In West Bengal Farmers are not very keen on growing Pulses & Oilseeds as Pulses are seen as high risk Crop because they are susceptible to both biotic and abiotic stress leading to poor yield. Hence, farmers grow more remunerative crops like vegetables, maize, potato etc. However, due to continuous growth of these heavy feeder crops, soil health is deteriorated. Farmers cultivating pulses and oilseeds in West Bengal are not able to get reasonable return due to lack of proper scientific packages and Crop management practices. Pulse crop have a significant impact on soil biology as they increase the microbial activity even after the crop is harvested. To create awareness among the farmers about the importance & impact of Pulses in maintaining soil health and also to ensure good income & nutritional benefits, Pulses like Lentil, Gram, Khesari, Moong are being largely promoted in WB especially in areas of moisture stress through demonstrations, meetings, seminars.
130 demonstration programmes have been undertaken in Joint collaboration with ICARDA & BCKV for Lentil Development, involving more than 35 villages & 9 Cooperative Societies in Nadia District. Considering the benefits of Pulses to soil health, human nutrition, Pulses are being promoted with 4 dimensions i.e. as a major crop, as a inter/mixed crop in mango, litchi, banana orchards , as a relay crop in rice fields, as a cover crop in waste land/fallow land, bunds , surrounding ponds & water bodies . Technological advancements including Quality certified seeds of prospective varieties, specific Rhyzobium inoculants and Heli /Spodo Lures as eco-friendly IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Measures and Soil test based fertiliser application are being adopted by farmers as elements best management practices.
To promote Pulses in West Bengal, a Crop Seminar on “Importance of Pulses and Oilseeds in Cropping Sequence” was organized at Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Sargachi Murshidabad District, W.B. on 14th September, 2013. Mr. Shyamal Majumder Deputy Director of Agriculture, Murshidabad inaugurated the seminar , other speakers include Mr. A. Roy Marketing Director IFFCO, Swami Biswamayananda Secretary Maharaj R K Mission Sargachi, Dr. A. K. Nayek SMM IFFCO West Bengal, Mr. M P Shrivastava Jt. DA, Dr. S Sahoo Entomologist PORS (Pulses and Oilseeds Research Station)Berhampur, Mr. Gautam Roy District Horticulture Officer and Mr. Gopal Man ADA (Seed). More than 400 farmers from 38 villages of the district attended the seminar.
Speaking to the farmers Dr A K Nayek pointed out the importance of Pulses & Oilseeds for the farming community. During the technical session scientists of PORS discussed the current scenario of Pulses cultivation and useful tips for adopting best management practices. Mr. Shyamal Majumder, DDA Govt. of WB said that IFFCO plays an important role in stabilizing the market price of chemical fertilizer during the peak demand period and assured that Department of Agriculture will work together with IFFCO for the overall upliftment of farmers of the district. Mr. A. Roy Marketing Director IFFCO briefed about the activities of IFFCO for betterment of Indian farming community. He also highlighted the efforts of IFFCO towards soil rejuvenation and enhancement of crop productivity across India. Save the Soil Project is one of the dream project launched by Dr. U.S. Awasthi, M.D IFFCO during the 2009-10.This project is getting good response across the farmers community.
During the seminar, CIP (critical input package) kits for Lentil (var. Subrata) on improved cultivation practices of Pulse crops were distributed by the IFFCO to the farmers for conducting more than 400 demonstrations. An exhibition displaying various products, technological activities of IFFCO’s ongoing project was also organized. Swami Biswamayananda concluded the event & thanked IFFCO for their contribution in the field of agriculture with special reference to the special project undertaken by IFFCO in the district.