Maize farming brings a smile to farmers’ faces in Rajshahi as they are becoming financially solvent by cultivating the crop, meeting its growing demand of the consumers amid the Covid-19 pandemic
Farmers are delighted with the bumper yield and cherished market price of the newly harvested maize everywhere in the Rajshahi region.
Maize farming brings a smile to farmers’ faces in Rajshahi as they are becoming financially solvent by cultivating the crop, meeting its growing demand of the consumers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the last couple of weeks, farmers have been very much busy harvesting, segregating, drying and transporting the cereal crop amid the suitable climatic condition.
Polash Hossain, 45, a maize farmer of Harishankar Pur village under Godagari upazila, has cultivated maize on two bighas of land this year expecting that he will be benefited from the crop as both yield and market price are lucrative.
Hossain said maize grain is being sold at Tk725 to 730 per mound in the local market at present.
Sarwar Sheikh, 48, another farmer of Char Asariadaha village under the same upazila, said many of his co-villagers are seen harvesting 45 to 50 maunds of yield from each bigha of char lands on an average.
Most of the farmers are happy with the sale price, he added.
More than 1,258,000 community people of 266,000 households are being motivated and encouraged towards farming of various less-irrigation consuming crops including maize to reduce the pressure on underground water in the Barind area with the intervention of the ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)’ project.
The project is being implemented in around 1,280 drought-hit villages in 39 Union Councils and three municipalities of eight upazilas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts since 2014, said Jahangir Alam Khan, coordinator of the project.
Abdul Awal, deputy director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said there was no scarcity of seeds this time. So, huge quantities of seeds were distributed among the farmers and they timely completed sowing it, he added.
Meanwhile, around 559,000 tons of maize yield are expected to be produced from 54,093 hectares of land in all eight districts under the Rajshahi division during the current season.
DAE has set the target of producing around 327,000 tons of maize from 31,675 hectares of land in four districts of Rajshahi Agricultural Zone while 232,000 tons from 22,418 hectares of land in four other districts of Bogra Agricultural Zone.
DAE Additional Director Sirajul Islam said diversified steps including distribution of incentives among farmers besides provision of need-based training for them were taken to attain the production target.
He said 29,500 small and marginal farmers were given seeds and fertilizers free of cost for the maize farming under the government’s agricultural incentive program.
Principal Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute (BWMRI) Dr Ilias Hossain said maize is being used in the preparation of various nutritional foods like corn-well, corn-flex, poultry and animal feed and fodder and in several industrial products as well.
BWMRI has released five high yielding maize varieties and two of those-BARI Hybrid Bhutta-12 and 13- are both heat and drought tolerant. So, these are becoming popular in the growers’ level of the region.
The demand for the crop is on the rise with the increase of the poultry and poultry birds farms as it contains huge Vitamin-A, he pointed out.
Dr Hossain said maize is highly beneficial to human health.