Development Board at Bihar Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute, Patna, Bihar on 12th January 2017.
The minister in his inaugural address informed that the Central Government is bound to promote the coconut cultivation and related activities in Bihar. He told that since 2014 a total amount of Rs 409.06 lakhs has been
sanctioned for implementing the schemes on Coconut cultivation in Bihar. The Regional Office of the Coconut Development Board was shifted to Guwahati, Assam from Patna, Bihar on the basis of recommendations of a committee constituted under the chairmanship of ICAR in 2009. A central team was constituted by the Modi Government for focussing on coconut productivity in Bihar. This team has recommended to open a new and fourth Regional Office of the Board at Patna in place of the State Centre Patna.
The minister further told that India is the global leader in production and productivity of coconut. Coconut is cultivated in 16 states and three union territories in an extent of 2.14 million ha. The crop sustains more than one crore farmer families of the country through cultivation, processing, marketing and trade related activities. In Bihar state coconut is grown in 14,900 hectares producing 141.38 million nuts.
Agriculture Minister said that Kosi region in North Bihar which comprises places on either sides of the Kosi river is ideal for coconut cultivation. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 hectares of potential area in Bihar is available for coconut cultivation, mainly in North Bihar under irrigated condition.
The Minister told that CDB aims to equip the coconut farmers in production, processing, marketing and export of coconut and its value added products thus making India the world leader in production, productivity, processing for value addition and export of coconut. Bihar belongs to nontraditional coconut cultivated area and special focus is given for the development of coconut sector in the state. The Minister concluded that the establishment of a Farmers Training Centre, attached to the Regional Office, Patna is
expected to impart skills to farmers. The centre will strengthen the coconut cultivation and industry in the state.
Dr. Sanjeev Chaurasia, MLA, Digha Constituency presided over the programme. Asha Sinha, MLA, Dhanapur Constituency also spoke during the occasion. Dr.A.K.Singh, Chairman Coconut Development Board delivered the welcome address and Saradindu Das, Chief Coconut Development Officer proposed vote of thanks. Around 300 coconut farmers, entrepreneurs and officials from the state of Bihar participated in the programme.
Status of Coconut Cultivation in Bihar
Coconut is grown in 14.900 hectares producing 141,38 million nuts in Bihar state. Coconut cultivation has gained momentum in 1987 with the establishment of coconut Development Board office at Patna and Demonstration cum- seed production farm at Madhepura, Singheshwar, Kosi region in North Bihar which comprises places on either sides of the Kosi river which is suitable for coconut cultivation. It is estimated that nearly 50,000 hectares of potential area in Bihar is available for coconut cultivation, mainly in North Bihar
under irrigated condition. Considering the local demand for the nuts for religious and culinary purposes, coconut can be grown as home stead crop under proper care. The major schemes of the Board are oriented towards increasing production and productivity of coconut and processing and product diversification in coconut. CDB aims to equip the coconut farmers in production, processing, marketing and export of coconut and its value added products thus making India the world leader in production, productivity, processing for value addition and export of coconut. Bihar belongs to nontraditional coconut cultivated area and special focus is given for development of coconut sector in the state.
Activities and Achievements of Coconut Development Board in Bihar
1. Establishment of a Regional Office
In order to plan and execute various developmental and Welfare schemes in coconut sector in the state the existing State Centre, at Patna was upgraded as Regional Office Patna. Regional Office Patna is functioning with Deputy Director as the head of the office and is looking after the implementation of Board’s programmes in the States of Bihar. Jharkhand and Chattisgarh.
2. Establishment of Farmers Training Centre
Establishment of a Farmers Training Centre attached to the Regional Office Patna has also been initiated. The centre will be constructed at the one hectare land at Jagadevpath, Patna handed over by Govt. of Bihar to Coconut Development Board. The construction works has been already approved by the Board at a cost of Rs.3.46 Cr and is given to National Projects
Construction Corporation. The Farmers Training Centre is expected to impart skills to farmers. The centre will strengthen the coconut cultivation and industry in the state.
3. Demonstration of scientific coconut cultivation
The Board has established 10 Demonstration cumSeed Production (DSP) farms in various coconut growing states for demonstrating scientific coconut cultivation. Bihar state is also having, a DSP Farm at Singeshwar, Madhepura. Various scientific coconut cultivation practices are demonstrated in the farm viz integrated pest./nutrient/disease management, intercropping, integrated farming etc.
4. Commercial nursery attached to DSP Farms
The DSP Farms produce quality seedlings of various varieties suited to the agro climatic Situation. During last three years a total of 1,62,704 seedlings of different varieties were produced and distributed to farmers.
5. Expansion of coconut area in Bihar
Taking into consideration the last that coconut cultivation is expanding across the non traditional states in India. Board is giving priority for schemes like ‘Expansion of area under coconut’, Financial assistance is extended under the scheme for taking up new planting with coconut.
Since 2014 the Board has brought 141.26 hectare area additionally under coconut cultivation.
6. Scheme for Laying out of Demonstration Plots (SCSP/TSP category)
An allocation of Rs.1 -11.5 lakh has been earmarked to the state for demonstrating scientific management practices in coconut covering an area of 100 hectare during 2016-17.
7. Palm climbing training programmes
The Board is focusing on potential employment generation in the rural areas. For which a residential training programme of 6 days to unemployed/ under employed youth on coconut climbing, cultural operations in coconut, pest and disease management etc called the Friends of Coconut Tree (FoCT). The training is free of cost and the trainees are also provided with a machine on completion of the training. They are provided insurance coverage by CDB in association with Oriental Insurance company. FoCT trainees can earn reasonably high incomes which increases their standard of living.
Since 2014 a total of 4 batches comprising of 94 people got FoCT training in Bihar.
8. Extension and Publicity activities
As a part of extension publicity activities Board is participating in various exhibitions and seminars in the state viz Shivrathri Mela, Singeswar Mahotsav, Agri Fair, KissanMela, Horti Sangam etc. In connection with this 25000 seedlings were distributed free of cost to tribal farmers. Since 2014 a total amount of Rs.409.06 lakh has been sanctioned for implementing the above schemes in Bihar
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