High quality yield of maize in the char areas of Sariakandi in Bogra district has interested the local farmers into producing more maize.
Also, a similar trend has been noted in Dhunot, Dhupchanchia, Shonatola, Sherpur, Shibganj, Kahaloo, Shajahanpur and sadar upazilas of the district.
The residual alluvial layer in the soil in this area is the key reason for the extraordinary high yield.
A visit to Pakerdah, Kotapur and Anandabazar areas of Kajla union in Sariakandi explained that high yield and profit through maize cultivation has brought a sudden shift in land use of char areas by local farmers.
Raju Sarker, a farmer from Pakerdah, said: “Previously local maize yield was 10 to 15 maunds [1 maund = around 37kg] per bigha [0.16 hectares]. Now with training from the SKS Foundation (a NGO working in the area), the farmers have mastered new techniques that have helped them to produce around 30 to 35 maunds per bigha.”
Abu Raihan Badal, principal of Berapachbaria Government Primary School, said: “The farmers were unaware of the level of water and fertilisers that are needed to grow maize. The farmers have benefited immensely from the NGOs that have taught them these techniques.”
According to the upazila agriculture office, the target land area for maize production for this year was 2,150 hectares, whereas a total of 2,205 hectares was used for corn production, which is significantly higher than past years.
The upazila agriculture officials believe that the incentives provided by them also played an important part in the increased interest among the farmers.
Upazila agriculture officer Shahaduzzaman said: “The annual target maize yield for this year is 17,640 metric tonnes, which will be worth about Tk31 crore.”