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Char people expecting bumper crop output on char lands

RANGPUR, Feb 09, 2018 (BSS)- Thousands of people living in the riverine areas are expecting bumper output of various crops cultivated on the dried-up riverbeds, shoals and char lands in Rangpur agriculture region this season.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and different NGOs said the crops cultivated by char dwellers and riverside people on about 86,000 hectares of char lands and silted up riverbeds are growing superbly this season.

Horticulture Specialist of DAE at its regional office Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam said cultivation of crops on these lands is taking place due to lowering of the underground water level, deposition of alluvial soil and other reasons.

Crops like Boro rice, onion, garlic, maize, wheat, vegetables, gourd, groundnut, kawn, pulses, gunji till, tobacco, pumpkin, pulses, oil seed and watermelon are mostly being cultivated on these lands every year during the past two decades.

"Harvesting of mustard is nearing completion now though harvest of the other crops on dried-up riverbeds and char lands would begin later this month to complete before commencement of the next rainy season," Islam added.

Agriculture and Environment Coordinator of RDRS Bangladesh Mamunur Rashid said crop cultivation on char lands and silted-up riverbeds is increasing in Rangpur, Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat and Nilphamari districts in the region in recent times.

"Around 17,000 households, beneficiaries of different NGOs and government organisations have cultivated pumpkin on the sandbars in over 200 villages under 80 unions of 18 upazilas in these five districts this season," he said.

Riverside landless people Kobiza Begum, Mahbub and Morsheda of village Paschim Mohipur under Gangachara upazila in Rangpur said a farmer need to spend Taka 17,000 on an average each for cultivating pumpkin on 200 raised sandbars.

The produced pumpkin from 200 raised sandbars might be sold at Taka 40,000 to bring a net profit of Taka 23,000 to each of the farmers after completing harvest by March next, they said.

Riverside farmers Kochhim Uddin and Razzaque of the same village said they have cultivated pumpkin, onion, garlic and vegetables on the dried-up beds of the Teesta river to complete harvesting those by March next.

Char farmers Farman Ali of village Char Khuniagachh in Lalmonirhat and Nur Islam of village Korpura in Kurigram said they have cultivated pumpkin and other crops on the dried-up beds of the Teesta band Dharla rivers this season.

Predicating bumper production of the cultivated crops, Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said crop farming on the silted-up bodies of different rivers has brought fortune to many river landless families in recent years.