example.com)