Record 9.23 lakh tonnes maize produced in Rangpur region
BSS, Rangpur :
The farmers have produced a record quantity of over 9.23-lakh tonnes of maize exceeding the fixed production target by 21.76 percent during the just-ended Rabi season in Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) here said farmers already completed harvest of maize and produced over 9.23-lakh tonnes of the crop against the fixed production target of producing over 7.58-lakh tonnes.
"The achieved maize output is higher by 1.65-lakh tonnes than the fixed production target," Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam told BSS yesterday.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 7.58-lakh tonnes of maize from 83,192 hectares of land in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts of Rangpur agriculture region during the Rabi season.
"The farmers, however, cultivated maize on 92,445 hectares of land, higher by 9,253 hectares or 11.12 percent higher than the fixed farming target," Islam said.
Expressing satisfaction over super bumper production of maize during the last Rabi season, Additional Director of DAE for Rangpur region Muhammad Ali said maize farming is expanding in recent years bringing self-reliance to many farmers.
"Like farmers in the mainland, char people are increasing maize cultivation on sandy char lands and dried-up riverbeds after getting repeated bumper production with lucrative price in recent years," he said.
The government is extending assistance, incentives and trainings to farmers putting emphasis on expanding cultivation of lees irrigation water consuming cereal crops like maize that helps farmers to improve their livelihoods and cut poverty.
"During the just-ended Rabi season, the government distributed seed and fertilisers as cost-free incentives to 1,650 small and marginal farmers of Rangpur region to assist them in cultivating maize on two bigha of lands each for boosting output," Ali said.
Getting various assistance and technical supports from the government along with repeated bumper output and better profits, farmers are expanding maize cultivation every year both on the mainland an char areas, he added.
Talking to BSS, Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid predicted enormous potentialities to increase maize output by bringing huge abandoned char lands in riverine areas of the region.
"Maize farming has been proved to be more profitable than other crops encouraging farmers to increase its cultivation using latest conservation agriculture technologies like strip tillage to get better output at reduced costs," Rashid said.
He appreciated various initiatives taken by the present government to further boost production of the low-irrigation water consuming cereal crops like maize having huge demand in local markets to ensure food security.
Marginal farmers Moksed Ali, Azgar Ali, Aminul Islam and Ameer Hamza of char village Char Goytapara in Rajibpur upazila of Kurigram said they got government incentives and cultivated maize on two bighas of land each. They expressed satisfaction over bumper maize production and better market price between Taka 600 and 650 per mound (every 40 kilogram) after harvesting their crop during the just-ended Rabi season.
Similarly, farmers Nurul Haque, Aminul Islam, Tofazzal Hossain, Abdul Karim and Mahfil Hossain of different villages under Sadar upazila in Rangpur said they sold their harvested maize at rates between Taka 600 and 650 per mound.