New way to cultivate bottle gourd proves a boon

Our Correspondent

16 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

LAKSHMIPUR: Bottle gourd growers in the district are harvesting rich reward by cultivating bottle gourd on bamboo platforms as it is more beneficial than other crops.

The farmers of the district have been involved in farming bottle gourd commercially by erecting bamboo platforms for the last few years, which drew a huge response among all the farmers.

Besides, the cultivation of bottle gourd through this modern method is gaining popularity in the area day by day due to favorable weather. Most of the farmers of five upazilas have brought their land under bottle gourd cultivation.

According to the local Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), this year a total of 500 hectares of land have been brought under bottle gourd cultivation on bamboo platforms, which is double what it was last year.

During a recent visit to Darbeshpur, Bhadur, Ichhapur, Bhatra and Lamchar unions of Ramganj upazila, this correspondent saw large stretches of land brought under bottle gourd cultivation.

Farmers used to cultivate bottle gourd in their yards, empty land near their house or the roof almost as a pastime but now they are able to do it on a commercial scale, and profitably.

Kabir Ahmed, a farmer of Alipur village in Ramganj upazila, said “Although the bottle gourd cultivation on bamboo platforms is expensive, they get high yield through the production.”

Talking to some farmers, they said cultivating bottle gourd on bamboo platform is expensive but they preferred to cultivate the vegetable in this process as the application of fertiliser and pesticides is not needed like other vegetable land.

At the local markets, one piece bottle gourd is being sold at Tk 35-40 and the farmers of the upazila have brought their land under bottle gourd cultivation due to the high demand and good price. The farmers have claimed that their bottle gourd plants were partially damaged due to incessant rainfall this year but they can recover the losses by their production.

Md Belal Hossain Khan, Assistant Director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Lakshmipur district, said “Every inch of the soil of Ramganj upazila is favourable for crops cultivation including paddy, jute and other vegetables. The farmers of the upazila are now cultivating bottle gourd as it is more profitable than other vegetables. The officials of the local DAE are working to make people more attentive in bringing their lands under new cultivation.”