RANGPUR, Jan 20 (BSS): All kinds of winter vegetables have appeared in the local markets in huge quantities following bumper production of the crops in the northern region and prices of the commodities are reasonable for the growers, officials, farmers and market sources said.
The Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) had fixed an all-time record target of producing 1.4 million tonnes of winter vegetables from over 0.11 million hectares of land in 16 districts of the northern region during the current season. But the farmers brought over 0.12 million hectares under the programme, officials said.
Bumper production of the vegetables has been achieved in the region following different steps taken by the government to make the programme successful through distributing seeds, agro-loans, motivational training and technical support by the DAE, Northwest Crop Diversification Project (NCDP), RAKUB, NGOs and other departments, senior officials in the DAE said here today.
According to the officials, farmers and market sources, varieties of winter vegetables have already flooded the local markets and fair prices of the commodities have made the farmers happy.
"The production target will exceed as the farmers have cultivated vegetables in more lands than the fixed target in the region," they said.
Poor people and women in the flood- and erosion-prone char areas of Kurigram, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Bogra, Sirajganj and Pabna districts have cultivated winter vegetables in their barren sandy char lands in huge quantities this time under the assistance of the NCDP and other programmes taken by the government.
"We are trying to change our fate through cultivating different crops, including winter vegetables, in our char lands under the NCDP with a view to achieving self-reliance and the results are good," a number of women in the char areas told the news agency.
Meanwhile, tender plants of wheat are growing well everywhere in the northern districts amid comparatively colder weather which is helpful for better production of the crop. The green wheat fields have worn an eye-catching look predicting a bumper production this time, officials and farmers said.
A target of producing 7,24,010 tonnes of wheat from 3,29,093 hectares of land has been fixed in the northern region of the country during the current 2005-2006 Rabi season, officials in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) said.
The countrywide wheat production target has been set at 13,20,000 tonnes from 0.60 million hectares of land this time, they said.
The DAE and Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation (BADC) have taken adequate steps to achieve the fixed target of wheat production in all 16 districts of the region during this current season.
Wheat farming was becoming less popular in the area in recent years following more profits from cultivation of the other winter crops. But, special steps taken this time by the DAE helped bring more land under wheat farming plan to achieve the target through motivating the farmers with a view to reducing wheat import from abroad.
"The target will be achieved this time because of very higher prices of the commodity in the local markets throughout the year and its huge demand. Farmers will now get more profits by farming wheat than many other winter crops," said the DAE officials.
The BADC distributed adequate quantities of high quality imported and locally collected wheat seeds from the contract seed growers among the farmers through 190 dealers and 13 seed centres in all 35 upazilas of Rangpur, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Nilphamari and Kurigram districts at a reasonable price fixed by the government.
Similarly, wheat seeds were distributed among the farmers of other districts of the region, the sources said.