DAE officials said the farmers are showing huge interest in expanding maize cultivation
An all-time record production of maize is likely in Rangpur agriculture region where the farmers exceeded its fixed farming target by 11.12% during this Robi season.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said the farmers are showing huge interest in expanding maize cultivation after getting repeated bumper production with excellent price in recent years.
“Maize cultivation is expanding faster contributing to cutting poverty and helping the poor in improving livelihoods and achieving self-reliance,” Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam told BSS on Sunday.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 758,000 tons of maize from 83,192 hectares of land in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts of Rangpur agriculture region this season.
“However, the farmers have finally cultivated maize on 92,445 hectares of land, higher by 9,253 hectares or 11.12% higher than the fixed farming target of the cereal crop having huge demand in local market,” Islam said.
Like the farmers in the mainland, the char people are also expanding maize farming on the sandy char lands in riverine areas after getting repeated bumper output with excellent profits in recent years changing their fortune.
“The char people have cultivated maize on about 30,000 hectares of land on the char lands of the region where its tender plants are growing superbly amid favourable climatic conditions now predicting bumper output,” Islam added.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md. Moniruzzaman said the government has put emphasis on expanding cultivation of the lees irrigation water consuming crops like maize that helps the poor to cut poverty.
“The DAE provided seed, fertilisers and technical assistance to 1,650 small and marginal farmers of Rangpur region for expanding cultivation of maize on two bigha of lands each to further boosting its production this season,” he said.
Talking to BSS today, Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) last year, predicted brighter prospect of maize farming in the northwestern region of Bangladesh to meet growing demand of the cereal crop.
“Expanded cultivation of the low-irrigation water consuming crops, like maize, adopting conservation agriculture technologies, such as strip tillage, can save ground water, ensure food security and improve environment amid changing climate,” he said.
He suggested the farmers for expanding cultivation of high yielding varieties of maize on both mainland and char areas to earn more profits for becoming self-reliant by cutting poverty. “Maize contains huge Vitamin-A that meets nutrition and its multi- dimensional use including production and consumption of corn oil with no cholesterol from maize can help the heart patients in many ways,” Dr Mazid said.
Citing recognized international scientific research findings and analyses, he said maize is highly beneficial to human health if consumed the flour prepared through crushing 70% wheat and 30% maize together.
“Proper and diversified use of potato with maize and some other crops can help reducing high pressure on rice side by side with ensuring nutritional demand and sustainable food security,” Dr Mazid furthered.