Maize cultivation in Mirpur upazila of Khushtia has exceeded the target set the by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) this season.
The DAE has been promoting maize cultivation as an alternative to tobacco cultivation and the farmers who went for maize are finding it a more profitable and healthy option.
According to DAE, about 1,170 hectares of lands were cultivated with maize this season, exceeding the official target by 70 hectares.
The yield per hectare would be higher compared to the previous years, observed the farmers.
Abu Bakar Siddique from Moshan village under Baruipara union told the Dhaka Tribune that he used to grow tobacco in six bigha [0.1618 hectares] lands, but it was very laboursome and was causing various health complications.
He cultivated maize in his lands this year instead of tobacco and found it more profitable.
“Maize cultivation costs less while the crop price is also very satisfactory. Moreover, the hay of maize can be used as fuel,” said Abu Bakar adding that he would have a net profit of Tk14,000 from each bigha.
Hasan Ali of Baliashisha village under Chithalia union said farmers in his area are leading towards maize cultivation as it appears to be more profitable.
He observed that maize cultivation requires less fertilizer, irrigation, pesticides and labour.
Mirpur upazila Agricultural Extension Officer Ramesh Chandra Ghosh said they had been providing necessary advises to the farmers opting for the cultivation of maize.
Maize is more profitable compared to tobacco and the farmers are becoming more interested for its cultivation day by day, he added.