Kolkata : Bengal has been given the responsibility to hold the zonal workshop for the eastern region in which four other states will be participating to prepare a roadmap and strategy for skill development in agriculture and allied sectors. The state has been given the responsibility considering its achievements and availability of resource persons in these sectors.
This has happened at a time when BJP national president Amit Shah had criticized the state government during his recent visit to the city last month saying that the Bengal government had fared badly in agricultural production. According to officials in the state agriculture department, the zonal workshop is for five states — Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Sikkim. The Centre had decided to give Bengal the role to hold the workshop in which neighbouring states will be participating as expertise in different fields including agriculture, horticulture and pisciculture are available in the state.
Moreover, the resource persons in these fields are well-known to all other states participating in the workshop scheduled to be held on May 25. Moreover, there is a full-fledged university in agriculture where pisciculture and horticulture along with various other farming methods are taught in academic courses. There are experts in Bengal in the eastern part of the country, who are continuously doing research work on modern techniques of farming. Thus, they are considered to be the best in sharing ideas and knowledge which are crucial in terms of framing a road map to take up skill development programmes to ensure better production, processing and marketing of crops. At the same time, two senior bureaucrats of the state — Sanjeev Chopra, Additional Chief Secretary of the state Agriculture department, and P Mohangandhi, District Magistrate of Birbhum — are considered to be experts in the sector throughout the country. Chopra is author of several books on agriculture and essays which have been published in several international journals and Mohangandhi has a PhD degree on agriculture.
The official further said that Bengal has diverse natural resources. Thus the experts can give ideas on various options — from agriculture in the hilly terrain as it happens in Sikkim to pisciculture in both salty and fresh water. The state tops the list in vegetable production and it is placed after Karnataka in sericulture.
According to an official, all the three main factors of agriculture — production, processing and marketing — is getting affected as there is a gap somewhere and skill development is the only way out to meet the gap. Thus, a national level workshop was held in this connection on January 5 and it was decided to hold zonal workshops to finalize the guideline and roadmap in this connection.
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.