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Monday, 27 May 2013 | SUDHIR MISHRA | BALANGIR | in Bhubaneswar
With a bid to revive Gurjee cultivation and give it the much-needed boost here, the district agriculture officials have dawn a plan to take up the crop in at least 100 acres of land in Mubirabhal, Titiligarh, Tureikela, Bongomunda and other areas. Gurjee, one of the minor millets, has nutritional value which was earlier consumed by rural people in a big way. But now the crop is hardly cultivated, thanks to the changing of food habits of people and lack of incentives.
According to Kharif strategy of Balangir district, for the year 2013-14, Gurjee cultivation would be taken up in a total of 100 acres in Titilagarh,Mubribahal, Tureikela, Bongomunda and adjoining areas. The farmers would contribute seed themselves. The agriculture department would provide them a financial assistance of Rs500 each, besides supply of bio fertiliser/organic fertiliser.
The farmers would be encouraged and motivated to go for scientific way of farming like line sowing and other methods for better yield, an agriculture official said.
Gurjee is sown by the end of June- July in Att land (upland) and harvested by September. It meets the crucial food stress period of the poor people. Earlier, people only cultivated it for consuming at home and not for selling. However, with small traders coming to villages to purchase it, the poor villagers are selling the crop in past few years and purchasing rice in return.
As Gurjee crop is providing food and economic security to the poor people, we are contemplating to give a further boost to it by observing a Gurjee Parab in forthcoming months, says Bhajaram Sahu of Bongomunda, while welcoming the decision of the agriculture department for revival and promotion of Gurjee in Balangir.
BHUBANESWAR | Friday, May 27, 2011 | Email | Print |  | Back  

Efforts to rescue workers from AP brick kilns intensified
May 27, 2011   7:48:46 AM

PNS | Balangir

All-round efforts have been launched to locate and rescue three youth of Choul Banji village of Balangir district who have been held hostage in brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh.

Following publication of the reports about the plight of the migrant youth in The Pioneer, Balangir MP Kalikesh Narayan Singh Deo wrote a letter to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy drawing his attention to the issue.

Describing the holding of the migrant labourers hostage in the brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh as a law and order issue as well as a serious violation of human rights of migrant workers working in the State of Andhra Pradesh, Singh Deo urged the AP Chief Minister to intervene in this matter and ensure release of the labourers.

Meanwhile, many civil society activists have also shared this information with their colleagues in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu to locate and rescue the hapless workers
Farmers’ interest in Bt cotton growing in Balangir
May 27, 2011   7:17:39 AM
Sudhir Mishra | Balangir

Encouraged by the minimum support price (MSP) per quintal of cotton given to the farmers in Balangir district last year, this year cotton cultivation has been taken up in 30,000 hectares. But farmers seem to be taking more interest in Bt cotton as a hype is doing round that the variety is highly remunerative and immune to pest attack even as the crop is banned here.

Cotton is a 150-160 day crop grown mostly in Patnagarh, Belpada, Khaprakhol, Tureikela, Muribahal, Saintala and Bongomunda areas in the district. Last year, the coverage of the cotton cultivation was 29,200 hectares. The ideal time for the sowing of cotton is from the second week of June to June last or first week of July. The unique advantage of cotton of Balangir district is its staple length. It is more than 30mm and is considered as organic.

We have earlier convened a meeting of company officials to supply the required seed to the farmers and they have agreed, said an official of the district Agriculture Department. The approved variety cotton seeds are Gabar, Bunny and Tulsi, he informed.

Even as the officials here do not acknowledge the fact that Bt cotton has invaded into cotton cultivation of the district publicly, it is almost an open secret. The seed dealers and seller have induced a wrong conception that Bt cotton is free from pest attack though it is susceptible to sucking pests like Jassids, Aphids, Mealy bug, among others.

“We have all along advised the farmers not to go for Bt cotton in view of rain fed condition of the district and once the rain fails, the crop fails worsening the economic conditions of farmers,” said SMS cotton K Murmu.

Reports indicate that the price of Bt cotton in Andhra Pradesh has been raised this year by the Andhra Pradesh Government. According to reports, the price of Bt cotton — I has been raised from `650 to `830 per a 450 gram pack while the price of Bt cotton-II pack has been raised from `750 to `930.

Due to growing demand of cotton in international market, last year even the last plucking of cotton fetched more than `3,000 per quintal. Seeing the remunerative price, farmers are showing increasing interest in the crop, especially Bt cotton this time.

With no official mechanism to check it, it is the unscrupulous traders and company officials who are selling the Bt cotton seeds clandestinely at high prices in the local markets. 

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