Training fields

A first: Jhajjar farmers to cultivate ‘makhana’ in waterlogged fields : The Tribune India


Tribune press service

Ravinder Saini

Jhajjar, August 30

Local farmers who have been deprived of crops due to waterlogged fields will now be able to engage in ‘makhana’ (fox nut) farming for attractive income.

A team of agricultural experts from Chhattisgarh are providing special training to local farmers on the techniques.

Significantly, the local Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare office has also started recording the names of these farmers so that they can be assisted in growing and harvesting the “makhana” crop in providing them with seeds and other vital information about it. This breeding is done once a year.

This is the first time in the state that ‘makhana’ farming will be practiced in waterlogged fields to earn an attractive income. The cost of growing ‘makhana’ was quite low, as it sold for Rs 400-1,000 per kg in the market, said Dr Ishwar Singh Jakhar, Technical Officer of Jhajjar Department of Agriculture.

“The recent survey revealed that approximately 20,000 acres of land in the district are affected by the waterlogging. Following which cultivation is done once a year in some regions while in others it is not done at all. Therefore, the owners of these lands have to depend on other sources of income to make ends meet. In this situation, the ‘makhana’ culture suits them. It is purely organic as pesticides and urea etc. are not used there,” Jakhar added.

He added that about 25 villages including Dighal, Dhandhlan, Malikpur, Teth, Paharipur, Godhri, Safipur, Ladayan, Akheri Madanpur, Amadal Shahpur, Dhana, Chadhwana, Chhara and Mandothi in the district were badly affected by the engorgement. The water table in many villages has also increased significantly due to rice cultivation, he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Capt Shakti Singh said the training was aimed at starting a new experiment in growing ‘makhana’ in the district on a pilot basis. “If the experiment is successful, the waterlogged land will prove to be a boon to local farmers.”

“In traditional cultures, the price of the product is given per quintal, while the average cost of “makhana” in the market is 1,000 rupees per kg. It has a huge demand in the market due to its high nutritional value and the price depends on the quality of the product,” he added.

#Agriculture


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