Agriculture dept set to ramp up production of Tulaipanji rice in North Dinajpur
Kolkata: The state Agriculture department is all set to cultivate Tulaipanji rice on a much larger scale in North Dinajpur district. The use of paddy transplanter machine on a pilot basis for sowing the seeds of the indigenous rice variety on a 3 acre land at Kalua in Hemtabad has resulted in 20 percent more production of the variety.
"From next year, we will use the technology for large-scale cultivation of this rice variety in Chopra and Itahar. The process of identifying the areas for cultivation is on. The variety is suited to grow in places adjacent to the river, as the location is congenial for the aroma of the rice," a senior official of the Agriculture department said.
It may be mentioned that the demand for rice varieties like Tulaipanji and Gobindobhog is high throughout the country.
The use of the paddy transplanter technology was started in August this year and till November, the production has seen an increase of 20 percent.
Tulaipanji is cultivated in the Raiganj, Kaliaganj, Hemtabad and Karandighi blocks of Uttar Dinajpur district and Kushmandi block of Dakshin Dinajpur district. However, the production is lesser than the demand, as a result of which the price is beyond what common people can afford.
"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed us to take measures to ensure that aromatic varieties like Tulaipanji and Gobindobhog come within the reach of common people. For this, we have to increase production", state Agriculture minister Asish Banerjee said.
As per figures available with the district administration of North Dinajpur, Tulaipanji was cultivated on 6,700 hectares in 2017-18, compared to 5,400 hectares in 2016-17 and 4,600 hectares in 2015-16, registering a growth of 45 percent in three years.
The production of Tulaipanji has also gradually gone up. From 10,120 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 14,740 million tonnes in 2017-18 in the district.
"We are in constant touch with the North Bengal Agriculture University and seeking their opinion in boosting cultivation of Tulaipanji in North Bengal. We have already started the cultivation of both Tulaipanji and Gobindobhog in certain areas of Malda," Banerjee said.
Gobindabhog rice, which is primarily cultivated in East Burdwan's Raina, is also being cultivated in Sagar and Patharpratima in South 24-Parganas and parts of Bankura district.