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Home / Ranchi / CRPF fighting Maoists in Singhbhum, educate farmers in agriculture techniques

CRPF fighting Maoists in Singhbhum, educate farmers in agriculture techniques

A one-week capsule course was organised by the CRPF to train farmers. Altogether, 14 farmers from different districts and villages were educated in agricultural techniques.

ranchi Updated: Jan 16, 2019 09:29 IST
Manoj Choudhary
Manoj Choudhary
Hindustan Times, Jamshedpur
CRPF 197 battalion officers with farmers from villages in the Saranda forest region, West Singhbhum
CRPF 197 battalion officers with farmers from villages in the Saranda forest region, West Singhbhum(Manoj Kumar/HT Photo)

The word “CRPF” is mentioned usually in the same breath as the word “Maoists” in the context of the extremism-hit districts of Jharkhand. However, after putting the brakes on Maoist activities in the Saranda forests of West Singhbhum, the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel have focused on developing nearby villages. The latest measure is the coming together of security forces and villagers to try and improve agricultural productivity.

In November 2018, the CRPF supplied electricity to two villages in Saranda. This month, the force’s 197 battalion camps, in association with the district agriculture department, started giving advanced scientific training to farmers in remote villages to boost farm productivity.

A one-week (January 7-13) capsule course was organised by the CRPF to train farmers. Altogether, 14 farmers from Thalkobad, Chhotanagra, Karampada, Roam, Nura, and other villages were educated in advancements in soil condition analysis; pesticides to be used on a particular land; practising multiple cropping; getting more yield with limited water use; and other such agricultural techniques.

CRPF 197 battalion commandant Parma Shivam said that the force was trying to let farmers get the benefit of government schemes in the agriculture sector. The battalion would ensure that more and more farmers get scientific agricultural training for better production, he added.

“Farmers had submitted soil samples for scientific testing. Agriculture scientists [replied] with suggestions for which particular crop should be cultivated and the best pesticides for productivity growth,” said Shivam.

Deputy commandant Ashish Kumar said that the security personnel had brought peace to Saranda with the villagers’ help in the fight against Maoists, and now it was time to bring development to the area.

Samu Munda, from Bhangaon village, said that they had purchased a drip irrigation pump set. After the training, villagers took advantage of a subsidy for agricultural tools for the first time — the pump, worth ₹25,000, was 90% subsidised, he said.

“Until now villagers were dependent on the monsoon for irrigation, due to a lack of electricity in Saranda forest villages. With the help of the diesel pump set, the villagers will now carry out timely irrigation and earnings will increase,” said Yadu Mundari of Hatnaburu village.

The CRPF intends to help farmers in remote areas grow more vegetables and buy the produce for around 100 jawans of the battalion, stationed at different camps in Saranda.