Kisan Mela: Farmers raise concern over stray cattle menace, low income
LUCKNOW Farmers raised concerns over stray cattle menace, unexpected weather conditions, plant disease and low income at the Kisan Mela (farmers’ fair) held at Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (Cimap) in Lucknow on Friday.
Over 7,000 farmers from 23 states attended the daylong event where they interacted with experts and learnt various aspects of aromatic plants farming.
“We cultivate pulses and maize, which are eaten by blue bulls. The number of stray cattle has also increased over the years that causes excessive damage to crops,” said Ratan Kumar Pal, a farmer from Chhattisgarh, while interacting with experts.
Other farmers at the event pointed out to issues of excessive rains/ drought and low prices for farm produce. “There has been very little increase in the rise of paddy over the years. This has reduced our earnings and made it difficult to continue farming,” said Pushkar Saini, another farmer.
Abdul Samad, acting director, Cimap said: “Many farmers have benefitted by adopting farming of aromatic plants. Aromatic plants require a low amount of water, fertilisers and most of them are not consumed by stray cattle.”
The institute also invited farmers who have improved their living standards by cultivating aromatic plants. Vijay Kumar, a farmer of Jharkhand, while sharing his success story with experts, said: “I started menthol and lemon grass farming around three years despite opposition of family members and other villagers. But I managed to increase my income and now helping other farmers adopt aromatic farming.”
Kumar was trained in aromatic farming under the Aroma Mission of the central government, which is being spearheaded by CIMAP in order to provide alternative source of income to farmers across the country.
Products launched at Kisan Mela
CIM-UNNATI This variety has the potential to produce 186-190 kg essential oil per hectare, about 15-20% higher yield compared to all commercial varieties of menthol mint.
CIM MAHASHAKTI It is a carbon-rich material used to improve soil properties and ensure healthy plant growth.