Farmers are accelerating cultivation and production of spice crops and getting lucrative prices to achieve self-reliance during the last twelve years in Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said farmers are producing over 170,000 tonnes of mainly seven varieties of spice crops, including onion, garlic, coriander, ginger, turmeric, black cumin and chilli, annually in the region.
Production of these spicy crops began increasing since launching of the five-year term “Production, Storage and Distribution of Quality Seeds of Pulses, Oils and Spices at Farmers Level Project’ by the DAE in 2018 in the region.
Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman said farmers are reaping benefits from the project and becoming inspired to enhance farming and production of spices, as per a BSS report.
“Farmers produced 193,000 tonnes of seven varieties of spice crops from 27,990 hectares of land during the 2019-2020 seasons against 173,000 tonnes from 28,396 hectares of land during the 2018-2019 seasons in the region,” he said.
Farmers produced 80,940 tonnes of onion from 8,647 hectares of land, 25,890 tonnes of garlic from 3,452 hectares, 2,124 tonnes of coriander from 923 hectares, 51,870 tonnes of ginger from 3,250 hectares, 18,062 tonnes of turmeric from 4,200 hectares and 14,954 tonnes of chilli from 7,457 hectares of land in the region during the 2019-2020 season.
Production of spice crops stood at 170,000 tonnes during 2017-2018, over 173,000 tonnes during 2016-2017, over 176,000 tonnes during 2015-2016, over 169,000 tonnes during 2014-2015 and over 151,000 tonnes during 2013-2014 seasons in the region.
“Yield of 209,000 tonnes of these spicy crops is expected from 29,522 hectares of land of all five districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari in the region during the 2020-2021 seasons,” Moniruzzaman said.
After getting assistance under the project in terms of training, technologies, inputs and quality seeds to set up exhibition plots, farmers are showing more interests in expanding cultivation of spice crops.
The agriculture related departments and organisations are assisting farmers to increase production of spice crops by adopting proper crop diversification, land management and latest technologies to meet local demand and reduce dependency on import.
“Besides, disbursement of easy-term agriculture loans among farmers and motivational activities inspiring them in cultivation of spice crops in the region,” Moniruzzaman said.
Talking to BSS, farmers Ichha Haq Ali, Mokhlesur Rahman, Abdus Sattar and Abul Kashem of different regions in Rangpur Sadar upazila said they got repeated bumper production and lucrative prices of spice crops in recent years.
Retail vegetable trader Hafizur Rahman at Rangpur City Bazar Market said the newly harvested ginger during the last Kharif-1 season is being sold between Taka 100 and Taka 130 per kg depending on the varieties and quality.
Talking to BSS, Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Medal in 2018 (food security), lauded the government for taking various pragmatic steps through agriculture related organisations to increase production of spice crops.
He suggested farmers to bring fallow lands, including homesteads, under farming of high yielding varieties of spice crops adopting latest technologies to further increase production and reap more profits across Rangpur agriculture region.