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OPIUM CULTIVATION !!

FOR THE past two decades, Kishanganj district of Bihar has been badly affected by the problem of smuggling, human trafficking and other unlawful activities. Kishanganj’s proximity to Nepal and Bangladesh is the main reason behind these activities. People of India, as well as of Nepal and Bangladesh are involved in such acts. Besides, militants from the neighbouring countries are also taking advantage of the security lapse in the border areas to infiltrate into India. From time to time, the Border Security Force (BSF) and the district police nab the smugglers and the people involved in illegal activities, but the fact is that the local administration is unable to put a permanent hold on these activities.

Last month, during my trip to Kishanganj, I was shocked to hear about the news of opium harvesting in some areas of the district.

Kishanganj police had discovered a five bigha plot of illegal opium cultivation in Simalbari village under the Kishanganj police station. Just few days later, a 50 bigha plot of opium, farmed between two streams of the Mahananda river, was also discovered by the police team headed by DSP Ravish Kumar on the borders of Kishanganj and Purnia districts. According to the police, the opium fields were obscured on the sides by the maize fields. Five landowners believed to be illegal immigrant settlers from Bangladesh owned the fields.

Reports of Simalbari opium catch spread like wildlife and stunned the local residents. In fact, residents feigned ignorance about the opium and said that the same cultivation had been done earlier in the locality in around 15 bighas of land.

The cultivation of opium is punishable under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS). Maoists, Naxalites and illegal immigrants from Nepal and Bangladesh are now targeting the remote areas of Bihar for opium cultivation. Districts of Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar and Araria have become favourites with opium cultivators due to lack of security and unawareness among the local people. Most of the people in these areas think that opium is a flower, like sunflower or marigold, and is used to extract oil. In fact, the labourers working on the opium fields are also ignorant about the NDPS act. The opium growers offer good wages to the labourers, land owners and people looking after the cultivation. The lure of money makes it immaterial for the local people to ask the growers about the illegal cultivation.

After the raids in Simalbari and the border of Kishanganj and Purnia districts, the police team harvested the opium fields, but the growers are still at large. Police is suspects that there are more opium fields across the districts and the search is still on. As the cultivation of opium is done illegally in the remote areas of the district, there are fair chances that police team might unearth some more fields in the near future.

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Greenhouse Management: Soil Sterilization and preparation, cultural practices in flower and vegetable cultivation
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FUNDING SCHEMES

Bank of Maharashtra
Minor Irrigation for Agriculturists scheme for purchase of various irrigation equipments.
Mahabank Kisan Credit Card scheme for cultivation of crops, meeting the short-term credit needs of farmers.
Farm Mechanisation for Agriculturists scheme for Purchase of Tractors/Power tillers, Harvesters, Threshers & other farm
implements.
Animal Husbandry scheme for Purchase of animals, Poultry- Broiler Farm, Layers Farm, Hatchery Sheep/Goat Rearing Construction
of Byre, and Purchase of Machinery Working Capital Requirements under
Scheme for Cultivation of fruit crops-mango, Pomegranate, Grapes etc.
Scheme for providing finance to set up of Agri-Clinics/Agribusiness Centers.
Scheme for Financing Farmers for Purchase of Agricultural land.
Scheme for Financing Two Wheelers to Farmers
Scheme for Providing Loans to Farmers for Purchase of consumer durables
Scheme for Hi-tech projects in agriculture.
Rural Godown Scheme (Gramin Bhandaran Yojana) for scientific storage of agricultural produce.
Minor Irrigation for Agriculturists


Purpose :
Digging of new wells, revitalization of existing well, purchase of oil engine, electric motor, pump set installation of pipe line, sprinkler, irrigation, drip irrigation, tube well, bore well, etc.
Eligibility : Agriculturist who owns agricultural land.
Amount : For new dug wells as per the NABARD Unit costs for equipments/estimates.
Repayment : Depending upon the repaying capacity 7 to 11 years.
Security : Mortgage of land, Hypothecation of movable assets and guarantors.
Other Terms & Conditions :
Proposed well should be located in white watershed area. It should not be in dark watershed area.