GLIMPSES : 4th BGM
LIFE MEMBER SRI N.PANDEY
FELICITATION OF KRISHI RABI ,2013
KRISHI RABI s_2013
SEMINAR - SEED : HOPE TO HARVEST
PROCEEDINGS OF 4th BIENNIAL (59th) GENERAL MEETING OF SATSA,WEST BENGAL
HELD AT RAMENDRA NATH CHOWDHURY AUDITORIUM,BIDYUT BHAWAN,
SALT LAKE, KOLKATA -700091 on 23rd AND 24th FEBRUARY ,2013
Date :23.02.2013 ;PRE LUNCH SESSION
The 4th BGM was inaugurated through hoisting of the flag of SATSA,WB and lighting of lamp by Shri Dipankar Bhadra, President,SATSA,WB. He took the chair along with the three Vice Presidents; Shri Ashoke Kumar Roy,Shri Alik Kumar Mondal and Shri Dhruba Chowdhury.The entire meeting was presided over by the President. Shri Shibabrata Ghatak anchored the program.
Welcoming all,Shri Dipankar Bhadra ;President, SATSA,WB in his inaugural speech, narrated the development of the Association. He expressed his satisfaction and pride for being the member of an association; which was established primarily for all-round development in agriculture, the socio-economic development of village communities and promoting welfare , service benefits and fraternity of the members, has stepped into its Diamond Jubilee Year .He recalled that during his long service life, the constraints faced in developmental activities as departmental officer was often compensated through the multifaceted activities of the association. To him that was a great moment of achievement ,when the State Agriculture Department adopted “Seed Village Program” following the success of SATSA in establishing seed villages in different districts of West Bengal aiming at making the State self sufficient in “quality & improved seeds”. He pointed to the fact that since independence this state had to accommodate a huge population which was disproportionate to its share of land in comparison to other states of India. This has resulted into rapid fragmentation of land, escalating the percentage of small and marginal farmers to 95.4, who own 84 percent of farm land. Having very little scope of horizontal expansion of cropped area ,the main thrust was given to land reforms and increasing productivity .He opined that the agricultural technologists and farming community of the state have lived up to the challenge of ensuring food security, presently boasting of producing eight percent of country’s food with only three percent of the country’s cultivable land. But, undebatably, there is a lot to be done .So, according to him, it is high time for addressing the issues of deficits in agricultural planning and development with due priority. The infrastructure of Agriculture Directorate & Department, which was designed during 1975-76 on the basis of the then scenario, needs to be modernised for successful dissemination of scientific knowledge of modern agriculture targeting socio-economic upliftment of the village communities. He emphasised the need for betterment of infrastructure of Seed Certification& Seed Testing wing of the Department in terms of number of units, manpower deployment and logistic support .He suggested ‘Watershed Based Approach’ in Development Planning. He pointed to the importance of filling up all the vacant technical and support staff positions of the Department.
A condolence message was read out by Shri Shakti Bhadra,Jt.Secretary(Estab.);SATSA,WB in remembrance of the people who passed away after the 3rd BGM in 2011.He paid respect towards our deceased members.With due respect he mentioned the names of departed renowned personalities from different walks of life. The people who had to face untimely death in accidents, natural calamities and terrorist activites throughout the world were remembered with a heavy heart. The house observed silence for a minute as a mark of respect to the departed souls.
Shri Goutam Kumar Bhowmick; General Secretary, SATSA,WB addressed the house and recalled the democratic mindset of the outgoing Central Secretariat towards steering the association with a positive and reformative approach in favour of the farming community and agricultural technologists. The CEC prioritised the unity of the members in order to assure the progress of our beloved SATSA as a commendable association. Only after a few months of the new CEC took charge, our State experienced a political change at the realm of the State Administration. The members were inspired by the pro-farmer attitude of the new Government, which was evident from their declared policy of emphasizing on the all round development of agrarian community and economic growth of rural Bengal through enhancement of production by adopting science based technologies developed through extensive research. The new Government rightly stressed on the need of assuring appropriate price to the farmers for their produce. In praise of the attitude of the new Government towards farming, the association communicated its promise for wholehearted support in achieving the dreams of the newly elected Chief Minister. Besides, the CEC prepared a suggestive road map towards achieving agricultural prosperity along with a well-chalked out plan for improvement of departmental infrastructure, which was also sent to the then Departmental Minister and erstwhile Departmental Secretary. The essence of the prepared note was to incorporate all the allied sectors ;like horticulture, animal husbandry, apiculture, pisciculture, and cooperative along with crop husbandry in developmental planning .The association felt that economic growth of the farmers could only be achieved through improvement in the performance of the allied sectors and integrating market linkage with the production system .The association’s view was reflected in the recent past by the government through conducting “Krishi Mela”s at block and sub-division level involving those sectors. SATSA,WB always endeavoured for being enriched by having regular interaction with the eminent experts through organising seminars; like the one conducted at the Institute of Engineers in September, 2011; which was graced by the presence of Dr. Abhirup Sarkar, Dr. Kalyan Rudra and Dr.Dibyendu Sen ; with a view to help the state govermment in adopting a down-to-earth and vibrant policy for the renovation of farming system and development of agricultural technology .It has been brought to the notice of the government that agriculture would not flourish without proper infrastructural support . The growth rate of the farming sector in the state is facing a downfall in tandem with the rest of India. The reluctance in public sector investment for agriculture, as evident from the fact that allocation for agriculture has come down to a mere one per cent of total budgetary provision; should be considered as one of the major reasons for this decline.
