In Naxal-hit village Gidhaur in Jharkhand's Chatra district there was a time when farmers were growing opium on their fertile lands to pay extortion money to rebels operating in the area. Opium farming was earning a bad name for them and their village.
But with improved security scenario due to the efforts of state and central government, the villagers have shunned the illegal opium farming and are now growing marigold flower to earn name and money both.
“Today there has been a drastic change in Chatra district. Due to opium cultivation, our area had earned a bad name. Since we have switched to flower cultivation, it is sending positive messages to the rest of the country. Besides adopting floriculture we are also heading vegetable cultivation and are living a happy life,” Ramesh Dhangi, a farmer told ANI.
Agriculture department in the region is providing every help to the farmers who are turning towards the cultivation of flowers. The department says that marigold farming is not only easy but also yields good profit.
“Since the farmers have adopted marigold cultivation, they are reaping good profit. They are earning a minimum of Rs. 60,000 per hectare annually. It is a cheaper farming,” said Dharma Uraav, Scientist, Agriculture Department, Chatra.