RANGPUR, Jan 10, 2019 (BSS) – The farmers are expecting a bumper production of maize already exceeding its fixed cultivation target by 2.39 percent in Rangpur agriculture region during the current Rabi season.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said maize cultivation is increasing every year as the farmers are showing interest in expanding its farming after getting repeated bumper production with excellent market price in recent years.
Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office here Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said maize cultivation is contributing to cut poverty improving livelihoods of the poor assisting them in achieving self-reliance.
The DAE has fixed a target of producing about 7.58 lakh tonnes of maize
from 83,192 hectares of land in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts under Rangpur agriculture region this season.
“However, the farmers have already brought 85,180 hectares of land, 2.39 percent higher than the fixed target of maize cultivation as sowing of seed of the cereal crop still continues in the region,” Islam added.
Along with farmers in the main land, the char and riverside people are also expanding maize farming on their sandy and barren char lands after getting better profits to change fortune in recent years through farming the cash crop.
Like in the previous seasons, the char and riverside people have cultivated maize on the vast tracts of the dried-up riverbeds and shoals of the Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla, Jamuna, Dudhkumar, Atrai, Kartoa, Ghaghot and other tributaries this time.
Talking to BSS, Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said there are potentialities to increase maize output by bringing the huge abandoned char lands on the Brahmaputra basin.
Side by side with government’s incentives, many NGOs distributed huge
quantities of high yielding varieties of maize seed and inputs among the landless, small and marginal farmers under various programmes for enhancing its cultivation this season.
“Maize farming has become more profitable than many other crops encouraging the farmers in cultivating the cereal crop on more lands using conservation agriculture (CA) technologies for better output at reduced costs,” Rashid said.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said the government has put emphasis on expanding cultivation of lees irrigation water consuming maize crop that helps the poor in cutting poverty to achieve self-reliance.
He highly appreciated the government for taking various initiatives for further boosting maize production on way to attain sustainability in food production.
“Expanded cultivation of low-irrigation water consuming cereal crop of maize using CA technologies can save huge ground water, ensure food security and improve environment amid changing climate,” Moniruzzaman added.
Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (in food security category) last year, said maize contains huge Vitamin-A and consumption of corn oil from maize with no cholesterol could help heart patients in many ways.
He suggested the farmers for expanding cultivation of lees irrigation water consuming maize using CA-based technologies to get better yield at reduced costs to earn more profits for becoming self-reliant.