By Neelam Phukan
Guwahati, January 2: Intermittent drought and recurrent floods have been causing havoc among Assam farmers for quite some time now. The Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Jorhat has been consistently working in that direction. Many pieces of research have been conducted and many varieties have been developed to withstand submergence of crops during floods in the State.
In its endeavor to help the farmers of the state, the AAU has developed a submergence tolerant rice varieties namely Ranjit sub-1 and Bahadur sub-1.
These crops are going through field trials in many districts under the supervision of Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs).
An experiment was conducted by the KVK, Nalbari with both the varieties in two locations – Arangamow and Kaurehagi of Nalbari district. The crops after enduring the flood in its early stage managed to have shown positive results.
A farmer of Arangamow village, Sanjib Talukdar after growing these varieties had to say that the crop yielded 6.1 quintals and 6.4 quintal grains per bigha of Ranjit sub-1 and Bahadur sub-1, respectively. Initially, he lost all hopes when the crops were under water for nine days and after the water had finally receded the crops did not look very healthy. However, the crops started to re-establish within a short period of time.
Another farmer of Kaurehagi, Deben Thakuria witnessed similar results where the crop was under water for 10 days after 12 days from transplanting but later on the crops were harvested with 7 quintals of Ranjit sub-1 and 6.7 quintals of Bahadur sub-1 per bigha.
Highly satisfied with the results of the new varieties, the farmers intend to continue with those varieties in the future also.
According to the KVK, Nalbari those varieties can comfortably endure submergence up to 12 days. The farmers can now be relieved from the despair of flood and drought if such varieties are effectively tested and made available to them.