Over 932,000 lakh tons of onions are expected to be produced from around 88,800 hectares of land in all eight districts of the division during the current Rabi and subsequent Kharif-1 seasons
Grassroots farmers are delighted because they are getting good yields and lucrative prices for newly harvested onions everywhere in the region, including at the vast Barind tract and riverbed areas.
Many of the farmers are now busy with harvesting and post-harvest work such as transportation and marketing of the early variety of the crop.
Golam Mostofa, 54, a farmer of Chalk Rajapur village under Bagha upazila, said he had cultivated onion on five bigha of land last year and sold the crop at Tk 35 to 40 per kilogram. This year, he is selling at Tk42 per kg from his field and is dreaming of profit with many fellow villagers.
Abdul Maleque of Baosha village and Muktar Ali of Arani village under the same upazila said they are happy with the present market price. If the market price holds in the months to come, acreage of the crop will increase in the coming years, they opined.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiullah Sultan said there was a target to cultivate 3,000 hectares of land in the upazila but the farmers cultivated on around 3,500 hectares.
Meanwhile, over 932,000 lakh tons of onions are expected to be produced from around 88,800 hectares of land in all eight districts of the division during the current Rabi and subsequent Kharif-1 seasons.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target to produce around 314,000 tons of the crop from 29,920 hectares of land in four districts in Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 618,000 tons is expected from 58,880 hectares in four other districts of Bogra zone.
Already, farmers have cultivated advanced varieties of onions on around 20,800 hectares of land and newly harvested crops have appeared in both wholesale and retail markets abundantly, reducing the retail market price for the last couple of days.
The DAE has already intensified steps to enhance onion production, encouraging the farmers in general to mitigate the crisis of the item.
Sirajul Islam, additional director of DAE, said grassroots farmers are being given ideas and modern knowledge to get good yields through the best management of fertilizer, irrigation and pesticides.
The farmers have also been seen showing interest in onion farming alongside paddy, wheat, maize and winter vegetables, amid the massive demand and exorbitant price of the crop in the present market.
Agriculturist Islam said around 14,000 farmers were given seeds and fertilizers as incentives for onion farming on 4,250 bighas of land in the division under the current rabi season’s agricultural incentive program. Each of the farmers got the support for onion farming on ten decimal of land.
Muhammad Rokanuzzaman, 30, a farmer of Deegram village under Godagari Upazila, said he has taken preparation for farming onion on one bigha of land after harvesting the advanced variety this season.
He said there are bright prospects of bringing more acreage for onion farming in the Barind region, as the farmers are very much interested in cultivating the crop as it consumes less water.
Rokanuzzaman said he is very happy cultivating various crops that consume less water, like onions. “I had to face many troubles to manage irrigation water for boro cultivation,” he said.