RAJSHAHI: Experts have urged the farmers to cultivate non-conventional high-valued fruits and medicinal and cereal crops as well.
In the present changed situation, the grassroots farmers should be habituated in farming the high-valued non-conventional crops and fruits for improving their living and livelihood conditions, they opined.
Barind Multipurpose Development Authority (BMDA) organised the meeting under its project titled “Popularising of High Valued Unconventional Fruit and Medicinal Crop in the Barind Area”.
Around 30 farmers joined the meeting and they were given knowledge on how to farm the high-valued fruits and crops.
BMDA has been implementing the five-year project in 13 upazilas of Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Naogaon districts at a cost of around Taka 17.34 crore since early last year.
Executive Director Engineer Abdur Rashid and the Project Director ATM Rafiqul Islam addressed the meeting as chief and special guests respectively with Executive Engineer Zinnurine Khan in the chair.
Principal Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute Dr Saedur Rahman spoke as focal person.
Corn, also known as maize, needs less water and it is more profitable than other crops in the area, Rahman said.
He said around 52 demonstration orchards will be generated aimed at boosting production of high-valued non-conventional fruits and medicinal crops through popularising farming of those in the Barind area.
Around 4.15 lakh saplings and 2,000 kilograms of seeds of non-conventional fruits and crops will be distributed among the farmers free of cost on behalf of the project to increase such orchards.
Some 1,500 farmers and 310 officers and employees concerned will be imparted training on production, transplantation, nurturing and other techniques of the seedlings.
Rafiqul Islam said the project is being implemented with the main focus of boosting commercial farming of the high-valued fruits in the project-covering areas.
“We’ve set the target of establishing 22 orchards for fruits, 20 for field crops, eight for spices and two for beverages,” he said, adding that most of the highly valued non-conventional fruits, field crops, spices and herbs will be brought under demonstration.
Upon successful implementation by June, 2025, the project is expected to contribute a lot to enhance the number of orchards of non-conventional fruits and medicinal crops.