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Cotton cultivation expanding in Barind region

  • Our Correspondent
  • 16 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Cotton cultivation expanding in Barind region

RAJSHAHI: For the last three-year, local cotton production is likely to increases and expansion of cultivation of hybrid varieties in Barind region of Rajshahi division.

During the current season, farmers have sown cotton on nearly 360 hectares of land, said Md. Akhteruzzaman Executive Director of the Cotton Development Board (CDB).

It is learnt, with the assistance from the officials of Cotton Development Board (CDB) and the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), farmers of Godagari upazila of Rajshahi cultivated cotton for the first time in 2014.

Cotton plants have a drought resistant quality and grow well in water scarce, semi-rugged Barind tract of Rajshahi district.

Nearly 360 hectares of land were brought under cotton farming in Godagari in 2014 and the amount of land has been increasing year by year. The Cotton Development Board in Rajshahi was assisting financially the cotton farmers of Barind region.

According to CDB, Rajshahi, farmers are being  encouraged to cultivate cotton in various plots of drought prone, semi-rugged Barind area, CDB took a number of projects at Joitabot Tola, Paharpur, Basantapur, Amtola and Udpur villages. Officials of CDB hoped, more Barind land will be brought under cotton cultivation during the coming years.

CDB sources said cotton was cultivated in 20-22 districts of Bangladesh, covering only 0.55 per cent of the total cultivable land of 80 lakh hectares.

Bandarban, Rangamati, Jashore and Jhenaidah are the major cotton producing areas. Cotton is mainly sown in the July-August period and harvested in between December and January, it added.

Kamal Pasha, a farmer of the northern Natore district, said yields would be higher this year. However, overall cultivation in his locality had dropped as only five out of seven farmers have sown the seeds of cotton.

“We have prospects but climate is the main barrier,” expert said, adding that cotton was a dry climate crop and its cultivation could be expanded to 200,000-250,000 hectares without affecting food crop and vegetable cultivation.

Cotton farmer Alauddin informed, there having no way to irrigate his land through deep tube wells, he could not cultivate more than one crop a year. Since cotton farming requires a little or no irrigation, he was using his land to cultivate cotton this year. He along with his brother has cultivated cotton on ten bighas of land this year, informed Alauddin.

Rajshahi district cotton development office sources informed, farmers of Barind tract are being assisted with money, seed and fertiliser to cultivate cotton and officials of CDB were inspecting the cotton fields regularly.

They further informed, CDB was bearing all expenditure of cultivation of some 250 bighas of land. The farmers will have to sell all their produced cotton to CDB when the money given to the farmer by CDB will be deducted.

Cotton Development Officials of Rajshahi further informed, the price of cotton has not been fixed this year. As a result, the farmers will be paid taka 2,525 for one mound of cotton as the prevailing rate.

The sources further mentioned, the cotton industry of the country is mainly dependent on imported cotton from Pakistan, India, USA and Sudan. A mass cultivation of cotton in the Barind tract will decrease import of cotton as well as make the semi-arid land of the region usable.