RANGPUR: Farmers of the region witnessed a little shortfall in attaining the fixed farming target of maize during this Rabi season. But, they are eying a brighter prospect of record maize production.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said maize plants are growing spectacularly predicting a bumper production of the less irrigation water consuming cereal crop having huge demand in local markets.The DAE has fixed a target of producing 10,51,747 tones of maize from 1,01,845 hectares of land for all five districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat in Rangpur agriculture region this season, reports BSS.
“Farmers have finally cultivated maize on 1,01,335 hectares of land less by 510 hectares or 0.50 percent against the fixed farming target,” Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Md Moniruzzaman said on Saturday.
During the last season, farmers achieved a record production of 10,25,337 tonnes of maize by cultivating the crop on 1,01,345 hectares of land in the region.
“The overall maize output may exceed last year’s record production this season as farmers have cultivated high yielding varieties of crop on more land using latest technologies,” he said.
Maize cultivation continues expanding every year on both mainland and char areas also cutting poverty and helping small and marginal farmers, landless char and riverside people in improving their livelihoods and living standard.
“The government provided special incentives, high yielding varieties of maize seeds and fertilisers to landless, small, marginal and flood-hit farmers to further enhance maize cultivation this season,” Moniruzzaman added.Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur Dr Md Sarwarul Haque said char and riverside people have cultivated maize on vast tracts of char lands in the Brahmaputra, Teesta, Dharla, Jamuna, Kartoa, Ghaghot and other riverine areas this season.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said that maize farming on mainland and char areas has already become more profitable than cultivation of many other crops.
“After getting special incentives, assistance and latest technologies from the DAE and different NGOs, farmers are cultivating maize using the latest agricultural technologies to get better output and lucrative market prices in recent years,” he added.
Talking to BSS, farmers Abdur Rahim, Nurul Islam, Bahadur Mian and Borhan Uddin of different villages in Rangpur said they are expecting a super bumper maize production as tender plants are growing brilliantly amid favourable climatic conditions.
Agriculturist Dr. Md. Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Medal-2018 (food security), stressed on expanding cultivation of the low-irrigation water consuming cereal crops like maize to save huge underground water under changing climate.
“Maize has a huge demand in local markets as it is being used as fodder of cattle-heads and poultry birds as well as in the animal husbandry, poultry and food industries sectors bringing lucrative prices and benefits to farmers,” he added.