RAJSHAHI: Maize farming is expected to exceed target as many of the enthusiastic farmers are still sowing seed with hope of getting good yield of the cash crop everywhere in the region including its vast Barind tract during the current Rabi and subsequent Kharif-1 seasons.
According to the sources concerned, farmers are showing interest in maize farming as a result of favourable climatic conditions and promotion of modern farming technologies, reports BSS.Azad Pramanik of Bhawanipur village said farmers have cultivated maize on record amount of land in Atrai Upazila of Naogaon district and they are very much hopeful about bumper production.
He said the farmers are cultivating maize on the lands instead of boro paddy to save production cost.
Another farmer Abdul Jabbar of Chowbari village said maize farming has been gaining popularity as many people are seen humming towards the cash crop farming while it has been giving them better yield and lucrative market price.
“The farmers will continue their sowing activities until the potato harvesting is completed in the region,” said Sirajul Islam, Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), adding farmers’ interest to the maize farming is gradually increasing for the couple of years.
Meanwhile, around 5.59 lakh tonnes of maize yield are expected to be produced from 54,093 hectares of land in all eight districts under Rajshahi division during the current season.
DAE has set the target of producing around 3.27 lakh tonnes of maize from 31,675 hectares of land in four districts of Rajshahi Agricultural Zone while 2.32 lakh tonnes from 22,418 hectares of land in four other districts of Bogura Agricultural Zone.Sirajul Islam said diversified steps including distribution of incentives among farmers besides provision of need-based training for them were taken to attain the production target.
He said 29,500 small and marginal farmers were given seeds and fertilisers free of cost for the maize farming under the government’s agricultural incentive programme.
Golam Faruque, a farmer of Nandigram village under Durgapur Upazila, said he has brought five bigha of land under the cash crop farming and some of his cultivated land has started getting a greenish look with growing plants.
Faruque got 15 to 17 mounds yield from per bigha of land and sold at Taka 600 to 650 per mound in the last harvesting season.
Many other fellow farmers expect better yield as suitable weather prevails here now.
DAE Deputy Director Shamsul Haque said that maize cultivation both in rabi and kharif seasons in the region has been increasing gradually as the farmers are showing more interest in this crop cultivation.
But the farmers are now seen more interested in maize farming just after harvesting the potato in the Kharif-1 season for the last couple of years.
He said there was no scarcity of seeds this time as huge quantities of seeds were distributed among the farmers and they timely completed sowing of maize seeds.
Principal Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute (BWMRI) Dr Ilias Hossain said maize is being used in preparation of various nutritional foods like corn-well, corn-flex, poultry and animal feed and fodder and in several industrial products as well.
BWMRI has released five high yielding maize varieties and two of those-BARI Hybrid Bhutta-12 and 13- are both heat and drought tolerant. So, these are becoming popular in the growers’ level of the region.
The demand for the crop is on the rise with the increase of the poultry and dairy farms as it contains huge Vitamin-A, he pointed out.
Dr Hossain said maize is highly beneficial to human health.