Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts especially abound with green winter vegetables, creating an eye-catching look everywhere, delighting the farmers at present
Crops and vegetables farming on riverbeds in the Barind tract has opened up a new horizon in agriculture as farmers are making profits due to bumper production of winter vegetables including some advanced ones.
While visiting some of the remote and hard-to-reach areas of the region, this correspondent witnessed the success of many farmers in cultivating brinjals, beans, cauliflowers, cabbages, potatoes, bottle gourds, tomatoes and onions.
Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts especially abound with green winter vegetables, creating an eye-catching look everywhere, delighting the farmers at present.
In order to overcome their financial insolvency, the peasants were seen showing interest in large-scale commercial vegetable farming in vast riverbed areas in the region creating a silent revolution.
While cultivating winter vegetables on homestead areas, the farmers planted vegetables on more lands this year compared to the previous years as the climate condition remains favourable despite the adverse impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
After meeting the local demands, the surplus vegetables are being supplied to different parts of the country including Dhaka, benefiting the consumers in general.
“I have cultivated cauliflowers and cabbages on an acre of land by spending Tk 25,000. I expect to get Tk 90,000 by selling those within this harvesting season,” said Abu Bakkar Ali, a farmer of Bazubagha Natunpara village under Bagha upazila.
Muktar Ali, 45, is delighted with the good yield and lucrative market price of his newly harvested early winter vegetables, which at present is inspiring many others to engage in vegetable farming.
A resident of Hatibandha village under Godagari Upazila, Ali has developed himself as a potential vegetable farmer in the region. He has cultivated cabbages on three bigha of land, papayas on one bigha and brinjals on three bigha of land.
Some other farmers including Raonak Ahmed, Tazammel Haque, and Akram Hossain of Amadpur village also revealed similar dreams with smiling faces.
Chars which emerged in the rivers of Padma and Mohananda have been bringing fortune to many farmers in Paba, Godagari, and Bagha upazilas of Rajshahi and Sadar and Shibganj upazilas of Chapainawabganj districts for the last few years.
Hundreds of farmers in the region are now very happy as deposit of alluvial soil in the char areas have given them an opportunity to cultivate various crops and vegetables in their fields, said Sirajul Islam, additional director of department of agricultural extension (DAE).
All varieties of winter vegetables have now appeared in abundance in the local markets and the yield rates achieved so far are found to be higher than that of the target due to early farming of the vegetables.
Farmers are being made habituated with homestead gardening through establishing projection plots of improved technologies for enhancing vegetable output.
Modern technologies are being transferred to the growers level through farmers’ training, projection plots, field days and different types of campaigns so that the farmers can make their cultivation more effective and profitable.
Agriculturist Islam said emphasis is being given to increase production of high yielding seeds and saplings through extension and application of the high yielding varieties at the farmers’ level.
Farmers in the region are very happy as they avail the scopes of recouping the losses caused by the adverse impacts of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and devastating floods, by catching the lucrative high price markets of early varieties of vegetables.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said 46,518 hectares of land have already been brought under vegetable cultivation in the region this year. The production target has been set at around 23.56 tons from each hectare of land.
The river bank was initially an arable land where farmers used to grow cereal crops and vegetables but the area turned into sandy riverbed due to floods in the Padma and Mohananda.
Climate change-induced floods and the encroachment of riverbeds are silting over arable land and increasing the area of sandy riverbeds in the region.
Floods have converted thousand hectares of cultivated land into river banks through siltation and sand deposition.