RAJSHAHI: Arum cultivation has changed fortunes of many farmers as demands of the vegetable crop are seen rising gradually everywhere in the region including its vast Barind tract.
The good arum harvest is attributed to suitable soil, favourable weather and necessary help from the local agriculture offices.
Sub Assistant Agriculture Officer Atanu Sarker said the local farmers are seen farming the crop commercially for a couple of years as it has demands in the local and regional markets and other growth centres.
A lot of farmers have started cultivating arum commercially as its market price is rising gradually. “A farmer gets 2 to 4 maunds of yield from each decimal of land,” he went on saying.
Mukhi Kochu, a variety of arum, has been cultivated on over 550 hectares of land and Pani Kochu, it’s another variety, on over 200 hectares of land in the district this year, he said, adding the farmers were given suggestions for cultivating Pani Kochu in marshlands where other crops do not grow well.
Jashim Uddin, of Golai village under Godagari upazila, has cultivated arum on two bighas of land and has been harvesting and selling his crop with satisfactory yield and market price for the last couple of weeks.
Price of early harvested arum is always lucrative as many people purchase it with much interest. “I’ve sold the vegetable at Taka 2,200 per mound in the whole sale market in the early stage,” Jashim said with a smiling face.
Agriculturist Mozder Hossain, Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Extension, said arum is an environment-friendly and nourishing vegetable item, adding the agriculture department has been advising farmers on cultivating different high yield varieties of arum.
He said the farmers of the region are expected to grow huge quantities of arum this year by using modern technology and compost fertiliser as per DAE’s suggestion.
Locally known as ‘Latiraj’, arum is usually planted in early January and its harvesting begins in mid-April and the harvesting continues for eight months till mid-December.
Farmers are now cultivating different varieties of arum in the region and almost all the varieties are grown in the water-logged areas, he continued.
Kabir Hossain, an arum farmer of Borgachhi village of Paba upazila, said he has cultivated mukhi arum on four bighas of land, expecting bumper production.
He planted the arum seed in the last week of January and began harvesting in the first week of August.
He said arum grows well on his land and he has been cultivating this vegetable for the last few years because he gets good profit at lower expenses.
Mohammad Ali, another farmer of Chanduria village under Tanore upazila said he cultivated Taro Arum (Mukhi Kochu or BoiKochu) and got an excellent yield of the crop this season.
He added that a farmer can get 2-3 maunds of Taro Arum from each decimal of land.
Dr Mahbubur Rahman Khan, a professor in the department of medicine in Rajshahi Medical College Hospital, termed arum as a nourishing and tasty vegetable. This food item works as a remedy for different diseases, he claimed.