Direct-seeded garlic cultivation is getting popularity among farmers in Rajshahi region, including its vast Barind area, supplementing the efforts towards reducing pressure on soil and underground water.
Farmers are now getting better yields and market price of the direct-seeded garlic, which encourage them to sow the cash crop using an eco-friendly method.
Rafiqul Islam, a farmer of Pirijpur village under Godagari Upazila, cultivated garlic on a 10-decimal land using the zero tillage method on trial basis in 2016 and he got a bumper yields. He cultivated the cash crop on three bigha of land following the year.
After spending Taka 54,000 in garlic farming, Rafiqul got sale-proceeds worth Taka 1.16 lakh and he earned a profit of Taka 62,000 in 2017, which inspired him to boost the farming to six bighas of arable land this year.
Dr Shakhawat Hossain, a senior scientific officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), said farmers are now showing more interest to 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 helps the garlic farming enormously, he said.
Dr Hossain 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 furthermore promotion of water-saving crops in the Barind area while the zero tillage garlic farming opens up a new door to this endeavor.
Lucrative market price of garlic has also encouraged the farmers to grow the cash crop this winter, the BARI scientist said.
Under a project titled, 'Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)', around 994 volunteers are working in the Barind region to motivate farmers to use water-saving crops like wheat, maize, pulses, spices and vegetables.
Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, a teacher of the Department of Geology and Mining at Rajshahi University, said the IWRM project has being implemented in 35 union parishads and four pourasavhas in Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts since 2015.
He 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.
Mustafizur Rahman, Additional Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), said farmers here are showing interest to garlic farming as they are getting bumper production and fair price of the cash crops.
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.