NILPHAMARI: Many farmers in the district are passing a busy time to cultivate early winter vegetables with an innovative bamboo shelf method.
Early winter cabbage, bean, carrot, cauliflower, spinach, red spinach, water spinach, Malaber spinach and snake bean grow well in the district. The cultivators make extra profit from the produce every season. The nursery beds have been covered with polythene tents so that the seedling production is not affected in adverse weather.Therefore, the people of the district have also mastered the modern art and technique of producing vegetable saplings for twelve months to alleviate their unemployment. They are producing vegetable saplings all year round by setting up ‘tray-nurseries’. Marketing of these saplings will start within the next 15 days.
The vegetables will start appearing in local market by November, growers added.
According to the locals, after 5 months of sapling production, vegetable production continues in the vegetable nurseries for the rest of the year. Hybrids papaya, tomato, chilli, cucumber, cucumber, bean, coriander leaf, barbati, eggplant, carrot sweet pumpkin, rice pumpkin are being produced.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), over 5,825 hectares of land have brought under early winter vegetable cultivation in the district with the production target of around 10,200 tonnes. Locally-produced vegetables are sent to Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Tangail, Narayanganj, Chattogram and some other districts.
At the same time, thousands of men and women have been employed in the nurseries. DAE officials said more than 25,000 farmers in the area are engaged with the production of vegetable this season.
Farmer Abu Bakar, 45, son of late Nepashu Mamud of Uttar Sonakhuli village said, “He cultivated 10,000 saplings of early variety cauliflower on three Bighas of land in late August. Now he has been happy for the good production”.“It cost me around Tk 15,000 to cultivate 3,500 pieces of cauliflowers on one Bigha of land. If it can be sold at Tk 50 as per kg, then I will get more profit from the land” said another farmer Rafiqul Islam of the village.
“Cultivation of early winter vegetables needs hard labour and funds for buying fertiliser, pesticides and polythene sheets, needed for smooth growth of plants, combating repeated pest attacks and for covering up the fields to protect from heavy rainfall,” he added.
While contacted, Obaydur Rahman Mondol, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Nilphamari, told the correspondent “The farmers of six upazila were cultivated different types of winter vegetables like, Potato, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Brinjal and others winter vegetables on 5,825 hectors of land. This year the farmers are now more aware and innovative”.
The Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) supplied quality seeds to the growers, he added.
However, this bamboo shelf farming method can protect the seeds from natural disasters, excessive heat and insecticides. This way, the seeds can be grown healthy resulting in robust production and fetching more profitable.