Floriculture replacing opium as viable option for farmers in Jharkhand's Chatra District
Chatra District (Jharkhand), Feb.13 : Floriculture is proving to be a boon for farmers of Gidhaur village in Jharkhand's Naxal-hit Chatra District.
Earlier, farmers in the village were forcibly cultivating opium to earn high profits so that they could meet the extortion demands of the rebels operating in the area.
But with the increase in security situation, the area has witnessed a change.
The farmers have now given up illegal practice of opium cultivation and are taking keen interest in floriculture.
"Today, there has been a drastic change in Chatra District. Due to opium cultivation, our area had earned a bad name. Since we have switched to flower cultivation, it is sending out a positive message to the rest of the country. Besides adopting floriculture, we are also heading towards vegetables cultivation and are living a happy life," said Ramsevak Dhangi, a flower grower.
Growing flowers like marigold is helping farmers to earn good profits, which is attracting more and more people to adopt the same practice.
"Since the farmers have adopted marigold cultivation, they are reaping good profits. Farmers are earning a minimum of Rs. 60,000 per hectare annually. Marigold cultivation is less expensive; it is cultivated during the rainy season and they don't face any problems in marketing due to its high demand," said Dharma Uraav, a scientist attached with the Department of Agriculture in Chatra District.
Farmers in Jharkhand are standing up to the Naxal diktat and have adopted legal ways to earn their livelihood.