The poor and landless char and riverside people have brought around one- lakh hectares of char lands under farming of various crops in all five districts of the region during the current Rabi season
Farmers in Rangpur are delighted getting bumper output with lucrative prices of various crops cultivated on dried-up riverbeds and char lands.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said harvest of cultivated crops on shoals, dried-up and silted-up riverbeds and char lands continues in full swing and will end before the commencement of the next rainy season.
The poor and landless char and riverside people have brought around one- lakh hectares of char lands under farming of various crops in all five districts of the region during the current Rabi season.
The farmers have mostly cultivated pumpkin, mustard, watermelon, ‘kawn’, onion, garlic, chili, pulses, potatoes and other vegetables, maize, wheat, squash, gourd, capsicum, Boro rice, groundnut and other crops on these lands.
“Char people already completed harvesting of mustard and many varieties of vegetables as the process will continue for some other cultivated crops,” said Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman.
Tens of hundreds of char and riverside villagers have become self-reliant by cultivating various crops adopting intercropping methods on char lands in recent years in the region.”
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said crop cultivation on shoals, dried up riverbeds and char lands is expanding every year.
Thousands of char and riverside households, who are beneficiaries of different NGOs, including RDRS Bangladesh, and government organisations, are cultivating crops in some 300 char villages and dried-up riverbeds of the region.
Of them, some 45,000 char and riverside families have achieved self- reliance by farming various crops on these lands changing their living standard with the support of the DAE and NGOs in the last 12 years.
Farmer Moktar Ali of village Char Taluk Shahbaz in Kawnia upazila of Rangpur said around 220 char and riverside families of the union have cultivated various crops, including pumpkin, on char lands on the Teesta riverbeds.
“I have cultivated pumpkin on three acres of sandy land to complete its harvesting by May next and earn a net profit of around Taka two-lakh excluding all expenses this season,” he said.
Maloti Rani of the same village said she has cultivated pumpkins on 180 sandbars on the Teesta riverbed spending Taka 80,000 this season.
“I have already started harvesting pumpkins with an average weight between two to seven kg now,” she said, adding that she is hoping to earn a net profit of Taka 2.50-lakh this season.
Similarly, farmers Suresh Roy, Parboti Barman and Maruf Hossain of Balapara union in Kawnia upazila of Rangpur said they are harvesting their cultivated crops on char lands and expecting excellent profits this season like last year.