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Jharkhand: Cultivable land in state didn’t grow in last one decade

Ranchi: State agriculture secretary Abubakar Siddique has urged Birsa Agricultural University to constitute a team of best scientists for preparing a strategy document for increasing area under cultivation and crop diversification in Jharkhand. He said, “All the documents of state government and research institutes suggest that area under cultivation has remained static during last one decade despite all the efforts and investments by the government and concerned agencies.”

Addressing the 41st Rabi Research Council of BAU on Saturday, he said that the state government would provide required fund for preparing strategy document stressing that area specific needs, affordability of farmers and user-friendly aspect must be kept in mind while perfecting and recommending technologies. He also also invited suggestions for addition, deletion, modification in the ongoing projects/ schemes of agriculture department and inclusion of some important projects for the region within a week so that it could be incorporated in the budget of next financial year. “Tangible solution should be suggested for different regions like Kolhan, Palamu, Chhotanagpur, Santhal,” he stressed.

BAU Vice Chancellor Onkar Nath Singh, who chaired the meet, stressed on identification of climate smart lines for use as parents for crop improvement. “Special focus is also required on biofortification for improving nutritional quality of food crops through agronomic practices conventional plant bleeding or modern biotechnology as a sizable section of Jharkhand population suffers from malnutrition and under nutrition,” the VC added.

Former chairman of the department of Genetics and Plant Breeding ZA Haider urged the agriculture department secretary to initiate effective steps for recruitment of vacant positions of teachers in BAU through JPSC or any other agency. “Seven new colleges established some years ago are running without any regular teacher affecting the teaching quality,” he said. He also suggested that extension machinery of the state government should provide feedback about the problems, priorities and preferences of farmers so that research efforts could be reoriented accordingly.