RANGPUR: Mustard farmers in Rangpur agriculture region are happy due to good production of the crops and its fair prices in the local markets during the on-going harvesting season.
Now the farmers are seen busy processing the crop in the region as harvesting is going on in full swing.Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said a target of producing 53,250 tonnes of mustard from 39,200 hectares of land was fixed for all five districts in the region during the current Rabi season.
“However, farmers cultivated mustard on 38,450 hectares of land, lees by only 750 hectares of land against the fixed farming target this season,” said Additional Director of the DAE at its Rangpur regional office, Agriculturalist Khandker Abdul Wahed.
Farmers finally cultivated mustard on 6,477 hectares of land in Rangpur, 10,850 hectares in Gaibandha, 13,915 hectares in Kurigram, 2,308 hectares in Lalmonirhat and 5,650 hectares of land in Nilphamari districts in the region. “After completing harvest of the crop last week, farmers produced 51,642 tonnes of mustard in all five districts of the region,” he said.
Farmers achieved an excellent average yield rate of 1.35 tonnes of the oil seeds per hectare of land following cultivation of its high yielding varieties evolved by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI).
Deputy Director of DAE for Rangpur Agriculturist Dr Sarwarul Haque said farmers had mostly cultivated high yielding varieties of mustard like BARI Sarisa-9, BARI Sarisa-14, BARI Sarisa-15, BINA Sarisa-4 and other varieties on their land this time.
To make the extensive mustard cultivation programme successful, the DAE and other agriculture related departments extended assistance to farmers of the region.The government also distributed mustard seeds and fertilisers free of cost as special incentives among small and marginal farmers of the region to cultivate mustard on one bigha of land each this season.
“The fixed mustard farming target fell little short due to crop diversification and cultivation of Aman rice on more land during the last season followed by cultivation of maize on more land this season,” he added.
Market sources said the newly harvested mustard oilseed is being sold at rates between Taka 2,800 and Taka 3,000 per mound (every 40 kg) in local markets.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid lauded various steps taken by the government to expand mustard farming for increasing its output aiming at attaining self-reliance on edible oil.
“Increased cultivation of high yielding varieties of mustard adopting latest technologies would not only boost its production further, but also meet local demand of edible oil reducing dependence on its import in the future,” he said.