Thursday, October 12, 2006


In the extreme north of Rajasthan is Ganganagar. It lies in the heart of the Thar desert. Being an arid region, agriculture was poor and famine and scarcity caused by the failure of rains were frequent. But this picture completely changed with the advent of canal irrigation. In 1927 the Gang Canal taken from the Sutlej river of the Punjab brought water to this area. It worked a miracle. The district started producing a variety of crops, such as wheat, cotton, oilseeds and sugar cane. Then again in 1956, a model mechanized farm called Suratgarh was set up in the Ganganagar district with Russian collaboration. Spread over an area of nearly thirteen hectares, its aim was to promote mechanized farming and allied activities. The farmer readily accepted every innovation-tractors, fertilizers and improved seeds were used on a big scale. Even for carrying loads, Lorries replaced the traditional camel and bullock carts. Today Ganganagar houses one of India’s richest farming communities.


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