The infrastructure of governmental support system for agricultural development is heading towards having a place in the ruins. The department, which is supposed to be dominated by the technologists, is staggering with a volume of vacant posts of all types of functionaries both in the extension and the research wings; even the post of the Director of Agriculture & Ex-officio Secretary is lying vacant since long. The department had to taste failure and humiliation on trying to execute bureaucratic proposal of distributing pump sets worthing crores or in assuring quality of wheat seeds. Till date any effective agricultural planning could not be formulated for the hilly areas. To worsen the situation no system in the private sector has emerged to support the agricultural growth. The farmers are facing economic decline due to soaring price of all inputs required for scientific farming, while the price of their produce is still a subject of great concern. The trend of shifting of farming lands to non-farming usage should be combated by enforcing a stable and scientific land policy. The association feels that, development of area specific low cost farming technology and patronising the farmers in cultivation of crops having high market value; like scented rice without forgoing food security might resurrect hope and aspirations among the farmers.
The General Secretary was sarcastic about the blame of being unable to spend allotted fund in time, often thrust upon the agricultural technologists serving the department, by a section of the bureaucrats. He strongly stated that with present dismal infrastructure, a result of impractical planning made by the bureaucrats, utilising a huge central allotment of rupees five hundred crores and state allotment of rupees one hundred and sixty crores maintaining transparency was a herculean task, quite evident from the report of corruption to a tune of seventy three per cent in utilising a fund of rupees eight thousand and one eighty nine crore under MGNREGS in Bihar. SATSA strongly declines to be a part of any corruption, rather would be instrumental in eliminating the menace just as in case of distribution of poor quality wheat seed. The members want to work in favour of farmers but with integrity. SATSA honours farmers as ‘KRISHI RABI’ ( the sun of the society). Appointment of an agricultural technologist as Agriculture Advisor to the Hon’ble Chief Minister was a ray of hope towards proper evaluation of the contribution of agricultural technologists in flourishing agriculture. The association’s cooperation can be confirmed without any scope of ambiguity, for any positive step taken by this government towards the improvement of agriculture, farming community and agricultural technologists.
The General Secretary assured that the CEC was always vigilant in eradicating the problems faced by the members in execution of departmental assignments, though had not been always successful. But, the association can claim formidable success in conferring service benefits within reasonable time. The association expects that the government would take decision about the future status of the immensely important research wing of the department after detailed deliberation. SATSA has already placed its view in this matter after interacting with the SAUs and other research institutions. The association is thankful to the Hon’ble Minister, Department of Agriculture for adopting positive measures for reviving the Government Farms in recent past. The association stands by the government’s effort in assuring quality of seed and other inputs. SATSA feels that proper enforcement of justified seed policy tagged with use of good quality of high yielding varieties and adopting science based technologies in farming would increase productivity manifold and there is no need to make the use of genetically modified seeds at rampant, a compulsion for our farmers.
At the concluding part of his speech he expressed his wish that the newly elected CEC for 2013 and 2014 would develop SATSA further into a strong, ideal and united association promoting the cause of farmers and agricultural technologists against all odds.
Shri Kamal Bhowmick ,Central Treasurer ,SATSA,WB submitted the detail audited accounts for the year 2011 & 2012. He presented the proposed budget for the year 2013 & 2014. He conluded with a hope to enhance financial strength of the association in future.
