Hamidul Islam, from Mamudpur village of Birampur, won first place for employing eco-friendly, organic, technology—plus unconventional methods—to produce his vegetables
A farmer from the district's Birampur upazila has been awarded the country's "Best Vegetable Farmer" at the recent National Vegetable Fair 2019 in Dhaka.
Hamidul Islam, from Mamudpur village of Birampur, won first place for employing eco-friendly, organic, technology—plus unconventional methods—to produce his vegetables in a safe manner; in addition to generating employment in the region.
The vegetable fair was organized in Dhaka from February 24-26 by the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE); they gave him Tk10,000 and a crest in recognition of his achievements.
Hamidul told the Dhaka Tribune that on his 1.8 bigha stretch of land, and 20 bigha leased to him, he produces four types of vegetables— hybrid cucumber, gourd, bitter gourd and beans—simultaneously.
He also occasionally grows: chili (both natural and hybrid), cauliflower, cabbage, onion, eggplant, and garlic.
"I had first started cultivating vegetables with Tk20,000 right after Bangladesh gained its independence in 1971," he recollected.
"Gradually expanding my farmland, I now have enough land on which to grow my produce; with the help of the local DAE officials."
The farmer added that his three sons help him on his farmland, with 30 workers cultivating under him on an average day.
"In 2018, I sold cucumbers worth Tk3.5 lakh, Tk2.5 lakh's-worth of bitter gourd, Tk1.7 lakh's-worth of chili and such, raking in Tk30 lakh in annual revenue," Hamidul said, "After expenses, I was left with a profit of Tk12 lakh." His vegetables are sold all across the country as well.
Birampur upazila DAE office sources said vegetables were cultivated on 1,150 hectares of land across the region last year, with cauliflower, cabbage, bitter gourd, beans, and tomatoes the most- produced vegetables.
Vegetable cultivation has increased by 1,000 hectares in Birampur over the last five years.
Nixon Chandra Pal, local agriculture officer, said one farmer's name was sent to DAE's central office in Dhaka from the district, Hamidul's.
"After much scrutiny and investigation, he was judged the country's best farmer," he said.
The officer added Hamidul has set an example among others in the district, and the local DAE office has always supported him in his endeavours.