RAJSHAHI, Jan 13, 2020 (BSS)- Around 3.89 lakh tonnes of garlic yield are expected to be harvested from around 46,117 hectares of land in all eight districts of Rajshahi division during the current season.
Target has been set to produce around 2.63 lakh tonnes of garlic from 31,260 hectares of land in four districts under Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while another 1.27 lakh tonnes from 14,957 hectares of land in four other districts under Bogura Agricultural Zone.
Sirajul Islam, Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said all possible measures were adopted to attain the production target in the region this season.
He said farmers here are showing interest in garlic farming as they are getting bumper production and fair price of the cash crops using an eco-friendly method.
Now, he said, the farmers are passing very busy days in garlic cultivation and they are expecting bumper production of garlic this year due to favourable weather.
Ajahar Ali, a farmer of Halidagachhi village under Charghat Upazila, had cultivated garlic on a 30-decimal land using the zero tillage method on trial basis in 2018 and he got a bumper yield. He cultivated the cash crop on three bighas of land following the year.
After spending Taka 5,400 in garlic farming, Ali got sale-proceeds worth Taka 1.20 lakh and he earned a profit of Taka 65,000 in 2019, which inspired him to boost the farming to six bighas of arable land this year.
Afaz Uddin, a garlic farmer of Shilmaria village in Puthia Upazila, said they used to cultivate garlic after digging the land in the past. But now many farmers have started garlic cultivation without digging the land.
Farmers will be able to achieve bumper production of garlic if the weather remains favourable.
He said the direct-seeded garlic cultivation is gaining popularity among farmers in Rajshahi region, including its vast Barind and Chalan Beel areas, supplementing the ongoing efforts of reducing pressure on soil and underground water.
Abdus Sabur, another farmer of Panchandar village in Tanore upazila, said that he incurred losses during the last few years by producing tomatoes and other vegetables and rice. “But we get handsome returns from garlic and onion,” he said.
Dr Hameem Reza, Chief Scientific Officer of Spice Research Centre, said farmers are now showing more interest in the method of zero tillage garlic farming just after harvesting their transplanted Aman paddy.
Residual values of chemical and organic fertilizers and soil moisture of the paddy field help the garlic farming enormously, he said.
Dr Reza said adoption of large-scale zero tillage method for sowing seed is very effective towards increasing production of garlic by saving costs of labour, irrigation and insecticides.
He said many government and non-government development entities are working for further promotion of water-saving crops in the Barind area while the zero tillage garlic farming opens up a new door.
Lucrative market price of garlic has also encouraged the farmers to grow the cash crop this winter, the scientist said.
Under a project titled, ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)’, around 1,500 volunteers are working in the Barind region to motivate farmers to use water-saving crops like wheat, maize, pulses, spices and vegetables.
IWRM Project Coordinator Jahangir Alam Khan said the IWRM project is being implemented in 39 Union Parishads and three Pourashava in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts since 2015.
Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, a teacher of the Department of Geology and Mining at Rajshahi University, suggested development and dissemination of appropriate farm machineries like power-tiller operated seeder, strip and zero tillage, bed planter, reaper and thresher to increase farm production, particularly wheat and spices, in the region.