RANGPUR: A record quantity of over 11.23-lakh tonnes of maize was produced this year during the Rabi and just-ended Kharip-1 seasons in all five districts of Rangpur agriculture region.
The farmers produced over 9.23-lakh tonnes of maize during the Rabi season and more than two-lakh tonnes of the crop during this Kharip-1 season exceeding the fixed production target of producing over 9.14-lakh tonnes fixed for both seasons, reports BSS.Officials of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) officials said the achieved maize output is higher by 2.09-lakh tonnes or 22.87 percent than the fixed production target during both seasons this year in the region.
Horticulture Specialist of the DAE at its regional office Khondker Md. Mesbahul Islam said maize cultivation has been increasing every year on the main land as well as char areas following huge demand, repeated bumper output and lucrative market price.
Many farmers and char families have changed fortune and attained self-reliance by cutting poverty through cultivation of maize in Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat districts of the region in last ten years.
Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional Office Md. Moniruzzaman said the government is extending assistance to farmers for expanding cultivation of lees irrigation water consuming maize crop that helps farmers to cut poverty and improve livelihoods.
For example, the government distributed seed and fertilisers as cost-free incentives to 1,650 small and marginal farmers of Rangpur region to assist them in cultivating maize on two bighas of land each for boosting its output during the last Rabi season.
“As a result, farmers in the mainland and char people are increasing maize cultivation on the main and char lands and dried-up riverbeds after getting repeated bumper production with lucrative price in the region,” Islam said.District Marketing Officer for Rangpur Agriculturist ASM Hassan Sarwar told BSS that maize is currently being sold at rates between taka 660 and Taka 700 per mound (40-kg) in the local markets.
“The farmers are reaping better profits following huge demand of maize in the poultry feed and animal feed industries as the poultry, animal husbandry and diary sectors are booming across the country,” Sarwar added.
Talking to BSS, farmers Abdul Alim, Moksed Ali of Kawnia upazila in Rangpur and char people Azgar Hossain and Mahtab Uddin of Aditmari upazila in Lalmonirhat said they got bumper maize output during both Rabi and Kharip-1 seasons this year.
Thanking the government for giving seed and fertilisers as cost-free incentives, they expressed satisfaction over lucrative market price between Taka 670 and 700 per mound of maize round the year this time.
Additional Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Muhammad Ali said the government is providing assistance, trainings, incentives and supports to farmers for expanding maize cultivation both on the mainland and char areas to boost its output.
Talking to the agency, Agriculturist Dr. M A Mazid, who got Independence Medal (in food security category) last year, said there are enormous potentialities to further increase maize output by bringing vast tracts of abandoned char lands in the northern region.
“Maize cultivation is more profitable than many other crops,” he said suggesting farmers to increase its cultivation using latest conservation agriculture technologies like strip tillage to get better yield at reduced costs.