RAJSHAHI: Groundnut farming has gained popularity in the region, particularly in its vast char (riverbed) lands, because the farmers were benefited through the cash crop production for the last couple of years consecutively.
Farmers of this region have cultivated groundnut on more lands this season than the previous ones as they got lucrative price of their harvested crop last year.Currently, they are expecting cherished yield if the crop does not face any natural disaster till harvesting.
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has set a target of producing 17,349 tonnes of groundnut from 8,815 hectares of land in all eight districts in Rajshahi division during the current season. Last year, the region had produced 16,296 tonnes from 8,316 hectares of land, reports BSS.
Monjurul Haque, District Training Officer of DAE, said groundnut cultivation has become popular among the farmers in char areas of the region. The crop is being cultivated in sandy lands. So farmers are making profit from low cultivation cost.
He mentioned that 363 hectares of land in Padma char have been brought under nut cultivation in Rajshahi this year while it was 120 hectares last year. The DAE is encouraging farmers in nut cultivation.
The government has extended training, fertilizer and seed to the farmers in order to expand high yielding groundnut varieties in the region.
Agriculturist Haque said about Taka 5,000 are spent for groundnut cultivation per bigha of land, from where five to six maunds of groundnut can be grown.Farmers become benefited if they can sell their harvested crop at Tk 1,500 per mound. He said a minimum financial involvement is needed for groundnut cultivation.
Farmer Golam Mostofa of Chalk Rajapur village under Bagha Upazila, who cultivated the crop on eight bigha of land this season, said this year’s production may exceed the target if the climatic conditions remain favourable until the end.
He also said many of his co-villagers cultivated the crop with the hope of making profit through the cultivation like the previous year.
Talking to the agency here Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiullah Sultan said farmers cultivated the advanced varieties including the three-grain one this season.
He said nut cultivation has increased in char areas beside the Padma River. They supplied seeds to the farmers on behalf of the DAE to encourage them in nut cultivation.
Shamsul Haque, Deputy Director of the DAE, said nut cultivation is increasing in Padma char areas in Godagari, Paba, Charghat and Bagha Upazilas of the district. The government offered free seedlings and trainings on proper nut cultivation techniques, which will help them expand the cultivation.
Groundnut is generally cultivated on the sandy land. Experimentally some local farmers started to cultivate groundnut on their barren land which remain uncultivated all year in this char areas.
On their success a number of farmers are now cultivating groundnut as a cash crop in the vast char areas. The char farmers are getting reasonable price of the crop.
He said around 600 hectares of land was brought under the crop cultivation in only the char lands under Bagha Upazila this season. Till now, the farming remains in satisfactory condition.
Dr Sakhawat Hossain, Senior Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), said the prospect of BARI groundnut cultivation is bright in different char areas.
He said sandy lands near the river banks and char areas are suitable for groundnut cultivation. They are encouraging farmers to bring more land under cultivation of BARI groundnuts, an oil-enriched seed variety, he added.