It is impressive that the people of the northern districts of the country, the area once called a famine prone region, are now coming out of their miserable financial condition and leading a better economic and social life. Among many other factors, the cultivation of Napier grass is playing a significant role in transforming them into self-reliant individuals changing their fortune and removing the age-old identity of extremely poor people. Many farmers of Rangpur and its adjacent districts are now making huge profits yearly by cultivating the high-yielding grass commercially.
The economic condition of the people of northern districts was miserable because of the acute shortage of employment and food. Lack of cultivable land, income-generating sources and credit, high interest rate and natural calamities were among the contributing factors to their woes for years. But, gone are those days. While many people opt for going to different parts of the country to find some opportunity to earn their bread and butter, some people do it by creating self-employment with a minimal investment staying at their homes. Cultivation of Napier grass has solved all their problems to a great extent within a very short time. Because of low farming cost, harvesting eight to ten times every year and fair price, Napier farming becomes a magnet for the farmers. Now, they prefer cultivating the grass to tobacco, bringing a positive impact on the environment too.Besides bringing fortune for the cultivators, Napier grass farming has opened up a new horizon for cattle farming. Due to the depletion of farmland and pasture cattle farming has turning into a difficult task. Therefore, high-yielding Napier grass has become the best possible option for meeting the demand for nutritious fodder for cattle in the expanding livestock sector.
Though Napier grass farming is still limited to some particular districts, it can be spread throughout the country. It will directly create income-generating opportunities for young unemployed people and indirectly help expand livestock sectors, and both of the factors will positively contribute to our national economy. The policymakers must think of it and the agriculture officials at different levels will have to extend their helping hands to make it happen.