Farmers have produced an all-time record of 11,48,143 tonnes of maize exceeding the fixed production target by 14,818 tonnes during the just-ended Rabi season in Rangpur agriculture region.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said farmers recently completed harvesting maize and produced 11,48,143 tonnes of the crop at the average yield rate of 10.81 tonnes per hectare of land.
Officials of the DAE and market sources said farmers are currently selling newly harvested maize to local traders and wholesalers at rates between Taka 1,200 and Taka 1,350 per mound (every 40-kg).
Earlier, the government had fixed a target of producing 11,33,325 tonnes of maize from 1,04,045 hectares of land for all five districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat in the region this time.
"However, farmers finally cultivated maize on 1,06,217 hectares of land exceeding the fixed farming target by 2,172 hectares of land or 2.09 percent," Additional Director of DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Emdad Hossain Sheikh told BSS.
Expressing happiness over super bumper production of maize, Agriculturist Hossain said maize farming is continuously expanding during the last thirteen years bringing self-reliance to many farmers across the region.
"Like farmers in the mainland, hundreds of char people are enhancing maize cultivation on the sandy char lands and dried-up riverbeds after getting repeated bumper productions with lucrative prices every year," he said.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid lauded government initiatives taken to increase production of the low-irrigation water consuming maize crop having enormous demand in local markets.
Talking to BSS, char and riverside people Anwar Hossain, Mahbub Alam and Abdur Razzaque of village Char Paschim Mohipur in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur said they cultivated maize on sandy char lands on the dried-up Teesta riverbed this season.
"We completed the harvest of maize last month and got a super bumper production and earned highest ever profits by selling the produce at lucrative rates between Taka 1,200 and taka 1,350 per mound," said Kochhim Uddin of the same village.
Expressing happiness over super bumper maize production, marginal farmers Moksed Ali, Azgar Ali and Aminul Islam of char village Char Goytapara in Rajibpur upazila said they received government incentives, cultivated maize and got bumper production with lucrative prices.
Talking to BSS, Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security), said there is a brighter prospect to expand maize farming on the vast abandoned char lands of the northern region to further increase its production.
"Farmers are increasing maize cultivation using latest agricultural technologies to get more production at reduced costs and earn better profits, also contributing to ensuring national food security amid adverse impacts of climate change," he added.