Nalbari (Assam), 7th August, 2012
The monsoon arrived in the North Eastern part of India on time this year and by June 5th , the entire north east was covered by very active monsoon regime. Incessant rainfall for days together initiated the 1st wave of serious flood in Assam around June 7th with serious impact in all the 27 districts of Assam. The flood water started receding only after 30th June.
Estimated flood affected people are about 21 lakh in all 27 districts of Assam total flood affected villages are nearly 2800. A total of 10,57,558 farmers’ families, including 1,55,989 families of small and marginal and other farmers, were hit by the floods. About 4,83,536 hectare land area came under grip of flood water of which total crop area damaged is about 2,54,935 hectares (50% of total cropped area). Major crops affected are –Boro rice and Ahu rice (in maturity and reproductive stages, respectively), Seedlings of Sali rice, Jute and kharif vegetables. The process of nursery bed and main field preparation for Sali rice have been delayed by almost 1 month in the flood affected areas. Besides, river bank erosion during the high flood period in Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys is a recurrent feature in Assam.
The KVKs located in the flood affected districts of Assam reciprocated with issuance of contingent farm advisories to the farmers to be observed during post flood situation. The major advisories issued were- (a) Crop Production: raising of community nurseries of rice, cultivation of submergence/flood tolerant rice varieties, direct seeding of sprouted seeds of short duration rice cultivars, sowing of kharif pulses where rice cultivation is no more possible during this season and other related interventions on crop management; (b) Natural resource management: repairing of drainage systems to drain out excess water under post flood situation, promotion of raised and sunken bed techniques, tillage management techniques and tools for better establishment of the crop, repairing of bore well and pump sets for timely utilization of ground/surface water; (c) Livestock/fishery: proper removal and destruction of dead animal bodies to prevent spread of human and animal diseases, handy methods to clean water for drinking purposes of human and animals, cleaning of ponds and repairing of bunds and other structures.
Altogether 12 KVKs under Assam Agricultural University, raised seedlings of rice varieties in KVK farms in order to help farmers from worst flood affected areas in 13 districts of Assam. Rice seedlings raised in 21 ha area, of the following varieties, to cover a total area of 225 ha of land as a measure of successful implementation of the Contingency Plan. The varieties are (A) Long duration: Ranjit, (B) Medium duration: Jaimati, Kanaklata, IR 64, IR 36, (C) Short duration: Luit, Disang and (D) Varieties with staggering ability: Prafulla, Gitesh.
Dr. K.D. Kokate, Deputy Director General (Agriculture Extension), ICAR visited Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nalbari on 7/8/2012 to take on the spot assessment of flood damage and also to participate in seedling distribution organized by the KVK to help the flood affected farmers of the district. The KVK raised rice seedlings in an area of 1 hectare for free distribution of flood victims. More than 300 farmers had attended the function. The DDG was also accompanied by MLA of Nalbari LAC Mr. Jayanta Malla Barua, Dr. A. K. Gogoi, ZPD, (Zone-III), Dr. H.C. Bhattacharyya, Director, Extension Education, Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat ; Mr. Abu Suffian, Superintendent of Police, Nalbari district among others. An agri-exhibition was also organized, which was participated by the KVKs of Darrang, Barpeta and Nalbari districts reflecting the outcome of various KVK’s interventions and giving exposure to the technologies released by AAU and other organizations.
Dr. K.D. Kokate appreciated KVK Nalbari for the various activities the KVK is performing and for being able to maintain convergence among different departments of the district. Assam produced a record 50 lakh tonnes of rice in 2011. Dr. Kokate in his speech mentioned the need of contingency crop planning to face frequent weather aberrations. He also emphasized on increasing cropping intensity, maintain seed/fodder banks for use under various disastrous situations and their timely distribution to the farmers. He stressed on rational and judicious management of water resources. He urged the state government to facilitate with good marketing facilities to the farmers, which alone could help agriculture to flourish in the region. The importance of secondary agriculture like processing and value addition etc. was also highlighted by the DDG.
Dr. K.D. Kokate, Dr. A.K. Gogoi and Mr. Jayanta Malla Baruah distributed rice seedlings to the farmers and released two bulletins on contingency measures for post flood situation meant for flood affected farmers.
(Source: ZPD, Zone III, Umiam, Meghalaya )