Converting a wetland to a fishery, agroforestry, and horticulture, a group of farmers has provided employment and livelihood opportunities to impoverished villagers
“I never dreamt that this wetland would turn productive in my lifetime,” said Mulki Devi, a farmer from Mutlupur. The wetland now a part of an integrated farm, Satrughan Mahto is happy that he’s earning an income from his land that was of no use before.
Both marginal farmers, Mulki Devi and Satrughan Mahto, don’t worry about their wetland anymore and find it incredible that it is a source of income now. Being flood prone, Multupur in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar has 87 acres of low-lying wetland, locally known as “chaur”, which was considered useless earlier. A group of farmers have changed the landscape of the place and transformed it into a source of income and livelihood for many.
Wetland to integrated farm
Now a practicing farmer in Mutlupur, Gopalji Trivedi, former vice-chancellor of Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University at Pusa, convinced the farmers to use the barren wetland for agricultural purposes. “I persuaded the farmers to change the face of the low-lying Korlaha Chaur near Mutlupur. In spite of the initial reluctance, they joined hands and the wetland that was derelict for decades is the village’s center of attraction now”
Deciding to experiment with integrated farming in the Chau, the group of farmers consulted veterinary, agricultural, fisheries and horticultural experts so as to use the latest technology and developments in integrated farming. “Our focus is on fisheries, as it is the most suitable for the wetland. We have integrated a poultry, a goat farm and a dairy unit into our development plan,” Trivedi said.
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