RAJSHAHI: Farmers are now on the final stage of harvesting their cultivated wheat with satisfactory yield in the region including its vast Barind tract thanks to the newly developed high yielding varieties and technological supports, reports BSS.
“Eighty-five percent wheat has already been harvested and the rests are expected to complete by this week-end,” said Dev Dulal Dhali, Additional Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), while talking to the agency here on Monday.He said most of the farmers are satisfied with this season’s wheat yield as they cultivated high yielding varieties developed by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI).
Agriculturist Dhali said the developed varieties particularly the BARI GOM 28, 30, 32 and 33 are not only resistant to many threats and menaces like drought, blast like disease and weed but also high yielding. So, the varieties have become popular among the farmers.
After taking advantages and opportunities given by the DAE and BARI the farmers are seen increasing the acreage of wheat farming as its demand is gradually mounting with rising of population.
DAE had set a target to cultivate wheat on 1,33,753 hectares of land but the farmers cultivated on 1,37,308 hectares in eight districts under Rajshahi division amidst rising their interests to wheat farming creating scope of producing 4.51 lakh metric tons of the cereal crop, which is 11,681 metric tons higher than the production target.
Arshad Ali, 52, a farmer of Baduria village under Charghat Upazila, has brought 10 bigha of land under wheat farming this year. He got 18 mounds yield per bigha on an average.
Side by side with his own farming he provides power tiller operated machinery services to more than 250 farmers in wheat farming on 400 bigha of lands and earned Taka 500 from per bigha of land as service charge.Talking to the agency Ali said use of machinery in wheat farming is gradually increasing in the region as it contributes to boosting yield.
Sabbir Ahmed, 38, another farmer of Bijoynagar area under Godagari Upazila, said wheat farming is gradually increasing in the area as it’s a less-irrigation consuming crop.
Dr Ilias Hossain, principal scientific officer of Regional Wheat and Maize Research Center, said farmers of the Barind area were found more confident in wheat farming on more new lands, due to the water-stress condition, as wheat is a less-water consuming plant.
“We are expanding the developed varieties among the farmers through training, block demonstration and providing inputs in the region,” he said adding that BARI GOM 33 is a zinc-fortified breed.
The variety has been developed to meet the necessary requirement of micronutrient for a human body coupled with ensuring food security. It contained zinc and protein which will ensure high nutrition and will play a significant role in prevention of diseases.
Zinc also played a vital role in prevention of liver-related diseases. Zinc, iron and vitamin-A are the three most vital micronutrients, deficiency of which hampers children’s natural growth and decrease their disease prevention capacity.
Ittefaqul Azad, retired deputy director of DAE, said wide-range promotion of the newly innovated variety could help increase wheat yield.
Wheat plays an important role in ensuring food security as its consumption is increasing day by day. But, Bangladesh produces hardly 10 lakh metric tonnes of wheat against the demand of around 40 lakh tonnes annually, he stated.
Agriculturist Azad, however, said that Rajshahi division contributes 35 percent of the total area and 44 percent of the total production. Not only that, there are around 50,000 hectares of more rain fed land in the high Barind area and there has been a bright prospect of bringing the huge land under wheat cultivation.