Shri Goshto Nayban , Joint Secretary (Press & Publicity),SATSA,WB stated that a separate account for SATSA publication has been opened as per recommendation of the 3rd BGM. The association has already published ten booklets on different subjects related to agriculture and the 11th Krihi Pustika on potato cultivation would be published on that day along with the Annual Technical Issue,Volume : 17 titled Seed:Hope To Harvest. He communicated that there has been a constant endeavour to make the SATSA website informative and up to date. Shri Nayban submitted the audited accounts of SATSA Publication for 2011 &2012 and placed the proposed budget for 2013 & 2014. He solicited active cooperation from members.
On arrival of Shri Pradip Kumar Mazumdar, Ag.Advisor to the Hon’ble Chief Minister, he was greeted by the General Secretary. Shri Pradip Mazumdar in his brief speech thanked SATSA for inviting him to the BGM. He acknowledged the cooperation of the agricultural technologists he has been receiving, both from inside and outside the state. He expressed concern about the poor infrastructure of the department at the block level, but assured the house that steps are being taken by the Hon’ble Chief Minister for improving the situation. He stressed on the need for acknowledging the contribution of the farmers for the society in form of rewards. He proposed restructuring of farming system with an aim to help the farmers. He communicated that the government is emphasizing on cultivation of scented rice, pulse and oilseeds which might be more remunerative for the farmers. Shri Mazumder advocated in favour of market oriented farming system for better economic returns to the farming community. Construction of sixty three markets with cold storage, advisory service etc. at block level has already been taken up for assuring direct access of farmers to the buyers within 2014. This facility will be extended to each and every block of the state in due course. According to him smiling face of farmers having satisfactory lifestyle should be the ultimate goal of the agricultural technologists. With a few words of praise for the commitment of SATSA towards agricultural development he concluded.
Dr. Paritosh Bhattacharya, the Director of Agriculture, Govt. of West Bengal was received with a warm welcome by the General Secretary. Dr.Bhattacharya explained the sea change in the system of work of the department from T&V era to modern concept of ATMA. He expressed satisfaction for being able to improve the quality of inputs distributed by the department and thanked the seed certification and seed testing discipline for their cooperation even under a state of poor manpower and infrastructure. He could not assure appointment on permanent basis for filling up vacant posts due to financial constraints. However effort is on to ease the situation to some extent through engagement on contractual basis. He appealed for cooperation from all to deliver better service to the farmers under adverse situation.
In tune with what Shri Mazumdar said , a session was conducted to felicitate selected farmers, one from each of the eighteen districts excluding Kolkata, who deserved special mention for their performance and contribution in the field of agriculture and allied sectors, as “Krishi Rabi-2013”.The house was impressed by the brief audio visual presentation on the works of each of the selected Krishi Rabi-s. The Krishi Rabi-s were felicitated by Shri Pradip Mazumdar, Dr.Paritosh Bhattacharya, General Secretary, President and the three VicePresidents. The Krishi Rabi-s for 2013 were Shri Mahadeb Mandal(Bnakura), Janab Sekh Soeb Hossen (Bardhaman), Shri Subhas Chandra Mandal (Birbhum), Shri Ramen Barman(Cochbehar), Shri Tapan Sardar (Dakshin 24 Pargana), Janab Abdul Motaleb Sarkar (Dakshin Dinajpur), Shri Jogendra Kharka(Darjeeling), Shri Tapan Adhikari (Hoogly), Shri Sristidhar Jana (Howrah), Shri Sushanta Sarkar(Jalpaiguri), Shri Adwaita Sarkar (Maldah), Shri Amulyaratan Sahana (Murshidabad), Shrimati Krishna Ballav(Nadia), Shri Jayanta Kumar Sau(Paschim Medinipur), Shri Debdulal Jana (Purba Medinipur), Shri Birendra Nath Mahato(Purulia), Shri Sanatan Biswas(Uttar 24 Pargana), Shri Subhas Das (Uttar Dinajpur).
POST LUNCH SESSION
The members were invited for discussion on the report of the General Secretary, Budget and pertinent issues.
Shri Birendra Nath Mahato , Krishi Rabi of Purulia; on being requested by the President shared his experience with the house. He inspired all by his scientific but down to earth suggestions for exploring different avenues of income for economic upliftment of the farmers. He emphasised on agrosilviculture and discussed the process of raising teak(Segun) seedlings on a commercial basis. He affirmed that without agriculture no other sector, may it be industry or service, could flourish because farming supplies the most basic need of life-FOOD. With sincere note of gratitude for the recognition received from SATSA ,both at the district and the state level , Shri Mahato concluded his speech.
