Ranchi: To make the barren land of Jharkhand green, the government is taking steps towards the cultivation of thornless cactus. Joint Secretary of Rural Development Department Awadh Narayan Prasad has said that the State Government is taking the initiative to make the total 68 percent barren land of Jharkhand lively and also make it useful and a source of earning.
He was speaking at a workshop organized on Promotion of Spineless Cactus Plantation and Cultivation under the aegis of Jharkhand State Watershed Mission under the Rural Development Department on Tuesday. He told the farmers coming from watershed areas in the workshop that they should just give land and take the responsibility of care, after that the department will fulfill all the needs of cactus cultivation.
He said that at present the department is going to start experimental cultivation of cactus on 157 hectares of land in the state. Its use has started in Khunti district. The main objective of this centrally sponsored scheme is sustainable development of barren lands.
Also watershed development, improvement in ecological balance, conservation of natural resources and enhancing the livelihood of the people. It was told in the workshop that the cultivation of thornless cactus will give new life to the barren land, while many types of products will be made from cactus, which will increase the income of the farmers. It was told that bio-fertilizer, animal feed, food items, bio-fuel, artificial leather etc. will be manufactured from cactus.
Also, due to cactus, water conservation of the land will develop. The environment will benefit. In the workshop, experts from outside BK Jha and Neha Tiwari threw light on the technical aspects of cactus plantation. Gave detailed information on preparation of cactus plants, its irrigation, care and marketing of the produce. Told that cactus continues to flourish for 25 years. Very little water is required in its cultivation.
Joint Secretary of Rural Development Department Avadh Narayan Prasad, Joint Secretary Pramod Kumar, Dr. Jagannath Oraon of Birsa Agricultural University, Horticulture scientist BK Jha, Dr. Neha Tiwari of NAD-ICARDA were present in the workshop.