Kolkata: In a bid to further increase the income of the farmers, the state Agriculture department is planning to provide two rice plantation machines in each subdivision that paddy growers can use free of cost.
A rice plantation machine ensures sowing of paddy seeds on a 1-bigha of land in just 15 minutes and it would help in increasing the farmers' income by Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,500 for their production in a bigha.
Asish Banerjee, the state Agriculture minister, said: "The function of the machine has been demonstrated in Birbhum on Saturday and training was also given to some farmers. Our endeavour would be to keep two such machines in each sub-division so that farmers can use it free of cost. There would be a discussion in this regard in a meeting scheduled at Nabanna on Monday so that the same can be started in all the districts."
Each of the machine cost around Rs 2.90 lakh. Since it is not affordable for the farmers to procure the same, the initial plan would be to keep two such machines in the farms of the state Agriculture department in each subdivision. Farmers can take it to their agricultural land to sow paddy seeds without paying anything. They just need to bear the transportation cost of the machine from the farm to the plot of land.
Banerjee, who was present in Birbhum during the demonstration of the machine on Saturday, maintained that rice plantation machines would also be kept at the Custom Hiring Centres. "The state government would give subsidy if a farmer wants to procure the same," the minister said adding that the state government would be giving a subsidy of Rs 1.16 lakh to help farmers to buy a machine.
Officials of the state Agriculture department, who are posted in Birbhum, were also present at the programme, where training was given to the farmers on how to use the rice plantation machine.
The farmers have also shown interest in using the machines as it would help them to complete the work of sowing seeds at much lesser time than the conventional way of doing the same.
This comes at the time when the state government has taken several steps to ensure improvement of the agriculture sector and bagged Krishi Karman Award for five consecutive years and the average annual income of the farmers in Bengal has gone to Rs 2.91 lakh in the last financial year.