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Manipur Gets Bumper Mustard Crop With New Technique

IMPHAL: After successful cultivation of oil seeds such as mustard under zero tillage cultivation formula, Manipur has started to apply the same principle on pea for the first time.

The new method of cultivation without any form of fertilizer has been initiated under State Agriculture department’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) method of cultivation with the additional technical inputs from Central Agriculture University (CAU), Imphal.

According to Pheiroijam Rajendro, Deputy Director (Soil Chemist) of the Agriculture department, the State authority under guidance of the Centre is planning to take up zero tillage pea cultivation for the first time. This could be perhaps the first time in the entire Northeastern States.

‘As of now we are initiating it in just 30 hectares of recently harvested rice fields’, Rajendro said. Longjam Sarat, 45, a cultivator of Nongpok Lourembam village in Imphal East district has started to cultivate pea under zero tillage formula at his recently harvested rice field.

‘I have taken up this new method of cultivation on a trial basis after attending an awareness program at a mobile plant health clinic’, Sarat said in an interaction with The Assam Tribune at his field. ‘We are planning to expand the cultivation area once the entire harvest is over’.

Sarat used to get not less than 100 bags (each bag weighing 50 kilogram) of rice from his family’s five hectares of land at Nongpok Lourembam Loukon measuring around 30 hectares. He had cultivated mustard sometime ago, but it did not get him much profit.

His elder brother Modhuchandra said, ‘Cultivating pea under the new method will certainly help the rural economy in the State as Manipuris love to eat various parts or forms of pea particularly it’s fresh leaves and bud, etc.

A rice field measuring one fourth of a hectare requires around 20 to 25 kilograms of well treated pea seeds. However, Dr Kh. Ibohal, an Entomologist from CAU Imphal wants the farmers to carry out proper seed treatment to avoid crop diseases.

‘We need to use authenticated fungicide (carbendazim 12 per cent plus Mancozeb and insecticide Imidacloprid for the seed treatment to protect the plants from any disease’, the Entomologist said. ‘Chances of attack by any worm are very negligible if we do so’.

It may be worth mentioning here that IPM method of cultivation has a success story in the mustard seed production in the recent past in this land locked State which is, however, blessed with suitable agro-climatic conditions.

Farmers of Maklang village in Manipur’s Imphal West district got a bumper harvest in the last season, producing an average of 1,300 kg of mustard seed per hectare which is much higher than that of national yield of 1,070 kg per hectare. They cultivated mustard in an area of 1,500 hectares last season.

*Reported by Sobhapati Samom

(Courtesy: The Assam Tribune)

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