RAJSHAHI: Around three lakh tonnes of oilseeds including mustard are expected to be produced from 2.10 lakh hectares of land in all eight districts of Rajshahi division during the current Rabi season, reports BSS.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) has set the production target and adopted all possible measures to meet up the region’s demands of the cash crops through attaining the target.The DAE has set the target of producing 2.93 lakh tonnes of mustard from 2.05 lakh hectares of land, 5,132 tonnes of sesame from 4,722 hectares and 279 tonnes of linseed (winter), soya bean and sunflower from 246 hectares of land.
Deb Dulal Dhali, Additional Director of DAE, said 65,000 farmers were given high yielding variety seeds and fertilizers worth around Taka 5.19 crore for mustard farming free of cost while 7,200 farmers were given the same agricultural inputs worth Taka 57.11 lakh for sesame farming in the division under the government’s agricultural incentive programme.
Meanwhile, multi-sectoral initiatives and favorable climate conditions in the region including its vast Barind tract during this Rabi season have become boon for mustard plants to grow well, predicting bumper productions. At present, the entire of the farming fields have turned into yellowish, creating an eye-catching look.
The landless and marginal farmers have also brought vast tracts of the sandy char lands under mustard cultivation this time in the Ganges basins and the crops are growing excellent everywhere in the region.
Sabbir Hossain, 35, of Bijoynagar village under Godagari Upazila, said he had cultivated mustard seed on two bigha of land last year and got yield of six mounds per bigha.
He has brought three bighas of land under the cash crop farming this season and expecting good yield.Bachhu Mian, 45, another farmer of Amnura village, has become successful through cultivating the cash crop for the last couple of years. This year, he cultivated the crop on four bighas of land.
Meanwhile, Development Association for Self-reliance, Communication and Health (DASCOH) Foundation, an NGO, under its ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Project’ has been working for promoting various less-water consuming crops like mustard.
The IWRM project is being implemented at around 1,280 drought-prone villages in 39 Union Parishads and three municipalities of eight upazilas in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts since 2014, said Jahangir Alam Khan, Coordinator of the project.
He said large scale farming of sesame can be an effective means of mitigating the adverse impact of climate change coupled with the existing drought condition in the vast Barind tract.
Jahangir Khan opined there is no alternative to bring diversity in cropping system in the changed climatic conditions and urged the farmers to extend their cooperation to sesame promotion in the dried area.
On Farm Research Division (OFRD) of BARI has been working for making the crop farming profitable through extension of its improved variety and improved management in the Barind area.
Senior Scientific Officer of OFRD (Barind Centre) Dr Shakhawat Hossain said BARI has released 16 high yielding mustard seed varieties and two of those- BARI Sharisha-14 and 15 and Tari-7 have become popular in the growers’ level of the region.
He said more than 100 farmers were given improved varieties of mustard seeds and fertilizer for farming on around 120 bighas of land.
Dr Hossain said mustard seed is a water-saving crop and its expansion in Barind area is very important towards lessening the gradually mounting pressure on its underground water.