With organic farming, farmers have been able to avoid chemical fertilizers and pesticides
Farmers in Gopalganj and Pirojpur districts are enjoying the cultivation of safe vegetables in the front and backyards of their homes throughout the year using only organic methods.
Safe vegetables are healthy for the human body, and more flavorful as well.
That is why such vegetables have gained so much demand in the marketplace and are being sold at higher prices than vegetables cultivated using chemicals fertilizers and pesticides.
With organic farming, farmers have not only been able to avoid chemicals and pesticides, but have also been protecting the environmental balance.
Moreover, it is saving them the extra cost of fertilizers and pesticides. Yearlong vegetable farming has changed the living standards of the farmers of these regions, and is becoming more popular among them.
The Agricultural Research Institute said with the funding of the Bangladesh Krishi Gobeshona Foundation (KGF), they have started the cultivation of safe vegetables in the lower wetland areas of Gopalganj and Pirojpur under a project to improve the living standards of farmers using innovative and research-based methods.
The institute also said a total of 96 farmers – from Kandarpgati of Gopalganj sadar upazila, Mitradanga of Tungipara upazila, Tarakandor of Kotalipara upazila and Bil Dumuria village in Nazirpur upazila of Pirojpur – have established 96 plots of safe vegetable farms in their house yards and nearby areas by creating a floating bed of water hyacinth.
Shakti Kirtania, a farmer from Mitradanga village of Tungipara upazila, said: “The low-lying lands of our village get plunged underwater at the beginning of monsoon season. Most farmers of the area become idle at that time.”
“But with this project, we have created a floating bed of water hyacinth in the water, and then cultivated vegetables on the bed surface. We have made a lot of profit from selling the safe vegetables to the market,” he said.
“We are also getting counsel, training and free seeds from the Gopalganj Agricultural Research Institute to cultivate green broccoli, turnip, white broccoli, cabbage, spinach, eggplant, gourd, bean, cucumber, pepper, red spinach, tomato, etc.”
“We do not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the vegetables. That slashed a lot of cultivation costa, and my yard is now abundant with fresh and nontoxic vegetables,” he said.
Molay Majumder and Gurupad Biswas, farmers from Kandarpgati village in Gopalganj sadar, said: “We have earned Tk1 lakh from cultivating organic vegetables on around one acre of farmland in the winter and Tk50,000 in the summertime.”
“We are also hoping for big profits next monsoon season. Many farmers in our area have been benefited by growing the safe vegetables,” they said.
Shahar Ali Sheikh, a vegetable trader from Gimadanga village in Tungipara upazila, said: “The nontoxic safe vegetable is very delicious to eat and has great demand in the market. Normally we buy the vegetables directly from the farm and take it to local market, and they quickly sell themselves.”
MM Kamruzzaman, chief scientific officer of Gopalganj Agricultural Research Institute, said: “Yearlong vegetable farming is changing the living standards of the two district’s farmers. A massive socioeconomic change is taking place in their livelihoods, and every day new farmers are coming forward with great interest in farming safe vegetables.”
“With this method, they are maintaining the environmental balance and also preparing to deal with the risks of climate change.”