Grassroots farmers in Rajshahi are being delighted because they are getting good yield and the lucrative market price of the newly harvested onion everywhere in the region including its vast Barind tract and riverbed areas at present.
Many of the farmers are now passing busy time with harvesting and many other post-harvest works like transportation and marketing of the early variety of the cash crop.
Golam Mostofa, 54, a farmer of Chalk Rajapur village under Bagha Upazila, said last year he had cultivated onion on five bigha of land and sold the crop at Taka 35 to 40 per kilogram. But this year, he’s selling at Taka 42 from his field. He along with many of his co-villagers is dreaming of profit from the crop.
Abdul Maleque of Baosha village and Muktar Ali of Arani village under the same upazila said they are happy with the present market price. If the present market price remains in the months to come acreage of the crop will increase in the coming years, they opined.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiullah Sultan said there was a target of bringing around 3,000 hectares of land in the upazila but the farmers cultivated on around 3,500 hectares.
Meanwhile, over 9.32 lakh tonnes of onion is expected to be produced from around 88,800 hectares of land in all eight districts of the division during the current Rabi and subsequent Kharif-1 seasons.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing around 3.14 lakh tonnes of the spicy cash crop from 29,920 hectares of land in four districts in Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 6.18 lakh tonnes from 58,880 hectares in four other districts of Bogura Zone.
Already, farmers have cultivated advanced variety onions on around 20,800 hectares of land and newly harvested cash crop has appeared in both wholesale and retail markets abundantly downsizing its retail market price for the last couple of days.
The DAE has already intensified steps for enhancing onion production through encouraging the farmers in general to mitigate the crisis of the spicy item.
Sirajul Islam, Additional Director of DAE, said the grassroots farmers are being given ideas and modern knowledge to get good yield through the best management of fertilizer, irrigation and pesticides.
Simultaneously, the farmers are also seen showing their interests towards onion farming side by side with paddy, wheat, maize and winter vegetables amid massive demand and exorbitant price of the spice crop in the present market.
Agriculturist Islam said around 14,000 farmers were given seeds and fertilizers as incentives for onion farming on 4,250 bighas of land in the division under the current rabi season’s agricultural incentive programme.
Each of the farmers got the support for onion farming on ten decimal of land. Meanwhile, the farmers are seen bursting with seedling transplantation of onion at present.
Muhammad Rokanuzzaman, 30, a farmer of Deegram village under Godagari Upazila, said he has taken preparation for farming onion on one bigha of land after harvesting the advanced variety this season.
He said there is a bright prospect of bringing more acreage under onion farming in the Barind region as the farmers are very much interested to cultivate the crop for its feature to consume less water, reports BSS.