RANGPUR: Farmers have already exceeded the fixed production target of maize by 1.20 percent after harvesting the crop on 97.22 percent of cultivated land area in Rangpur agriculture region this season.
According to officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and farmers, a super bumper production of maize production as its harvest is nearing completion with excellent yield rate during the just-ended Rabi season in the region, reports BSS.Currently, farmers are happy getting excellent prices between Taka 800 and Taka 850 per mound (every 40 kg) of their newly harvested maize in local markets.
The DAE had fixed a target of producing 10,51,747 tonnes of maize from 1,01,845 hectares of land for all five districts of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari and Lalmonirhat in the region during the 2020-2021 Rabi season. “However, enthusiastic farmers finally cultivated maize on 1,01,335 hectares of land, less by only 510 hectares against the fixed farming target,” Deputy Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Bidhu Bhushan Roy said.
Till Sunday, farmers have harvested maize on 98,523 hectares of land, 97.20 percent against the cultivated land area, and produced 10,64,432 tonnes of the crop, exceeding the production target by 12,685 tonnes in the region.
“The average yield rate of maize currently stands at 10.80 tonnes per hectare of land in the region where the total production of the crop might be around 10.94 lakh tonnes after completion of harvest this time,” Roy said.
The government provided special incentives, high yielding varieties of maize seeds and fertilisers and latest technologies to small, marginal and flood-hit farmers to enhance maize cultivation this time.
Senior Coordinator (Agriculture and Environment) of RDRS Bangladesh Agriculturist Mamunur Rashid said maize cultivation is expanding on both the mainland and char areas during the last 12 years in the region.“Along with the farmers in the mainland, the char people are expanding cultivation of maize as a cash crop on the char lands to earn huge profits improving their livelihoods by cutting poverty to lead better life and change fortune,” Rashid added.
Farmers Aminur Rahman, Abdul Khaleque, Mazharul Islam and Kafil Uddin of different villages under Sadar upazila in Rangpur said they were selling newly harvested maize at better rates between Taka 800 and 850 per mound and reaping better profits.
They expressed happiness over the present market price of maize that has huge demand in the animal husbandry, poultry and pisciculture and food industries sectors.
Agriculturist Dr Md Abdul Mazid, who got the Independence Award 2018 Medal (food security), said there are immense potentialities to further increase maize production through bringing the huge abandoned char lands of the northern region.
“Maize farming is more profitable than many other crops and farmers are increasing its cultivation using the latest conservation agriculture technologies to get better output at reduced costs,” he said.
He appreciated various initiatives taken by the government to enhance production of the low-irrigation water consuming cereal crop of maize to ensure food security amid changing climate.