CUMILLA: The farmers of Shameshpur village of Burichang upazila in Cumilla district are now busy selling winter vegetable saplings. Every year from September to November, vegetable saplings worth about Tk 30 million (three crore) are sold from this village. It is now known as a village of vegetable saplings.
Winter is yet to come. Talking to some villagers it is learnt that before the advent of winter, they produce seedlings by making seedbeds. They are producing almost all the winter vegetable seedlings for making a profit.
Monir Hossain, a farmer from Shameshpur village, said, "During the three months (from September to November), more than 100 families in the village produce and sell saplings at least three times."
Monir further said he is now producing vegetable saplings on eight decimals of land at a cost of Tk 80,000. It will cost Tk 0.24 million (2 lakh 40 thousand) to produce saplings three times in the whole season. If the weather remains favourable, the profit will be better this season".
According to sources, the farmers of the village have been planting and selling saplings for the last 80 years. More than 100 families in this village are directly involved in this work. Sales of vegetable seedlings are more profitable in a short time. Therefore, the number of farmers producing vegetable seedlings is increasing day by day.
The seedlings produced in Shameshpur village go all over the country. The wholesalers come to the village in the morning to buy saplings of different vegetables like gourd, bottle gourd, brinjal, tomato and snake gourd. They send those to different districts of the country.
Mahfuz Alam, a farmer from the village, said, "Throughout the season, the farmers sell vegetable saplings worth more than Tk 30 million (3 crore).
Meanwhile, the farmers have complained that the local agriculture office does not provide any assistance to them even though the saplings fetch a big amount of money.
Abu Awal, another farmer of the village, said he has been producing saplings for the last several years. During this period he did not receive any assistance from the local agriculture department regarding seeds, fertilisers or advice. If there is any problem in seedling production, the farmers have to solve the problem themselves.
Farmers said buyers from Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet come to Shameshpur village every day to buy vegetable saplings.
Faisal Hossain, a farmer from Chattogram who came here to buy saplings, said, "The quality of vegetable saplings in Shameshpur is very good. For the last ten years, I have been taking saplings from the village".
Mizanur Rahman, deputy director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, Cumilla, said, "It would be unfortunate if the farmers of Shameshpur don't get any support from the agriculture department. I will soon arrange all kinds of assistance for the farmers of that village".