RANGPUR: Onion has arrived in the local markets of the district. Bumper production of onion along with its better price has made hundreds of people living in char areas of Rangpur agriculture region happy during the current Rabi season.
Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) sources said the farmers are happy here as this year’s output has reached beyond their expectation.Officials of the DAE said people sowed onion seeds on over 2,000 hectares of sandy char lands mostly adopting relay methods after the recession of floodwater this year.
“Harvest of onion continues now with bumper yield benefiting char and riverside people who suffered huge crop losses during recent floods in the region,” said Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md Moniruzzaman.
He said farmers have so far cultivated onion on 6,805 hectares of land against the fixed target of bringing 9,950 hectares of land to produce 97,207 tonnes of the spicy crop in the region this season.
“Due to high prices of onions last year, farmers in char areas have cultivated onion cultivation to reap more benefits this time,” he said, adding that the government has provided free onion seeds and assistance to farmers to increase production.
Farmer Moktar Munshi of village Char Taluk Shahbaz in Balapara union of Kawnia upazila in Rangpur said many char and riverside people have cultivated onion on char lands on the Teesta riverbeds.
“Char people have cultivated onion on char lands mostly after getting cost-free seeds and fertilisers from the government to recoup the crop losses they incurred during recent floods,” said another farmer of the same village.Riverside farmers Hashu Munshi, Ratan Narayan and Ayesha of Char Paschim Mohipur village on the Teesta riverbed in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur said they are expecting lucrative profits after harvesting their cultivated onions on char lands.
Similarly, people of char villages of Sheikh Sundar, Sindurna, Char Dhubni, Goddimari, Chayani, Doani, Bagher Char and Patikapara Char on the Teesta riverbed in Hatibandha upazila of Lalmonirhat said they have cultivated onion on more char lands.
Mahbub Talukdar, an onion farmer in Sheikh Sundar Char village, said tender onion plants are growing supply on his sandy crop lands amid favourable climatic conditions.
“If the weather remains favorable, I hope to get a bumper yield of the crop to recoup the huge crop losses I incurred during recent floods,” he said.
Mukitur Rahman, another onion farmer in Char Sindurna village, said, “I am currently selling just harvested onions at Tk 28 to Tk 33 per kg though its market prices were higher up to Taka 45 per kg a couple of weeks ago.”
Hatibandha Upazila Agriculture Extension Agriculture Officer Omar Farooque in Lalmonirhat said onion has been cultivated on 265 hectares of land, including char lands, in the upazila this year which is almost double compared to previous year.
“Due to the onion crisis last year, the government has provided free onion seeds and other assistance to farmers to increase production of the spicy crops this year,” he said.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid told that cultivation of onion in relay-methods along with other crops on dried up riverbeds and char lands notably expanded this season.
“Farmers are expanding onion cultivation both on main lands and char areas to earn high profit and make the government’s plan of meeting its national demand with locally produced onions,” he added.