Kolkata: Farmers in West Bengal now have a comprehensive guide for cultivation in the form of a `Crop Calendar` - a 15-page booklet that gives them information regarding cropping practices.
An initiative of the state government, the calendar has been drawn up by experts and give out information on planting, sowing and harvesting periods of crops in specific agro-ecological zones.
“The crop calendar is a comprehensive guide for farmers. From sowing to harvesting, to details about the quality of seeds, manure and fertilisers, all details have been provided in it," Pradip Majumdar, an advisor to the chief minister on agriculture and allied sectors, told IANS.
Given away free of cost, the government has a target of providing the calendars to at least 3,000-5,000 farmers in each block.
"The calendars are not for a single season. Rather they are beneficial over a longer period of time," said Mazumdar.
The literate have also been instructed to help out illiterate farmers about the contents of the calendar.
Drawn on the lines of a similar initiative by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the crop calendars also provide for rehabilitation of farming systems after natural calamities like flood and effective use of irrigation techniques lessening a farmer`s dependency on the weather.
"The calendars also carry information about monthly weather patterns, pesticides as well as various governmental schemes for farmers," Agricultural Marketing Minister Arup Roy said.
The calendar also serves the purpose of an astronomical almanac providing details of auspicious times for rituals, festivals and celebrations.