The government is extending assistance, incentives, and trainings to farmers
The farmers in Rangpur agriculture region have produced a record quantity of over 923,000 tons of maize, exceeding the fixed production target by 21.76%, during the just-ended Rabi season.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said farmers already completed harvest of maize, and produced over 923,000 tons of the crop against the fixed production target of producing 758,000 tons.
“The achieved maize output is higher by 165,000 tons over the fixed production target,” Horticulture Specialist of the DAE Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 758,000 tons 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% 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 less irrigation water consuming cereal crops like maize that helps farmers to improve their livelihoods, and cut down poverty.
“During the just-ended Rabi season, the government distributed seeds and fertilizers as cost-free incentives to 1,650 small and marginal farmers of Rangpur region, to assist them in cultivating maize on two bigha of land each for boosting output,” Ali said.
Getting various assistance, and technical support from the government, along with repeated bumper crop and better profits, farmers are expanding the maize cultivation every year, both on the mainland, and the char areas, he added.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid predicted enormous potential for increase in maize output by bringing to cultivation huge abandoned char lands in the riverine areas of the region.
“Maize farming has been proved to be more profitable than other crops, encouraging farmers to increase its cultivation by using latest conservation agricultural 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 the production of lower irrigation water consuming cereal crops like maize, which has huge demand in local markets, and also ensures 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 the bumper maize production, and the better market price between Tk600 and Tk650 per mound (every 40 kilogram), after harvesting their crop during the just-ended Rabi season.