RAJSHAHI: Farmers of the region are expecting outstanding production of onion seed as they have cultivated the cash crop on the ever-highest land, including its vast Barind tract during the current season.
Interests among the farmers towards the seed farming have been enhanced to a greater extent in the region due to soaring onion prices for the last couple of years, reports BSS.Godagari Upazila Agriculture Officer Shafiqul Islam said that the farmers have cultivated the onion-seed on around 345 hectares of land this year, while the previous year’s figure was around 95 hectares.
More than 350 farmers have become self-reliant through commercial farming of the crop during the last couple of years in the upazila, which attracted many to onion seed farming.
Akbar Ali, 54, a farmer of Palpur village under Godagari upazila, had harvested around 300 kilograms of seed from three bigha of land last year. He sold the seed at Taka 3,000 to 5,000 per kilogram during the last sowing season.
Ali said that he earned around Taka 12 lakh after selling the crop last season. The lucrative earning has inspired him to cultivate the onion seed on five bigha of land this year. Production cost is around Taka 50,000 to 60,000 per bigha of land, he added.
Himel Hossain, 43, another farmer of the same village has cultivated the cash crop on four bigha of land this season. He earned around Taka 10 lakh after selling around 300 kilograms of seed last year.
Nazmul Haque, 48, another farmer of Tarapur village under Puthiya Upazila, is now dreaming of harvesting onion seeds of Taka 16 lakh during the current season.He has cultivated onion seeds on four bighas of land. His eye-catching farming field predicts yielding more than 400 kilograms of seed in the upcoming harvesting season.
Nazmul said he has spent around Taka two lakh for the farming purposes. He expects production of 80 to 100 kilograms from per bigha of land on an average.
Around 15 years back, he had started onion seed farming on two khathas of land after taking it lease. Since then, continuous profit inspired him to increase his farming gradually. Now, he is a successful onion seed farmer and his fame spreads to surrounding areas.
Meanwhile, commercial farming of onion-seed is gradually increasing in Rajshahi region including its high Barind tract, as demand for this spicy cash crop has risen to a greater extent in the recent years.
Agriculturists, farmers and other stakeholders are expecting a bumper production of onion-seed this season due to a suitable climatic condition.
They are predicting that around two and half mounds of seed would be produced in a bigha of land during the forthcoming harvesting season.
In the last sowing season, per kilogram of seed was sold at Taka 3,000 to Taka 5,000.
“We are hopeful about record amount of onion-seed production this year if the present suitable climatic condition prevails until the total harvest is completed,” said Sirajul Islam, Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE).
Meanwhile, over 9.32 lakh tonnes of onion is expected to be produced from around 88,800 hectares of land in all eight districts of the division during the current Rabi and subsequent Kharif-1 seasons.
The DAE has set a target of producing around 3.14 lakh tonnes of the spicy cash crop from 29,920 hectares of land in four districts in Rajshahi Agricultural Zone, while 6.18 lakh tonnes from 58,880 hectares in four other districts of Bogura Zone.
But, amazingly, the farmers have brought 89,164 hectares of land under the onion farming in the two zones exceeding the target by 364 hectares.