Broccoli cultivation gains popularity in Rajshahi region

RAJSHAHI, Cultivation of broccoli, a nonconventional winter vegetable, has gradually been gaining popularity in the region by dint of its lucrative market price and gradually growing demand.

Side by side with other conventional winter vegetables, the cash crop is seen

appearing in the local markets everyday bringing diversity in the vegetable

markets both wholesale and retail ones.

Jamilur Rahman, a farmer of Gogram village under Godagari Upazila, said

many farmers are cultivating the seasonal cash crop in the area as they are

getting a better market price of their yield compared to many other crops.

Dr Shakhawat Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Agriculture

Research Institute, said broccoli is a winter vegetable with high nutritional

content. It is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

It looks like cauliflower but its colour is green and not milky white like

cauliflower. Soil condition and winter weather in the region are favourable

for cultivation of broccoli.

Taking advantages of the situation, farmers are seen showing their interest

in cultivating Broccoli for the last couple of years due to better output and

market price.

He said there is a bright prospect of broccoli farming commercially in the

country's northwest region.

Dr Hossain said the prolonged cold weather being experienced in the region

for the last couple of years which is suitable for cultivation of Broccoli

that is locally known as green cauliflower.

Almost similar to the cauliflower and its green leaves enriched with

protein and vitamin C can be consumed directly. The price of broccoli in the

markets is three to four times more than cauliflower.

Broccoli is gradually becoming popular among the urban people and the

Chinese restaurants together with the grand hotels. They are using broccoli

for making soup and other delicious foods.

SM Mostafizur Rahman, Additional Director of Department of Agriculture

Extension (DAE), told BSS that the crop was unfamiliar to the farmers and

consumers of the rural areas.

He said various agricultural extension and research organizations have

taken initiatives to make farming of the crop popular among the growers

level. DAE has also grown the crop in projection plots aimed at encouraging

the farmers to boost its production commercially.

He added the vegetable could easily be cultivated in the normal farming

field as it is more tolerable to hightemperature than cauliflower and

cabbage. Nutritive value of the crop was more than any other winter vegetable

including cabbage and cauliflower.

ATM Rafiqul Islam, Project Director (Agriculture) of Barind Multipurpose

Development Authority, said importance should be given to encourage the

farmers through providing them with necessary financial support and inputs.

The farming method was almost similar to the cabbage and cauliflower. At

least 40,000 to 50,000 plants could be produced from per hectare in 6570

days, he said.

Agriculturist Ittefaqul Azad, former Deputy Director of DAE, says

cauliflower is a winter vegetable which has become popular and is cultivated

in such a quantity that in peak season the price comes down to a level that

frustrates the growers.

In a situation like this, DAE should furthermore transfer technology for

broccoli cultivation to farmers and encourage them to allocate half the land

used for cauliflower cultivation to grow broccoli.

In this way, people of the region will be able to enjoy the taste and

nutritional value of both cauliflower and broccoli and the farmers will also

get a reasonable price for both.

He added that the BADC and DAE should undertake projects for massive

cultivation of broccoli throughout the country's northwest region in every

winter season.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)