Thursday, 1 December, 2022

Vegetable Farming

Use of hydroponic method offers hope to farmers

RAJSHAHI: Some of the marginalised families, particularly the ethnic minority ones, have started using hydroponic technology for the first time in the region because the modern technology is suitable for growing vegetables.

Shyamoli Murmu, 23, wife of Ramesh Murmu, Sabina Marandi, 27, wife of Pijush Marandi, and Minoti Kisku, 28, wife of Mikhail Kisku, are seen cultivating tomato, capsicum, coriander, spinach and lettuce through using the technology at present.

A group of ten women, including the three ones, in Jhikra village under Nachole upazila of Chapainawabganj district were imparted need-based training besides providing other financial and technological support for the vegetable farming after the best uses of the modern method, reports BSS.

The promotional support was given with the intervention of a project titled “Resilience to Economic Volatility of Indigenous and Vulnerable Populations through Empowerment (REVIVE)”.

Talking to BSS here Saturday, Dr Muhammad Asaduzzaman, Senior Scientific Officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute, said hydroponics is a method of growing plants either in water or in soilless substrates through supplying essential plant nutrient solution.

“We are promoting the women-run hydroponic and safe vegetable production for improving living and livelihood conditions of the landless marginalized families through the venture,” he added.

Portraying salient features of the technology and its benefits Dr Asad, who conducted the training as resource person, said it provides suitable balance of oxygen, water and inorganic nutrients for optimum plant growth.

Nutrient and water can be saved through this technology. It has no soil diseases and pest problems and thus saves money.

Vegetable can be produced in soilless substrate, infertile soil, or even in the roofs. Nutrient and water can be saved through this technology.

Dr Asad attributed that the managed culture technique is being used for growing high value vegetables throughout the year in the drought prone areas as the hydroponic cultivation technology is especially suitable for growing vegetables.

The REVIVE project is being implemented in six unions of Nachole and Gomostapur upazilas in Chapainawabganj and nine unions in Manda, Dhamuirhat and Niamatpur upazilas of Naogaon districts.

Around 4,600 marginalised families, most of them are ethnic minorities, have started improving their living and livelihood conditions through various need-based income generating activities with intervention of the project.

The beneficiaries were given humanitarian support, including monetary and income-generating training and assets as emergency response.

Each of the households was brought under cash incentives worth Taka 4,000. They were imparted training on various income-generating activities, including agriculture, vegetable farming, homestead gardening, fisheries, livestock, vermin-compost and horticulture as per their interest and choice.

Apart from this, the beneficiaries were given post-training materials and logistic support so that they can engage themselves in the income-generating activities for uplifting their living and livelihood conditions after the best use of their knowledge acquired from the training.

Narayan Chandra, coordinator of the project, said market linkage between the beneficiaries and the line departments is also being established for generating market chains as well as value chains of the farm products.

REVIVE project has initiated piloting of vegetable production using hydroponic technology as an income generating opportunity of the beneficiaries using their small space of land or in rented and leased land by a joint effort of them.

Upon its success, the best practices and learning opportunities will be replicated for other peoples in all the project-covering areas widely, added Narayan Chandra.