Farmers in six upazilas of the district have cultivated the Ropa Aman paddy in most of the farmlands during this Aman season
Despite flood menace, farmers in the northern district of Nilphamari got a head start in cultivating winter vegetables using an innovative bamboo shelf method.
Farmers in six upazilas of the district have cultivated the Ropa Aman paddy in most of the farmlands during this Aman season. They are now eagerly waiting for the harvest.
However, not all lands were suitable for Aman farming. As low-lying lands have been flooded due to excessive rainfall, they have had to cultivate various winter vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, tomato, radish and eggplants etc, in the high and unoccupied lands.
According to Met office sources, on average of 547mm rainfall was recorded in the beginning of the monsoon season which declined later. However, the volume of rainfall doubled at the end of the season triggering floods in the area.
Despite suffering a great deal of stress in vegetable farming due to the ill-timed flood, farmers did not sit idle. They overcame the situation by making bamboo shelves and began early farming. Majority of the farmers in Nilphamari made these elevated shelves with bamboo sticks and created seedbeds on them.
Komola Thakur, a farmer from Malipara village in Nilphamari sadar upazila, said: "My land was flooded and I had to make three cauliflower seedbeds all of which are 10 feet in length and 4 feet in width. It will give me a head start because the saplings will ready for plantation by the time flood water recess."
Dulal Chandra, another farmer of the village, said: "I made similar seedbeds last month. It gave me enough saplings to cultivate cauliflowers on one Bigha of land. The vegetable will be ready for sale soon. I am hoping for robust yields and good price."
Another farmer Abul Kalam Azad said: "It cost me around Tk15,000 to cultivate 3,500 pieces of cauliflowers on one Bigha of land. If it can be sold at Tk10 a piece, then we get around Tk35,000 which is pretty reasonable."
Abul Kashem Azad, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture Extension in Nilphamari, said: "Different types of vegetables will be cultivated on an estimated 5,826 hectares of land in the current 2019-20 fiscal year. Farmers are now more aware and innovative.”
"Bamboo shelf farming is their idea. This method can protect the seeds from natural disasters, excessive heat and insecticides. This way, the seeds can be grown healthy resulting in robust production and fetching more profit."