Majuli Island farmers take to vegetable farming for livelihood

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Jorhat (Assam), Mar 9 (ANI): Farmers in Majuli Island here have engaged themselves in vegetable farming in a big way to earn a sustainable livelihood. he educated youth of the 144 villages on the island are now engaged in vegetable farming and reaping huge benefits from the same.

Vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, brinjals, chillies, beans, peas, garlic, onions, cauliflowers, etc. are being grown by these farmers.

The farmers have shown keen interest in vegetable farming as it generates a higher income and has become the source of their livelihood at a time when jobs are scarce in the market.

"I come from a very poor background. My parents remain sick and because of low income, I had to give up education after Class 10th. Initially, I helped my parents in traditional farming and engaged in rice cultivation," said Hemant Kolita, a 21-year-old farmer.

"But due to the climatic conditions it was becoming difficult to sustain. So with the guidance of village elders I took up vegetable farming," added Kolita.

Kolita is working as a vegetable cultivator for the past three years and his annual earnings are Rs 3,00,000.

Meanwhile, 31-year-old Subhash Hazarika, who has also studied till Class 10, is farming vegetables for the past five years.

By selling vegetables, Hazarika has not only started up an electronics shop for his sibling, but has managed to buy two cars, two motorbikes and has bought the latest equipment for his farm.

"Our village remains flooded with water for six months and then we are left with just 3-4 months. I utilized this short time for vegetable cultivation. I put in a lot of hard work and my heart into this work. I then took up farming full time and this reaped me great profits. This farming is very good for overall development," said Hazarika.

Hazarika further advised the unemployed youth in the district to shift from traditional rice cultivation and take up high-income generating businesses like vegetable farming, dairy farming and horticulture.

The people living on Majuli Island mainly thrive on agriculture with paddy being their main crop. But over the years due to extensive soil corrosion and incessant monsoons, the fertile land is being washed away.

This has badly affected the economy of the farmers, who depend solely on rice cultivation and fishing. (ANI)

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