Even as the state government is assessing as to whether farmers of Singur prefer agriculture or industrialisation after their plots are returned, state agriculture department is ready with assistance and advisory for those willing to go for farming.
According to the prelimilary study, farming can be immediately started on 60 per cent of the total 997.11 acres of land that is to be returned to farmers as per the Supreme Court order while the remaining will be made cultivable before returning to the farmers. The 40 per cent of the land includes either the Tata Motors aborted factory shed or the two sub-stations.
“The Supreme Court has asked us to return land in cultivable form.Now,it is for the farmers to decide whether they will go ahead with farming or hand it over for industrialisation,” said a senior Cabinet minister, who visited the site. State agriculture department has decided to extend all help to the farmers to begin cultivation. Distribution of subsidised seeds, fertilisers and medicines is likely to be the first step. In fact, advisory of the crops that are to be cultivated has also been drawn up.
“With the cultivation season of Aman paddy being over, it is better if farmers undertake cultivation of vegetables,” he said.
The farmers would be advised to begin cultivation of green leafy vegetables which is to be followed by vegetables particularly grown in winter like carrot, caufiflower, cabbage and broad beans.This will enable farmers to earn profit within three or four months of cultivation. With a majority of the farmers eager to cultivate the land after it is handed over to them, agriculture department officials feel the advisory will be useful for them.
With the land lying without any chemical fertilisers for 10 years, it may work in favour of the farmers as the soil can be used for organic farming.The option of undertaking organic farming on the land would also assessed, said the minister. Once the process of returning land is completed and the farmers decide on the manner in which the land is to be utilised, state officials would start providing necessary advice.