During the current Rabi season, many char (shoal) people are dreaming of getting a bumper harvest of their cultivated winter crops in char lands and dried-up riverbeds in Rangpur agricultural region.
This prospect a good crop yield has kindled new hopes among the farmers.
As the harvest of their cultivated winter crops has already begun with excellent yields, they are hopeful of leading a better life getting fair prices of their produce to tackle the global crises caused by the Russia-Ukraine War and Covid-19 pandemic.
Officials of the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) said harvest of early varieties of onion, vegetables, pumpkin and many other varieties crops continues on the char lands with excellent yields and the process will end by late May next.
"The char people have cultivated crops, mostly adopting intercropping and mixed-relay methods, on char lands," Additional Director of the DAE at its regional office Agriculturist Mohammad Shah Alam said.
"Alongside enhancing food production by cultivating various crops on sandy char lands and dried-up riverbeds, char people are reaping rewarding profits from harvesting various crops to lead a better life despite the global crises," Alam said.
During the current season, landless char and riverside people, small and marginal farmers have cultivated crops on around one lakh hectares of char lands in the region.
They have cultivated varieties of crops like potato, sweet pumpkin, squash, brinjal, onion, garlic, green chili, gourd, banana, mustard, pulses, cauliflower, groundnut, wheat, indigenous varieties of Boro rice and vegetables on char lands and dried-up riverbeds.
Deputy Director of the DAE for Rangpur region Agriculturist Md. Mahbubar Rahman said crop cultivation on char lands and silted-up riverbeds continued increasing in the region during the past three decades.
Expanded cultivation of a variety of crops on char lands has already changed fortunes of many landless, char and riverside people and marginal farmers living in all five districts of the region.
Talking to BSS, people living in char villages of Purbo Mohipur, Paschim Mohipur, Gannarpar, Kolkond, Bagdohra and Chhalapak in Gangachara upazila of Rangpur said they are busy now in harvesting and taking care of growing crops on char lands.
Couple Shahinur Islam and Fancy Begum of Char Purbo Mohipur of Gangachara upazila in Rangpur said they have cultivated various crops like pumpkin, 'Khira', green chilli, maize and other crops on two acres of the dried-up beds of the Teesta this time.
"I have already sold harvested 'Khira', pumpkin and other crops worth Taka one lakh," Shahinur told BSS and hoped that he is expecting to earn a net profit of around Taka 1.50 lakh excluding all expenses after completing harvest of his cultivated crop this season.
Aminul Islam and his wife Ummey Kulsum of village Char Taluk Shahbaz in Balapara union of Kawnia upazila in Rangpur while taking care of growing crops in char lands said they are expecting a bumper output of their cultivated crops.
"We have cultivated pumpkin, groundnut, onion, garlic and vegetables on two acres of sandy char lands on dried-up beds of the Teesta to complete harvesting those by May next," said Aminul Islam on his croplands.