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Cultivation of climate tolerant ‘maskalai’ stressed

  • Our Correspondent
  • 28 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Cultivation of climate tolerant ‘maskalai’ stressed

RAJSHAHI: Agricultural scientists and researchers have urged the farmers to cultivate the newly innovated maskalai (black gram) variety as it is high yielding and tolerant to the adverse impact of climate change.

There is bright prospect of expanding the variety in the region, including its vast char lands, and the farmers are the vital force of materialising the prospects, they said.

The experts came up with the observation while addressing a farmers’ field day titled “Production Programme of BARI MASH-3 released by Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI)” on Friday.

The On Farm Research Division (OFRD) of BARI organised the programme in Doshimani Shimultala area under Gomostapur Upazila in Chapainawabganj district aimed at popularising the variety among the grassroots farmers.

Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture Kamalaranjan Das addressed the meeting as the chief guest.

Director of Pulse Research Centre Dr Mohiuddin spoke as the special guest with OFRD, Barind Centre Principal Scientific Officer Dr Jagadish Chandra Barman in the chair.

Chief Scientific Officer of Regional Horticulture Research Station Dr Mukhlesur Rahman, Principal Scientific Officer of Fruit Research Station Dr Alim Uddin and OFRD Senior Scientific Officer Dr Shakhawat Hossain also spoke.

Farmers apprised the experts that they have become happy after cultivating the variety on the fallow lands in vast char areas during the last couple of years.

Acreage of the variety is gradually increasing as per acre yield is more than the existing indigenous varieties.

Huge char lands of the Padma and Mohananda rivers which remained fallow after monsoon for a long time are being brought under the mass-kalai farming.

The farmers viewed that they earlier used to cultivate indigenous mash-kalai varieties in a scattered way and many of the lands would remain fallow.

Apart from this, yield of those was very poor, hardly one to one and a half mounds per bigha. After getting seeds from OFRD and according to its guidelines, they have been cultivating the new variety since last year.

The farmers are very much interested in boosting its farming in the years to come as the variety’s yield is more than four to five mounds per bigha.

There is no additional cost for mash-kalai production except for only one or two plowings. Cost of one bigha of farming is around Taka 750 whereas its outcome can fetch Taka 7,000 to 8000.

In his remarks, Kamalaranjan Das said huge land of the char area remained fallow after receding flood water every year.

So, there is an enormous scope of elevating the socio-economic condition of the local community through the best uses of the fallow lands if those were brought under farming of the variety.

He referred to various salient features of the cash crops. He said: “No additional cost for fertilizer, pesticide and irrigation is needed to cultivate this short-term cash crop”.

Terming it as eco-friendly, he said the farming is most effective for boosting soil fertility. Requisite seeds should be distributed among farmers.

Kamalaranjan said the Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj districts along with their vast char areas are very much popular for mass-kalai farming and its production.