RANGPUR: The riverside and char people are happy getting bumper production of various crops cultivated on char lands in Rangpur agriculture region this season to tackle the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic situation.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said crop cultivation on char lands is expanding every year cutting poverty and improving livelihoods of char people living in riverine areas of the region.The char people had cultivated various crops on around one-lakh hectares of char lands in all five districts of the region during the just-ended Rabi season and safely completed harvest last week with bumper yield before commencement of the rainy season, reports BSS.
They had mostly cultivated pumpkin, mustard, watermelon, ‘kawn’, onion, garlic, chili, pulses, potatoes and other vegetables, maize, wheat, squash, gourd, capsicum, Boro rice, groundnut, banana and many other crops on these lands.
“The char and riverside people have already completed harvest of their cultivated crops and got a bumper output across the region,” said Additional Director of the DAE at its Rangpur regional office, Agriculturalist Bibhubhushan Roy.
Braving natural disasters like floods and river erosion every year, hundreds of char and riverside people have achieved self-reliance through cultivating crops using intercropping methods on char lands during the last 12 years in the region.
“The DAE puts highest efforts on ensuring best use of char lands through providing assistance and technologies to char people to increase crop output for improving their livelihoods and attaining food security amid changing climate,” Roy said.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said crop cultivation on char lands became possible due to drying-up and silting-up of the rivers and lowering of the underground water level.“The char people have already completed harvesting the crops before commencement of the upcoming rainy season, though jute crops on fewer low-lying char areas are growing under the threat of early floods,” he said.
Crop cultivation on shoals, dried up riverbeds and char lands is expanding every year on char lands and dried-up riverbeds of the Brahmaputra, Jamuna, Teesta, Ghagot, Dharla, Kartoa and other rivers and tributaries across the region.
“Around 50,000 char and riverside families have achieved self-reliance by farming crops on these lands improving their livelihoods with support of the DAE and different NGOs during the last 12 years in the region,” Rashid added.
River-eroded char people Anwar Hossain, Kobiza Khatun, Abdur Razzaque and Nasima Begum of village Char Paschim Mohipur in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur said they got bumper production of crops cultivated on the Teesta riverbed this season.
Char people Abdus Sobhan of village Char Montola and Sohrab Ali of Char Korai Barishal under Chilmari upazila in Kurigram said they got bumper output of their crops cultivated on the Brahmaputra riverbed this year.
Abdul Aziz and Sohel Rana of village Char Dakshin Kharibari in Nilphamari, Khalil and Mohidul of village Char Khuniagachh in Lalmonirhat also got bumper output of various crops after completing harvest last week.