NATORE, Jan 18: Commercial vegetable cultivation has brought blessing for hundreds marginal peasants in the district this current season due to favourable weather condition and timely supply of necessary agri-input.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) office sources, the farmers of the district have already brought some 5,261 hectares of land under winter vegetable cultivation in this season aiming for financially self-reliant.
The farmers have started harvesting the crop when winter season knocks at the door to the district. They are making a good profit as the market prices of the crops are high compare to previous year.
He has brought some 34 decimals of land under winter vegetable farming spending Tk 6,000 to pay fartiliser, insecticide and labour, said farmer Mizanur Rahman of Boraigram upazila.
He said he has harvested some 15 maunds of vegetable till Wednesday last and sold them at Tk 30,000. The grower expressed the hope that he would be able to earn Tk 20,000 to Tk 25,000 more if the market rate remains good till February.
In a recent visit this correspondent found each kg of spinach is being sold at Tk 20 to Tk 30, snake gourd at Tk 40 to Tk 50, brinjal at Tk 45 to Tk 50, bitter gourd at Tk 30 to Tk 35, okra at Tk 40 to Tk 45, potato at Tk 20 to Tk 25 and water spinach is being sold at Tk 30 to Tk 45 in the kitchen market.
Deputy director of DAE Rafiqul Islam said farmers are growing a massive quantity mostly of vegetable this season. "We have provided all necessary support to the cultivators to make the cultivation programme a success", he added.
Meanwhile, BSS adds: Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) are expecting a bumper production of winter vegetables in all five districts under Rangpur agriculture region during the current Rabi season.
The farmers are happy after getting bumper yield with lucrative price of their early harvested vegetables as the harvesting process continues now at this last stage of cultivation of the crops.
Talking to the news agency, Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office here Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said sowing of the seeds of few varieties of winter vegetables would continue till this month-end.
"The farmers have already brought 39,848 hectares of land under cultivation of winter vegetables against the fixed target of cultivating the crop in 37,729 hectares of land to produce over 7.88-lakh tonnes vegetables this time in the region," he said.
The farmers have so far exceeded the fixed farming target of winter vegetables by 2,119 hectares of land or 5.62 per cent in the region.
"The farmers have cultivated winter vegetables in 13,393 hectares of land in Rangpur, 7,950 hectares in Gaibandha, 6,805 hectares in Kurigram, 6,205 hectares in Lalmonirhat and 5,495 hectares of land in Nilphamari districts so far under the region," Islam added.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office here Md Moniruzzaman said cultivation of vegetables during both winter and summer seasons has become popular in recent times bringing huge profits to the farmers.
"As a result of expanded cultivation of early variety winter vegetables adopting newer cropping patterns, all varieties of the winter vegetables have appeared in plenty in the local markets," he said.
The DAE, Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation, Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute and NGOs have distributed incentives in terms of seeds and fertilisers among the farmers and provided them with technical assistance for vegetables farming.
"The commercial banks have also disbursed easy-term agriculture loans among the farmers to make the intensive winter vegetables farming programme successful this season," Moniruzzaman added.
Regional Additional Director of DAE Md Shah Alam said the farmers are continuing cultivation of winter vegetables side by side with harvesting the early variety vegetables to earn better profits.
Sources in the local markets said vegetables traders are exporting huge quantities of winter vegetables daily to Dhaka and other parts of the country by trucks from different areas of the region.
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