Onion cultivation in the Junglemahal area is going to make lives easier for daily wage earners and former Maoist activists. Also, it would bring relief to the common man in Bengal, already facing severe distress due to the soaring prices of onions.
Onion cultivation will be carried out in 1500 bighas of land in the districts of Bankura and Purulia and later in West Midnapore. Chatna, Idpur, Jhilmil, Bishnupur, Gangajal Hat, Ranibandh, Hirabandh, Sonamukhi in Bankura district and Balarampur, Begunbodor, Kumarikanan and Ayodhya Pahar in Purulia district have been earmarked for this project, which will be run by the local wage earners and 52 former Maoist activists. Although the land in these areas is known to be barren, an experiment carried out with the aid of Bidhan Chandra Krishi Vidyalaya showed that these lands were suited for this onion cultivation project.
A subsidy worth Rs 15 lakhs will be provided for this project by the state Food Processing and Horticulture Department. Seeds and fertilizers will be provided to the farmers. A pilot project has been started at Kumarikanan on 30 bighas of land. The project will help farmers to earn up to Rs 20,000 from each bigha. It is estimated that the total productivity from these areas in Junglemahal will approximately be 45,000 tonnes of onions; this surely is a reason to cheer for the state.
Mr. Subrata Saha, the Food Processing and Horticulture Department minister said availability of locally produced onions would help curb the inflated market price of onions due to shortage of supply.
A pilot project launched two years ago by the state Food Processing and Horticulture Department, in association with the National Horticultural Research and Development Foundation (NHRDF), to look into the probability of onion cultivation during monsoon, met with considerable success. As 'Suksagar' onion supply from other states like Maharashtra (Nasik), Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been hit due to heavy rainfall in this year, it is hoped that this project in Junglemahal will yield satisfactory results.
Source: Team M3.tv