NGO ‘SAAHDEV for the Development of Farmers: A Case from Assam

Across the world and also in our country there are many Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in various fields. Here, I am presenting the case of  “Society for Assam Agri-Horticultural Development” locally popular as  “SAAHDEV”  a Non-Governmental   Organisation (NGO) located in Guwahati which is working for the development of rural farming communities of Assam, especially for the resource crunch poor farmers. SAAHDEV   is comprised of senior citizens, who had long experience in the Agri-horticultural sector. It started its work in 2021 after registration under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Presently, SAAHDEV initiated a project for the production of quality winter paddy seeds viz.,  Ranjit Sub-1 variety, a submergence tolerance variety,  in a flood-prone area of Assam at   Durung village (Kamrup district) which is about 50 kilometers away from Guwahati. This variety was developed by the Assam Agricultural University and made available in 2018.

Incessant rain and a subsequent flood occur almost every year from June to September in this area (Durung village and its vicinity) and thus damage a vast area of paddy crops. Even if farmers try to do re-transplanting (if seedlings are available at that time), it will not help farmers to get their due return as the ideal time of transplantation is over. Therefore, the growing of submergence tolerance variety is one of the solutions at Durung village for which Ranjit Sub -1 variety is an alternative.

 SAAHDEV in collaboration with the Regional Agricultural Research Centre, Nagaon of Assam Agricultural University (AAU) organized a day-long programme on 12 Jun 2022 at Durung ( Khetri) distributing 20 Kilograms of breeder seeds to 20 farmers at the rate of one kilogram each. Also, imparted training to the farmers on the production of the breeder to foundation seeds, then to certified seeds of paddy.

It may be mentioned that Dr. Hemen Kalita, Agricultural Scientist, Regional Agricultural Research Centre, Nagaon, of Assam Agricultural University, attended as a resource person in the training and explained various aspects of seed production techniques to the farmers. Dr. Bhubaneshwar Burman, President of “SAAHDEV”, Bijoy Sarathi Sarma, Ramendra Kumar Bhuyan workers, and executive members of SAAHDEV attended the programme and discussed future steps on the project with the farmers and chalked out a detailed plan for production.  It is pertinent to mention that the yield of Ranjit Sub-1 is around 7,500 kilograms per hectare.

Further, it may be mentioned that the Government of India has already initiated measures to inspire farmers of flood-affected Kharif (sali) paddy to shift from regular sali paddy seeds to submergence tolerant varieties.  Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Agricultural Universities of India have developed other varieties viz., Swarna sub-1, Ranjit sub-1, etc.

It has to be admitted that the Government organizations cannot do it alone so, NGOs, Farmers’ Association, and others should come forward to take up seed production of such varieties in remote areas of the country, particularly in the flood-prone areas.

I extend my gratitude to my friend Bijoy Sarathi Sarma, Worker and Executive Member of SAAHDEV, Guwahati ( for providing the necessary inputs to publish the article.

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