German filmmaker to make documentary on Bihar farmer

Patna, March 1:

A German filmmaker has come all the way to a village in Bihar’s Nalanda district to make a documentary on a farmer who set a paddy cultivation record.

“We are here to shoot a documentary film on life of Sumant Kumar, his farming technique and lifestyle,” said Munich-based journalist Vetina Vez, who is heading the eight member-team from Germany.

Sumant Kumar, a farmer in Darveshpura village in Nalanda district, had created a record in 2011 by producing 224 quintals of paddy per hectare using the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method.

Scientists are keen to learn SRI method of paddy cultivation, which has resulted in record crop yields.

Bihar Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh said that successful use of the SRI method of cultivation to boost production has impressed experts in and outside the country.

Vez said that her team will start shooting Sunday.

It is perhaps the first time that a German crew will shoot a documentary film on a Bihar farmer.

“We have decided to make a film on him for his unique record. His real story should be told to the world, particularly to people in Germany,” she said.

Vez said that her documentary film will highlight the organic farming as well as innovative SRI method used by Sumant and thousands of farmers in Bihar.

“My film will focus on a farmer’s life, their marriage, food and dress. Through the film, I will provide important farming tips to farmers in Germany to adopt organic as well as SRI method to improve agriculture,” she added.

The movie will be released in Germany in the next two to three months, she said.

“There is a big difference of farming in Bihar and Germany. In Germany, one farmer is doing agriculture in 900 acres of land with the help of a machine. There is no plotting system. But in Bihar farmers are cultivating in small plots,” noted Vez.

According to her, nearly one and half percent of Germany’s population is engaged in agriculture.

According to agriculture officials here, till five or six years ago, the SRI method was not accepted as a scientific method of cultivation by agro-scientists.

But thanks to records made by farmers of Nalanda in paddy production, the SRI method has been declared successful.

Singh said SRI method of paddy cultivation, which was introduced four years ago and is locally known as ‘Srividhi’, is so far successful in different parts of Bihar as it requires less water and gives two to three times the yield compared to traditional cultivation methods.

Initially, the farmers were reluctant to adopt this new technique despite the state government providing free seeds, fertilizers and experts to guide them. But now, more farmers are taking to this method.


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