Shri Murari Yadab; placed the official resolution, which engulfed the expectations and suggestions of the members, for approval of the house. The salient features of the resolution were-
1 A. Reorientation of Administrative wing under the Directorate of Agriculture.
B. Reorientation of Research Wing under the Directorate of Agriculture.
2. Redistribution of Sanctioned Posts in Un-revised Pay Scale Nos.16,17,18 &19 i.e. Pay Band-4,4A,4B and 5 having Grade Pay of Rs.5400/-, 6600/-, 7600/- and 8700/- respectively(ROPA 2009).
3. Creation of Discipline wise separate Directorate under the Department of Agriculture.
4. Change of Recruitment Rules for appointment to the post of Director of Agriculture.
5. Publication of Recruitment Rule for appointment to the post of Director of Agriculture & Ex-Officio
Secretary, Department of Agriculture.
6. Manning of the departmental posts by Agricultural Technologists which are now manned by Administrative officers.
7. Strengthening of the State Seed Certification Agency.
8. Proper manning of the Office of the Deputy Director of Agriculture (Administration)-Uttar Dinajpur, Bardhaman and Howrah and Office of the Asst.Director of Agriculture(Administration), Egra.
9. Registration of Agricultural Technologists as Crop Doctor.
10. Establishment of “KRISHI BHAVAN” at the state, District,Sub-Division and Block Levels.
11. Creation of new Districts , Sub-Divisions and Blocks at par with Administrative set up of Home Department.
12. Establishment of e-connection set up at State, District and Block Levels.
13. Specific issues of the Research Wing :a) Declaration of a clear Agricultural Research Policy .b)Extension of research facilities as prevailing in ICAR.
14. Conferring Drawing and Disbursing Power to Asst. Director of Agriculture (Block/Farm/Soil Conservation) and Head of Research Sub-Stations.
15. Opening of Bank Account of all DDA (Admn), Asst.D.A. (Admn) at Sub-Division; DDA(Seed Certification); DDOs of Evaluation section and DDOs of all Research Stations.
16. Opening of new avenues for Agricultural Technologists.
17. Creation of 346 nos. additional posts Of Assistant Director of Agriculture in each of the Block of West Bengal.
18. Adequate manning in centrally sponsored / Mission mode schemes.
19. Ensuing livelihood support and security of farmers:
a. The Association demands to the State Government for recommendation to the Govt. of India for enactment of the following –protesting the anti-farmer policies in WTO, restrain from implementation of SSEPER through autonomous agency, i.e. ATMA., expunge anti-farmer policies of Seed Bill,2004
b. The Association demands to the State Government for immediate implementation of the following issues: formation of Agri Clinic at least at block level, recognise farmers’ school and provide support and fund, recognise ‘Community Seed Village Scheme’, intervene into entire marketing chain and support co-operative marketing, assure protection against FDI and entry of MNCs in retail market chain and annul anti-employee provisions of Pension Bill, 2004.
20. Provision for storing facility and godown for storing govt. inputs through a permanent notification.
21. Provision of hired vehicle at all level of both wings and all disciplines on regular basis.
22. Provisions at the GTA :
i)DDA(Admn.), Darjeeling should be treated as Ex-officio Secretary of Ag. Department of the GTA and should be conferred with all administrative and financial powers.
ii) Formation of a new post of DDA9Training), Hill Zone at ATC, Kalimpong.
iii) The vacant post of Research Officer at Potato Research and Experimental Farm, Bhanjan, DARJEELING SHOULD BE UPGRADED TO Assistant Botanist in WBAS(Research).
iv) The present post of Assistant Agril. Chemist,STL,Kalimpong to be declared DDO.
23. Creation of one post of Deputy Director of Agriculture at Zela Parishad of each District and at Shiliguri Mahakuma Parishad.
24. Creation of one post of deputy Project Director (ATMA) at district level.
Shri Ashoke Kumar Roy,Vice President,SATSA,WB placed proposals for amendment of the Constitution of SATSA, West Bengal for approval.The following clauses were proposed for amendment or deletion:- 3(a),3(a)(i),3(b)(vi),3(c), 4(i),4(iv), 6(a)(i),6(a)(ii),6(b)(i), 7(a)(viii),7(a)(ix),7(a)(xi),7(a)(xiv),7(a)(xv), 8(d)(iv),8(g)-new clause, 10-new sub clause, 12(iv),12(v),12(vi),12(xiv)-new clause,12(xv)-new clause, 15(a)(i),15(a)(iii),15(a)(iv),15(a)(v),15(a)(vi),15(b)(i),15(b)(ix),15(c)(i),15(c)(iii), 15(c)(iv),15(c)(vii),15(d), 16(v),16(vi), and 19(ii).
