The vegetable has been cultivated on 13,000 hectares of land in the district this year, DAE sources say
Squash, a foreign variety of winter vegetables, is getting popularity among the farmers of Dinajpur district.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) Deputy Director Towhid Iqbal said 13,000 hectares of land in the district have been brought under squash cultivation this year.
"Squash is native to countries like Panama and Mexico. This is a kind of pumpkin. It is eaten as a vegetable or in salads. The vegetable has the highest amount of minerals, and other nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins,” said Chirirbandar Upazila Agriculture Officer Md Mahmudul Hasan.
Mahfuzur Rahman, an honours student of Thakurgaon Govt College, has found success in cultivation of the vegetable in a remote area of Chirirbandar upazila in the district.
Hailing from Jor Satnala village in the upazila, the youth has started cultivating the vegetable commercially for the first time. He saw YouTube videos on squash cultivation, from which he got the inspiration to cultivate the vegetable.
Later, he collected seeds from Dinajpur and started farming squash on his six decimals of land, said Mahfuzur.
He added that squash plants look like sweet pumpkin plants. Squash is rich in vitamins and proteins.
“At first I cultivated capsicum on two decimals of land. I got acquainted with squash by seeing YouTube videos on cultivation of the foreign variety of winter vegetables. Then I started cultivating squash in consultation with the local agriculture officer after collecting seeds from Dinajpur," he said.
“I have sown the seeds in three phases in early November spending Tk4,000. I have already sold the vegetable at Tk 10,000," he also said.
"I am now selling green and black squash at Tk15-16 per piece in the local market. I have a big project in the near future,” he added.
Local buyer Lokman said: "I had never eaten squash before. I bought one squash at Tk 15."
Like Mahfuzur Rahman, many farmers have cultivated squash in the upazila. Morshedur Rahmna and Rafiqul Islam are of them.
They cultivated squash on 10 decimals of land.
DAE Officer Md Mahmudul Hasan said they are motivating the farmers to cultivate squash as farming of the vegetable brings profit to growers.