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The State Government is laying a lot of stress on the production of certified seeds, as they produce plants which are not only high-yielding but also disease-resistant.
The certified seeds would be sold from fair-price shops across the State.
Five seed testing laboratories are functional at present – in Tollygunge in Kolkata, Bardhaman, Malda, Bankura and Krishnanagar.
The Agriculture Department has firmed up plans to set up one seed testing laboratory in every district.
Crops included in the Seed Certification Programme are paddy, wheat, hybrid maize, moong, kalai, gram, arhar, lentil, khesari, mustard, groundnut, sesame, jute, potato, fodder crops.
To attain self-sufficiency in seed production, and thus depend much less on imports from other states, the Government has decided to increase net cultivable area by engaging contractual, daily-rated and piece-rated worker.
The Government has also decided to increase irrigation facilities by excavating and re-excavating ponds (in convergence with MGNREGS), digging wells and tube-wells, and introducing sprinkler system.
These apart, it has been decided to provide improved farm machines like better tractors, rotovators, cultivators, zero till seed-cum-fertilizer drills, power tillers, power reapers, power sprayers and drum seeders.
More person-days for year-round seed production programmes were created for this purpose during FY 2017-18 in addition to the existing Krishi Shramiks.
Indigenous folk rice is conserved in Government farms and at research stations like the Agricultural Training Centre in Fulia and Rice Research Station in Chinsurah
The Agriculture Department has also decided to increase its income by starting pisciculture, in collaboration with the Fisheries Department, in the ponds inside Government farms.
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