Aus cultivation regaining popularity in Manikganj chars
BSS, Manikganj :
Farmers of the vast Char areas of the Padma river under Harirampur upazila of the district have brought hundreds bighas of land under Aush cultivation during the current season.
Most of the farmers in the areas are now busy on nursing the green plants of Aush paddy. The mighty Padma flows in the middle of Harirampur upazila of the district. Five unions out of 13 are detached from the upazila headquarters. Country boats are the main transport for communication of the people.
The char people produce rice, jute, pulses, vegetables, bananas and sugarcane in their sandy lands. High yielding Boro cultivation is not gaining popularity in lack of irrigation facilities.
Aush cultivation gaining popularity as it needs less irrigation, comparatively less quantity of fertilizers and insecticides. The char people are habituated to eat Aush and Aman rice and they cultivate Aush and Aman in their sandy lands of char areas.
The traditional Aush and Aman had already been disappeared from most of the
areas of the district, but the char people have started to cultivate those kinds of paddy on their lands.
Some farmers of the char areas of Harirampur cultivate their lands with wooden ploughs. Delwar Hossain, a farmer of Harihardia area of Harirampur upazila said, the wooden plough needs more time to cultivate but it is less costly and it can use in small lands.
Parangi, Shaita and Kalamanik are the most popular Aush paddy that heproduces, he said.
Abdul Halim, another farmer of Azimnagar, said he had cultivated Aush on three bighas of land during the current season. He said, "Generally four tofive mounds of Aush paddy grow in a bigha of land if we cultivate local
variety in sowing system, but 16 to 18 mounds of rice grow if we cultivate high yielding seeds in plantation system."
The seeds of Aush are sown in the month of Boishakh and Joishtha and harvested in the month of Shraban and Bhadra. The farmers get more straw from Aush paddy which is the best fodder of the cows.
Md Jahirul Huq, upazila agriculture officer of Harirampur, said after massive motivation of Aush cultivation was started in the upazila in 2017 and only 18 bighas of land were brought under the Aush cultivation in that year.
Good production encouraged the farmers to cultivate Aush paddy on about 1,300 bighas of land next year and about 1,660 bighas this year.
Of them, high yielding Aush has been cultivated on 690 bighas and local variety has been cultivated on 970 bighas of land.