Reported By : Mr.Rajen Saikia, Project Coordinator, Disaster Risk Reduction
Lakhimpur, Assam: Much of the cultivable land of the flood affected families in the Telahi block of North Lakhimpur district remains under water during the monsoon season, making it impossible to grow crops. IGSSS organised a training on Water Bed Vegetable Cultivation for the farmers such that they can grow vegetables on flooded land.The training was attended by members from six villages from the intervention area. Rashtriya Gramin Vikash Nidhi (RGVN),a national level development support organisation helped IGSSS in providing the training.
The trainees were guided to build a floating garden using water hyacinth. It was also demonstrated that how water hyacinth is collected to construct a floating raft. The raft is covered with soil and cow dung, in which vegetables can be planted. A new raft needs to be built every year though, but the old one can be used as fertiliser during the dry season.
The training helped the participants understand the importance of a locally developed cultivation technique in ensuring vegetables and food crop production in flood affected areas. It is also simple to replicate and is cost effective.
The rafts, 15 feet long and 6 feet wide, are made from hyacinth which is available for free locally. Summer and winter vegetables such as gourd, pumpkin, chilli, brinjals, cucumber and all kinds of leafy vegetables including cabbage can be grown over the raft. The floating gardens provide food for households even during period of food shortages. It can also provide an alternative source of income through sale of any surplus in the market.
The trainees were also given theoretical lessons on crop protection against insect attack using organic control methods.They were imparted knowledge on preparing seed-beds, preparing compost and enriching the sandy soil with compost and manure.