13.72 lakh tonnes of spicy crops expected in Rajshahi division

RAJSHAHI Around 13.72 lakh tonnes of spicy crops

are expected to be produced from 1.43 lakh hectares of land in all eight

districts under Rajshahi division during the current Rabi season.

Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set the production target

and has taken all possible measures to attain the target as demand of the

spicy crops are gradually mounting with rising of population.

The DAE has set the target of producing 9.67 lakh tonnes of onion from

79,985 hectares of land, 3.72 lakh tonnes of garlic from 46,718 hectares,

28,155 tonnes of chilly from 13,285 hectares, 3,173 tonnes of coriander from

2,537 hectares and 1,332 tonnes of black cumin from 1,270 hectares of land.

Around 2,500 farmers were given seeds and fertilizers valued at around

Taka 42.84 lakh free of cost for onion farming on 2,500 hectares of land in

the division under the current Rabi season's agricultural incentive

programme, said Deb Dulal Dhali, Additional Director of DAE.

Farmers have cultivated the advanced variety of onion on around 4,060

hectares of land in the Barind area alone this season and most of them are

happy after getting lucrative price of the newly harvested cash crop at

present.

Meanwhile, farming of onion may break all the previous records in the

region including its vast Barind tract as farmers are seen humming towards

the spicy crop in the wake of its unusual price hike.

Everywhere in the region, farmers are now seen very much busy in

transplanting onion seedlings creating scopes of seasonal employment for many

people.

Nasir Uddin, a farmer of Lohabaria village under Godagari Upazila, said

he had sold onion seedlings at Taka 800 to 900 per mound in the previous

years but the price has been doubled at present due to manifold interests of

the farmers.

Jamshed Ali, another farmer of Madarpur village, said he has cultivated

onion seed on five bighas of land at a cost of around Taka three lakh and

hoping of making profit due to rising of its price.

Iqbal Hossain of Krishnapur village under Mohanpur Upazila, said he's

cultivating onions this year for the first time. He bought seedlings at a

cost of Taka 2,200 per mound.

He said there is a bright prospect of bringing more acreage under onion

farming in the Barind region as the farmers are very much interested to

cultivate the crop for its feature to consume less water.

Shamsul Haque, Deputy Director of DAE, said there is a prospect of

massive onion farming this time adding that farming can be spread onto more

land this year than that of the previous one.

In nature, farmers of the region are habituated to farming of various

vegetables including the spicy crops. The unusual price hike of onion has

enhanced their interests to a greater extent this year, he added.

Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan of Department of Geology and Mining in

Rajshahi University said promotion of less-water consuming crops in Barind

area is a good sign for lessening the gradually mounting pressure on its

underground water.

More than 1,500 volunteers are motivating farmers to cultivate less

water consuming crops through water resource management on behalf of the

'Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)' Project.

DASCOH Foundation has been implementing the IWRM project in 1,280

drought-hit villages of 39 Union Parishad and three municipalities in eight

upazilas of Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts with financial

support of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation since 2015.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)