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Cancer-preventing broccoli cultivation brings success to Satkhira farmers

  • Published at 12:57 pm January 28th, 2019
A broccoli farm in Satkhira, opulent with this vegetable, which turned the fates of some farmers, bringing them prosperity, on January 28, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

As broccoli is an unfamiliar vegetable to locals, they call it ‘green cauliflower’

Satkhira farmers have found prosperity and success in the cultivation of the cancer-preventing vegetable broccoli.

With the aid of the non-governmental organization Unnayan Prochesta (UP) based in Tala upazila, Satkhira, some farmers were commercially successful by cultivating this unconventional vegetable in the area.

Broccoli is an unfamiliar vegetable to the people of Satkhira district. As the vegetable is green in color and looks like a cauliflower, locals call it “green cauliflower.”

Story of Masud’s success

According to sources from the Tala upazila agriculture office, a young farmer named Masud Hossain from Nagarghata union in Tala upazila got a good yield by cultivating broccoli for the first time on eight decimals of land.

When he first brought the broccoli to sell at the local market, people called him foolish and were unwilling to buy the vegetable, even if it was free. 

However, after learning about broccoli, the popularity of the vegetable rose to such extent that it sells out instantly when brought to the market.

Young farmer Masud Hossain, in his broccoli farm, found success commercially by cultivating this vegetable, on January 28, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune

Masud Hossain said: “With the assistance and advice of UP, we had to spend only Tk1,200 on broccoli cultivation this year while getting a profit of Tk15,000 in return.”

He started working in agriculture a few years back following his father’s footsteps, after getting a degree from Satkhira’s Advocate Abdur Rahman College but 

failing to acquire any jobs.

Although Masud and other broccoli farmers of the area were worried about the sales of broccoli, they have been shown a light of hope as broccoli turned out to be quite popular. They hope to increase the cultivation of broccoli in the future.

Agriculture Officer of UP Md Nayan Hossain said: “Masud was commercially successful by cultivating broccoli with the help of our advice.” 

“Broccoli is a winter vegetable, as is the cauliflower. Although it is very popular in the United States and Italy, the people of our country are not very familiar with it,” he said. 

“The vegetable is rich with nutrients such as proteins, vitamin C and other minerals. In addition, it is also a vegetable that gained popularity for having qualities to prevent cancer,” he added.

He said: “We have trained five farmers from Panchpara and Mithabari villages in Nagarghata union, along with Dhandia union this year, to cultivate broccoli as an experiment on less than an acre of land.”

File photo of broccoli, that locals call 'green cauliflower' | Dhaka Tribune

“As a result,” he said, “many farmers of the regions were willing to cultivate the vegetable after witnessing the profits and successes of those five farmers.”

He said it was possible to produce 62 mounds of broccoli after only 50 to 60 days of planting 5,000 broccoli seeds, and earning Tk75,000 after spending just Tk10,000.

The expenditures, including the cost of fertilizers, seeds and such, were less than Tk1,000, making broccoli cultivation more profitable than any other vegetables or crops. 

Tala Upazila Agriculture Officer Md Abdullah Al Mamun said: “Broccoli is a vegetable that has an abundance of nutrients while being low in calories. It contains plenty of potassium that helps maintain the nervous system and keeps the body healthy and disease-free.

“Farmer Masud, along with several others, has gained immense commercial success by cultivating broccoli. Everyone is keen to visit his broccoli garden, as the story of his success has spread in the area.”