RANGPUR An all-time record target of producing over 9.08-lakh tonnes of winter vegetables has been fixed from 40,375 hectares of land for all five districts in Rangpur agriculture region during this Rabi season.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said a target of producing over 7.86 lakh tonnes of vegetables was fixed from 37,729 hectares of land for the region during the last Rabi season.
However, enthusiastic farmers brought 39,466 hectares of land under cultivation of winter vegetables and produced 8.80-lakh tonnes of the crop during the last Rabi season in the region.
The fixed farming target of winter vegetables on 40,375 hectares of land during this Rabi season is higher by 2,646 hectares of land than the last year's fixed target, said Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman.
The farmers have already sowed seed of winter vegetables on 16,000 hectares of land after harvesting short duration Transplanted Aman rice and also began harvesting of early varieties of the crop.
Farming of winter vegetables will get full momentum when harvest of Aman rice will begin in full swing from this month-end in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts of the region, he said.
Meanwhile, early varieties of winter vegetables have already appeared in local markets bringing smiles to farmers with rewarding prices.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation and other organisations are supplying quality seed of winter vegetables, agri-inputs and providing technical assistance to farmers.
Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur Agriculturist Dr. Md. Sarwarul Haque said farmers are showing more interests in farming winter vegetables after getting repeated bumper output with lucrative market price in recent years.
A favourable climatic condition is prevailing and the government extending assistance to farmers to make the intensive winter vegetables' farming program successful, Haque added.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid here said thousands of farmers are cultivating winter vegetables on mainland as well as on vast tracts of riverine char areas.
The char people have already cultivated early varieties of winter vegetables on char lands and homesteads after getting repeated bumper output every year in recent times to meet nourishment and become self-reliant.
Following expanded cultivation of winter vegetables, farmers are expected to exceed its fixed farming target in the region this time, Rashid said.
Talking to BSS, farmers Rafikul and Atikur of Ranipukur village here said they have already started harvesting winter vegetables like brinjal, cauliflower, 'Korola', 'Potol', bean, 'Jhinga', 'Kakrol', green chili and other vegetables to reap better profits.
They hoped that they would be able to harvest early variety potato from this month-end to earn extra profits.
Meanwhile, vegetables traders have started exporting newly harvested early varieties of winter vegetables to capital Dhaka city and other places by trucks from different points in the region.
Currently, some 100 to 110 trucks loaded with early varieties of winter vegetables are being sent to Dhaka and other places daily from Rangpur region, vegetable trader Hafizur Rahman at Rangpur City Market told BSS today.
Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Muhammad Ali said cultivation of winter vegetables is expanding every year both on mainland and char areas bringing fortune to thousands of farmers in last eleven years.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)