Record groundnut output makes farmers happy

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RANGPUR, May 22, 2019 (BSS) – An all-time record harvest of 11,850 tonnes of groundnut has made farmers happy bringing smiles to their face during this just-ended Rabi season in Rangpur agriculture region.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and market sources said farmers are earning average profit of Taka 45,000 by producing 23 to 27 mounds of groundnut per acre excluding farming costs of Taka 18,000 per acre of land.

“Farmers are now selling groundnut to wholesalers at rates between Taka 2,500 to 2,800 per mound (every 40 kg) depending on varieties and qualities,” said leading groundnut trader Mokhlesur Rahman at Rangpur City Bazar today.

Wholesale traders at Rangpur City Bazaar Sohel Rana and Amin Hossain said they are selling groundnut at rates between Taka 3,500 and 3,700 per mound (every 40 kg) now to retailers after purchasing the same from rural farmers.

“Cultivation of groundnut has become a profitable venture following a huge boost of the confectionary and Bakery industries increasing demanded of the locally produced agro-commodity,” said Sohel Rana.

The DAE had fixed a target of producing 9,325 tonnes of groundnut from 5,298 hectares of land for all five districts in the region,” said Horticulture Specialist of DAE at its regional office here Agriculturist Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam.

“However, enthusiastic farmers cultivated groundnut on 5,697 hectares of land exceeding the fixed farming target by 399 hectares this season,” Islam said. The farmers finally produced 11,850 tonnes of groundnut, higher by 2,525 tonnes or 27 percent than the fixed production target this time in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram and Nilphamari districts of the region.

Regional Additional Director of the DAE Mohammad Ali said bumper groundnut output was achieved following expanded cultivation of its high yielding varieties evolved by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) on more land, including char areas.

“The farmers got an average yield rate of 2.08 tonnes of groundnut per hectare against the targeted yield rate of 1.76 tonnes per hectare, following expanded cultivation of high yielding varieties,” he added. With increasing demand of groundnut in the booming Bakery and Confectionery industries, farmers are increasing groundnut cultivation on main lands and sandy char areas after getting repeated bumper production and lucrative price.

Because of lower farming cost and excellent market price with huge demand, char people and farmers are reaping huge profits from groundnut cultivation in Rangpur agriculture region for the last ten years. Talking to BSS, Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said a farmer can earn profit of Taka 45,000 by producing 26 mounds of groundnut per acre of land spending Taka 18,000 as farming costs.

“Some 2,000 small and marginal farmers had been cultivating groundnut with assistance of RDRS Bangladesh on sandy char lands in greater Rangpur region to change their fortune for the last one decade,” Rashid added.

Talking to BSS, farmers Akheruzzaman, Abdul Bari, Moslem Uddin and Saiduzzaman of Char Biswanath village in Kawnia upazila of Rangpur said their fortune has changed by farming groundnut on char lands in the last two decades.

Farmers Mahbubar Rahman, Bakul Mian, Rezaul Islam and Selim Hossain of Mohipur village in Gangachara upazila said they achieved self-reliance by cultivating groundnut on char lands bringing well-being to their families and improving living standard.

Predicting brighter prospect of increasing groundnut output, Deputy Director of DAE Agriculturist Md. Moniruzzaman said some 6,000 farmers benefited financially by farming groundnut twice annually in the region in the last ten years.

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