PATNA: Chief minister (CM) Nitish Kumar on Saturday flagged off 38 motorised ‘raths’, one each for a district, to spread information among farmers about improved farming techniques and various schemes of the agriculture department. The raths are fitted with audio systems.
The raths would cover all the 42,378 revenue villages of the state. The function, ‘Kharif Mahaabhiyan-cum-Mahotsav 2017’ was held on the premises of Samvad at CM Secretariat. Agriculture minister Ram Vichar Rai, department’s principal secretary Sudhir Kumar and other senior officials gave company to the CM.
Every rath has plywood boards which display the written details of the schemes, which the farmers can make use of during the 2017-18 Kharif cropping season. The raths are backed by audio systems which play songs and also present a narrative about the agriculture department’s schemes, apart from CM Nitish Kumar’s stress on use of improved farming techniques, high-yield variety of seeds and his appeal to farmers to enlist themselves to grow seeds for various Kharif crops with an eye on increased productivity of land and overall augmented production of foodgrain.
The motorised raths, which will stop at nodal points in the districts concerned, will cover all the 533 blocks and over 8,700 panchayats. Besides, the training of select farmers in Kharif crop cultivation would be held at camps in two to four blocks in every district. Agriculture seed kits and equipment would also be distributed among the farmers.
Overall, the state government has fixed the target of 34.45 lakh hectare paddy coverage, which is expected to yield 106.30 lakh metric tonne of rice at 30.86 quintal per hectare productivity during the 2017-18 Kharif season. The expected rice production during the last season was round 80 lakh MT.
Similarly, the maize coverage target during 2017-18 has been kept at 4.46 lakh hectare with the expected yield of 15.26 lakh MT at 34.6 quintal per hectare productivity. The target for pulses coverage is 1.5 lakh hectare with the expected production of 1.79 lakh MT and 11.31 quintal per hectare productivity.