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Floating farming thriving in Gopalganj

  • Published at 01:08 am September 15th, 2019
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The floating beds made out of water hyacinths and bamboos, allow farmers to cultivate vegetables and spice despite their arable lands being water logged in Gopalganj Dhaka Tribune

A project named ‘Vegetables and Spice Cultivation Research, Extension and Popularization on Floating Bed’ of the research department of Bangladesh Agriculture Institute (BARI) is inspiring farmers in the upazilas, by providing necessary support to them

Vegetables and spice cultivation on floating beds, made out of hyacinths and bamboos, have become quite popular among farmers of Tungipara upazila in Gopalganj. 

The farmers chose to adapt this method of cultivation to counter the waterlogging issues caused by the recent floods in the district, which had rendered the arable lands unsuitable for cultivation.  

A project named ‘Vegetables and Spice Cultivation Research, Extension and Popularization on Floating Bed’ of the research department of Bangladesh Agriculture Institute (BARI) is inspiring farmers in the upazilas, by providing necessary support to them.

Thousands of local farmers here are currently cultivating vegetables such as red spinach, kalmi shak, ladies finger, pumpkin and spices such as ginger and turmeric.

Farmers are using organic fertilizers instead of artificial fertilizers and insecticides, making the cultivation cost comparatively low and increasing the demands of these organic vegetables in the markets.

“We have been cultivating vegetables using the methods as our forefathers had started this method hundreds of years ago. Earlier, we faced several problems with this method, such as collapse of beds due to strong currents. Now, we have overcome the problems, as we are making floating beds according to the advices from BARI officials,” said farmer Oboni Biswas. 

“For the last two years, the agriculture research institute has been working with us to popularize the floating farming method and we are cultivating more vegetables and spices now without using fertilizers and insecticides. Our vegetables are in high demand as we are cultivating vegetables in a completely organic way,” said another farmer Shakti Kirttania of Tungipara village.

Dr MM Kamruzzam, chief scientific officer of BARI in Gopalganj, said: ''Farmers of Gopalganj have come out successful in cultivating vegetables and spices on scientifically made floating beds. They are making profit through cultivation of varieties of vegetables in this scientific technique, leaving the age old methods behind.''

Dr Mustafizur Rahman Talukdar, project director of ‘Vegetables and Spice Cultivation Research, Extension and Popularization on Floating Bed' of the research department of BARI said: ''The project has been launched in 25 upazilas of 13 districts initially and it has turned heads of many farmers already. The project will gain popularity very soon as the production of vegetables and spices have increased many folds. We will expand this project across the country gradually.''

''Bangladesh is a riverine country. Farmers have been cultivating vegetables, making floating beds by hyacinth and bamboo for many years. We have taken steps to modernize the method so that adequate supply of vegetables can be ensured during the rainy seasons.'' said Dr. Abul Kalam Azad, director general of BARI, Gazipur.