Millet cultivation on the verge of extinction in Panchagarh

Published : 23 May 2022 08:47 PM

In Tentulia of Panchagarh, the traditional millet ( Kaun) cultivation is about to disappear. Millet is the name of a delicious crop grown primarily in Asia, Europe, Africa and North America. This crop is associated with the tradition of rural Bengal. At one time, it was widely cultivated in villages but now it is losing its traditional millet as it cannot compete with the improved varieties of crops. Despite the low cost, eco-friendly, easy farming methods and water saving, it is safe to say that the cultivation of millet is no more due to human negligence. The crop seems to be disappearing at high speed. Millet’s scientific name is Setaria italica. After a lot of searching, millet cultivation was found in the land of Abdul Jabbar, a farmer of Kaldaspara village in Buraburi union of the upazila. On closer inspection, the endangered millet crop is reported to have survived. Locals in the area are saying that this crop is not dead yet. But it is on the brink of extinction. '

Talking to Chhelaman Ali, Chairman of Devangarh Union Parishad of Tentulia Upazila. He said that in the past we used to cultivate millet in many lands in this area but now it is not visible. The cultivation method of the crop is simple, low cost, water efficient and environment friendly. Seeds should be sown in Chaitra (April) after sowing in dry land. The crop is harvested in the month of Ashar (July). He further said that once in a while weeding is done, irrigation is not required. Yield is 10-15 mounds per bigha. There is a lot of demand in the market.

Moreover, it is possible to make up for the shortage of organic manure by tearing off the top of the millet and mixing the remaining trees with the soil. Some also use it as fuel. Millet's rice is very tasty and delicious. Jaundice acts as an antidote to the disease. This crop is heavily used in making traditional cakes.

Mohammad Masud, Lecturer, Department of Botany, Bhajanpur Degree College, said, ‘We have to preserve this native crop in our interest. Currently, there is a lot of demand in the market. Only by encouraging the farmers by the Department of Agriculture will they be able to sustain the cultivation of millet. Otherwise, the next generation will not be able to know the name of this crop.

Mozammel Haque, deputy assistant agriculture officer in charge of Buraburi union in the upazila, said the millet crop was on the verge of extinction. It has been reported that some farmers have planted millet. It is a profitable crop and in great demand. It is in our interest to preserve this native crop.

In this regard, Upazila Agriculture Officer Jahangir Alam said, it goes without saying that the crop named millet is no more. millet has been planted in 4 hectares of land in the whole upazila this time. Due to depletion of crop land, most of the crop is not visible now. He further said that the people of the upazila are now more interested in cultivating almonds, maize and sesame. However, every union will take steps to increase the demand for this endangered crop.