The farmers have achieved a bumper output of maize exceeding the fixed production target by 20 percent during this Kharip-1 season in all five districts under Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said the farmers already completed harvest of maize and produced over 1.48-lakh tones of the cereal crop against the fixed production target of over 1.23-lakh tonnes in the region.
“The achieved maize output is higher by 24,771 tonnes or 20 percent than the fixed production target of 1.23-lakh tonnes this season,” said Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office in Rangpur Khondker Md Mesbahul Islam.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 1.23-lakh tonnes of maize from 20,289 hectares of land while the farmers finally cultivated the crop on 19, 019 hectares, less by 1,270 hectares of land than the fixed farming target for the region.
“Despite a little shortfall in achieving the fixed farming target, the farmers exceeded the production target as a result of cultivation of high yielding varieties of the crop on more lands amid favourable climatic condition this season,” he said.
The farmers have achieved an average yield rate of 7.81 tonnes of maize per hectare against the fixed yield rate of 6.10 tonnes per hectare resulting to the bumper output of maize in region, Islam added.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Md Moniruzzaman said maize cultivation is increasing as the farmers are showing keen interest in expanding its farming after getting repeated bumper productions with excellent price in recent years.
“Side by side with meeting huge demand of maize in the country’s livestock sector, its expanded cultivation is contributing to poverty reduction and helping the farmers in improving their livelihoods and achieving self-reliance,” he said.
Along with the farmers in the main land, the char people are expanding cultivation of maize as a cash crop on the char lands to earn huge profits improving their livelihoods to lead better life and change fortune.
Farmers Abdul Khaleque, Mazharul Islam and Kafil Uddin of different villages under Sadar upazila here said they were selling newly harvested maize at better rates between Taka 660 and 700 per mound (every 40 kilogram).
Noted agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security) this year, said there are immense potentialities to further increase maize production through bringing the huge abandoned char lands of the northern region.
“Maize farming has been proved to be more profitable than many other crops and the enthusiastic farmers are increasing its cultivation using the latest conservation agriculture technologies to get better output at reduced costs,” he said.
He also appreciated various initiatives taken by the present government initiatives to further boost production of the low-irrigation water consuming cereal crops like maize to ensure food security and improve environment under changed climate.