RAJSHAHI: Around 3.73 lakh tonnes of garlic are likely to be produced from around 46,718 hectares of land in all eight districts of Rajshahi division during the current season.
Deb Dulal Dhali, Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said the target of producing the spicy crop has been set and all possible measures were adopted to attain it in the region, reports BSS.He said farmers here are showing interest to garlic farming as they are getting bumper production and fair price of the cash crops using an eco-friendly method. Now, he said, the farmers are passing very busy days in garlic cultivation and they are expecting bumper production of garlic this year due to favourable weather.
Nasir Uddin, a farmer of Dharmahata village under Godagari Upazila, cultivated garlic on a 20-decimal land using the zero tillage method on trial basis in 2017 and he got a bumper yields. He cultivated the cash crop on three bigha of land following the year.
After spending Taka 56,000 in garlic farming, Nasir got sale-proceeds worth Taka 1.20 lakh and he earned a profit of Taka 65,000 in 2019, which inspired him to boost the farming to six bighas of arable land this year.
Afaz Uddin, a garlic farmer of Shilmaria village in Puthia Upazila, said they used to cultivate garlic after digging the land in the past. But now many farmers have started garlic cultivation without digging the land. Farmers will be able to achieve bumper production of garlic if the weather remains favourable.”
He said the direct-seeded garlic cultivation is gaining popularity among farmers in Rajshahi region, including its vast Barind area, supplementing the efforts towards reducing pressure on soil and underground water.
Abdus Sabur, another farmer of Panchandar village in Tanore upazila, said that he incurred losses during the last few years by producing tomatoes and other vegetables and rice. “But we get handsome returns from garlic and onion,” he said.Dr Shakhawat Hossain, a senior scientific officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), said farmers are now showing more interest to the method of zero tillage garlic farming just after harvesting their transplanted Aman paddy.
Residual values of chemical and organic fertilizers and soil moisture of the paddy field helps the garlic farming enormously, he said. Dr Hossain said adoption of large-scale zero tillage method for sowing seed is very effective towards increasing production of garlic by saving costs of labour, irrigation and insecticides.
He said many government and non-government development entities are working for furthermore promotion of water-saving crops in the Barind area while the zero tillage garlic farming opens up a new door to this endeavor.
Lucrative market price of garlic has also encouraged the farmers to grow the cash crop this winter, the BARI scientist said.
Under a project titled, ‘Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)’, around 1,250 volunteers are working in the Barind region to motivate farmers to use water-saving crops like wheat, maize, pulses, spices and vegetables.
Prof Chowdhury Sarwar Jahan, a teacher of the Department of Geology and Mining at Rajshahi University, said the IWRM project is being implemented in 39 Union Parishads and three Pourashava in Rajshahi, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj districts since 2015.
He suggested development and dissemination of appropriate farm machineries like power-tiller operated seeder, strip and zero tillage, bed planter, reaper and thresher to increase farm production, particularly wheat and spices, in the region.