A provision has been made for a post of treasurer for SATSA PUBLICATION [23rd CEC member] from 2015 onwards. It has been proposed that during 2013 and 2014 any suitable CEC member or DEC member of Kolkata District Unit will take the charge of the proposed post.
House unanimously approved the Official Resolution, Budget Provisions (general & publication) and Proposals for Amendment of the Constitution of SATSA, WB. A few unrealised outstation cheques were waived with approval of the House.
SATSA Annual Technical Issue, Volume: 17 titled Seed ; Hope To Harvest , A Compendium of Government Orders & Circulars and SATSA Krishi Pustika, No. 11 on Potato Cultivation were ceremoniously released respectively by Dr.Paritosh Bhattacharya,DAWB, Shri Dipankar Bhadra, President,SATSA,WB and Shri Birendra Nath Mahato,Krishi Rabi(Purulia).
At the end of the first day of the 4th BGM and Diamond Jubilee Year celebration the newly elected CENTRAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE of SATSA,WB for 2013 and 2014 was declared and the members were greeted by the house.
With a note of hope and aspirations and appeal for cooperation to the members, the re-elected General Secretary, Shri Goutam Kumar Bhowmik addressed the house and invited all to participate in the Seminar on Seed: Hope To Harvest scheduled on 24th February, 2013 .
Date : 24.02.2013
SEMINAR - SEED : HOPE TO HARVEST
Chairman : Shri Pradip Kumar Mazumdar , Ag. Advisor to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal.
Prof. Swapan Datta ,DDG(crop)ICAR
Prof. Abhee Datta Majumdar, High Energy Physics Division, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, Kolkata & Working President, West Bengal State Council of Science and Technology
Shri Shrinivas Kumar Karavadi, Business Head,Bayer Crop Science (Seed & Trg.),India
Prof. Pranab Chatterjee , Retired Professor, Bidhan Chandra Krishi Bishwabidyalay, Mohonpur, Nadia.
All the distinguished guests were cordially greeted by SATSA. The program was anchored by Dr. Sukanta Dasgupta. Shri Pradip Majumdar took the chair and congratulated SATSA for chosing an “important and futuristic issue” as the topic of the seminar “quite befitting the occasion of Diamond Jubilee celebration by SATSA, WB”. He introduced the speakers to the audience.
Prof Swapan Datta stressed on the need for development of quality seeds at affordable price to ensure food security. He also emphasised on retaining the produce by adopting modern post harvest management technologies. He explained the possibilities of enhancing productivity of pulses, maize and jute seeds. Fodder cultivation, he said, should get due priority. He communicated that the horizon of modern day agricultural research aims to combat climate change, pests, incorporating nitrogen fixation capabilities in cereals etc. He affirmed that science should be used for human welfare.
Prof Abhee Datta Majumdar, expressed his view regarding what should be the direction of modern day research. He cautioned about the privatisation of the research system and the world as well. He questioned whether the logic of profit should be accepted as the driving force for developmental planning. According to him the policies of developing countries are often guided by requirement of the core countries. He pointed to the dangers of unipolar world. Mentioning about the loss we had to incur due to petrochemical based agriculture, promoted in 1965 under the pressure of interest groups, he appealed for a controlled use of science and doing away with the “logic of economic viability” during policy formulation .He agreed that Genetic Engineering is one of the best technologies for the mankind but we have to remain cautious about its misuse.
Shri Shrinivas Kumar Karavadi explained the potentiality and benefit of hybrid rice and established sustained yield benefit to a tune of twenty five percent of some varieties under West Bengal condition through presenting yield data of last five years. He also described different ventures of Bayer Crop Science, India in the field of agriculture.
Prof. Pranab Chatterjee ,an eminent crop breeder commenced his speech by saying “To achieve food security we need Seed Security”. He expressed his dismay at the poor rate of seed replacement in the State. He suggested for establishing a seed producing hub at the western part of the State. He described a model of Seed Village along with its administrative set up and modalities for running it successfully up to marketing. He referred to the success story of Gnotra SKUS of Nadia following the presented model. He mentioned seed sector as the “Core area for strengthening rural economy”.
The Chairman summed up the views of the speakers thanking them for their kind participation.
The 4th BGM came to an end with a vote of thanks by Shri Shibabrata Ghatak on behalf of SATSA, West Bengal .