Mauritius returnee scientist who cultivates 70 rice varieties at his village farmhouse in Odisha

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | October 19, 2022 IST

Bhubaneswar, Oct 19: While youths are drifting away from farming, Scientist Dr. Subhasis Bal of Odisha has set an example by farming around 70 varieties of rice at his village farmhouse His farmhouse named 'Crop Cafeteria' spreads over 10 acres of land in Guatira village under the Nimapada block of the Puri district. Special aromatic rice varieties like Nua Kala Jeera, Nua Dhusara, Nua Chinikamini, Haldigundi, and many to name are being cultivated by Dr. Bal. He is using organic technology for a better yield of rice. After 30 days of paddy cultivation, Dr. Bal grows blue-green algae in the field that does not allow wild grass to grow and makes the soil more fertile. Besides, Dr Bal uses the organic way without using any fertilizer or pesticide to keep the aroma and nutritional value of the rice varieties intact. "After harvesting one paddy crop, I sow pulse seeds in the field and plow the field after it grows a month that works as compost for rice farming. Besides, I use cow dung compost and other organic soil nutrients for soil nutrition," said Dr. Bal. He is working to protect the indigenous rice varieties of Odisha and to rediscover the lost varieties of aromatic rice. Dr. Bal, an aluminous of the Indian Agriculture Research Institute (ICAR), Cuttack, has completed M Sc and Ph.D. in Botany from Utkal University. He has worked as an agriculture scientist at Regional Plant Resource Centre, National Research Centre on Plant Biotechnology, and ICAR-Delhi. Dr. Bal said, "I had a dream for farming from childhood. That brought me back from Mauritius to my village. Later, I started collecting indigenous rice varieties of Odisha and started farming in 2015”.

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