Farmers and traders say organic vegetables have more demand in the marketplace and are being sold at higher prices than vegetables cultivated using chemical fertilizers and pesticides
Hundreds of farmers are standing out among their peers across the district by achieving superb success in organic farming in Paba upazila of Rajshahi.
The local agriculture office in Parila union is spearheading a promising project under which they are training 500 farmers to cultivate vegetables avoiding chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
In the last Rabi season, these farmers split into groups of 25, built 20 model vegetable farms on 100 acres of land and produced quality winter vegetables, including beans, cauliflowers, cabbages, eggplants and gourds.
These vegetables were sold in massive quantities in popular kitchen markets around the country and even abroad, earning these farmers handsome profits.
Farmers and traders say organic vegetables have more demand in the marketplace and are being sold at higher prices than vegetables cultivated using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
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With organic farming, farmers not only avoid chemicals and pesticides but also protect the ecological balance, they added.
Inspired, many local farmers have expressed their interest in producing chemical-free vegetables by using organic methods this upcoming Kharif season.
Ismail Hossain, a farmer from Parila union, said he had cultivated beans on 7,200sqft of land through using organic farming methods.
“The yield was higher than when I was using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The quality of the produce also improved and I secured a good profit. So this season, I have planted sponge gourds (luffa) on my land using the same organic methods,” he added.
He added that he had received 40kg of organic manure and 5 packets of seeds under the government project.
Sharmin Sultana, upazila agriculture officer, said: “Farmers who are growing vegetables by using organic methods are getting higher yields and better profit for the high market demand for organic vegetables.
“Under this project, agriculture officials are providing fertilizers, seeds and guidance to farmers. Inspired by the project, many local farmers have become interested in producing chemical-free vegetables.”
Sirajul Islam, additional director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), Rajshahi, said the experimental project under which farmers were producing organic vegetables in Parila union had shown promise and so efforts were underway to expand its activities in future.