Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], September 27 (ANI): At a time when migrant workers are facing severe crisis owing to the COVID-19 lockdown, an entrepreneur from Siliguri recruited some of those workers in his organic farm so that they can earn their livelihood.
The farm has been set up at the Rangapani area near Siliguri with the help of the Centre of Floriculture and Argo Business Management (COFUM), a department in North Bengal University.
Watermelon is cultivated in two bighas of land using mulching paper, a Germany technology. The entrepreneur appointed 15 migrant workers who worked in other states earlier and with their help, the farm has grown around eight tons of watermelons in about 50 days at this initial stage.
Pradip Singhal, the entrepreneur said, he was deeply moved by the sufferings of the migrant workers.
"Amid this pandemic, it has been advised to eat foods which increase immunity. Therefore two factors prompted me to create job opportunities for the migrant workers and grow healthy organic foods," said Singhal.
Sangram Singha, a migrant worker who got a job at the farm said, "We were in different states before the COVID-19 pandemic. But after losing our jobs, we returned to our homes. Several others like me have also got a job here. The quality of the organic watermelons is much better than others and the demand is high which makes us happy."
"We introduced a bed system along with a good quality of drains. Later we used 30-micron mulching papers and again installed two types of traps to fight with the insects. It is the only certified organic farm in the state of West-Bengal which has started giving job opportunities for migrant workers who returned from their workplaces due to the corona pandemic," Amarendra Pandey, an official from COFUM, North Bengal University said. (ANI)