RANGPUR: Onion harvest is nearing completion with excellent yield rate predicting a bumper production of the spicy crop making farmers happy in Rangpur agriculture region this season.
Additional Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) at its regional office Agriculturist Khandker Abdul Wahed said farmers are reaping better profits from selling their newly harvested onions in all five districts of the region, reports BSS.Market sources said farmers are selling their newly harvested local variety onion at rates between Taka 1,300 and Taka 1,400 per mound (every 40 kgs) to local middlemen and wholesalers.
However, retailers are selling the spicy commodity at Taka 1,600 per mound or at Taka 40 per kg on an average in local markets. The DAE had fixed a production target of 95,207 tonnes of onion from 9,750 hectares of land for the region at the average yield rate of 9.36 tonnes per hectare this season.
“However, farmers have finally cultivated onion on 9,392 hectares of land, less by only 358 hectares against the fixed farming target, for the region,” he said. During the last season, farmers brought 8,235 hectares of land under onion cultivation and produced 89,970 tonnes of the spicy crop at an average yield rate of 10.92 tonnes per hectare of land.
The DAE and other agriculture related departments, organisations and institutes implemented various programmes to assist farmers in making the intensive onion farming programme a success.
“Till Wednesday, farmers have harvested onion on 8,044 hectares of land already producing 88,689 tonnes of the crop with an excellent average yield rate of 11.03 tonnes per hectare,” Agriculturist Wahed said.
Farmers are expected to complete harvesting of onion on the rest of 1,348 hectares of land with an expectation of producing over one-lakh tonnes of the spicy crop to exceed the fixed production target of 95,207 tonnes in the region.Getting quality onion seeds free of costs and other assistance from the government, small and marginal farmers cultivated onion on more lands to increase production and reap additional benefits.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said the northern region has an immense potential to increase onion production by ensuring proper crop diversification and utilisation of latest technologies.
“The DAE, Spices Research Institutes and other agriculture related institutions and organisations are working to further increase onion production for meeting its local demand and ultimately reduce its import to the zero level,” he said.
He appreciated various steps taken by the present government to extend necessary assistance to farmers for expanding onion cultivation twice a year to increase its output on the way to attain self-reliance.
Farmers Abdul Hakim, Jalil Ahmed, Sukumar Roy, Mokhlesur Rahman and Badruzzaman of different villages in Rangpur said they have completed harvesting onions to reap better profits this time.
Retail vegetable traders Hafizur Rahman at Rangpur City Bazar and Fazlur Rahman at Keranipara Kitchen Market in the city said the local variety of onion is selling at Taka 40 per kg following abundant supply in local markets.