Department of Agriculture Extension officials say almost 1, 52,000 hectares of land was brought under vegetables cultivation in Rajshahi region this year. File photo

Country Desk
Like previous years, varieties of early winter vegetables have appeared abundantly in both retail and wholesale markets here making both the sellers and buyers happy.
Farmers in the region including the vast Barind tract are successfully producing early varieties of winter vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, radish, carrot, beet, turnip, tomato, leafy spinach, red spinach and receiving fair prices in the wholesale markets. Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) officials said almost 1, 52,000 hectares of land was brought under vegetables cultivation in the region this year.

They said production target has been set at around 21.5 tonnes from each hectare of land. Around 2.5 lakh tonnes of vegetables are expected to be produced here this season.
Over one and half lakh people of 75 villages are involved in cultivating and selling different types of vegetables in the area. Mominul Islam Ali, a farmer of Monigram village under Bagha Upazila, said he spent about Taka 750 for cultivating cauliflower on one decimal of land and got 1.5 to 2 mounds of cauliflower. The wholesale market price of cauliflower is between Taka 1,600 to 1,800 per mound.

Meanwhile, huge quantities of vegetables are being transported to Dhaka, Chittagong and other major cities from the region. Sabiar Rahman, a local trader, said some 15 to 20 trucks loaded with vegetables are going to the capital and other major cities every day.
Lutfor Haider Rashid, chairman of Kalma Union Parishad under Tanore Upazila, said more vegetables are grown in the area than any other place of the district.
Mustafizur Rahman, additional director of DAE, Rajshahi told BSS that farmers are producing huge quantities of early winter vegetables due to favorable weather and local DAE official’s support. He said farmers have started growing chemical-free vegetables, using organic manure like vermi-compost, in the region including its vast Barind Tract.
By dint of diversified interventions, gardening around homesteads in the
current season through using the organic fertilizer has started gaining ground with production of different fruits and vegetables safe and hygienic ways. Marginal farmers and the poor people in the region are mostly engaged in this venture by making the best use of spaces around their homes over the last couple of years.

“I have cultivated bottle gourd, cucumber and coriander on 16 decimals of land beside our homestead by using organic fertilizer this year, and I got expected production,” Momtaz Uddin, a farmer of Pirijpur village, said.
Shefali Begum, 45, wife of Shahidul Islam in Karnahar village of Paba upazila said, “We have been producing chemical-free vegetables, using vermi-compost. We are also selling some vegetables in the local market after meeting the family’s demand.”

Nazirul Islam, 40, a farmer at Bijoynagar village in Godagari upazila, said chemical-free vegetables are in high demand at the village, and locals purchase the vegetables at higher prices.