PATNA: Expressing concern over global warming and climate change in the context of the bigger challenge of ensuring food security, CM Nitish Kumar on Thursday stressed on evolving new scientific farming techniques for increasing foodgrain output.

 

Launching a new farming technique, SRI (System of Rice Intensification), here on Thursday, Nitish said Bihar was suffering from climate change for the past two consecutive years, leading to poor rains and consequent drought-like situation. “Water level is going down considerably, creating problem of water scarcity besides adversely affecting the irrigation potential,” he said. As a result, he added, foodgrain production was going down while demand was going up.

“The entire world is undergoing this problem but India seems to be least bothered about it and not charting out long-term strategies to combat this challenge,” Nitish said and added that production in the regions which saw Green Revolution has plateaued. “But, eastern states, particularly Bihar, still have potential to increase production. What is needed is evolving new scientific methods to enhance foodgrains production,” he said.

The CM praised the efforts of Jyoti Devi of Fatehpur block in Gaya who has turned vast barren land into green belt with SRI technique and other indigenous methods. He said Jyoti, now JD(U)’s MLA from Barachatti, and other farmers like Ramsevak of Dobhi (Gaya) and Kisan Chachi of Muzaffarpur are role models who innovated new methods of farming and increased production.

On this occasion, the CM announced the remuneration of agriculture experts would be hiked from Rs 8,000 to Rs 15,000 from new fiscal. In the first phase, 2,300 experts have been appointed.

Agriculture Production Commissioner A K Sinha said in the first phase SRI technique would be implemented in 3.5 lakh hectares of land for rice production. Currently, Bihar is producing around 50 lakh tonnes of rice, which could be increased to 65 lakh tonnes with the new technique. “This will herald a new Green Revolution,” Sinha said.

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