In the hallowed halls of the United Nations, where decisions shape the destiny of nations, the US veto of an Arab-backed resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict has ignited a storm of controversy.
For the first time in the state, the Indo-Israel agricultural project has been initiated in Hooghly district at Chinsurah Horticulture Centre. The centre is developing seedlings of high quality of different vegetables. The farmers, who are used to the traditional ways of developing seed beds for centuries are now opting more for hybrid seedlings.
The grown seedlings fetch them a good market price and the farmers are also getting the advantage of cultivating the hi-tech and hybrid seedlings. The vegetation grown from the hybrid seeds have proved to be resistant against inclement weather conditions, thus negating loss of plantation from unfavorable climatic conditions. The district farmers are happy with the seedlings since it has brought an end to the habitual crop losses and vegetation and also relieving them of their financial debts.
The additional director Chinsurah Horticulture Centre Subhadeep Nath said, “It is for the first time that an initiative of the state government using hi-tech Israeli agricultural method has been put to use at Chinsurah centre to prepare seasonal and non-seasonal seedlings of vegetables to meet the demand of farmers and different agricultural organizations. The vegetables, grown from these seedlings, are resistant to usual plant diseases and also against the inclement weather. To promote and encourage agriculture based on hitech and hybrid seedlings subsidy is given to the farmer.
Till now, around 50,000 seedlings have been sold at subsidized rates to the farmers.” Presently, such cultivation is being carried out at Polba-Dadpur block, Chanditala-1,Tarkeswar, Goghat, Pandua, Pursura, Burdwan and other districts. Main demand is for cabbage, coloured cabbage, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, English cucumber, seedless cucumber, seedless brinjal and many other seasonal and non-seasonal vegetables.
Dr Nath explained that during their normal season of cultivation seedlings of these vegetables cannot be raised through the traditional system of nursery raising on soil beds because these vegetables are not tolerant to slightest damage to their root and shoot system during their uprooting and transplanting. He said such damage cannot be avoided in the traditional system of seedling raising.
Thereafter, a method of nursery raising was evolved in which off-season seedlings were raised in small polyethylene bags using soil and compost (50:50) as a medium, but this system needs a lot of protected space and is labour intensive. During the transportation process, the crop in main fields needs a large quantity of medium.
Therefore, seedlings of major cucurbits are raised in multi-celled plastic plug trays containing each cell of a volume of 18-20 cc and inverted pyramid in shape by using coco-peat, vermiculite and perlite as soil-less media in 3:1:1 ratio on volume basis. This technique is not only efficient in vigorous root development but also suitable to avoid any damage to the roots and shoots of the seedlings at the time of transplanting. This technology is economical and suitable for the growers. The plug tray nursery raising technology is also suitable for melons, gourds and squashes for their off season cultivation .