Vegetable farming has become a boon for the farmers in the country thanks to its relatively higher yield and higher return than other crops.
Vegetable production has seen tremendous growth in the last 10 years in Bangladesh, generating new jobs, increasing income and reducing poverty. Bangladesh is now the world’s third largest vegetable producer after China and India.
Farmers are making a good profit from vegetable farming, which encouraged the youth, especially the educated young generation to enter the agriculture sector with modern technology and innovative marketing techniques.
In 2017-18 FY, the country produced 159.543 lakh tonnes of vegetables from 8.613 lakh hectors of land, according to Agriculture Ministry data.
In the current 2018-19 fiscal year, the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) fixed the country’s vegetable production target at 164.59 lakh tonnes from 8.72 lakh hectors of land. This year, farmers are cultivating vegetables on 8.24664 lakh hectors of land.
The country’s vegetable production stood at 3,62,128 tonnes in 1961, 4, 98,078 tonnes in 1971, 5, 65,127 tonnes in 1990, 6,40,000 tonnes in 1995, 9,11,000 tonnes in 2000, 10,31,000 tonnes in 2005, 12,90,000 tonnes in 2010 and 14,81,000 tonnes in 2015, according to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations( FAO) data.
Mizanur Rahman, director of Horticulture Wing of the DAE, told the daily sun that vegetable production has seen rapid growth over the years that amplified income for labourers, empowered women and created new employment opportunities particularly for landless farmers in the country.
Farmers can easily increase their income in two to three months through vegetable farming, he said.
Initiatives taken by various government and non-government entities, including Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) and Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) are helping increase vegetable production, he added.
Some 142 types of vegetables were grown in Bangladesh, including some foreign varieties.
Some of the most grown vegetables in Bangladesh include tomato, cabbage, cauliflower, water gourd, pointed gourd, ridge gourd, bitter gourd, ash gourd, snake gourd, teasel gourd, green chilli, sponge gourd, pumpkin, lady’s finger, cucumber, water pumpkin, radishes, beans, paIwal, carrots, spinach, red amaranth, stem amaranth, yard long beans, sweet potato, drumstick, french bean, spinach, coriander leaf and pea seed.
Bangladesh currently exports around 52 types of vegetables to around 50 countries around the world. The government has taken a series of initiatives to promote the farming of pest and other harmful chemical and bacteria-free vegetables to boost exports.