Farmers Society of Maize Production and Marketing Launched in Bihar

At a recent field day in district Muzaffarpur, Bihar, the Rajender Agricultural University announced the formation of an association of maize farmers called “Krishak Makka Utpadan Avam Vipram Samiti” (Farmers Society of Maize Production and Marketing). This organisation will help find solutions for the gaps in the maize value chain and will support better delivery of technology to increase maize production in Bihar. The event was organized by CSISA, Borlaug Institute of South Asia (BISA) and RAU on 11 March and was attended by more than 300 farmers and senior officials from the state department. Mangala Rai, the Technical Advisor to the Bihar Chief Minister and former Director General and Secretary, DARE, Government of India said that maize is a unique crop, which has around 1000 products for consumption. He explained that poultry farming and maize cultivation should be integrated, especially in 0.4 million ha of Chhour areas of Bihar. The maize yield has increased by 50 kg/ha/year in the last 10 years and the aim should be to increase it to 100 kg/ha /year. He further argued that we need to compete with United States where the average yield is more than 9.0 tonnes/ha compared to an average of 2.7 tones/ha in India. He also praised CSISA’s strong technology delivery mechanism, which ensures technology transfer by involving partners in public and private sector. Dev Raj, Director, Corporate Affairs, Monsanto India welcomed the formation of farmer’s commodity group and said that they are evaluating new hybrids for commercial purpose and they put a lot of emphasis on the opinion of farmers for evaluation. N.N. Singh, former Director of Directorate Maize Research (DMR) and the Vice-Chancellor of Birsa Agricultural University (BAU), Ranchi said that we need to connect farmers to other forms of technology transfer such as development of value chain of various products, linking farmers to markets and integrating the production of this unique crop with integrated farming system like poultry, animal feed including silage, introduction of baby corn, seed production and production of starch. We also need to evolve short duration and dual purpose hybrids for the Kharif season, he said. R.K.Malik, Bihar and Eastern UP Hub Manager, CSISA said that CSISA and its partners intend to increase the area under kharif and spring maize. He further said that farmers are not organised and this commodity group formation will help finding solution to problems associated with maize production and its marketing. He highlighted CSISA’s new initiative called “Crop Manager” – a country-specific, web-based decision tool that is being jointly developed by IRRI and CIMMYT under the umbrella of CSISA. This will help finding site specific crop management solutions.

Posted on Trainings and Events, April 22, 2014

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