Sikkim strives to augment income of farmers

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Horticulture department benefits local farmers with hybrid seeds, for better production of vegetable

Gangtok Nov 2: The Department of Horticulture and Cash Crop Development has divided the state according to its topography for identification of cluster areas for vegetable and fruit cultivation. These topographic divisions are the foot hill, the mid-hill and the high hills according to Mr H C Singh, Additional Director of the department. The cultivation activities are planned and managed as per this division. He also informed that presently the in-season vegetables that is being given priority by the department are cabbage, broccoli, radish, carrot and cauliflower. All the seeds being distributed by the department are of hybrid variety to bring higher yield and better income for the farmers.

The exotic vegetables introduced in the state are cherry tomatoes, lettuce, beet roots, brussel sprout. These have been only introduced in the capital and surrounding areas as the scope of these are linked to booming tourism in the state.

The department also provides green houses with bamboo structure to farmers. Since bamboo is an eco friendly product easily available in villages, it was chosen for the purpose. The natural resources available in the villages are getting benefit as the product is being sold due to simultaneous increase in the production of bamboo. The farmers cultivating the green house are earning Rs.25 to 50,000 depending upon their efforts. To make the state organic, the department has introduced rural composting manures along with ER (Effective microbes) composting and vermin composts which has resulted in high production. To avoid drought like situation during various seasons and to boost high productivity the department has even facilitated G-Nap water tanks wherever necessary. G-Nap is an Israeli water facilitation technology . Soil and Water Conservation department along with Agriculture department are also switching on to the same technology.

Orange is being encouraged along with guava, apple in Lachung and kiwi and litchi is being promoted at Rinchenpong area. With regards to green houses being facilitated this year to the farmers it has been learnt that in 30 constituencies apart from Arithang and Gangtok about a total of 3000 greenhouses would be given. Out of which 1100 would be provided under additional central assistant (ACA) fund which will cost about 5 crores. All green houses would be of eco-friendly low cost as the material used for structure construction would be bamboo. The funding would be facilitated under SC/ST budget.

(Cortesy: Sikkim Mail)



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